Vegetarian Black Bean Chili with Squash

Tempeh is a firm, chewy cake made from fermented soybeans, and its dense texture makes it a hearty stand-in for meat. Tempeh does well marinated—it really soaks up the flavors. Butternut squash adds even more flavor, color and texture. For this weeknight-friendly recipe, combine the tempeh and marinade in the morning, pop it in the fridge, and then finish the recipe in the evening. We use plain old soy tempeh, but you could use other varieties, such as flax or three-grain.


  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1-1/2 limes, juiced (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped (see tip below)
  • 1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 8 ounces soy tempeh, crumbled
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 cup Roasted Butternut Squash with Shallots
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • 1 avocado, chopped (for garnish)
  • pumpkin seed kernels, (for garnish)


  • Whisk together 5 tablespoons oil, lime juice, chipotle chiles and tamari in a medium bowl. Add tempeh, tossing to coat. Cover, and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add onion and bell pepper, and sauté 3 minutes, or until tender. Add garlic, and sauté 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add tempeh and any remaining marinade, and cook 5 minutes. Stir in black beans, squash, tomatoes, cumin and oregano. Whisk together water and tomato paste, and add to pan, along with salt and pepper. Bring to a lively simmer, and cook 30 minutes. Stir in lime juice and cilantro, and garnish as desired with chopped avocado and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Servings: 4
Tip: Purée leftover chipotles in adobo sauce and portion into an ice cube tray. Freeze. Pop “chipotle cubes” into a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag, and freeze until you need for other recipes. Each cube equals about 1 tablespoon.
Variation: Prefer meat in your chili? Try this: Omit 5 tablespoons olive oil. Substitute 8 ounces ground sirloin or bison for the tempeh. Skip the marinating step. After sautéing the onion, bell pepper and garlic, add the meat. Cook 5 minutes, or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add chipotle, cumin and oregano, stirring to coat meat and vegetables. Add beans, and proceed with the recipe.
Want to learn how to master nourishing, easy weeknight meals (without spending hours in the kitchen)?Click here to register for my free training!

Share The Love!

Print The Recipe

How to Plan, Prep, and Cook Easy Weeknight Meals (without spending hours in the kitchen)

3 steps to making simple, nourishing meals possible night after night so you spend less, enjoy more, and have time and energy to live a richer, more delicious life.

Hey there ... I'm Lia Huber

Hey there ... I'm Lia Huber

My mission is to inspire and equip you to live a richer life through real food by becoming a more competent, confident home cook.

I’m the author of Nourished: A Memoir of Food, Faith, and Enduring Love, founder and CEO of Nourish Evolution, and the creator of Cook the Seasons, Home Cooking School, and the Real Food Reset, and I empower intentional women to cook in a way that brings them (and their families) joy, health, and ease.

Making the shift from processed food to real food doesn’t happen overnight. It’s an evolution that occurs over time, with effort, intention, and belief. And it will change the course of your life. Are you ready to take the first step? I’m so glad you’re here … and I’m honored to be with you on the journey to becoming nourished!


Privacy Policy

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Proin vel ullamcorper nisl. Praesent tincidunt nibh sit amet sagittis porttitor. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Maecenas euismod ullamcorper libero, quis sollicitudin metus ullamcorper et. Curabitur elementum tincidunt fringilla. Vestibulum a ligula vitae dui rutrum consectetur non nec quam. Aliquam gravida ornare erat, sit amet lobortis massa sagittis pellentesque. Sed dapibus sed est nec blandit. Curabitur tellus felis, porttitor et odio nec, elementum aliquam sem. Nam ut dui enim. Nullam ac ornare odio. Nullam pulvinar purus porttitor dolor gravida lobortis.

Ut pulvinar pulvinar neque ut euismod. In tempor placerat risus, ut tempus eros congue vel. Ut venenatis ultricies magna, porta hendrerit dolor posuere ut. In sit amet tempor ante, eget lacinia ipsum. Nunc in condimentum ex. Sed sit amet urna ultrices, euismod urna vitae, sollicitudin orci. Quisque non justo convallis, scelerisque nulla sit amet, tincidunt augue.