Chili con Tofu


Spicy chili seasonings pair beautifully with tofu. For a more substantial, spicy chili, use the same weight of tempeh in place of the tofu. Since tempeh is not packed in water, there is no need to pat it dry before sautéing, but stir in up to one extra cup of water in Step 4 when adding the beans. Satisfying Vegetarian Recipes

Chili con Tofu
Photo: © Sabra Krock


  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 medium red onions, finely chopped

  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 large poblano chiles, seeded and finely chopped

  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

  • 1 medium jalapeño chile, minced

  • 1/3 cup pure chile powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • One 35-ounce can of Italian peeled tomatoes in juice

  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • Salt

  • One 1-pound block of extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry

  • One 19-ounce can of black beans, drained

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro


  1. In a large, heavy, nonreactive casserole, heat 1/4 cup of the oil. Stir in the onions, garlic, poblanos, bell pepper, jalapeño, 1/4 cup of the chile powder and the cumin and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened but not browned, about 10 minutes.

  2. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and add them to the casserole with their juice and the tomato sauce. Stir in the oregano and 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile cut the tofu into 1/2-inch dice and pat dry. Place in a bowl and toss with the remaining 4 teaspoons chile powder. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add the tofu and cook over moderately high heat for 3 minutes to lightly toast the chile powder. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer the tofu to the casserole. Add 1/3 cup of water to the skillet and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits. Add the liquid from the skillet to the casserole.

  4. Stir the black beans into the chili and simmer, stirring frequently, until the flavors are blended, about 10 minutes. Before serving, stir half of the cilantro into the chili; sprinkle the rest on top.

Make Ahead

This chili is best if it stands for at least 1 hour or overnight.


One Serving Calories 366 kcal, Protein 19 gm, Soy Protein 9 gm, Carbohydrate 39 gm, Cholesterol 0, Total Fat 17.9 gm, Saturated Fat 1.9 gm.

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