Simple Supper: Bean and Tempeh Chili + Biscuits

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March 1, 2013 by Meg G.

We had our second Simple Supper last Friday and enjoyed great company and this warm, hearty chili with some cheddar cilantro biscuits. A lovely way to start the weekend!

This chili combines three kinds of beans and crumbly, crispy tempeh, for a protein-packed, flavorful meal. Using canned beans and tomatoes allows this meal to be on the table in under an hour. The homemade biscuits are the perfect complement – cheesy, light, fresh, and buttery. Here goes!

Bean and Tempeh Chili – adapted from Smitten Kitchen


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, separated
  • 1 large onion, diced (we chopped it in the food processor)
  • 1 large green pepper, diced
  • 1 15-ounce can of white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 28-ounce plus one 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water or stock
  • 1-2 tablespoons chili powder, to taste (we started with 1 tablespoon Penzeys Chili 3000 and added more to taste)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 8oz package tempeh, crumbled
  • Avocado for garnishPeppers Onions and SpicesMethod:
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Cook crumbled tempeh until golden and crispy. Set aside.
  2. Heat remaining olive oil in a large pot, adding diced onion and pepper, sautéing until slightly browned.
  3. Add tempeh, beans, tomatoes, water or stock and spices, including cocoa, all at once, letting mixture simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with avocado.Tempeh

Peppers and Onions

Three Bean Chili

Bean and Tempeh Chili

Make the biscuits while the chili is simmering. They will be ready shortly after the chili is done and the scent of cheddary, cheesy, bready goodness will great your guests at the door!

Cheddar Cilantro Biscuits – also adapted from Smitten Kitchen


  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 1/4 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Biscuit Prep


Biscuit Prep


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Either cut the butter pieces into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or rub them in with your fingertips until well-combined.
  4. Stir in the cheddar, cilantro, and sour cream until the mixture forms a sticky dough.
  5. Pat it out to a 1/2-inch thickness on a very well-floured counter and use a 3 1/2-inch biscuit cutter to cut six rounds (or whatever shape/size you like!).
  6. Bake on an ungreased (or parchment-lined) for about 15 minutes, until golden on top.

Biscuit Prep

Cheddar Cilantro Biscuits

Cheddar Cilantro Biscuits

Cheddar Cilantro Biscuits

Tip from Deb: If you’d like to serve them over a couple days, freeze already formed but unbaked biscuits until you are ready to bake them. Bake them directly from the freezer, adding just a minute or two to the baking time. We actually froze half of them – because the recipe made about 20 biscuits!

Cheddar Cilantro Biscuit

These didn’t rise as much as I expected, but that might have been because I used half whole wheat flour (Deb’s original recipe calls only for all-purpose). No matter – they were still ridiculously yummy!

Off to start tonight’s Simple Supper meal – parsnip and ginger soup!

Bean and Tempeh Chili with Cheddar Cilantro Biscuit


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