BXG Blog

Green Chile Chili

What’s that, you say? Aren’t chile and chili the same thing? No! But this vegetarian chili bean recipe uses green chile, so people on both sides get to be right when cooking this one. It comes out similar to Texas-style chili, but with tempeh instead of beef.


Getting started:

  • 1 lb dried pinto beans
  • 4 extra hot dried New Mexico chile pods with seeds
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 0.5 tsp onion salt
  • 0.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 0.75 tsp cayenne powder
  • 0.5 tsp dried New Mexico red chile powder
  • 1.5 tsp dried Mexican oregano
  • 0.25 tsp dried marjoram
  • 0.25 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 0.25 tsp dried tarragon
  • 6 cups filtered water

To add later:

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 8 oz tempeh
  • 8 oz white potatoes (optional)
  • 2-3 roasted and peeled New Mexico green chiles (frozen is fine).

For serving:

  • Flour tortillas
  • Avocado (optional)
  • Shredded cheese (optional)
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Chopped chives (optional)


Wash the beans. Chop/crumble the dried chile pods into fairly small pieces. You can omit a couple of the chile pods or replace with a lower heat rating if you prefer a less spicy final result. Place everything from the getting started list into your slow cooker insert. Cook on high for 3-4 hours.

After 3-4 hours, turn down the slower cooker to low. Cube the tempeh and the potatoes into roughly three-quarter inch cubes. Dice the onion. Sauté the onion in butter over medium heat until it starts to turn golden, then add to the slow cooker. In the same pan, turn up the heat and brown the tempeh and potatoes, then add them to the slow cooker. Dice the green chiles and add them, too.

Stir everything up, then cook on low for at least 2-3 more hours. Add water as needed if things start to dry out. You can cook on low for longer, but the potatoes will eventually start to fall apart. If you don’t have time to add ingredients partway through, you can also just add all the ingredients at the beginning and then cook on low all day. I recommend omitting the potatoes in this case.

Shortly before serving, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with tortillas and any of the other optional toppings you like. You’ll want flour tortillas rather than corn, because they soak up the sauce and the spices a lot better.

This makes a very full 4-qt slower cooker of chili. It freezes well, so don’t be dismayed if you weren’t prepared for that much at one sitting.