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Home / Blue Zone Friendly Tempeh Chili (with or without Meat)

Blue Zone Friendly Tempeh Chili (with or without Meat)

This Tempeh Chili is one of my favorite Blue Zone recipes because it’s not only healthy but also very delicious. You can make a big pot of this chili and then use it as leftovers throughout the week.

To create this recipe, we took the longevity diet tips from the blue zones into consideration. If you think this Tempeh Chili is hearty and satisfying, we’re sharing a few more Blue Zone recipes below.

Tempeh Chili

What are Blue Zones?

The Blue Zone areas consist of five regions in Europe, Latin America, Asia and the United States. Researchers have identified these areas as having the highest concentrations of centenarians in the world because of how they live. If you want to learn more about the Blue Zones, you can check out Dan’s book called the Blue Zones Solution.

Blue Zone residents are considered to be the “world’s healthiest people.”

Blue Zone Diet

Learn More About the Blue Zone Lifestyle HERE

Diet Habits of People Living in Blue Zones

People living inside of Blue Zones live in very different parts of the world. Yet they have nine lifestyle habits that lead to happier, healthier, longer lives. However, not all of the nine lifestyle habits are related to diet. However, I am happy to say that the diet-related habits are inline with the anti-inflammatory clean eating diet that we promote here on Clean Cuisine.

blue zone recipes

There are a handful of Blue Zone centenarians diet habits in common:

#1: They get most of their protein from whole food plant sources.

Firstly, centenarians eat a mostly whole food plant diet. Blue Zone recipes are primarily made with vegetables and plant-based (non animal) proteins.

#2: Blue Zone residents are big on beans!

Secondly, almost all of the Blue Zone recipes have some kind of bean in them. Fava, black, soy and lentils are the cornerstone of most centenarian diets. Most centenarians eat beans every day.

#3: Centenarians eat very little meat but are not vegan.

Thirdly, on average, meat is eaten on average only five times per month. Serving sizes are small at 3-4 ounces and is mostly made of pork. This is very similar to how we eat here at Clean Cuisine.

#4: People in all Blue Zones drink alcohol moderately and regularly.

And lastly, people in all Blue Zones (except Adventists) drink alcohol moderately and regularly.  Moderate drinkers outlive non-drinkers. Apparently the trick is to drink 1-2 glasses per day (preferably Sardinian Cannonau wine), with friends and/or with food. And no, you can’t save up all weekend and have 14 drinks on Saturday. 🙂


How to Make our Blue Zone Recipe for Tempeh Chili

tempeh chili

Taking the longevity diet tips from the blue zones into consideration, this Tempeh Chili is a hearty and satisfying recipe that will help you do the following three things:

Eat Less Meat

Naturally, our blue zone recipes either have less meat or the meat is omitted and replaced with beans. Of course, you’re welcome to switch out the protein or increase the amount of animal proteins for your recipe.

• Add More Vegetables

Of course, having less animal protein means we are packing in the vegetables. All of our Blue Zone recipes have a variety of vegetables and they are delicious.

• Get More Plant Protein

Our Blue Zone recipes have beans as the primary source of protein. You can also use other types of plant protein like hemp seeds and quinoa.

10 More Blue Zone Recipes

Here’s our favorite Blue Zone recipes. Most of them can be found right here at Clean Cuisine and a few others we love around the web. Add them to your menu and start reaping the benefits of eating like the Blue Zone people.

Vegetable Chili Recipe

This vegetable chili recipe is a very easy Blue Zone recipe to make. I love to make a big pot of this chili on the weekends so I can have leftovers for lunch for a few days. Trust me on this: leftovers the next day taste even better.

vegetarian chili recipe

Blue Zone Lentil Stew

This rustic and hearty Lentil Stew recipe has LOTS of vegetables and is one of the most satisfying Meatless Monday dinners I have made in a long time. It’s also great for lunch leftovers!

lentil stew

Savory Dinner Pancakes

This recipe for Savory Dinner Pancakes is made with carrots and brown rice. With just a few ingredients, you can have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes.

Dinner Pancakes 3

Blue Zone Minestrone

This Blue Zone Minestrone is so delicious because it is loaded with delicious herbs and plenty of vegetables. We would suggest swapping out the wheat pasta for a gluten free whole grain pasta or brown rice.

blue zone minestrone

Sweet Potato Cakes with Lime & Avocado

This delicious sweet potato cakes recipe is straight from the Blue Zone recipe website. The sweet potatoes are seasoned with ginger, onion, garlic and red chilis.

blue zone sweet potato cakes

Blue Zone Tuscan Bean Soup

Our very own Tuscan Bean Soup is one of the most delicious Blue Zone recipes we’ve created. With garlic, rosemary and bay leaves, this bean soup is robust with flavor.

clean eating soup recipes

Edamame Hummus

Made with edamame and avocados, this Edamame Hummus recipe takes the place of dipping sauces. Give it a try!

blue zone edamame hummus

Time to Make Blue Zone Recipe for Tempeh Chili

See the notes below about substituting black beans for the tempeh. Or, if you prefer to use animal protein, we have notes for that too!


Blue Zone Tempeh Chili

Our Blue Zone Recipes are based on the longevity diet tips. This Tempeh Chili will help you eat more plant based protein and less meat.

Tempeh Chili
Save Recipe
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x



  1. Warm 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the tempeh and brown on all sides, about 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove tempeh from saucepan and set aside.
  2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, carrots and celery, cover and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables soften.
  3. Add the chili powder, cumin and salt. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, until well-mixed and fragrant. Add the salsa and tempeh to the saucepan and stir to coat the tempeh with the spices. Stir in the vegetable broth, tomatoes, beans and lime juice. Bring just to a simmer; do not boil. Continues to simmer and stir occasionally until beans are heated through and all ingredients are combined well, about 10 minutes. Add in the frozen corn and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Garnish with cilantro and avocado.

Last Step! If you loved our recipe, leave us a review below. This helps future recipe makers and ensures continued high-quality recipes for years to come!


If you would like to add meat, you can add 1/2 pound of grass fed ground beef or turkey at the same time as you add the tempeh. If you don’t want to use tempeh at all, you can also just add the ground beef or turkey as a replacement.

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Ivy Larson

In 2010, Clean Cuisine was launched because Ivy Larson wanted to share her anti-inflammatory lifestyle and delicious recipes using ingredients in their most natural and nutrient-rich state. In 2020, Ivy passed the website to Aimee and Madison. Since then, they have been adding new recipes and nutrition posts while updating old recipes and articles. Thanks for visiting Clean Cuisine!

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Monday 19th of March 2018

My “Step-daughter” Debby Gans has introduced your website and blog to me...I do try to eat clean in general....I am loving your recipes on paper and I look forward to making them soon!

Ivy Larson

Tuesday 20th of March 2018

Hi Anne! Thank you so much for introducing yourself =) Debby speaks so highly of you! I am sure we have met at the Bar-Mitzvah, but hopefully I will see you at the cookbook launch too. I am so excited to have Debby helping me---she is incredibly talented but also so much fun and such a great friend!

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