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Chili con tofu and kidney beans served in a bowl on top of steamed basmati rice

Chili Con Tofu & Kidney Beans

The satay style flavours and tofu in this vegetarian chili con ‘carne’ give it a delicious twist on the traditional meat based version. In Spanish ‘carne’ means meat, beef or flesh. If you’re not a great fan of tofu I would recommend checking out Tofu Queen, Louise Hagler’s Tofu Cookery book where she showcases a surprisingly delicious range of ways to cook with tofu. Cook’s tip:  freezing, thawing and squeezing dry tofu with a clean towel tofu before cooking gives it a slightly chewier texture. For a gluten free alternative use gluten free soy sauce or tamari.

Nutritionist’s tip:  reduced salt or no salt kidney beans, vegetable stock and peanut butter has been recommended because the soy sauce gives the dish a salty flavour. The Australian Guidelines to Healthy Eating recommend reducing the amount of salt in the diet because shop bought bread and processed foods can contain high amounts of salt which has been shown to contribute to high blood pressure.

  • Serves 4
  • Preparation and cooking time:  50 minutes


  • 2 x 400g (14oz) cans red kidney beans (no added salt), rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup of vegetable stock (reduced salt) or water
  • 350g (12.3oz) firm-extra firm regular tofu, frozen, thawed, squeezed dry with a clean towel and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (no added salt or sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 large brown onion, chopped
  • 1 large green capsicum (bell pepper), chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped and crushed
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground sweet paprika


  • Preheat oven to 180-200°C (356-392°F) and oil a baking tray (22cm x 34cm or 8.7 inches x 13 inches) with olive oil or line with baking paper.
  • Slice thawed tofu into 1cm (½ inch) slices, place on one half of the clean dry towel, fold over the other half of the towel and press the tofu with your hands to squeeze out excess water from the tofu.
  • Tear tofu by hand into bite-sized pieces.
  • Combine by hand, in a blender or with a bamix ¼ cup hot water, soy sauce (or alternative), peanut butter, onion powder, garlic powder, ½ teaspoon cumin.
  • Pour this mixture over the tofu pieces. Arrange the tofu pieces on the baking tray and bake for 20 minutes. Flip the pieces over and bake for a further 10 minutes.
Tofu torn into bite-sized pieces in marinade on a baking tray
Arrange the tofu pieces on a baking tray and bake for 20 mins. Flip the pieces over and bake for a further 10 mins.
  • Meanwhile, heat in a large sauce pan over a medium 1 tablespoon olive oil. When hot, add onion, green capsicum (bell pepper) and garlic. Reduce heat and stir fry over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes or until translucent.
  • During the last minute of cooking stir in the cayenne powder, 1 ½ teaspoons cumin and sweet paprika.
  • Stir in the kidney beans and vegetable stock.
  • Add the baked tofu pieces, bring to the boil, reduce and simmer until heated through. Serve hot with basmati rice or corn bread and a salad.
Chili con tofu and kidney beans served in a bowl on top of steamed basmati rice
Chili Con Tofu & Kidney Beans

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  • Delish factor:  4 out of 5 stars
  • Suitable to freeze


2 thoughts to “Chili Con Tofu & Kidney Beans”

  1. Delicious and simple to make. Was devoured happily by my entire family including a 2.5 year old who loved the baked tofu (omitted the cayenne pepper for her).

    1. Hi Rachel, Glad you and your family enjoyed the Chili con tofu & kidney beans. I am impressed that your 2.5 year old loved the baked tofu. I hope you and your family enjoy some of the other recipes.

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