This Healthy Lentil Chili recipe is packed full of whole foods, plant-based proteins, and flavor. You won’t even miss the meat! Lentil chili is a hearty vegan/vegetarian recipe, and perfect for a cold winter day.
- 2–3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 pound bag of brown lentils (about 2 1/4 cups)
- 2 cans diced tomatoes with the juice (14.5 ounce), fire-roasted if you can find them
- 6–8 cups vegetable stock
- ⅓ cup fresh chopped cilantro
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Optional toppings: tortilla chips, avocado, hot sauce, jalapeños
- Add the oil to a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika, and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the diced tomatoes, 6 cups of vegetable stock, and dry lentils, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture up to a boil. Reduce the heat to low or medium-low and allow it to gently simmer. Cook, covered, until the lentils are soft and cooked through, stirring often, about 30 minutes.
- When the lentils are cooked, place a few cups of the cooked lentil mixture in your blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender) and blend. Add the blended mixture back to the pot and stir to combine. Adjust the thickness of your chili to your liking with additional vegetable stock as needed. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Stir in cilantro and serve.
Start by adding 6 cups of vegetable stock and see how things go. If it’s looking a bit thick during the cooking process, add a little more. If it’s a bit thick once you have added your blended lentils, add a bit more. Lentils cook differently depending on their age (which you don’t have a lot of control over most of the time). And your preference on thickness of the chili will be different than mine. Feel free to add more liquid to your liking.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stove
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: vegetarian chili recipe, vegan chili recipe, easy chili recipe, homemade chili recipe, how to make chili, how to make vegetarian chili, lentil chili recipe, how to make vegan chili, how to make lentil chili