This easy lentil chili is packed with veggies and protein for a nutritious yet comforting meal. It’s a super flavorful veggie chili that’s just perfect to enjoy on a cold day!
If you love chili and are looking for a veggie chili recipe that’s simply packed with flavor, this easy lentil chili is definitely the recipe for you.
Chili is a crowd-pleasing dish par excellence, and this veggie version is so good it will please everyone, including meat-eaters.
Besides bursting with flavor and being super easy to make, this vegan lentil chili is also very healthy since it’s packed with lentils, beans, veggies and tomatoes.
It’s one of the best meals to cook if you’re looking for ways to incorporate more lentils into your diet. Lentils are inexpensive and loaded with protein and fiber, so they’re an excellent meat substitute.
Why you’ll love this lentil chili
- It’s hearty and healthy, just the perfect weeknight meal to feed a hungry crowd.
- It’s a family-friendly meal as it’s not too spicy — unless you want it to be.
- You only need one pot to make it, so there’s less washing up to worry about.
What goes into green lentil chili
Onion — Red and yellow onions are both good options in this chili with lentils.
Bell peppers — Use any color you like!
Garlic and jalapeño — It’s always best to use freshly chopped garlic and jalapeño in chilies, but if you don’t have them, jarred or frozen also works.
Lentils — Green or brown lentils are both great options for this chili. You don’t have to pre-soak them but give them a good rinse before adding them to the pot.
Ground cinnamon — I love a bit of ground cinnamon in my chili, but you can skip this if you’re not a fan.
Coconut sugar — A tablespoon of coconut sugar balances the flavors (it doesn’t make the chili sweet). You can also use light brown sugar.
How to make vegan lentil chili
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot and cook the onion and bell pepper for 4-5 minutes over medium heat until slightly softened.
Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook for another minute.
Stir in all the spices and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
Stir in the fresh cilantro, season to taste and serve with your favorite toppings.
Leftovers and storage
- Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to five days in an airtight container.
- You can reheat this lentil chili in the microwave or on the stovetop.
- This vegan lentil chili freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Recipe notes and tips
- Serve this lentil chili with all your favorite toppings. Some ideas include (vegan) shredded cheddar, (vegan) sour cream, lime wedges, tortilla chips, cilantro, avocado, sliced red onions or sliced jalapeño.
- This green lentil chili tastes even better the next day, so it’s a great make-ahead meal.
- The chili pairs well with tortilla chips and cornbread, but you can also serve it over rice.
If you liked this easy lentil chili, you might also like some of my other one-pot vegan recipes:
- Vegan Cannellini Bean Stew
- Vegan Lemon Rice Soup
- Instant Pot Vegan Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup
- Polish Sauerkraut Soup (Kapusniak)
- Easy Butter Bean Stew
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 small jalapeño, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons mild chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 can (14 oz / 400 g) crushed tomatoes
- 1 ½ cup (250 g) green lentils, rinsed
- 1 can (14 oz / 400 g) red kidney beans
- ½ tablespoon cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
- 2 cups (500 ml) vegetable stock
- A handful fresh cilantro, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot and cook the onion and bell pepper for 4-5 minutes over medium heat until slightly softened.
- Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook for another minute.
- Stir in all the spices and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
- Add the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, lentils and red kidney beans and stir to combine.
- Stir in the cocoa powder, ground cinnamon and coconut sugar, then add the vegetable stock and stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
- Stir in the fresh cilantro, season to taste and serve with your favorite toppings.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 224Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 382mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 12gSugar: 7gProtein: 13g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.