Meatless Lentil Chili is wholesome and filling with the flavor you’d expect in a meat chili. It can be made vegetarian by using vegetable stock. This Lentil Chili is Dairy-free, High fiber, Vegan, and Vegetarian. Even picky eaters will like Lentil Chili!
The other day my daughter was begging me to make something meatless with lentils. I decided to make up a recipe that the whole family would eat. We loved this Lentil Chili so much that we now make this recipe on a regular basis. It’s a satisfying and filling chili perfect for any time of the year and sometimes I like to add a jalapeño or poblano pepper to make it spicy.
Lentil Chili has all the traditional Chili ingredients like onions, garlic, bell peppers, chili powder, and tomatoes but no meat. Trust me you won’t miss the meat!!! Lentils are loaded with B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and iron. Your body will thank you after you eat a bowl! Lentil Chili is super delicious served with my Southern-Style Buttermilk Cornbread. You’ll feel good about eating this healthy, comfort food!!!
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE LENTIL CHILI
- Olive oil
- Bell pepper
- Chili powder
- Bay leaf
- Black pepper
- Canned tomatoes
HOW TO MAKE LENTIL CHILI
- In a large Dutch oven (minimum 5-quart), heat olive oil over medium heat; add onion, red bell pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt.
- Sauté for about 8 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
- Stir in minced garlic and chili powder; cook for 1 minute.
- Add lentils, undrained tomatoes, bay leaf and stock.
- Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium-low, and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.
- Remove from heat and discard bay leaf.
FOR A THICKER LENTIL CHILI
- Transfer 1-2 cups of cooked chili to a food processor and process until pureed; add pureed chili to the remaining chili and combine.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with toppings of choice.
LENTIL CHILI ADDITIONS AND TOPPINGS: Customize the chili to your taste with additional ingredients and/or toppings
- Herbs – cilantro, parsley, or chives
- Onions – green onions, white, or red
- Hot peppers -jalapeños, poblanos, green chilies
- Lime juice
- Corn -corn kernels, corn chips, cornbread
- Cheese -orange or white cheddar, cotija (Mexican cheese), or Vegan cheese
- Sour Cream– plain yogurt, or goat cheese
- Meat -cooked Italian sausage or rotisserie chicken
OTHER RECIPES TO TRY:
- Serve Lentil Chili with my Southern-Style Buttermilk Cornbread
- Lentil and Squash Chili (Vegetarian or Vegan)
- Lentil Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, small diced
- 1 large red bell pepper, small diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 (16 ounce) bag of brown lentils
- 1 (28 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 (32 ounce) cartons vegetable, chicken, or beef stock
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro or green onions, chopped
- kosher and fresh ground black pepper
- Optional toppings: sour cream, any cheese, tortilla chips, avocado
- In a large Dutch oven (minimum 5-quart), heat olive oil over medium heat; add onion red bell pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt. Sauté for about 8 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Stir in minced garlic and chili powder; cook for 1 minute.
- Add lentils, undrained tomatoes, bay leaf, and stock. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium-low, and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Remove from heat and discard bay leaf.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with toppings of choice.
- SPICY LENTIL CHILI: Add 1 diced jalapeño or 1 diced poblano pepper with the onion and red bell pepper when sautéing.
- MEAT LENITL CHILI: Add cooked ground Italian sausage or chopped rotisserie chicken.
- THICKER LENTIL CHILI: Transfer 1-2 cups of cooked chili to a food processor and process until pureed. Add pureed chili back to the pot and combine.