Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Weekend Must Make: Lentil Chili

If you were disappointed there was no bean-based dish in my roundup of vegetarian entrees, I've got an awesome recipe for you: lentil chili. It's hearty, slightly spicy, and absolutely delicious. The best thing about this meat-free chili is that it's healthy, so you feel good eating it. It has the warm, comforting qualities of a classic chili, but without all the extra fat. It takes a little more than an hour to make, but this satisfying one-pot dish is worth the wait. While the chili cooks, it fills your house with the most enticing aroma! Serve with a citrus salad and toasted bread. To make the chili this weekend, keep reading.

Lentil Chili

Lentil Chili

Lentil Chili Recipe


3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 teaspoons salt-free chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 (16-ounce) package brown lentils (about 2 1/4 cups lentils)
2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes
8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup chopped cilantro


  1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring until soft, 8 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2-3 minutes longer. Stir in chili powder, cumin, and paprika and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  2. Add lentils, tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, 45 minutes or until lentils are almost tender. Uncover and cook 10 minutes longer. Stir in cilantro and serve.

Serves 8.