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lentil chili topped with cheese, sour cream and fresh cilantro

Lentil Chili

  • Author: Brita Britnell
  • Total Time: 37 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Looking for a super tasty, crowd-pleasing dinner option? Lentil Chili with incredible bold flavors coming right up! This lentil chili recipe is a hearty and healthy plant-based chili filled with lentils, beans, tomatoes, and plenty of delicious spices! An easy one pot dinner option that the whole family will love!


  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth (plus more as desired)
  • 1 cup of uncooked lentils
  • 1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed*
  • 1 tablespoon baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of salt and more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add in the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and saute for 2 more minutes.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients: broth, lentils, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, kidney and black beans, cocoa powder, salt + pepper, chili powder, oregano, and cayenne. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, COVER, and cook until the lentil are soft and ready to eat, 25- 30 minutes.
  3. Once lentils are ready, add additional liquid as desired. I prefer this chili on the thicker side but feel free to add additional veggie broth if you want it a little more soupy.
  4. Remove from heat, serve with your favorite toppings and ENJOY!


Beans: I used a can of black beans and a can of kidney beans but really you can use 2 (15oz) cans of whatever beans you’d prefer.

Lentils: I recommend using brown or green lentils for this recipe. If you’d like to use red lentils, just know that it will not need to cook as long. I haven’t tried this recipe with split red lentils but my guess is that it would only need to simmer for about 10 minutes.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 32 minutes
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: lentils, chili, vegan