With the Fall weather upon us, I thought it would be good to have some chili, so I made this stovetop lentil chili. It is packed with protein and fiber and is a warming, comforting meal idea.
Why We Love This Lentil Chili
This is a one-pot meal that is meatless and tastes fantastic. You won’t even miss having meat in the chili. And lentils are so darn good for you. They have loads of fiber and protein.
Then there is the price…under $2,00 for a pound at most local supermarkets. You just can’t beat it.
And, you could be serving this lentil soup in under an hour’s time. Perfect meal for any day of the week.
First of all, you will need some dry lentils. I used brown lentils here, but red or green would also be fine. You only need 3/4 cups of lentils which will expand to 1 1/2 cups when cooked.
Also beans for added fiber and nutrition. One 14-ounce can each of black beans and red beans. Drain and rinsed.
For the tomatoey sauce, one 14.5-ounce can of stewed tomatoes and one 6-ounce can of tomato paste.
For the aromatics, one onion and one green bell pepper, coarsely chopped. I kept the pieces large enough so they have a presence in the dish and a good mouthfeel.
And spices: chili powder, ground cumin, and salt.
To finish off the lentil chili I added some grated cheddar cheese and fresh cilantro.
If you would like a bit more heat in your chili, some minced jalapeno pepper might be nice. And perhaps just a little smoked paprika. Not too much just 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons.
Some cornbread or tortilla chips would go well with the chili.
How To Make Lentil Chili
You make this in just one pot so a 4-quart dutch oven or large saucepan is perfect.
On medium heat, add the vegetable oil, chopped onion, and bell pepper. Cook for 5 minutes to soften.
Then, add the remaining ingredients along with 2 3/4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover and cook for 30 minutes. The lentils should be soft. If you would like the lentils to have a bit of a crunch to them, check them after 20 minutes.
Serve the chili hot with the garnishes of your choice.
The recipe for this stovetop lentil chili makes a big pot full. Leftovers can be kept refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 4 days.
The chili also freezes well and can be kept in an airtight container frozen for up to 3 months. To thaw, place in your refrigerator overnight or just set it out at room temperature.
And here are some more tasty recipes to try:
- Cheesy Hot Tuna Sandwiches
- Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetables
- Healthy Roasted Fall Vegetables
- Creamy Potato Leek Soup
- Sweet Potatoes and Caramelized Onions
Stovetop Lentil Chili
- 1 med. yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup dry brown lentils
- 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed (Bush's)
- 1 16 oz. can red beans, drained and rinsed (Bush's)
- 1 14.5 oz,can stewed tomatoes (Del Monte)
- 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 3/4 cups water
- cilantro and grated cheese if desired
- In a dutch oven or other large pot, add vegetable oil, chopped onion, and chopped green pepper. cook on medium high heat 5 minutes to soften slightly.
- Add the remaining ingredients into the pot, bring to a slight boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the lentils have softened. (Check at 20 or 25 minutes to see how the lentils are coming. You may like them with a slight crunch).
- Remove from the heat and serve garnished with cilantro and grated cheese if desired.
- Recipe adapted from thekitchn.com.
- Additions to the chili could be a minced jalapeno pepper or a small amount of smoked paprika.
- The nutrition information is based on approximately 1 1/2 cup serving of chili without cheese or other garnishes.
I love how easy this recipe is! I’ve had a bag of lentils hanging around in my cupboard for a while, so I’m glad I found a way to use them! Really good!
We have been enjoying lentils in soups for many years, but for whatever reasons we had not thought about expanding their use in other recipes. I am grateful for the inspiration to use them in new recipes since we really like them and they are so darn healthy!
Hey Al, this chili is really good with the lentils.
This chili is a winner in every way; it not only tastes great, but it costs less than $1 per serving to make, it’s low calorie, low fat, and it’s high in fiber. Leftovers are great for freezing and reheating.