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4.86 from 7 votes

Lentil Chili

This lentil chili recipe is quick, easy, and lentil meaty. Loaded with vegetables and beans, this thick and hearty chili is the perfect dish to welcome fall. And it only takes 20 minutes in one pan!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Soups
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 189kcal


  • 1 white onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeño deseeded and diced
  • 15 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 2 ½ cups prepared brown lentils I used Trader Joes steamed lentils
  • 1 15 ounce can corn, drained
  • 15 ounces black beans (do no drain) add with with the fluid in the bean can
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy sauce choose Tamari or liquid aminos for a gluten-free option
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon oat flour or flour of choice
  • 2 teaspoons corinader
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup beer I used ale


  • In a large pot, saute onions, garlic, and zucchini until the onions are translucent.
  • Add a little vegetable broth if the onions begin to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the prepared lentils.
  • If using Trader Joe's steamed lentils, using a wooden spoon, separate the lentils in the pan. As they heat up, the lentils will separate.
  • Add the can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes and vegetable broth.
  • Stir to combine ingredients.
  • Then, add the black beans (undrained), corn, and hatch chili peppers.
  • Now add the remainign ingredients.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to simmer, and cover the pot.
  • Cook for 20 minutes, stirring every so often.
  • Serve with toppings if chosen.

Crockpot/Slow Cooker Option

  • Add all ingredients to the base of the crockpot and stir, making sure to loosen the prepared lentils as they are added to the mixture.
  • Stir together.
  • Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.


  • Instead of draining the can of black beans, add the fluid. It thickens the chili, and the bean aquafaba is edible and flavorful. 
  • I like to make chili the day before eating it because the flavors enhance in the refrigerator overnight.
  • When working with jalapenos, always wear gloves to avoid contact burns. If you have contact lenses, you will be sorry if you don't.
  • When serving the lentil chili recipe, add the avocado as a garnish before serving, so it doesn't turn brown.
  • Chili freezes well. I like to use Super Cubes to freeze individual servings.
  • If you love chili, like my family, I suggest doubling the batch and freezing it to save time later.
  • Using a vegetable chopper reduces prep time in half.
  • Serve with vegan cornbread. 


Calories: 189kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 364mg | Potassium: 737mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2049IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 5mg