Bean and Lentil Chili Recipe (Vegan) | FoodByMaria

Vegan Comfort Food

Bean and Lentil Chili Recipe (Vegan)

Prep

15 minutes

Cook

50 minutes

Yield

6-8

The weather is gloomy and the leaves are slowly falling off the trees. Guys, it’s November. When did this happen? I’m still in denial that it’s no longer summer and the year is almost over. However, one good thing about colder weather is cuddling up to a warming bowl of vegan lentil chili. Chili is such an easy and budget-friendly meal to make for the whole family. Plus, it can easily be put in the freezer if you want to meal prep or save some for one of those too-busy weeks. This bean and lentil chili recipe was made with three different beans and Bob’s Red Mill lentils, which means it’s jammed with nutrition, it’s seriously one of my fav vegan lentil recipes.

Serving pot of vegan lentil chili topped with fresh herbs. One of my fav vegan lentil recipes.

Why you’ll love this lentil chili: 

  • Quick: There is only 15-minutes of prep time for this recipe, the rest is just cooking it up and letting all the flavors marinate together 
  • Healthy & Filling: The health benefits of the beans combined with the lentils not only make this dish healthy but very filling 
  • Comforting: Is there anything better in the colder months than a big bowl of steaming hot chili? I think not!
  • Versatile: The best part about chili is it’s pretty hard to screw it up. Experiment with the beans you have on hand for different textures and deliciousness 

Serving dish of vegan lentil chili recipe ready to be eaten.

Ingredient Notes:

Beans: For this vegan lentil chili recipe I used three different kinds of beans, however, the best part about chili is that it’s so versatile you can throw in whatever vegetables and beans you want or have in the cupboard. I used:

  • Kidney beans
  • Black beans
  • Romano beans

What’s so great about beans? Well let me tell you. First off they have so many health benefits, and are packed with protein which is incredibly beneficial in a vegan diet. First off, beans are high in amino acids which are the building blocks of protein. Secondly, they are high in folate which can help with weakness, fatigue, heart palpitations, loss of appetite and irritability. Vegan bean recipes are some of my favs to make!

Fun fact! Dried beans contain nearly double the folate than canned beans. However, both still have folate.

Beans also include:

  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Fiber
  • Polyphenols (an antioxidant)

Not to mention that they also help with heart health, reduce your risk of cancer, preventing a fatty liver, and help improve your gut health. Now you know why they call it the “glorious fruit”.

Lentils: Lentils range in colors from green, brown, black, coral, orange, and the list goes on. Bob’s Red Mill sells both green and red lentils, and you can use either in this recipe. Is there a difference between types of lentils? Green lentils retain their shape a bit better than red, and red lentils often disintegrate more when cooking but they are still great when using them for soups or chilis like vegan bean recipes or vegan lentil recipes.

Each type of lentil has different flavors and textures, but all are very versatile when using in a recipe. They also are incredibly easy to prepare, and super easy to digest. I find sometimes almost too easy to digest… if you know what I mean ;)!

Lentils are loaded with nutrients and health benefits like:

  • Protein and fiber
  • Help support a healthy heart
  • Good source of iron
  • Source of molybdenum and folate
  • Vitamin B1 & B6
  • Zinc
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Potassium
  • Plus, they’re vegan!

How to make lentil chili: 

  1. Into a large pot, sauté the onion on medium heat for around 5 minutes or until translucent.
  2. Add in your finely chopped pepper and sauté for another 5 minutes or until soft.
  3. Now add your seasoning, jalapeno pepper, spices and garlic. Cook for another minute and give it all a good stir.
  4. Next add the canned tomatoes (with juice), vegetable stock and tomato paste. You want to stir this till well combined then increase your heat to high.
  5. Lastly, add your beans and reduce heat to medium. Cook till thickened for another 30-40 minutes. Stir frequently to avoid burning.
  6. Garnish with cilantro and green onion.

Tip: if you have some vegan meltable cheese on hand, then this is where you spice things up!

Serving bowl of lentil chili with hand stirring the pot.

FAQ & Expert Tips: 

Can I freeze this chili? Yes! Put it into a tightly sealed container once completely cooled and when you’re ready to reheat, thaw it out and warm it up in a pot. 

Can I use any beans in this recipe? Absolutely! Switch it up or use what you have on hand. Chili is hard to screw up and is very versatile. Use your favorite beans. 

What’s the best type of lentils for chili? What you want is a lentil that will hold it’s shape in cooking. I used green but you can also use brown, red and yellow tend to split/disintegrate so you’ll get a completely different texture. Here is a great guide on types of lentils.

Other recipes you’ll love:

I really think you’ll love this easy, perfect-for-fall, versatile lentil chili recipe. How do you like to make your chili? Share your tips below in the comments as I’d love to hear! And if you’re looking for more recipes to use beans in, I’ve got a ton. Here are some of my favs:

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Bean and Lentil Chili Recipe (Vegan)

  • Author: Maria Koutsogiannis
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Description

This simple lentil chili recipe is plant-based, easy-to-make, and perfect to warm you from the inside out during the winter months.


Ingredients

Scale

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 cup sweet white onion, finely chopped

1 cup red pepper, finely chopped

1 medium jalapeno, seeded, finely chopped 2 tbsp. chili powder

1 tbsp. oregano, dried

1 tbsp. cumin powder

1 tsp. smoked paprika

dash of cinnamon

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 cloves garlic, pressed

3 cups canned roma tomatoes, unsalted

2 cups vegetable stock – unsalted

1 tbsp. tomato paste

1 (398 mL) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (398 mL) can of romano beans, drained and rinsed

1 (398mL) can black bean, drained and rinsed

1 cup cooked green lentils, I used Bob’s Red Mill

Garnish with: Cilantro, chopped Green onion


Instructions

Into a large pot, sauté the onion on medium heat for around 5 minutes or until translucent.

Add in your finely chopped pepper and sauté for another 5 minutes or until soft.

Now add your seasoning, jalapeno pepper, spices and garlic. Cook for another minute and give it all a good stir.

Next add the canned tomatoes (with juice), vegetable stock and tomato paste. You want to stir this till well combined then increase your heat to high.

Lastly, add your beans and reduce heat to medium. Cook till thickened for another 30-40 minutes. Stir frequently to avoid burning.

Garnish with cilantro and green onion.

Enjoy hot! Tip: if you have some vegan meltable cheese on hand, then this is where you spice things up!


Notes

Freezer friendly.  To freeze, let the chili completely cool before transferring into a tight sealed container and place into your freezer.  To reheat simply thaw and transfer to a pot and cook till hot throughout.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 8
  • Calories: 166
  • Sugar: 5
  • Sodium: 597.8
  • Fat: 6.5
  • Saturated Fat: 1.1
  • Unsaturated Fat: 1.7
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 49.5
  • Fiber: 15.7
  • Protein: 16.3
  • Cholesterol: 0

Keywords: beans, chilli, plant based, vegan

Hannah DeJong

There are no black beans in this recipe – but the photos show black beans?

Maria Koutsogiannis

Hello Hannah, that is very strange. It is showing up on my computer here. Either way, it wouldn’t have made much of a difference! Hope you’re having a great day x

Marisa Notarangelo

hello, when are the lentils added to the recipe? The instructions do not mention the lentils.

Maria Koutsogiannis

Hello, so sorry we, must have missed that. Add them with the rest of the beans xxx

Basia

Not only is this easy to make but it’s delicious!!!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you so much for love, Basia!

Mikayla

Made it my crock pot, so good !!!!

Maria Koutsogiannis

YES!! Love that you loved it!

Gemma Nash

Delicious and so easy to make. We did back out of putting two tablespoons of chilli and the jalapeños in though because I wanted my children to eat it and it was still hot and just right for us 🙂

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you so much my friend!!

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