This Vegetarian Chili is a healthy and immensely satisfying alternative to meat-based varieties. Red lentils provide a protein and fiber rich chili that is thick and savory, and a snap to make. As an added bonus, it’s even better as leftovers and freezes beautifully.
I used the following ingredients for this amazing vegetarian chili: Olive oil, onion, red bell pepper, salt, pepper, jalapeño pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, red lentils, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, black beans and corn.
Making the Vegetarian Chili:
First, I added the onions, diced red pepper, salt, and pepper. I sautéed them in a little bit of olive oil in a Dutch oven set over medium heat. This took 3 to 4 minutes.
Next, I added the chopped jalapeño pepper and minced garlic, and continued cooking over medium heat.
After about 30 seconds, the garlic was fragrant, so I added some of the chili powder, some of the cumin and all of the paprika.
Then, I stirred the mixture to combine everything, and added the diced tomatoes, tomato paste and water.
Next, I brought the vegetarian chili to a boil over medium-high heat and added the red lentils that I had rinsed in cold water and drained. I stirred the mixture to ensure that everything was well combined.
At this point, I reduced the heat to medium-low, and gently simmered the mixture for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, the lentils were mostly tender. I added the drained and rinsed black beans and corn, along with the remainder of the chili powder and cumin.
I brought the vegetarian chili to a boil, reduced the heat to medium-low. Then, I covered the Dutch oven. Finally, I let the mixture simmer for another 20 minutes or so until the onions and peppers were tender. The Vegetarian Chili was full of flavor, filling and absolutely delicious. Yum!
I first posted this amazing Vegetarian Chili on April 21, 2017, but decided to add a video and tinker a bit with the text. I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe. If you’d prefer a meat based chili, you should try my turkey chili. Yum!
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 1 red pepper diced
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 jalapeño pepper seeds discarded, diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3 Tablespoons chili powder, divided
- 2 Tablespoons ground cumin, divided
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 3 Tablespoons tomato paste (See Tip 1)
- 1 3/4 cup water (See Tip 2) plus more as needed
- 3/4 cup dry red lentils rinsed in cold water and drained
- 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 15 ounce can of corn, drained and rinsed
Heat olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, red pepper, salt and pepper. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add jalapeño and garlic; stir to combine.
Add 2 Tablespoons chili powder, 1 Tablespoon ground cumin, paprika, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and water; stir to combine. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat.
Once boiling, add lentils and reduce heat to medium-low. Gently simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, or until lentils are mostly tender. If necessary, add more water if the mixture is looking too dry.
Add black beans, corn, remaining 1 Tablespoon chili powder and remaining 1 Tablespoon cumin. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Gently simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until onions and peppers are tender.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more chili powder or cumin for smokiness, salt for saltiness, or a little brown sugar to balance the heat and draw out the other flavors. Serve as is, or garnished with shredded cheese, fresh jalapeño, sliced green onion, diced tomatoes, etc.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 4 days and in the freezer up to 1 month. Yield: 6 servings. (See Tip 3)
- Rather than tomato paste, you can use an 8-ounce can of tomato sauce.
- If using tomato sauce, reduce the water to 1 1/2 cups.
- This makes incredible leftovers. For an added variety use in a taco salad. Yum!