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Lentil Chili

Looking for a hearty and satisfying vegan meal that’s easy to make? Look no further than this delicious lentil chili recipe! Packed with protein and fiber, this one-pot wonder is perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends when you want to whip up a delicious and nutritious meal with minimal effort.

A bowl of lentil chili topped with sliced jalapeño.

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This lentil chili recipe is not only vegan, but it’s also loaded with wholesome vegetables that add flavor, texture, and nutrients to the dish. Bell peppers, carrots, and green chiles combine to create a rich flavor profile that will leave you wanting more. Plus, lentils are a great source of protein, making this chili a great choice for anyone looking to increase their plant-based protein intake.

One of the best things about this lentil chili recipe is how easy it is to make. Simply sauté your veggies, add the spices and lentils, and let everything simmer away in a big pot. Not only does this make cleanup a breeze, but it also allows the flavors to meld together beautifully, resulting in a chili full of depth and complexity. So grab your soup pot and get ready to enjoy a warm and comforting bowl of lentil chili tonight!


Ingredients for the chili laid out on a table.
  • Oil for sautéing
  • Red bell pepper or any color. Red peppers are the sweetest, green peppers are more bitter.
  • Carrot
  • Onion
  • Garlic: I use fresh minced garlic.
  • Brown or green lentils: This is my preference and what is available at my local grocery store. French lentils or black lentils will also work.
  • Vegetable broth
  • Diced green chiles: These add a lovely flavor to chili without adding to the spiciness.
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Kidney beans: Or beans of choice
  • Chili powder, cumin, paprika, and salt

See the recipe card for quantities.

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How to Make Lentil Chili

A pot with sautéd bell peppers, carrots, onion, and garlic.

Heat oil in a large pot. Sauté red bell pepper, carrots, and onion until onion is translucent. Add in garlic and cook for 1 minute.

A big pot of lentil chili.

Add in the remaining ingredients and simmer for 30-35 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Season with salt to taste if needed.


Chili is incredibly easy to customize.

  • Veggies: Omit or add any vegetables to suit your preferences. I’ve added cauliflower, zucchini, and even cubed pumpkin to chili.
  • Green chiles: You can use diced canned pickled jalapeños instead.
  • Diced tomatoes: Don’t like chunks of tomatoes? Add a can of tomato sauce instead.


If you’re looking for a simple bean chili recipe, try this one.

Two bowls of lentil chili with kidnet beans, bell pepper, green chiles and more. Topped with fresh jalapeños.


Store any leftover lentil chili in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.


You can reheat this dish in the microwave or on the stove.

My favorite way to enjoy leftover chili is over a baked potato! Another great idea is to mix it in with some vegan mac & cheese.

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An overhead shot of a bowl of vegan chili.

Lentil Chili

Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen
Perfectly seasoned lentil chili with beans, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Made in just one pot!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dinner
Cuisine Vegan
Servings 4
Calories 306 kcal


  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper diced
  • 1 medium carrot peeled and diced
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup brown lentils rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (15-5-ounce) can kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • salt to taste


  • Heat oil in a large pot on medium heat.
  • Sauté red bell pepper, carrots, and onion until the onion is translucent. Add in garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add in remaining ingredients and simmer for 30-35 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Season with salt to taste if needed.


No need to drain the cans of tomatoes and green chiles – add it all into the pot!


Calories: 306kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 14gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.04gSodium: 991mgPotassium: 662mgFiber: 17gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 4845IUVitamin C: 43mgCalcium: 53mgIron: 5mg
Did you try this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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