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chili without meat

Lentil Chili

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 32 reviews
  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
  • Yield: 8-10 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: American


Meatless lentil chili with simple ingredients and flavorful spices. It’s wholesome, filling, and makes one easy weeknight meal.


Units Scale
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 (16 oz.) bag dry brown lentils
  • 2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 (32 oz.) cartons vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

To Serve

  • Red onions, minced
  • Jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Limes


  1. In a large heavy-duty dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and red bell pepper. Cook for about 8-10 minutes or until soft and lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in garlic and chili powder and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add lentils, tomatoes, bay leaf, and stock. Season generously with salt and ground black pepper. Simmer partially covered over medium-low heat for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf.
  4. Transfer 3-4 cups of chili into a food processor and process until smooth. Add the puréed chili back into the pot and stir to combine. Taste for salt and pepper.
  5. Stir in cilantro and serve with toppings of choice.


  • Add-Ins: This lentil chili is very adaptable. See post for a full list of add-in ideas.
  • Leftovers: Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days or for up to 3 months in the freezer. Chili will thicken the longer it sits. If desired, thin out with a little stock when reheating.


  • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
  • Calories: 231
  • Sugar: 5.6 g
  • Sodium: 588.1 mg
  • Fat: 3.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 39.2 g
  • Protein: 12.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg