1-Pot Red Lentil Chili

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Bowls of our hearty protein-packed vegan Lentil and Black Bean Chili recipe

Sometimes inspiration comes from the most unexpected places.

I posted this picture on Instagram a few weeks ago (for my Red Lentil Curry), and someone asked if it was red lentil chili. “No, but GOOD IDEA,” I replied.

The rest is history. I couldn’t shake the thought from my mind.

Sautéing red bell pepper and onions in a large soup pot for 1-pot vegan chili

Origins of Chili

While many think chili is a dish that was created in Mexico, apparently that’s not where it originatedWho knew?

However, one ingredient central to chili – chilies – are native to Mesoamerica (a region that includes parts of Mexico and Central America). And they are an important ingredient in Mexican cuisine. So we get the confusion!

The exact origin of the dish chili isn’t clear, but most historians trace its roots to San Antonio, Texas. You can take a deeper dive into the history of chili here.

About This Red Lentil Chili

This chili comes just in time for these last few wintry days before spring arrives (at least here in the Pacific Northwest).

It’s simple, requiring just 1 pot, basic ingredients, and comes together in less than 1 hour.

Mortar and pestle with sliced jalapenos for making our healthy chili recipe

I’ve been inspired by some Indian cooking methods I’ve been researching lately involving a mortar and pestle. Instead of just mincing or chopping your vegetables, spices, and herbs, you grind them together so their flavor is more intense and more evenly distributed throughout the dish.

Of course, if you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can use a small food processor or just finely mince. I just love this method, and now that I’ve discovered it, I can’t stop!

Big pot of our gluten-free vegan Lentil and Black Bean Chili recipe

In addition to red lentils – which are full of fiber, protein, folate, and magnesium (just to name a few) – I also included black beans (another great source of folate and fiber) and kidney beans (which are especially high in iron and vitamin B1).

This isn’t one of those soup-like chilis that’s mostly tomatoes. This is chock full of lentils, beans, and corn, and is thick and stew-like in texture – my favorite.

Two bowls of our Lentil and Black Bean Chili for a protein- and fiber-packed vegan meal

I hope you love this chili! It’s:

Not too spicy
& Simple

Make this dish for a crowd, as it’s especially great for hosting. Or make a batch over the weekend and enjoy it for lunch throughout the week.

If you try this recipe, let us know! It helps us and other readers so much. Leave a comment it, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a picture #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see your creations. Cheers, friends!

Bowl of our hearty, filling Red Lentil and Black Bean Chili topped with jalapenos

1-Pot Red Lentil Chili

Hearty red lentil chili made in 1 pot with simple ingredients! A smoky, flavorful, protein- and fiber-rich plant-based meal perfect for cold nights and feeding a crowd.
Author Minimalist Baker
Big bowls of Red Lentil Chili garnished with sliced jalapeno, cilantro, and red onion
4.88 from 291 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 4 Days


  • 2 Tbsp avocado or coconut oil
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 tsp each sea salt and black pepper (divided // plus more to taste)
  • 1 small jalapeño, diced with seeds (remove seeds or reduce or omit for less heat)
  • 4 cloves garlic (4 cloves yield ~2 Tbsp)
  • 3 Tbsp chili powder blend (divided // NOT chili flakes, cayenne pepper, or pure chili)
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin (divided)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes (if unsalted, add more sea salt)
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 3/4 cup water (plus more as needed)
  • 3/4 cup dry red lentils thoroughly rinsed in cold water + drained
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans (slightly drained)
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans (slightly drained)
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut sugar (or maple syrup)
  • 1 15-ounce can corn, drained (optional)

FOR SERVING optional


  • Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, onion, and red pepper. Season with a healthy pinch each salt and pepper and stir. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add jalapeño and garlic to a mortar and pestle and crush into a rough paste (alternatively, blend in a small food processor, or finely mince). Add to the pot with onion and red pepper, and season with another pinch salt and pepper.
  • Add 2/3 of the chili powder (2 Tbsp as original recipe is written), half of the cumin (1 Tbsp as original recipe is written), paprika, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and water, and stir to combine. Bring to a low boil over medium high heat.
  • Once boiling, add lentils and reduce heat to medium-low or low, so it’s at a gentle simmer. You want to see bubbles, but you don’t want it boiling. Cook for 15 minutes, or until lentils are mostly tender. As it’s cooking you may need to add more water if the mixture is looking too dry and the lentils aren’t submerged (I didn’t find that necessary).
  • Next add kidney beans, black beans, 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper, and remaining cumin (1 Tbsp as original recipe is written) and chili powder (1 Tbsp as original recipe is written), and stir to combine.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat slightly to low (or medium-low), add corn (optional), cover, and gently simmer for 20 minutes to meld the flavors together. Stir occasionally.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more chili powder or cumin for smokiness, salt for saltiness, or a little coconut sugar to balance the heat and draw out the other flavors.
  • Serve as is, or garnished with chili cheese fritos, fresh jalapeño, cilantro, red onion, and/or avocado (optional).
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 4 days, and in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat on the stovetop, or in the microwave.



*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 320 Carbohydrates: 52.4 g Protein: 15.9 g Fat: 6.8 g Saturated Fat: 0.7 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 427 mg Fiber: 18.9 g Sugar: 10 g

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Reader Interactions

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My Rating:

  1. Valerie says

    May I ask the reason for dividing the spices, such as cumin and chili powder, when preparing this chili? I usually season as I go, but most often with just salt and pepper. Will the lentils be adversely affected if all the cumin and chili powder were added prior to simmering?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      It’s essentially a way of seasoning throughout so it builds layers of flavor, versus dumping them all in at once. Adding them at once will not affect the lentils!

  2. Eva Turner says

    Fantastic recipe! It has replaced my usual chilli con carne and I think lentils actually work better. I add a cinnamon stick and a tsp of ground coriander too.

  3. Miriam says

    I made this in the instant pot and it’s so delicious!! I made my own chili blend so the sodium content wasn’t too much and I loved it 🥰

  4. Madison says

    This recipe was so delicious!!! I made it in a slow cooker on low for 8 hours, sautéing the veggies beforehand. I also substituted dry green lentils (I was out of red lentils) and used an entire 6 oz can of tomato paste (was too lazy to save it, haha) with no issues. Serving with cheese and avocado made the perfect dinner!

  5. Jenn says

    I had to make some changes but really like the recipe! My kiddo doesn’t like onions or peppers yet and I didn’t have corn on hand, so I used onion powder and garlic powder and used less of each spice than what it says. I put 3 diced carrots in instead of corn. My one issue is when a recipe calls for part of a can of something and I end up wasting the rest of the can. So I put the whole little can of tomato paste in it. Worked fine! The one mistake I made was to rush the lentil cooking stage. I was in a hurry and should have made sure they were done before moving on.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing, Jenn! Another idea for leftover tomato paste is to freeze it in an ice cube tray and transfer cubes to a sealed bag for future use. Hope that helps!

      • Jenn says

        In my freezer, tomato paste and pumpkin have a 100% chance if going bad before being used. Ha! I realized late last night that I did not put the sugar in. It was of course fine but I think it would add to it so will try to remember next time.

  6. lisa hess says

    I am from Texas and this chili gets a double thumbs up in my book. Thank you for all your great recipes. This one is a keeper.

  7. Tasha says

    When it says chili powder blend , not straight chili powder , what does it mean ? Isn’t chili powder already a mix of spices ? Suggestions to make make one or buy the one you like ? Thank you .

  8. Ali-ray says

    As always, you killed it with this recipe- super tasty! Served it on baked potatoes, cheese, avocado, cheery toms and corriander. Absolutely delish <3

    • dianna says

      i’ve never made other chili recipes before, but why look for others when this one is so. dang. good?! i’ve made this more times than i can count. super easy recipe to make and follow! i’d marry this chili if i could, it’s just *chefs kiss*

  9. Laura Hunter says

    This is my go-to chili AND lentil recipe. Whenever I feel like something very nutritious I go to this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing it!

  10. Juli says

    I have made this recipe twice now (in the past two weeks). It is the BEST Vegan chili recipe I have ever found. Will be making it often I am sure! Thanks for the recipe!!!!

  11. Jennifer says

    Hello. The recipe looks yummy. I can’t wait to make it. I don’t have coconut sugar or maple syrup. Will it make a difference if I don’t use it?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Nah! It just balances the flavors. Try stevia or sugar if you don’t have the others.

  12. Kat says

    I absolutely LOVE this recipe! It is easy to follow and easy to add my own little flare. I’ve made this several times and its always a hit! Also love that it is freezer friendly, as I usually make it for a meal prep week. Thanks for all the awesome recipes Minimalist Baker!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Kat. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  13. Amy says

    I get so excited when I google for a recipe that I would like to make WFPB and I see Minimalist Baker pop up and I get so excited because so far, your recipes have never failed me. This was no different!! My new go to chili recipe!! It was delicious!!!

  14. Sheri A says

    Can I make this in the instant pot? Or would the recipe need more liquid for pressure cooking? Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sheri, we haven’t tried it, but some other readers have. If you press “ctrl+f” on a PC or “command+f” on a mac, a find bar should pop up that allows you to search for specific words (such as “Instant Pot”) in the post and comments. Hope that helps!

  15. Mary says

    Have you ever made this substituting hominy for corn? I just made this and really am enjoying the bowl I’m currently having for breakfast – no kidding! Next time I’ll keep the maple syrup measurement to 1 scant tablespoon. Keep on doing what you do. The question about the use of hominy is one I’d really appreciate being answered. Thanking you in advance. Mary Bergfeld

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Mary, we haven’t tried it, but we think it sounds nice! Let us know if you try it!

  16. Sophie says

    Hi just wanted to say that I made this for a dinner party and it was delicious – even the non vegans/vegetarians commented on it. I have made a few vegan chilli just with beans but they always lack substance and taste just like stews. The combination of lentils and beans in this recipe is perfect – this will be my ‘ Go to Chilli” from now on. It had a nice kick too with the chill powder and the jalapeño.
    Thank you for sharing ! The pressure was on as my husband used to make a mean meat chilli so we needed something that was just as good in our plant based diet . This is spot on !

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! We’re so glad to hear it, Sophie! Thanks so much for the lovely review!

  17. Amanda says

    Made this chili multiple times and we love it! I’ve even added in other veggies to disguise them from the picky hubby. Pair it with some cornbread and it’s an awesome meal!

  18. B says

    Wonderful! The spice blend is perfect! Love that everything is made in one pot! Very flavorful! The texture with red lentils and beans, other veggies laced with fragrant tomatoes and chilis…Amazing!


    Delicious. Added 4 Carrots, 2 Celery to saute grouping in my Instant pot then added rest of Ingredients as listed on this recipe except increase Red Lentil to 1 full Cup increase Water content to 3.5 cups to eliminate Burn on Instant pot ( next time will add 1 cup more comes out thick) High Pressure on INSTANT pot for 7 minutes and dinner was done. Served with Brown rice and avocados. Fabulous!!!

  20. laura says

    This veggie chili far exceeds any other I’ve tried! Rarely do I make a recipe multiple times without tweaking it a little to suit my tastes, but I have made this one as-is on repeat! I keep expecting an eye roll or a protest when I say we’re having chili AGAIN, but instead I get a “hell yeah!” every time. I think the addition of the red lentils that break down as they cook is key to achieving a nice thickness that many veggie chilis lack. I’m always just as excited for it on day four as I am on day one. Thanks for another delicious and easy recipe!

  21. Nick says

    I had great fun making this, but unfortunately it was way too spicy (and I like spicy food). I was wondering if the chili powder mentioned in this recipe is a blend? In Australia we generally have the one “Chilli Powder – Hot” (often from India) available at our supermarkets. 3 table spoons of that blew my head off! I’m definitely keen to make again with perhaps a different chilli powder.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh no! Sorry to hear it was too spicy, Nick! We use a chili powder blend, so it’s likely more mild. We’ll look into making that more clear.

      • Nick says

        Thanks so much! I asked a friend from the States who confirmed it was probably a spice blend, and not just 3 tablespoons of crushed up hot chilli peppers! I still enjoyed eating it, just with lots of natural yoghurt. Looking forward to making it again with the correct ingredients.

    • Elle says

      Nick, I too have made that mistake and used pure cayenne in a recipe that called for chilli powder! I think it catches quite a few of us Australians out. There are some great chilli powder blend recipes online, but when I’m in a hurry, I find that the Masterfoods Mexican Chilli powder (available at either Woolworths or Coles) works well. 😊

  22. Nick says

    This was the first recipe I ever made from your blog, and I’ve been going back to it for years! It’s delicious and hearty and flavorful enough to be able to feed to meat eaters, which is a big win. I usually double the lentils and use pureed tomatoes instead of diced, just because it tends to make it more appealing to picky eaters. I also triple the garlic and roughly double most of the spices for more flavor, but no matter how you swing it, this recipe is an all time favorite! It’s enough to feed me for a week, so I love making it a few days before I know I’m going to be really busy.

  23. Gila says

    Really delicious lentil chilli though next time I think I’d want more lentils in there. Word of warning, the quantities in the recipe could serve 12 people at least NOT 6 – I’m not complaining as I’ll freeze portions but just be prepared if you’re not looking to do that.

  24. Megan says

    The BEST chili ever! I’ve made this SEVERAL times and it is such a crowd pleaser. Even my non-vegan boyfriend LOVED it. It’s such a simple but flavorful recipe. I’m serious when I say I don’t need any other chili recipe…this is the one for me!

    • Ruth Wallace says

      We don’t have a ‘chilli blend’ and i will need to use straight up chilli powder. How much should i use? I love hot food but don’t want to blow my head off or make it inedible

  25. Amy says

    This is delicious! I tried a different lentil chili recipe once and wasn’t really into it, but this was great. I followed the recipe almost exactly other than using canned diced jalapenos. I now have plenty of leftovers that will hopefully last me a while!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes, but you would need to cook them first as they require a longer cook time than the other ingredients.

    • Jessie says

      Since it’s still quarantine, I put Literally Whatever in this tonight. I didn’t have an onion or garlic, so I used carrots and frozen broccoli, which really bulked it up on top of the lentils. I found that it needed a lot of salt because my canned tomatoes were bitter, and it would have been amazing if I had lime juice. I also left out the tomato paste and let it cook down a little extra.

      I never thought to add lentils to chili (I usually use bulgur) but it was super filling and hardy. Added vegan cheese and sriracha at the end because it’s 2020 and times are weird.

  26. Sneha says

    I made this recipe for the Fourth of July once and it’s now an annual favorite! Love how the spice builds, how easily you can sub different cans of beans on hand, and I added sweet potato for some more heartiness to this freezer-friendly meal. Will make some fresh biscuits this year to go with the chili!

      • Sam says

        I’d appreciate some guidance on what the spice blend used is for the chilli powder. I have the single spices and Indian curry powder, none of which are really quite right.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Sam, It typically includes chilies, cumin, oregano, coriander, and garlic powder. Sometimes small amounts of other spices such as allspice and clove. Hope that helps!

  27. Kathleen says

    This has become our fave chilli recipe! Was so happy to find red lentils at the supermarket today so I could make it. Thanks for another amazing recipe :)

  28. April says

    We made this for the first time tonight. It was a hit for all of us. You don’t miss the meat at all. I added a little oregano and decreased the chili powder to 2 tbsp for the kids’ palate. We’ll definitely be making it again.

  29. Wanji says

    Loved this recipe – had to make some modifications due to ingredients I had available. I used pickled jalapeños, red onion and chipotle spice mix (instead of cumin) and dried Chili flakes! Came out delicious and made a nice big batch so I’ve frozen a few portions. Really easy to make too!!

  30. Zoe says

    Had this over a dozen times but we add mushrooms and instead of black beans usually some cannellani bean. Honestly we’ve had this since becoming vegan and a big staple meal in our house

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Zoe. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  31. baron says

    Amazing recipe! Thank you so much for sharing. I had to substitute Beyond Beef for red lentils(I pre-cooked the beef, skipped the 15 minute lentil cooking time and added it with the beans) and it still came out great. Thanks again!

  32. Kaelyn says

    This is a huge hit with my husband! I’m vegan, and it can be hard to alter recipes for him because he’s such a picky eater, but I’ve made this probably a dozen times at this point and it’s always a favorite we go back to. I usually go heavy on the spices, so I’ll use overflowing measurements. It’s filling, so flavorful, and lasts the two of us a few days for leftovers. Definitely worth making!

  33. Judy says

    This is a great recipe. Very filling, which is good considering it’s hit and miss on what you’ll be able to get in the shops right now. which is why I ended up subbing a lot. I had butter beans, red onion, sweetcorn, a few peas and stirred in rice at the end. It still tastes good even though it’s no Mexican flavour exactly. Especially since I omitted the chilli entirely as that opens up all the tearducts in my face. Still thanks a lot for the recipe. I’m glad to have two future meals sitting in the freezer.

  34. Nicole George says

    I have made this a ton of times and always love it. We recently just got an instant pot and I was curious if you had recommendations on how to prepare it using that.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Nicole, we haven’t tried it, but some other readers have. If you press “ctrl+f” on a PC or “command+f” on a mac, a find bar should pop up that allows you to search for specific words (such as “Instant Pot”) in the post and comments. Hope that helps!

  35. Jackie says

    This chili is soooo flavorful! I added some adobo peppers and used mushroom broth instead of water and I am amazed at how deep the flavors are. So goood!

  36. Jane Bennett says

    I’ve been looking for a vegan chilli recipe for a large group and this looks perfect for doubling or even tripling. Can it be made in a slow cooker?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jane, we think a slow cooker would work well! Another reader mentioned using a slow cooker on low for 8 hours with success. Let us know how it goes!

  37. Sash says

    I’m new at cooking vegetarian & vegan, and this is now my “go to” chili! I used beluga lentils which were also excellent.

    • Caerwyn says

      This is just perfect.
      Though we don’t have the chili pepper in it because we don’t normally have such things, it was very delicious. It also makes plenty which is good for lunches and dinners for most of the week :) It’s a good staple.

  38. Amber says

    I’ve made this chili several times and it’s always a winner. My entire non-vegan family loves it and has even requested I make it…definitely a crowd pleaser. Will always have this one bookmarked to make again!

  39. Taryn A Bauer says

    I love this recipe, its my go-to chili and I have made it a million times!

    My mom brought over some of her newest chili recipe for me to try and she put sweet potatoes in it. It was so good! I instantly thought that would be delicious in this chili too.

    If I were to add a sweet potato, which step should I do that in?

  40. Tabitha says

    Hi! I absolutely love all of your recipes and have made probably over a dozen of them so far, but this is my first time commenting.

    re: the coconut sugar/maple syrup here, I don’t see where to add it except at the end to balance flavor–is this correct? I went ahead and added it with all the spices but didn’t see it written there.

    re: garlic, it says it should be approx Tbsp, but I’m thinking it should read tsp? At least that’s what the jar of minced garlic tells me.

    Thank you for all your work and all you do, your recipes have seriously revolutionized the way my family and I eat!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tabitha, thank you so much for your kind words! We are so glad you and your family enjoy our recipes! For the sweetener, yes, just add toward the end, if needed. For the garlic, we do mean tablespoons, but you can use less and work up, if desired! Garlic cloves can vary quite a bit in size, so that may be part of the discrepancy.

  41. Rebecca Light says

    Brilliant recipe, everyone loves it! Nice and thick. I serve some before adding kidney beans to my fussy eater, and scale down the chilli powder a little, bit cooking now for the third time. Healthy ingredients that will hopefully keep any viruses at bay. Thank you for this recipe!

  42. Maryann Austin says

    I have made this. It was wonderful. Very substantial and no disappointment to anyone accustomed to a hearty meat chili. Great flavor. Nice texture.

  43. Roslyn says

    Perfect! So good & nutritious- thick & filling! I made this for my whole extended fam & everyone loved it! I love your recipes!

  44. Megan says

    This chili was amazing!!! I subbed in green lentils, because that’s what I had on hand, and added some extra chili powder, cayenne, and an extra jalapeno – it turned out so so great! So filling, and healthy too! Thanks for the awesome recipe, I’m going to add it to my regular rotation!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Megan. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  45. Anni says

    I loved this recipe! It tasted so well and I loved how thick it was (so many chilis are too watery for my liking). I left out most of the chili and the jalapeños for my boyfriend’s sake and then added hot chili sauce to my own plate and that worked really well.
    Thanks for making and sharing this recipe :)

  46. LouAnn says

    I thought I had to cook the lentils first before adding to any tomato mixture, in order for them to cook?????‍♀️

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      It’s not necessary to cook the lentils before adding to the tomato mixture. They will get tender in step 4. Sorry for any confusion!

  47. Michelle says

    Made this for our Meatless Monday. I made some modifications like no jalapeno because I have an 8 year old baby, no chili powder instead used a Taco Seasoning from Trader Joe’s and I couldn’t find my lentils and black beans so my 3 beans were pinto, kidney, and garbanzo. I paired it with these awesome corn bread I made into muffins and they were a bit with my family! Even my overly-critical husband said it was good and he’s a hater of vegan food! My picky eater finished her bowl which very very very rarely happen! Thanks for another keeper recipe, Dana! You have my heart! ?

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          That should work well! It is a bit of a big recipe already though, so you will need a large pot or to cook in two pots. Let us know how it goes!

          • Michelle says

            I made this yesterday for our small group later and didn’t have to double the recipe with the number of people who are coming. My 3 beans are black, kidney, and pinto. I used 2 tbsp of cornstarch for my desired thickness, last time I only used 1 tbsp. I also used vegan butter instead of oil because butter! ?
            Anyway, I’m really liking using cooked/canned beans for ease since I’m wheelchair-bound now. It seems rather watery. I’m thinking I need to decrease the water since I’m not using dry lentils? What say you? Thanks so much!

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

            Yes, we’d say decreasing the water would be a good idea if using canned lentils. Let us know how it goes!

  48. Alex Page says

    My friend made it for they’re housewarming party and I overage because it was so tasty… I’m going to make it tonight ?

  49. Chrissy says

    This chili is a current staple in our house. We miss it when we take it out of rotation! No jalapeño for us, and half the chili powder. I hate chopping, so I use frozen chopped onion and garlic powder. I added a bag of frozen, chopped spinach as well… ’cause I need my leafy greens, but I also want them to hide.

  50. Allison says

    I entered this chili in at work for a “Chili Cook Off”. I did not expect to win since it was a vegan/vegetarian chili and most of the other entries had meat. I was very excited to learn that I had won! I followed the directions exactly.

  51. Mandy says

    I made this yesterday for game day and it was a hit! Just had to decrease the amount of chili powder (we as a family cannot handle that much heat haha), and added vegan beef crumbles, and it was oh-so-heavenly. And it went great with both nachos and on top of hot dogs! You’re a culinary genius, Dana!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, thanks so much for your kind words and lovely review, Mandy! We’re so glad you enjoyed it!

  52. Shelley says

    Lovely recipe! I used 2 dried chipotle chillies instead of 1 jalapeno as I had them to use up so only put 1 tbsp chilli powder in and used the water I used to rehydrate the chillies in the recipe, yum yum! Only problem I had was my red lentils took ages to soften for some reason, but dont think that was a problem with the recipe, just my lentils! I just kept adding a little bit of water and simmered for ages. I like to simmer my chilli for a while anyway. First vegan chilli I’ve ever made and it’s a success!

  53. Natalie says

    This chili is divine. Perfect texture and keeps my carnivore hubby happy. I did make a couple of additions. I substituted 3/4 of the water with red wine. I prefer to cook with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food. I also added a teaspoon of ground coriander, juice of a lime and 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder (shhhhh).

  54. Jessica says

    This chili is incredible. It is a wonderful dinner during the winter and my kids LOVE it! We scaled down the spice for the kids sensitive palettes (less chili powder and no jalapenos) and it was perfect! Minimalistbaker has been a lifesaver for our transition to Vegan! Forever grateful, thank you!

  55. Veronica says


    I never made chilli in my life even though its something I really love and I came across yout amazing recipe and I really want to try it out!

    Can I just ask what sort of chilli powder you use/recommend? I can only find Mild or Hot, not just “Chilli powder”.

    Sorry if sounds like a silly question haha
    I appreciate the help :)

  56. Nadine Gilder says

    I stayed true to the recipe with the exception of the jalapeno pepper. Without a doubt, the best pot of chili I have ever made and the best chili I have ever eaten!

  57. Nadine Gilder says

    I stayed true to the recipe with the exception of the jalapeno pepper and I will say that this is the best pot of chili I have ever made and the best chili I have ever tasted!

  58. Deb Gussman says

    Delicious! I didn’t have jalapeños so just crushed the garlic with a press and used a T. Penzy’s medium hot chili powder and two T. of regular which added just enough heat. I was also out of cilantro but didn’t miss it. Served it with a little rice and some shredded Daiya cheddar cheese and a few crushed tortilla chips. Will definitely make this again.

  59. Jan says

    The best chili recipe I’ve tasted in years. All the other recipes required meat. My husband and I have been very disappointed in the past with previous chili recipes. But this one was delicious! I didn’t change a thing except using maple instead of coconut sugar because that’s what I had. I topped it with avocado. Thank you for sharing your love of good food!

  60. Kathy Williams says

    My husband and I are new to vegan eating and cooking. I picked this recipe because of the claim it was a stew not a soup. It absolutely was thick and delicious. I followed the recipe almost exactly but I did put less chili powder and no sugar. We topped it with avocado. It’s enough to serve a crowd so we put some away in the freezer for next week.

  61. Christina says

    This was amazing!! My boyfriend is a super picky eater, but he loved this!! We served it over some jasmine rice with avocado & tortilla chips!! Thank you!!

  62. Nikki says

    I love this recipe! I subbed the lentils for TVP for a meaty texture and it turned out great, and you don’t need to wait for it to cook which is nice- just throw them in

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Nikki. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  63. Amanda says

    Just made this in the slow cooker! Nice and low for 8 hours and my son (7) at 3 bowls full and my daughter (4) liked it as well! Used veg. broth instead of water. Added more beans for the big cooker! I was hoping for leftovers and it’s almost all gone! Great!

      • Sarah says

        I’ve been recommended to make this by a friend and it looks divine! Can I ask though, are the measurements for the chili powder definitely tablespoons and not teaspoons? I only ask because I only ever put one or two teaspoons of chilli powder in my chillis normally. I’m in the UK so I don’t know whether our chilli powder is hotter? I don’t want to burn my mouth 😂💚

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Sarah, the measurement is correct. We typically use a chili powder blend which isn’t 100% chiles. If you know your chili powder is spicy, we’d recommend starting with less! Hope that helps!

  64. Eli says

    Absolutely incredible! So flavorful and a great source of protein! The amount of spices are perfect. I kept it on simmer for a while longer just because I think it gets better with more time, but it would have been delicious after the allotted time as well!

  65. Grace says

    My first time making chilli and it turned out fantastic! Very easy to follow, clear instructions. Will definitely be one of my go-to’s from now on :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Rachel, we haven’t tried it, but some other readers have. If you press “ctrl+f” on a PC or “command+f” on a mac, a find bar should pop up that allows you to search for specific words (such as “Instant Pot”) in the post and comments. Hope that helps!

  66. John Bondaruk says

    My first vegan dish. I didn’t miss the meat at all. Love it. I didn’t divide the recipe before we started eating. Do you happen to know the size of the portion, is it 1 cup or a little more?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing! We don’t have a precise measurement, but would estimate the full recipe makes about 12 cups, so probably 2 cups/serving. Hope that helps!

  67. Debbie Paton says

    This is an incredibly forgiving recipe. I shopped for groceries to get all of the ingredients that I was lacking. I made a number of mistakes, the most glaring of which was adding half the can of full fat coconut milk when I imagined I was adding the black beans, kidney beans, and corn. I didn’t remember to separate it from the group. But I continued with the recipe, which had extra diced tomatoes because they didn’t have 15 oz cans and added extra spices in an attempt to correct the change in the flavor profile. Substituting a serrano pepper for the jalapeno (I cannot get the tilde to save my life) was a lesser issue. Adding the beans and corn at the same time as the dry lentils was just another mistake. But it came out great! A very forgiving recipe!

  68. John Sanderson says

    Great seasonal comfort food. Just the right thing to warm up a family on a cold, frosty, winter’s day in England.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, John. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  69. Ashley says

    This was so good!! My husband is a few months into a vegan journey so I’m trying to find new twists on his old favorite recipes and this chili was awesome!!! So flavorful and easy and it got better the more days that went by—we ate it the next several days without getting tired of it!! I found that my red lentils took forrreeeevver to cook though—nearly an hour for them to soften!! Did I do something wrong? I attempted to follow the recipe without using any substitutions. This isn’t a complaint—it was still worth it and I’ll keep making it over and over even like that! ?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ashley, we’re so glad you enjoyed it! Sometimes if the lentils are old they have a tough time softening. Hope that helps!

  70. Bonnie says

    I made this chili with modifications and it was delicious. I did not use jalapeño peppers and used orange and yellow peppers instead of red. I doubled the recipe. Instead of kidney beans I used chick peas. And added half the maple syrup at the end and no corn. I found it quite hot and loved it. My son said it could be spicier and he had three helpings! I served it on quinoa. I will definitely make it again and will probably freeze what’s left for meals later in the month.

  71. Nicole says

    I LOVE this recipe. It’s replaced my family’s normal meat chili as our go-to – our favourite is to serve it over baked potatoes with some sour cream and green onions. I normally cut the chili powder in half though, otherwise it’s just a bit too spicy for us!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Nicole! We’re so glad you enjoyed it and were able to modify to preference!

  72. daisy says

    I made this last week, as we are having a very chilly autumn. I subbed out a couple of things, (no kidney beans, jalepeno or coconut sugar), and it turned out great! It made a big enough batch that I can savor it for a few days. Made my crockpot polenta to go with it and mmmm, mmmm, I’m a happy camper!
    Kudos, Dana!

  73. Rachel says

    I made it! But not quite exactly as written. And not on purpose. The only two things I was originally planning on doing differently were to use veggie broth instead of water and frozen instead of canned corn. I really dislike the taste of most canned veggies. I got the lentils through the 20 minute cook time and gave it a taste test. And it was delicious. I didn’t see the point in adding the additional spices or the jalapeno. I like my food spicy, but also like to be able to taste something besides the heat. And this chili was already full of spice. I may add more liquid next time, but that’s only because I like mine a bit more wet. But it’s so good, I’m not even gonna bother this time around. Thank you for the recipe. Almost forgot, hoping to have enough left this evening to try the baked fritos. They sound delicious as well.

  74. Anonymous says

    Very good, hearty chili recipe. Good level of spice. Used green lentils instead of red since it’s what I had, but otherwise followed to a T.

  75. Rebecca says

    I absolutely love this recipe! It’s delicious and hearty. The one ingredient I do modify is the water; I use organic chicken bone broth instead.

  76. Monique Svehla says

    I made this last week, except I didn’t have jalepenoes so I used a different pickled pepper, it turned out awesome!!! I would however not add as much Chili powder, depending how much heat you like. I also used yellow peppers not red. It had a great heat level for me and my husband, but I’m going to scale back for my inlaws. Highly recommend this recipe!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Monique. We are so glad you both enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  77. Hannah says

    I can’t stop making this chili – it’s so delicious that it’s become weekly staple for me. A perfect winter warmer and a great way to get your veggies in. Thank you!

  78. Jessica says

    Oh my goodness!!!!!! I have made many different kinds of chilis and this one is by far my favorite. My husband is a meat eater, and this chili has been added to our regular dinner rotation based on his request. If you are cooking for someone who is a meat eater, they won’t miss the meat, and the flavor is incredible. When my kids decided to eat vegan last year, I didn’t know where to turn. I now turn to Minimalist Baker for all of my gluten free vegan recipes. Thank you!!!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! We are so glad you and your family enjoyed it! Thanks so much for the lovely review, Jessica =)

  79. Karen says

    Great recipe, very tasty. I used vegetable broth instead of water, and cut the chili powder to two tablespoons instead of three, and only one table spoon of cumin. I did add the black pepper as instructed and it was hot and spicy but not too much. Really like the crunchiness of the corn. Next time I will soak the lentils for a few hours before I make this as they didn’t soften as much as I would have liked.

  80. Lavetta says

    I made the red lentil chili right after Thanksgiving. It won over everyone! It was really good and flavorful! Will definitely make again! Love it!

  81. Aleksandra Nokes says

    The red lentil chili was so good! I made it for my family and everyone loved it. Great flavor, I will definitely make this again.

  82. Tracy says

    I’ve made this recipe three times in four weeks! It’s so good! I love how one pot will last six meals, so it’s perfect for freezing and heating up on those nights that you don’t have time to make dinner. It pairs really well with diced avocado and the Pumpkin tortilla chips from Trader Joe’s.

  83. Camille says

    I made this today for dinner. It was super easy to prepare and tasted INCREDIBLE. Not only that, but it was actually satisfying and kept me full (something I have trouble finding with some vegan dinner recipies). This is a new staple recipie of mine for sure!

  84. Julie A Winckler says

    Our family of 5 loves this chili, and it’s a regular at our get togethers too. I’m making a quadruple recipe today to jar and freeze some. We’ve never added the coconut sugar/maple syrup or the corn, and sometimes we leave out the smoked paprika. We don’t feel like we’re missing anything; It’s fantastic without them. We’ve eaten this chili by itself, with added cheese and/or avocado and/or cilantro, on a Frito pie (we use organic corn chips from Trader Joes’s that taste better than Fritos), in chili mac, on chili dogs or chili burgers… It is soooo good. Thank you for the healthy and delicious recipe!

  85. Thea says

    I made this last night and it was a success! So comforting and flavorful. My non-vegan friends asked for the recipe and took the leftovers home. I wish I had more.

  86. Lani says

    Made this for our neighborhood chili cook-off and won 2nd place! (1st place was also a plant-based recipe btw. Yay for plants!). I made it exactly as written except for without the jalapeños. (I’m a wimp). It really was delicious and perfect in every way. Thank you!!!

  87. Dodi Walker says

    Oh my goodness! This was the most flavorful chili. Both my daughters are vegan and I have tried many chilis and most have been lacking in flavor or just too “tomato-y” for me. I usually make a beef based chili for my husband and me. Not any longer! I just tasted this and WOW!

    The only 2 things I changed was I used candied jalapeños that I had previously made from my fridge and frozen corn because it is what I had.

    Serving this tonight. I can’t wait to hear their thoughts. Thank you for your terrific recipes!

  88. Nikita says

    Loved this recipe! I swapped red lentils with split pigeon peas (tur dal), and tomato paste with ketchup (eliminating sugar at the end) keeping everything else the same! I’ve made a big batch and intend on freezing it to enjoy throughout fall!
    I might try this in the insta pot next time though, just to quicken the process.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, they should be readily available at most grocery stores! You could try with green lentils, but just know they will take longer to cook.

      • Tabitha says

        Yea, I thought I would be able to find them, but after 3 stores and no luck, I just grabbed a bag of regular lentils. Thanks for the reply, I’ll let you know how it works out. Making tomorrow ?

  89. Nick says

    This recipe is a keeper. I did tweak a little, adding an extra onion, pepper and another tbsp of paprika, ancho chilli powder and ground rosemary. Fried off the tomato paste a little before adding other wet ingredients. The juice of half a lime opened the flavour up, and I let it simmer gently for an hour before adding the lentils, which took 20 mins to cook.

    Served with guacamole (avocado, onion, tomato and lime juice) and brown rice (1 part brown rice, 2 parts boiling water, chuck it in the microwave on high for 1.5 mins, then 30 mins on the lowest setting – hassle free fluffy rice)

    I’m trying to eat more plant based and this recipe is as good as any chilli I’ve made with meat. Also, a massive thank you to the minimalist baker, your recipes are consistently top notch and have reinvigorated my love of cooking.

  90. Suzelle says

    This is my new go-to chili! It is seriously everything a chili should be and more! :D

    I’m wondering: Would I be able to easily double this recipe? Has anyone out there done so? Thanks guys!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      It should work! You could likely cook on low for 6-8 hours for good results. Just be sure not to skip sautéing the onions and veggies at the beginning.

  91. Tammy says

    I’m eating this right now and it’s seriously so good! As someone who does eat meat regularly but eats vegan during weekday lunches, this chili is every bit as satisfying as all the beef chili recipes I’m used to. I made it on the stove top using all the recommended spice amounts, 1.5 tbsp of coconut sugar, and corn. I prefer my chili on the soupier side so I included some of the canned corn liquid as well. With the corn liquid, it ended up making 6 very filling 2-cup servings. This might sound odd, but I’ve always liked adding a dash of soy sauce to my chili for that extra umami-ness — try it before you write it off as gross! Thank you for the great recipe!

  92. Shannon CM says

    So Holy Moly, this was AMAZING!!! Even my husband who has never been a fan of veg chili RAVED about how Great it is!!! Thank You!!! I did have some changes, used a red, yellow and orange bell pepper (they were at the use or lose stage:), added a cup of water bc I was worried about the lentils. That led to an additional 3 Tbls chili powder. Used 1 can rotel and one diced tomatoes-it’s what I had. After the recipe time finished, I just kept it on low with the lid off and it cooked down to the thick stew consistency I was looking for. SO Good!!!
    Paired it with your THE BEST VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE CORNBREAD recipe and our dinner was all we could have hoped and dreamed of ❤️ This will stay on our winter meal rotation all season. Thank You ?

  93. Colleen says

    I have made this so many times & it is always DELICIOUS!!! Thank you for all your amazing recipes. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  94. Danielle Libine says

    This was absolutely delicious. Thank you for the recipe.

    Just watch out with the Chili quantities. I put only half and it was pretty hot, so I guess it depends on the type of chili. Was still really yummy!

    Added some vegan “sausage” to make a chili sin carne.

  95. Riley says

    I tend to try a different chili recipe every time I’m craving chili, just because it’s fun to try new things. This is my favorite yet! I’ve been a vegetarian for 5 years, and this is the first veggie chili I’ve tried that doesn’t seem lacking in some way. Most veggie chilis just taste like vegetable soup. Not this one. It’s hearty and smoky and perfect.

  96. Melissa says

    This is my favorite favorite chili recipe! I soak the lentils during the day before I make this one at night to soften them up. Also a little Greek yogurt and cilantro are tasty to add in right before eating. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I can’t wait to make it all winter long ?

  97. Kait says

    than my normal chili recipe. Everyone in the comments is complaining about the spiciness… However I found it to be a bit lacking(even with substituting hotter chili peppers). Even with all the spices I thought it was a bit bland even after trying and trying to add more to get it to taste. Took much longer than an hour to prepare. And used way more than 1 pot. I like the use of the red lentils though. Not sure I will make again but perhaps try to incorporate the lentils into my own chili recipe. Still…always interesting to try something new and different.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing, Kait! Its hard to determine spice quantities in recipes because as you highlighted, everyone’s palettes are so different. But thanks for giving this a try! Your feedback is valuable.

  98. Jennifer Copeland says

    This chili is so delicious! I swapped 1 tbsp of regular chili powder for chipotle chili powder (just for fun) and I found that spicy enough without adding the jalapeno. I ate it with some roasted cauliflower and a blob of mac and cheese on the side. Can’t wait to eat the leftovers! Love your website and all of the recipes I have tried!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Jennifer. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  99. James says

    Fantastic vegetarian bean chilli, my go to recipe. You have to take a little time toward the end to balance the flavours a little more. I also found it needed plenty of salt and the corn goes in every time in our house. An absolute winner though, really lovely

  100. Bobby Goodell says

    This is an absolutely amazing chili recipe! I have made it for years now, probably 20 times. I typically double the garlic and jalapeño and blend in a little magic bullet. I always add the corn and often add sweet potato. When serving unusually add some shredded cheddar cheese and diced onion.

  101. Sonya Harris says

    OMG this was SO delicious! I changed the recipe a little bit…I added cilantro, a cup of chickpeas, and a cup of white kidney beans. I cooked this for my friends in a #Yuck2Yum challenge for our nonprofit organization. Neither of them like cilantro, so I cooked a recipe full of it. They loved the chili and so do I. This is one of my absolute FAVORITE recipes to cook from here.

    If you’d like to see the video of our challenge (and my Minimalist Baker shout-out) check out @bullockgarden on Instagram and Twitter. They will be posted on September 26, 2019.

    Thanks, MB for ALWAYS having the absolute best vegan recipes!!!

  102. Nicky says

    I don’t have canned tomatoes but do have fresh tomatoes. Would a substitution work? Also, my husband and children cannot handle heat at all so if I omit the jalapeño will the dish be pretty mild? This looks delicious. Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Nicky, that will help reduce the spiciness, but you will also need to make sure you are not using a spicy chili powder. Hope that helps!

    • Courtney says

      So delicious! Has quickly become a weekly staple in our house. I’ve made it both with and without the red lentils, and personally prefer it without (and cuts the cooking time in half too!). I love using this as a filling in burritos with coriander, red cabbage, guacamole and cheese. Yum!

      Note: I figured out (the hard way) that Chili powder in Australia seems to be MUCH stronger than in the USA, so you only need to use 1-1.5 teaspoons of chili powder to have it moderately spicy.

  103. Teresa says

    I have to say that I am so grateful to have found this recipe! Yummy and my go to chilli. It’s a family favourite on repeat!

  104. Sandy says

    I made the recipe as is, except I added more jalapeño. It was great! I loved the extra spice kick! It was a simple recipe that was really enjoyable! Even the meat eaters thought it was delicious!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      It should be fine if you freeze it on day 4. But of course, the earlier you freeze it the fresher it’ll be when you thaw it.

  105. Andi says

    This is one of mine and my fiancé’s favorite thing to make! It’s so flavorful and delicious! Great for leftovers as well. We have so much fun making it!

  106. Adam P. says

    This was unbelievably good! So flavorful and filling and super easy to make. I made the full 6 serving recipe and am very excited to have a couple of portions in the freezer when I am short on time!

  107. Sydney Ross says

    This is hands down one of my faves! Wondering if it’s possible to do this in a crockpot? Any tips on accomplishing this via crockpot?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sydney, we haven’t tried it, but other readers have done so with success! One reader mentioned 3 hours on high worked well. Let us know if you give it a try!

  108. darrelle says

    I made this today and it was delicious and easy! I paired it with some roasted butternut squash cubes which really suited. I really recommend trying this as long as you have an hour, so worth it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Darrelle. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  109. Kiki says

    This was an amazing recipe, as all of the dishes I have made from your site. You have made my boyfriend’s transition into veganism enjoyable. I can’t thank you enough for that. I have made so many dishes of yours and did not stop to leave a review, no more of that. You are my favorite chef and make it so easy for everyone to have delicious meals. What a gift God’s given you. Again, thank you! – Kiki

  110. Courtney says

    Wow! Flavour town! This chili is healthy, filling, full of flavour and sooo easy to make. Will definitely become a new week night winter staple! Thanks Dana!

    • Vonny says

      Just made this chilli and it tastes amazing. Only changes I made was to add 2 red peppers instead of 1, as I had them in, and put and extra teaspoon of paprika in along with the tablespoon of maple syrup. Will definitely make again, when I do will try adding 3 red peppers to increase vegetables, think it could take it. Amazing recipe, thanks so much for sharing.

  111. Angie M says

    I made the red lentil chili and it was delicious!!
    I had everything at had minus the paprika. I chose not to use oil to saute the onion and pepper. I allowed the onion to sweat on it’s own and added a tablespoon of water at a time if the onion and pepper were drying out. I didn’t have red bell pepper so I used green instead. The directions were easy to follow and the chili was done in about an hour. This is a keeper. Thanks!

  112. Carol says

    I added TJ’s beefless beef and left out a few other things because I just didn’t have them on hand (kidney beans, jalapeno, smoked paprika). It was still delish! And I loved that there was an extra boost of protein from the red lentils. I had to add some water while cooking because it was beginning to dry out. I also (after reading the reviews) was super careful about adding the chili. I think peeps may have ended up with varying levels of spiciness depending on the chili powder they used. I had a super spicy, Kashmiri chili powder my Indian grandma gave me — so I added just one tablespoon at first and adjusted later on. Overall, I think this is going to be my go to in the future for chili recipes!

  113. Nick Swanevelder says

    Hi Dana, this dish is great but saying that it was just way too spicy. We applied half the chili powder measurements and half a chilli and it was just too spicy for us. We had to drown it in sour cream and we couldn’t taste much else after that first bite.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Nick – did you use chili powder as in cayenne chili powder? Or a chili powder blend? Something store-bought or similar to this is recommended…

  114. Isabella says

    I was really disappointed after making this recipe . I used mild chilli powder and put in less than the recipe said but still it was so spicy that, even with half a pot of yogurt, it was inedible. I double checked the ingredients, and I had used less pepper, less chilli powder and less paprika than it said so I’m not sure what went wrong?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      So strange! We’ll double check the quantities here, but considering it’s such a popular recipe I’m wondering if there was just a miscommunication somewhere in the ingredients or instructions. Looking it over now!

    • Julia says

      3 stars because it was very flavorful BUT HOLY SPICE! I think there should be a note on the spice level as many have commented below. Perhaps if you have a low tolerance like myself, only 1 TBS total of chili powder and no jalapeño. Higher tolerance levels can up to the 3 TBS and jalapeño if desired.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Julia, sorry to hear it was too spicy for you! Different brands of chili powder vary in their spiciness, so that could be part of the issue. We just added a note on the jalapeño for those who are more sensitive to spice! Hope that helps!

  115. Susan says

    Fantastic recipe ~ I love a spicy, thick chili, and this was perfect!

    Because I didn’t have dried lentils on the shelf, I used two cans of lentils (14.5 oz) which I drained and rinsed well (and this reduced the cooking time). Based on success with another chili recipe, instead of adding water and tomato paste, I dumped in a jar of salsa, which also ensured a more “sturdy” chili. I omitted any sweetener (the coconut sugar or maple syrup).

    Other than those changes, I followed this recipe as written, and the result was delicious! The balance of spices was spot on ~ I’ve found my new “go-to” chili recipe (and have two containers waiting for me in my freezer).

    Thank you, Dana :)

  116. Erin Parra says

    This was absolutely delicious and easy, but it was not perfect. It turned out a little bland and watery due a few mistakes I made while cooking. Next time, I will drain the beans a little more, add an extra shake of lentils, allow the lentils to simmer longer, and I will probably double the chili powder and cumin and add hot sauce like Tabasco (I like my chili really spicy). I served the chili I made with quinoa, which helped make it a bit thicker and countered the watery-ness of the chili itself. Overall, I found this recipe to simple and easy to follow, and what I made is really, really yummy.

  117. Nell Hanson says

    This chili is one of my favorites ? I made two pots. One as is and one with meat. Definitely my favorite chili recipe!
    So so good ! Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Thomas, no, sorry, we do not have an Instant Pot and aren’t sure how to modify it. If you do some experimenting, we would love to hear how it goes!

  118. Mike says

    This turned out great! I had to use green lentils as that is the only lentils they carry at the grocery I go to. I really had to cook this longer as far as the lentils getting fully cooked (think next time I will pre soak them). The only other changes was I added 2 tbsn of a bottled BBQ sauce I had on hand, maybe that sounds weird but I have been trying to use it up in dishes just to get rid of it. And I find myself adding some lime juice. It is simple to make thank you for the recipe!

  119. Shauna says

    I’ve been put on a high iron diet for a bit, so I decided to try a lentil chili (been eating so much red meat, I needed a break).
    OH. MY. GODS.
    This vegan chili came out AMAZING! I found I liked the taste a million times better than any meat chili.
    Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed! I added a swirl of real maple syrup, a pinch of crushed red pepper, and a few dashes of Tabasco.
    My 15mo son had two helpings at dinner!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      So glad you enjoyed this, Shauna! Yay for iron-rich lentils! Thanks for the lovely review! xo

  120. Sonal says

    I’ve made this chilli 3 times now and I absolutely love it, it’s the tastiest chilli I’ve ever tried. Love the addition of lentils – this is genius. I made some very minor changes the most recent time and it turned out to be my best version yet:
    1) I added a fresh red and green chilli and omitted one of the tbsps of chilli powder (I like spice!)
    2) Only used one tbsp of cumin instead of two.
    3) Used two heaped tsp paprika instead of one.
    4) Before letting it cook for the last 20 mins I added two small pieces of dark chocolate which I would strongly recommend trying (roughly 1.5 tbsp chopped dark chocolate).
    5) Serve with a good squeeze of lime.
    6) Use frozen sweet corn instead of tinned – tastes much fresher and not as soggy as tinned.

    • Karina says

      Wicked suggestion of the dark chocolate. I made this tonight and just happened to have two squares left over from making ganache so I threw it in and WOW! SENSATIONAL.

    • Andi says

      I admit the first time I made the recipe it was too spicy for my taste but I loved the simplicity and ingredients so I vowed to try again. Before my 2nd attempt I scrolled thru the comments and I saw the suggestion to use dark chocolate…I didn’t have any chocolate on hand but I did have unsweetened dark cocoa powder so I tried that (1 tbsp). A-MAZING difference! I freely admit I cut back the chili powder to just 1 tbsp but those were the only changes I made. I know this will be my go to chili recipe especially the temperatures drop.

  121. Beth says

    I love this recipe. The only adjustment I make is to reduce the amount of chili powder (it’s too hot for me) and add a supermarket branded tin of red kidney beans with added chili sauce. It thickens the consistency slightly and creates a deeper flavour (in my opinion).

  122. Jamice B says

    Since I’m new to the vegan world, I made this chili tonight. The only two differences were I added red and green jalepeno as well AND I added the impossible burger as the “meat”! I am so thoroughly impressed with this chili as well as myself! Thank you so much for this easy recipe!

  123. Jennifer Adler says

    I made this because I’m trying to have a very tasty daily go-to meal – whether it’s for lunch or dinner – that will last all week. It was really delicious. I fed my vegan work colleague and my doorman, not a vegan, but he ate every bite! Absolutely making it again.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Jennifer. We are so glad everyone enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  124. Amber says

    I’m a chili lover and have always been. I thought I’d created the best vegan chili until I tried this one. Oh my gosh this is a fantastic recipe. I thought I’d be underwhelmed, it seemed too simple, no ingredients that seemed to wow. But man, the final product was absolutely fantastic! My husband and I kept looking at each other and exclaiming “damn this is good!” I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about using red lentils as they can be mushier than other variaties, but this chili has a great mouth-feel and was incredibly hearty. Will be making this quite often!

  125. Rebecca says

    Made this last week and have been enjoying all week, I love that this made such a huge batch, meant I had some for lunches this week and also put some in the freezer to enjoy at a later date. I didn’t read the directions clearly and de-seeded my jalapeno and found the chili needed more heat, next time I’ll definitely keep the seeds! I also used sweet potato instead of corn partially as I’m not big on corn and also needed to use up the sweet potato. Found it a bit bean-y for my, I think next time I’ll do less beans and add more veggies per personal preference, but overall quite pleased with it! Thanks for another fab recipe.

  126. Lisa M says

    This came out great tonight, but I had to make a few substitutions as I didn’t want to go to the store. Instead of the canned tomatoes and paste, I put one drained can of Rotel tomatoes and a small jar of tomato / basil seed agetti sauce. I used 1.5 c of lentils as I didn’t want leftover lentils, and I didn’t have any kidney beans. I used jarred minced garlic. And no jalapenos, as I used the Rotel. And some extra frozen corn. Topped with cheese. Turned out great.

  127. Merilla says

    Yummy! This was so delicious. I love beans, so I actually doubled the bean amount from what is written and added some chili garlic oil and red pepper flakes so up the spice level a bit. This is super filling and great for my weekly meal prep!

  128. Hannah A. says

    Made this for my dinner meal prep last week and loved it so much I made it again for this week! Easy and simple instructions, not easy to mess it up. I am by no means a great cook, rather the opposite, and even my roommates were impressed with the taste.

    Would highly recommend!

  129. Tara says

    Made this today and it was the best chili I’ve ever had. The lentils gave it such a great texture and kept it from being too soupy like previous chili recipes I’ve made. I added some lemon juice at the end but otherwise stuck to the recipe. Thank you!

  130. Juliane says

    This recipe was delicious! I think that mincing the jalapeños and grinding to a paste was a brilliant way to add flavor and heat.

    I added a little more tomato paste and cumin then was called for in the recipe, and a teaspoon of agave maple syrup. Even my meat-eating friends loved this chili! Thank you, Minimalist Baker!

  131. Jordan Spencer says

    I made this last night, and these are the changes I had to make/would have made:
    1)I had to cook my lentils for 20 minutes before they were tender, so know that it might take more than 15!
    2)I only had one can of diced tomatoes, so I added 3 roma tomatoes from my fridge plus an 8oz can of tomato sauce.
    3) I had to add 1/2-3/4 cups of water throughout the cooking process b/c it got too dry.
    4)I would have added at least another half of a jalepeño if not a whole one if I had had an extra on hand! It wasn’t quite spicy enough for me, but that’s personal preference.

    Final product was served with quinoa, daiya vegan cheese, and avocados. It was tasty but not as flavorful as some chilis I have had. Would make again, but would make some adjustments:)

    Thanks for the recipe!

  132. Amy says

    Best chili I’ve ever tasted. Added about a tablespoon of liquid smoke, and I highly recommend it!! Thank you for sharing your delicious recipes and beautiful photos.

  133. Maryann Austin says

    All I can say is Wow! What the heck. I’ll say more. This dish was amazing! Fun texture and wonderful taste! Beautiful, too!

  134. Timothy says

    Fair warning, this question may be dumb. (My brain is not working today.)

    Do you cook the lentils before adding them to the chili, or just rinse/drain them?

    Thank you,

  135. Jackie says

    This has been my go-to chili recipe for any occasion for over a year now. I have used all kinds of substitutions and omissions over the several times that I’ve made it and I find that this is a very forgiving recipe. I’m vegetarian and I’ve yet to find a vegetarian chili as good as this, and it really packs a lot of protein! All my meat-eating friends love it when I serve it at parties with tortilla chips and guacamole. Thank you so much for posting this recipe!

  136. Carolyn Lepiscopo says

    Soooooooo delicious and easy! I didn’t have a jalapeno, so I used some adobo/chipotle pepper juice I had reserved in the fridge which added smokiness and spiciness. I’d definitely make this again!

  137. Kim says

    Hello! Firstly, I’m so excited to try some of these nutritionally balanced, high protein vegan recipes! I just wanted to ask – how do you calculate the nutritional information for each recipe? Would you say they’re accurate figures or just rough estimates? Thank you!

  138. RML says

    Spicy, warm, fulfilling, and of course delicious. 10/10
    My boyfriend called it a “powerhouse” of a meal… will definitely be adding this to our regular rotation.
    Side note, I added pumpkin purée to my left overs, highly recommend. :)

  139. Taryn says

    My meat eater husband LOVED it! I find a lot of chili recipes to be lack luster in the seasoning department. NOT YOURS. Oh so perfect!
    Thanks for sharing! As always, it was amazing :)

  140. Emma says

    This was so delicious and so versatile, you can turn it into so many other good things, except one thing I would say is that you must be the wildest woman in the world with spices!! I like spicy food a lot and I put in only 1.5 tsp of chili powder plus the jalapeno and it is really incredibly spicy – still delish though… thank you for the recipe x

  141. Jule Ray says

    Once we finished eating and I took the empty bowls to the kitchen, I literally applauded this recipe. Plan to make regularly. The “serve with” frito advice also solid.
    Thank you!

  142. Beth says

    I have a family member that eats gluten free and vegan. I made this for her to eat and it is so good we all ate it. I used a can of rotel instead of grinding up jalapeños. I also only used 1 tablespoon of chili powder and 1 tablespoon of cumin and it was perfectly seasoned for us. I will continue to use this recipe for family dinners! Delicious! Thank you!

  143. Kristin says

    This is so delicious!! And a great meal to last throughout the week. I did have 1 issue when making it the 2nd time that turned into a disaster, not sure if anyone else has had this issue, but the 1st time I made this I already had lentils made so I just added them in with the other beans but the 2nd time I made this I added the lentils to cook with the chili as per the instructions and well they never cooked. I cooked on the stove top for hours then put it in a slow cooker over night in hopes of salvaging it but the lentils still never cooked so I had to toss it. So I won’t take that chance again and I will always cook my lentils separately. I’ve read not to cook beans with salt or acidic mediums like tomatoes but obviously many have cooked this recipe without issue so I’m not sure what went wrong for me that 2nd time. Regardless I love this recipe, even made it again the day after this incident with separately cooked lentils and it’s a favorite in my household so it will be a regular, especially in the winter.

  144. Samantha says

    Had a huge craving for chili last night and I stumbled upon this recipe! I subbed out 1tbsp of the chili powder for 1tbsp smoked paprika and added a couple stalks of celery and a fat carrot in place of the red pepper because I don’t like peppers, plus added a few shakes of cayenne. A winner as always, and I stashed some in the freezer for future lazy evenings!

  145. Thressa says

    Hello! I’m looking to make this for an end-of-the-semester party for my RAs. I was wondering if you knew approximately how much this makes in terms of volume. I have a 5.75 quart pot, so thinking about that. Could I double/triple the recipe and still be safe to use that size pot, or would the quantity be too much for it?

    Many thanks!

  146. Charlotte says

    I did not leave the seeds in the jalapeno, (because I have a dainty palate). But so flavourful!
    I had some sliced avocado on top and corn bread on the side- your recipe also!

    Thank you!

  147. Brita says

    Made this recipe today and enjoyed it! Very easy to make, I did use dried beans and cooked them before hand so that took some extra time. I love trying new recipes from the Minimalist Baker, I feel like she really takes the time and thought into her work, and the results show! Thanks, keep up the good work!

  148. Nicole says

    This is in my pot now and it looks amazing! I subbed sweet potatoes for corn and used great northern beans instead of kidney. I did use black beans as well. I may spoon this over spaghetti squash, or chickpea noodles…can’t decide yet. Gah….I can’t wait!

  149. Karen says


    We recently went vegetarian, and I am enjoying trying to find substitute recipes for our old meat-filled ones. This is the second time I have made this delicious recipe. The first was in the crockpot, and now this time as written on the stove. The lentils really make it filling and feel like there is ground beef or turkey. Delicious with fresh chop