Vegan Lentil Chili

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Meatless Alternative To Making Chili

This Vegan Lentil Chili will not be disappointing in flavor and low in fat. Definitely a tasty, healthy meal replacement. This dish is high in protein and a good source of fiber. Lentils can be bought in most stores and really help with an inexpensive way to supplement your meals throughout the week. Give this one a try and see how everyone will enjoy it. I have already made it twice this month.

Vegan Lentil Chili. Photo by Spicy Saucy Vegan

How To Sort Through Cleaning Lentils For Vegan Lentil Chili

I use only one cup of lentils for this recipe. It doesn’t sound like a lot but they really swell and this recipe makes about 6 servings. Before using your cup of lentils to cook with you will have to sort through them. Often there are little stones in with the bag because they are the same size as the lentils. Use your hand to pour the lentils into and look for little stones and dirt. (Like the photo below) Then pour them into a bowl that has all the ones you have sorted through. Then rinse those lentils in a small meshed sieve. This will help any dirt left behind to fall through the sieve when washing.

How To Sort Through Cleaning Lentils. Photo by Spicy Saucy Vegan

Sorting through will take a couple of minutes, but it will be worth it. This is a must thing to do because you don’t want to be crunching down on a stone. Sometimes they are hard to find, so be patient. They often look like the lentils, like the photo below.

How To Sort Through Cleaning Lentils. Photo by Spicy Saucy Vegan

How To Make Vegan Lentil Chili

This Chili is so easy to make. First of all make sure you have really good organic crushed tomatoes or stewed tomatoes. I like to use the crushed tomatoes only because they are a little thicker. I use tomato paste to help thicken the chili but I don’t want the chili to be acidic and take over the flavors. The maple syrup helps tone down the acidity and the amount for that is all up to you in how you like you’re chili. I use 1 Tablespoon. That seems to work for me.

I don’t like sweet chili. Of course I like it a little spicy as you know but I didn’t kick this one up in extra heat. A little cayenne pepper would be key to add to this recipe. It all depends on how you and your guest like it. I like to put a jar of hot sauce on the table with this dish. That way even children and elderly people can eat this chili with no complaints on being too hot. Thumbs up on that one!

The sauce is a lot like making Italian pasta sauce only different spices. Just follow the YouTube video below. It gives step by step instructions.

Picking Out Lentils For Chili

There are many varieties of lentils to try out. I like brown or green lentils for this recipe. Although, if you don’t have brown or green lentils I believe red lentils would work just fine as well. My favorite brand of brown lentils is Brand Palouse out of Washington State. They are close by and I love supporting these local farmers. Plus you can sprout or grow these lentils. They sell other grains and peas as well.

I love their sturdy bags and the drawstring used to re-close them, very handy. It is a bang for your buck with all that you can do with these lentils. It comes in a hefty 5 pound bag. If you use lentils throughout the year these are worth it. Check them out on Amazon.

small brown lentils by Brand Palouse
Small Brown Lentils by Brand Palouse. Photo by Spicy Saucy Vegan

Lentils do not take very long to cook. Although, with this recipe I recommend an hour at least on low. This will give it a chance to soak up the spices and round up the flavors. If the lentils are still a little hard cook them a little longer.

Vegan Lentil Chili. Photo by Spicy Saucy Vegan

Top this Vegan Lentil Chili with your favorite toppings as you would any chili. It is also good on top of a baked potato with all the toppings or heated up in the morning with grilled veggies on top or in a hot corn or flour tortilla. Very yummy! I hope you enjoy this delicious chili as much as we do.

By Spicy Saucy Vegan
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vegan lentil chili

Vegan Lentil Chili

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  • Author: Spicy Saucy Vegan
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 24 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Brunch, Dinner, Lunch
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Mexican, Vegan
  • Diet: Vegan


Enjoy this versatile Vegan Lentil Chili all year round. It is so tasty, delicious and easy to make. Top it with all the yummy chili toppings and watch it disappear. Serve it with rice, on top of baked potatoes or in a corn or flour tortilla topped with grilled peppers and onions and salsa. You’ll love this very inexpensive meal that serves 6 people. If you have some hungry men and boys eating you might want to double it. Enjoy!


Units Scale

Vegan Lentil Chili

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 medium Yellow Onion, (diced)
  • 4 medium Cloves of Garlic, (minced small)
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 Large Red Bell Pepper, (diced)
  • 1 1/2 cups Water
  • 1 28oz can Organic Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Brown or Green Lentils, (sorted and washed)
  • 2 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup or Agave Syrup
  • 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 3 tsp Vegetable Bouillon


  1. Chop up all of your vegetables and sort the lentils for stones and dirt. (As instructed on how to above) Wash the lentils in a small meshed sieve. Drain the lentils.
  2. On medium heat, heat up a large cooking pot. Add the olive oil, onions and garlic. Toss the onions and garlic until coated in oil and sauté for 2 minutes and add the red bell peppers and oregano. Toss them all around in the oil again. Sauté for 3 minutes. If the vegetables start to stick turn the heat to medium low. Do not burn.
  3. Add the water, crushed tomatoes and lentils. Stir together.
  4. Add the chili powder, cumin, sea salt, paprika, maple syrup or agave sweetener, balsamic vinegar, vegetable bouillon and tomato paste. Mix all together. Cover and cook for 1 hour on medium low to low heat. (The 1 hour helps it get thicker and mingle in the spices and herbs) Watch and stir often as so not to burn. If it sticks a lot turn down the heat a little or add a little more water if it gets too thick.
  5. When done serve with your favorite chili toppings like chopped onions or green onions, cilantro, jalapeños, salsa, hot sauce, vegan cheddar cheese and vegan sour cream.
  6. Enjoy!

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