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Lentil Chili recipe

One-Pot Vegetarian Lentil Chili

  • Author: Suruchi Avasthi


Cozy, comforting, and perfect for football season (or anytime you’re craving a hearty meal)—this vegetarian chili makes the most of our favorite plant-based, protein-packed pantry staple.


  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 4-5 ancho chilis in adobo sauce, seeded and very finely chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup black lentils, soaked overnight
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth or water
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans
  • Optional: a squeeze of lime juice


  1. In a large stovetop pot, add the olive oil and bring to medium heat.

  2. Add the onion with a pinch of salt and let sweat until translucent. Add the cumin, coriander, paprika, a teaspoon of salt, black pepper, and the chopped and seeded ancho chilis. Cook for a few minutes until fragrant.

  3. Add the poblano pepper, jalapeño, red bell pepper, and corn. Cook until the peppers start to soften.

  4. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and black lentils to the pot with the cocoa powder. Stir to combine and let cook for about 5 minutes. Add the broth and stir. Bring up to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  5. Add the black beans and kidney beans to the pot. Cover the pot and cook for another 15 minutes until the black lentils are completely cooked through. Turn off the heat. Taste and adjust salt as needed. If desired, add a squeeze of lime.

  6. To serve, distribute hot chili in bowls and add desired toppings. Enjoy!