Looking for a throw-together, cold-weather, vegan comfort food that’s affordable, easy, and NOT pasta? Here’s my Meatless Lentil Chili recipe that goes from stove-to-table in under an hour…and is mostly hands-free!
Meatless Lentil Chili
This recipe requires such a small amount of prep and enough passive cooking, you could make it on demand in one hour…without a slow-cooker.
In a few steps, the fresh ingredients get sautéed, the pantry stuff goes in, all gets simmered, and you give an occasional stir. Whole, green lentils cook through in about 40 minutes with NO SOAKING required. And in that time, those babies soak up the tomato sauce like nobody’s business. It’s pretty magical actually!
Do you know how nutritious lentils are?
I’ve read up on them, and the fiber, protein, and iron in lentils has convinced me to eat more…more regularly. I keep hearing the buzz about how eating more nutritious ingredients (and less meat) can help stave off undesirable cravings because the body gets what it truly needs without having to work too hard. I love that concept!
Why do I use French Green Lentils?
When I first developed this recipe, I used standard, no–frills, brown lentils. Nothing against those things, but the green lentils take less time to cook aaaaaand they hold their shape better during the cooking process. So, it’s a texture thing! I really can’t tell the difference in flavor between the two…not in this tomato-y chili anyway.
Why are lentils so budget-friendly?
Dry lentils average about $1.50 lb. Here in Northern California, organic lentils can be as much as $2.50 lb. It might sound like a jump in price, but, I’ve never found a sustainable meat product that packs the same nutritional punch AND competes with those prices…not even close, in fact!
If you’re toying with the idea of loving lentils, but haven’t dialed it in, now is your chance to find out just how easy and delicious they are with my Meatless Lentil Chili. This might become your new, in-a-pinch, comfort food that can feed the family for a few days. That’s exactly how we roll here at TKG headquarters!
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- olive oil
- chili powder
- vegetable stock
- French green lentils (or brown lentils)
- whole peeled tomatoes
- tomato paste
- crushed red pepper flakes
- black pepper
- dark cocoa powder
- bay leaf
Tools I used for this recipe:
Oh, and here’s a super-cool tool I use almost every time I cook. It’s part of a two-piece set: Titan Vegetable Peeler and Julienne Slicer. Runs under $20 and well-worth the investment. Let me know if you have any questions…happy to answer them!
Meal planning tip:
Make this Lentil Chili on a Sunday evening, eat some for dinner that night, refrigerate the rest, and devour it on a few busy weeknights that follow. Trust me, the flavor develops even further during the second or third day in the fridge. It’s magical, really. And btw, nothing against meat, I eat it all! But, I do believe when it comes to animal products, less really is more and sustainably raised is even mo-better!
If you read the comments below, you’ll see that Lauren from Lauren Caris Cooks LOVES this chili! I couldn’t be more exited about that because…have you seen her site? When it comes to vegan, she’s the deal, guys! She writes simple, easy to follow recipes for busy people like you and me. Go check her out…and say hello for me!
Check out my other vegan chili recipes:
I have a little handful of them. My Accidentally Awesome Vegan Chili is a crowwwwd-pleaser…even a meat-eating crowd will love this one! I also created a Southwest Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Chili that’s made for a short trip in the slow-cooker…under an hour to be exact. All of my chili recipes are very affordable and freezer-friendly. Let me know if you have any questions about them!
Cheers to eating nutritious, affordable, plant-based ingredients…and always to our health!
About my recipes: MORE plant, LESS animal...that's my jam.