Black Bean and Lentil Chili

Black Bean and Lentil Chili

Many years ago, a good friend of ours had a chili cook-off party. It was a blast! We all brought our own versions of chili and blindly taste-tested (blindly, in that we didn’t know who’s was who’s…but I’m sure the margaritas had already made us somewhat blind!). It was so interesting to see the different interpretations of what we all refer to as “chili”. Some had no beans at all, just ground meat, while others had a mixture of the two and then some used chunks of beef instead of ground. The hostess had made hers with lentils. It was really delicious and it’s always stuck with me. I’ve always wanted to try making chili with lentils. So, ten years later…

I really made this with my daughter in mind (she doesn’t eat meat). This has so many flavors and ingredients that she loves. Especially the spicy factor! That girl uses hot sauce on everything! The chipotle and the Tabasco add some heat to the pot, but I like to serve this with some more Tabasco on top…along with avocado cubes, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and some cilantro. You can make a pot of rice to go along with this, some corn bread or even just some tortilla chips. I think you’ll love it! Even my anti-vegetarian husband gave this two thumbs up! So, if I’m ever invited to another chili cook off…this is what I’m bringing!

Black Bean and Lentil Chili

3 T. olive oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 large carrots, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 T. chili powder
1 T. paprika
1 t. chipotle chili powder
1 t. allspice
1/2 t. cumin
1 bay leaf
5 – 6 C. vegetable or chicken broth
2 C. lentils, sorted and rinsed
1 29 oz. can tomato sauce
1 29 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 C. frozen sweet corn kernels
12 oz. jar roasted red peppers, diced
1 – 2 t. Tabasco sauce
1 T. honey
salt and pepper to taste

Toppings
Tabasco Sauce
sour cream
avocado, cubed
shredded cheddar cheese
a squeeze of lime
cilantro leaves

In a large heavy pot over medium high heat, add the olive oil, then the onion, celery and carrots. Sauté until the onions have softened, then add the garlic and continue to cook for just one minute. Add the spices next through the bay leaf. Cook for about two more minutes to get them fragrant.

Add the broth (start with 5 cups first, you may need an additional cup later to thin the sauce out), lentils and tomato sauce and raise the heat to high, bringing the broth to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about 30 minutes to get the lentils tender.

Add the black beans, corn, red peppers, Tabasco and honey and continue to cook for about 20 more minutes. Add the extra cup of broth, if needed.

Serve in bowls with the toppings of your choice.

 

Notes:

  • I use the jarred roasted red peppers for a few reasons. The roasted pepper adds a nice sweet and smokey flavor that you don’t get from a fresh pepper and it’s so much easier to use the jarred instead of making it yourself. If you want to roast your own…that would be delicious. I add the pepper at the end because I think it would become too mushy if it were cooked all the way through.
  • If you are using canned broth, don’t use salt until the dish is completely done, then give it a taste. Even if using low salt broth, you may not even need any additional.
  • This makes enough chili for 8 to 12 servings (depending on your serving size). This is great days later and freezes well too.
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    45 thoughts on “Black Bean and Lentil Chili

    1. April park

      My daughter is 7 yrs old and a very picky eater. She loved this recipe and even asked for a second helping. I will be making this again.
      Thanks for sharing,
      April

      Reply
    2. Michelle

      Made this for dinner tonight- the favors are phenomenal, and the extra addition of some lime and avocado was so refreshing. Thanks for sharing!!! :)

      Reply
    3. Shikha Parikh

      I dont know anything about lentils. Is there a particular kind to use? Do you need to cook them first, or soak and put into a pressure cooker?

      Reply
      1. Caroline Hurley Post author

        Hi Shikha! I use brown lentils in this recipe. They are the most common lentils you’ll find, dried, in bags, at the market. You just need to follow the recipe directions, by rinsing them in a fine mesh sieve, sorting through to make sure there aren’t any stones and adding them to the recipe. I hope that helps and that you love this chili!

        Reply
    4. Tammy

      It’s been raining here for days. Chili is my favorite for days like this. This recipe was simple and so delicious. I omitted the Tabasco, some family members have issues but I’ve been sharing it and the recipe. This will be added to our dreary day go to list. Nothing puts a smile on our face like a good bowl of chili. Well, except another bowl.

      Reply
      1. Caroline Hurley Post author

        Well, sweet words like yours can really put a smile on my face, Tammy! I’m SO happy to hear you all liked this as much as we do! Great idea to make this on a rainy day! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe and for taking the time to let me know! :)

        Reply
    5. Metamorphosis Lisa

      Love this! I made a couple of changes: 1 minced chipotle pepper in place of the powder, fresh corn cut from the cob, diced tomatoes instead of sauce, no tobasco, no celery. It was very, very good and will definitely be a repeat in our house.

      Reply
    6. Gabby

      Hi,

      I made this last night and loved it! I am so glad it makes such a big batch. I’ll be enjoying this for lunch today. I made my chili super spicy, but that’s how I like it. I recommend this recipe :)

      Reply
      1. Caroline Hurley Post author

        Yay! So happy to hear you love this, Gabby! I love that there are always lots of leftovers too. We usually have it for another meal that week or freeze for later. I love it spicy too! Thanks a bunch!

        Reply
    7. Sydney

      Looks delicious! Does anyone think this is something that would work in a slow cooker? I have never done lentils that way, they may just turn to mush…

      Thank you!!

      Reply
      1. Caroline Hurley Post author

        Thanks so much Sydney! I love this chili! You can absolutely make this in a slow cooker! I’d set it on 4 to 6 hours on high and it shouldn’t turn mushy. Hope you love it!

        Reply
    8. susan

      My 2nd comment for this recipe because it is SO good. We are trying to cut carbs and had this chili served over spaghetti squash. It was amazing, we are having it again this weekend! Thanks for sharing!!

      Reply
      1. Caroline

        Susan, you’ve got me smiling from ear to ear! Love that you served this over spaghetti squash! It’s a great sub for pasta. You are a genius! That is one nutritious meal! Thanks a million!

        Reply
    9. Nancy

      Looking forward to making this for dinner tomorrow. Have you tried freezing it? With just the two of us it’s nice to cook once and eat twice. :)

      Reply
      1. Caroline

        I’m so glad you’re going to be making this, Nancy! Yes, I’ve frozen this a lot and have sent it off with my son to college many times. He loves it. He says it’s just as delicious! It does make a lot of chili, but I’m with you…cook once and eat twice is a wonderful thing!

        Reply
    10. susan

      LOVED this so much, I am making it again for the second time. My husband is a meat eater and added some spicy sausage to his share, and said it was great. Thank you for sharing such an awesome dish!

      Reply
      1. Caroline

        Susan, I’m so happy you loved this so much! I love that addition of sausage for your husband! What a great idea! I’m going to give that a try! Thank you for taking the time to comment! :)

        Reply
    11. lish

      As a vegetarian married to a meat-eater, I’m always looking for recipes that we can both partake in together and be happy. Chili is one of our go-to meals, especially in the winter. That said… as much as we love chili, sometimes it can get boring. I’m constantly looking for new and exciting ways to make our chili exciting. Lentils! Tabasco! Score! Found this and made it last Friday and it was a huge hit. And I’m having leftovers for lunch today and I can’t wait. Thank you for this great recipe!

      Reply
      1. Caroline

        There is nothing better than comments like yours, Lish! I love that this chili made you both happy! Nice lunch…I think the leftovers are even better, aren’t they? Thanks for being so sweet and taking the time to write!

        Reply
    12. Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

      I super love vegetarian chilis. The idea of using lentils is great!!! This dish is gorgeous! We like the spice over here too. And how much fun is a chili cook off?! I wish all my neighbors weren’t the biggest losers ever.

      Reply
    13. Natalie

      I haven’t eaten red meat in over a year and making many recipes with turkey and chicken can get boring. I’ve been looking for a meatless chili for some time and I am so happy to have stumbled upon your recipe! Extremely satisfying for a cold New England night. My boyfriend and I loved this so much and we will be making this regularly. Thank you for sharing :)

      Reply
      1. Caroline

        Congratulations, Natalie! Giving up things we are so used to eating is not an easy feat! I’m so glad you found this chili and that you both loved it! You are so right…it’s perfect for this cold weather!

        Reply
        1. Donna C.

          I made this black bean and lentil chili on this cold winter day. It’s just delicious, and is a keeper. I did have to add more chicken stock, but that’s ok, more chili for leftovers! Five stars.

          Reply
          1. Caroline

            Yay! So glad you liked this chili so much Donna! I always add the extra stock too…but you’re right, this makes a lot of chili…enough for leftovers! Thanks so very much for taking the time to let me know! Messages like yours make me SO happy!

            Reply
    14. Dawn Klein

      We made this for supper tonight. It was so good! We loved that it was so full of stuff and nice and thick after the lentils had time to cook! I can’t wait for supper tomorrow night! It’s a good thing I have a bigger pan, than the 4-qt Durch oven, because that would have been full to the brim. I needed to get out my 8-qt stock pot, for the last step. (What I wouldn’t give for a 5-6 qt Le Creuset pan!) we will definitely be making this again in the future!

      Reply
      1. Caroline

        I’m so happy to hear you liked this so much Dawn. You definitely need your largest pot for this recipe! It does makes a lot of chili. Thanks so much for letting me know! :)

        Reply
    15. Heide Forsythe

      Made it yesterday, and everyone in the family loved it! I used it smoked paprika, it was yum! Thank you for a great addition to my chili meals:)

      Reply
      1. Caroline

        You are so sweet to let me know Heide! I’m thrilled that you all loved it so much! The smoked paprika is genius! I love that stuff. Next time I make this, I’ll be sure to add some!

        Reply
      1. Caroline

        I’m so glad you liked this Mireya! I bet it was great with just lentils! I love lentils! Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know! I hope your co-workers loved it too!

        Reply
    16. Niamh Ellison

      I made this today and it was gorgeous, thank you so much for such a clear and detailed recipe. If anyone’s interested, I had to substitute black beans for black eyed beans, and honey for sweet chilli sauce but it still tasted beautiful. Thank you!

      Reply
      1. Caroline

        Awww…thanks so much Niamh! So glad you liked it! You can most certainly substitute your favorite beans in this recipe…I’m sure your version was delicious! Thanks so much for the tips.

        Reply
    17. Kathy Manganiello

      This was a BIG hit in our household! My daughter is a vegetarian and she loved it! It’s sometimes difficult to find vegetarian recipes that the whole family likes. This got a huge LIKE! Thanks for a great recipe.

      Reply
      1. Caroline

        I am so happy to hear that Kathy! I know exactly what you mean…it really can be challenging! This is a family-pleaser in my house too. It was so considerate of you to take the time to come on back and let me know…your message made my night!

        Reply
    18. Faye

      So glad to find this recipe on Pinterest. I love lentils and this looks like a great take on Chili. Can’t wait to try!

      Reply

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