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Vegetarian Chili with Red Lentils

Vegetarian Chili with Red Lentils - Cold days call for a bowl of warm, spicy chili. This healthier vegetarian chili calls for red lentils and lots of veggies instead of meat - perfect for meatless Mondays or any day of the week!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Soups and stews, vegetarian
Keyword: chili, lentils, vegetarian
Servings: 6 about 2 quarts
Calories: 329kcal
Author: Marie


  • 2 tsp. Olive oil
  • 1 Small onion chopped (about 1 to 1 1/2 c.)
  • 1/2 large Poblano or Hatch chili pepper chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper finely chopped
  • 2 Carrots chopped (about 1/2 to 2/3 c.)
  • 2 Garlic cloves minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Ancho chili powder **
  • 4 c. Chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. Dry red wine
  • 1/2 c. Red lentils uncooked and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 c. Water
  • 1 - 15 oz. Can of black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 - 15 oz. Can of kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 c. Sliced black olives


  • Heat the 2 tsp. olive oil on medium-high in a 3.5 qt. Dutch oven or other large pot. Add onion, peppers, and carrots and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add minced garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more while stirring.
  • Sprinkle chili powder and ancho chili powder over the hot vegetables and mix in thoroughly.
  • Stir in chopped fresh tomatoes and bring to boil. Reduce heat to bring the mixture to a simmer, cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove cover. Pour in red wine, lentils, water, black beans, kidney beans, and black olives. Simmer on medium-low for about another 20 minutes until lentils and soft and tender.
  • Serve immediately with Cilantro Lime Crema or sour cream.


**If you don't have ancho chili powder, just add more regular chili powder and a pinch of red pepper.
This chili also freezes well. Just cool and ladle into freezer containers. To use, thaw in the refrigerator or microwave and heat till hot.