Meatless Mondays: Lentil Chili

As the temperatures became more and more frigid these past few weeks I found myself craving a hearty bowl of chili. There are many recipes online for vegetarian chili, and I looked at a lot of them before ultimately deciding on this one.  I like this one because it does not require a lot of ingredients and the directions are really simple and straightforward.

I made this on a Sunday after Religious School. I played around with this recipe a bit, and I think when I make it again I would make a few other changes as well. The original recipe called for cilantro, which I hate, so I eliminated that. I also used a green bell pepper, because I cannot justify spending $2 more on a red one.

I really liked this chili, and it was very easy to make. My only complaint is that recipe as is (for my tastes anyway) did not have enough oomph.  I ended up adding extra chili powder and crushed red pepper flakes to each bowl that I ate, which is not really a problem. In general I think it makes more sense to go easier on spices and seasonings in the large batch to be sensitive to everyone’s different taste buds.  I also topped my bowl off with avocado and sour cream, which made it extra delicious. Avocado makes everything better in my opinion. Cheddar cheese, raw onion, and tortilla strips would are good garnish options too.

The best thing about this recipe, or any chili recipe, I was able to get multiple meals out of this for myself and my coworkers!


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 (16 oz.) bag of brown lentils
  • 2 (14.5 oz.) cans no-salt diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 (32 oz.) cartons vegetable stock
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper


  1. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and red bell pepper; sauté the vegetables for 8 minutes or until onion is soft and lightly browned.
  2. Stir in garlic and chili powder; cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add lentils, tomatoes, bay leaf and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf.
  4. Transfer 3 cups of cooked chili into a food processor and process until pureed; add the pureed chili back into the remaining chili and stir to combine. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.