Meatless Lentil Chili (Chili de Lentejas)

by Erica Dinho on September 27, 2011

There are many versions of chili and this Meatless Lentil Chili is hearty and healthy. This dish is satisfying, comforting, tasty, and full of vitamins. All that in just one bowl!

Buen provecho!



  • About 6-8 servings
  • 2 cups brown lentils
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped 
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
2 dried chili de árbol
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh salsa to serve


  1. Place the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Place the chili de árbol in a small bowl with hot water and set aside.
  2. Add onion, scallion, bell pepper and garlic and cook about 8 minutes or until onion is translucent and pepper is tender.
  3. Add in chili powder and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add lentils, tomatoes, carrots, corn, tomato paste, sugar, cumin and broth. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes or until lentils are almost tender. Add cilantro and cook 10 minutes longer. Garnish with tortilla chips and fresh salsa.
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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) September 27, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Yum, that looks fabulous! I made meatless Sloppy Joes the other day with lentils. They’re so versatile. :)


2 Belinda @zomppa September 27, 2011 at 11:37 AM

You just reminded me why I love lentils so much. This recipe is going to be tested here in my house!


3 Carla September 27, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Lovely fall dish. I’m craving bowls full of lentils and beans now. Great addition with the chili de arbol.


4 Lyndsey ~ September 27, 2011 at 12:28 PM

I just made and posted a lentil soup. I had chorizo in mine, but it would still be tasty without it. I love your lentil chili, it looks so satifying and good! Love your photos too!


5 Simply Life September 27, 2011 at 5:04 PM

I am loving this recipe- looks like it would be my favorite bowl of chili!


6 Nammi September 28, 2011 at 7:16 AM

Thats a lovely comforting dish :)


7 Barbara September 28, 2011 at 7:42 AM

Nice, Erica. I’ve made lentil soup many times, but really like the chili idea! More body to it!


8 gloria September 28, 2011 at 9:56 AM

Love this Claudia, I love Lentiuls!! gloria


9 norma September 28, 2011 at 6:15 PM

This looks really wonderful. Great picture Erica…love the napkin. I like your veggie dishes so much.


10 Stevie October 1, 2011 at 3:14 PM

This lentil chili sounds quite good. I love bean soups and lentil is one of the best. Was it very spicy?


11 grace October 4, 2011 at 11:20 AM

lentils are just perfect for soups and chilis too! i love the corn in there–it offers a pop of color and flavor.


12 Erica October 7, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Thank you everyone for the comments!


13 Joanna January 13, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Hi Erica,
I love all your dishes! My mother was also colombian and although i try to go and see my family twice a year, unfortunately I was only able to learn a few colombian dishes before she passed away so your site has been EXTREMELY helpful to recreate our dinners as well as a nice walk down memory lane. Entonces simplemente te quriea dar las garcias por tus recetas especialmente tus platos de letejas!!!


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