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Vegetarian Lentil Chili

Vegetarian Lentil Chili is a hearty, vegetarian chili that is perfect for your fall dinners, football watching or lunch and with the lentils, beans and vegetables you won’t even miss the meat!  You will love this hearty chili! 

Vegetarian Lentil Chili


Red lentils are my jam.

If you have followed along for any length of time you have probably noticed a variety of red lentil soup recipes including Moroccan Carrot Red Lentil Soup, Red Lentil Coconut Soup and Moroccan Red Lentil Soup.

In the colder months I like adding lentils to soups that don’t have meat to create a hearty texture. 

Vegetarian Lentil Chili has all of the ingredients that you might love in a regular chili; bell pepper, onion, diced tomatoes, beans and the warm spices. 

I added a jalapeño for an extra kick, but you can leave that out if you want.  

I also added a can of cannelini beans {white beans} to the chili, but you certainly don’t have to add beans at all or can substitute a different type of bean, like orca beans, black beans or red kidney beans.

Vegetarian Lentil Chili

If you are having a football party or tailgating this would be a great alternative to a meat chili.  

My husband, who loves meat in his chili, liked this version and thought it was hearty and full of flavor.

This chili is thick, but if you want it to be a little bit thicker puree half of the chili in a blender or use an immersion blender.  

I enjoy the chunky texture of this chili just the way it is, so I didn’t do any blending.  

One less thing to clean up, right? When you are ready to serve this chili try stirring in 1-2 Tablespoons of Stonyfield Greek Yogurt {or plain yogurt} which makes it a little tangy and extra creamy.  

And of course serve it with a big variety of garnishes, like  chopped cilantro, red onion, avocado, diced tomatoes and a variety of cheese.

If you are thinking of making this Vegetarian Lentil Chili your dinner, which I do often, add a nice big salad and crusty whole wheat bread which makes the perfect meatless meal to warm you up this fall.

Vegetarian Lentil Chili



































Vegetarian Lentil Chili

Vegetarian Lentil Chili

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Vegetarian Lentil Chilis a hearty, vegetarian chili that is perfect for your fall dinners, football party or lunch. With the lentils, beans and vegetables you won't even miss the meat!


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped sweet onion {about 1/2 of a large onion}
  • 1 cup red pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed, chopped {optional for spice}
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cup Bob's Red Mill Red Lentils, sorted and rinsed
  • 1-15 oz. can of cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2-14.5 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne red pepper
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of Stonyfield Greek Yogurt per bowl of soup {or you can use plain yogurt}


  • Cheese
  • Cilantro
  • Avocado
  • Chopped red onion


  1. In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and red pepper and sauté until soft. Add the garlic and jalapeño and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes.
  2. Add the vegetable broth, red lentils, cannelini beans, diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, oregano and paprika and stir until mixed. Let the soup simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the broth gets soaked into the red lentils add a small amount of water until the lentils are tender.
  3. Serve the soup into bowls and slowly stir in 1-2 Tablespoons of yogurt {Greek or plain works}. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro, chopped red onion, cheese and avocado.


Feel free to modify this recipe by using a different type of beans, like black beans or kidney beans.

You can also add meat if you desire, like turkey or ground beef.

I have also added a variety of other vegetables to this chili, including corn and carrots.

I suggest tasting this soup after everything is mixed together and adjusting your spices as desired. Some people like more spice than others, so it is really up to you how much spice you add.

Today’s post is in partnership with Stonyfield. I received products and coupons to write this post and  as always opinions are 100% my own.  Thanks for supporting the brands that I love and helping to make A Cedar Spoon possible. 

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27 Delicious Ways to Use Chickpeas - A Cedar Spoon

Tuesday 15th of January 2019

[…] deep love for pulses and use them in so many recipes from this Moroccan Carrot Lentil Soup to this Vegetarian Lentil Chili to these Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas to this┬áLemon Hummus. I think of all of the pulses, chickpeas […]

Jennifer Scheldberg

Tuesday 29th of September 2015

I like using kidney and sometimes will throw in black beans.


Tuesday 29th of September 2015

When we buy beans for chili, we buy the ones that say "chili beans" on the can. I am not sure what type they are.

Lisa @ Panning The Globe

Tuesday 29th of September 2015

Looks delish and healthy!

Melanie | Melanie Makes

Tuesday 29th of September 2015

We're definitely fans of lentils at our house - love them in this chili!

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