Awesome, 8 ingredient meatless chili that is just perfect in the freezing weather. Using red lentils, this soup is ready in just 30 minutes!
Lentils are an amazing, incredibly inexpensive, protein-packed legume, seriously, 18 grams per 1 cup. They also carry high fiber and low fat, and not to mention incredibly adaptable and versatile.
It really makes them the perfect meat substitute for your plant-based journey!
All of the reasons you'll love this plant-based lentil chili:
- Gluten free.
- Only 8 ingredients.
- Perfect on a Budget .
- Done in less than 30 minutes.
- Freezer friendly.
- Foolproof & easy for beginners.
Which type of Lentils do I need to make this recipe?
While there are a plethora of different types of lentils in the world, the most common and readily available are red, brown, and green lentils.
For this chili, I am using red lentils because of how much quicker they cook than others. No need to pre-soak or cook.
Brown and green lentils will need to be pre-cooked before adding to this chili, as they have been known to turn out grainy or even still be hard in texture.
If you do not have red lentils, you may use brown or green lentils, but make sure to pre-soak and cook for at least 15 minutes before adding. Unless you are using canned lentils, then you can just pour the can in.
TVP is optional. But I must tell you that it really 'beefs' up this up! Perfect if you love a really thick chili!
Feel free to use any veggie bouillon or similar seasoning powder.
Add some spice and throw some jalapenos or serrano peppers in. Optionally, a dash or two of cayenne would do just as fine.
For a little sweetness, add some sugar! Keep in mind that red lentils are known for their sweetness, so do a taste test first.
- Wash your lentils well, then place them in a medium sized sauce pot along with water and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. A good portion of the water should evaporate during this process.
- After the 10 minutes have passed, add in the TVP if using.
- Once heated through, add in the tomato sauce.
- Mix around until you have a mildly unappetizing slop.
- Post your slop once more?
- Add in all of your seasonings.
- Mix well and finish!
💭What Else can I add?
This chili is super adaptable! You can add other ingredients or seasonings and make it how you like it!
Try some of these other ingredients out:
- A can of Rotel.
- Jalapenos or Serrano peppers for some spice.
- Pair with a peanut butter sandwich. Don't look at me like that, I'm from Ohio.
- Top with your favorite vegan cheese shreds.
- Top with avocado slices.
- Add sour cream and green onions.
- My delicious vegan bacon would be an amazing adddition.
- Mix in some crunchy oyster crackers.
You can use this lentil chili in so many ways! Don't stop at just having a steaming bowl. Pair it with something else you love!
- Burritos - Remember chili cheese burritos from Taco Bell? I miss those.
- Serve over rice - Or beside it!
- Atop tator tots or french fries - (I am team tots, personally) just add vegan cheese!
- Plant-based hotdogs topped with some delicious chili? Yum!
- Chili mac and cheese!
- Ice crea... sorry I went to far...
I try to make my recipes extremely easy to make and with ingredients that everyone would normally have. But, sometimes not everyone has everything, and that is okay! I'm here to help!
These are some things you can switch out in case you don't have something or can't have something:
Use brown or green lentils in place of red. Remember to pre-cook 15 minutes.
Don't have TVP? No problem! This can be replaced by your favorite meatless crumbles if you still want a meaty texture. Boca and Gardein are great options!
📃Frequently Asked Questions
Much like rice and other beans, lentils are harvested and put straight into bags. There is no processing involved, so you should always wash your lentils to remove any dirt or bugs that may have gotten a ride.
If you are using red lentils, you can add them raw into your chili. Brown and green lentils take a bit longer to cook and you would do best to pre-cook them for 15 minutes.
Depending on what you add to it, it can be considered a healthy alternative to common meat-filled chilis. Lentils boast amazing protein content as well as high fiber and low fat.
Quick One-Pot Lentil Chili
- Start heating 2 cups of water to boiling, while waiting on the water, rinse your lentils well.3 cups water
- Put the lentils in the boiling water for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally1 cup red lentils
- Then put your TVP into the boiling water and lentils. The TVP may absorb a lot of the water, do not fret! After another 5 minutes has passed, dump the tomato sauce in, fill the can with some water (about half) and place into the pot. Do this as needed.1 cup TVP,1 28 ounce can of tomato sauce
- Then place everything else into the pot and cook on medium low for around 20 minutes or until well cooked and thickened.3 cups water,1 Tablespoon veggie bouillon,2 Tablespoon cumin,1 Tablespoon chili powder,1 Tablespoon paprika,2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- Serve with a dollop of vegan cream cheese on top and enjoy!
- Gluten-Free - Just make sure the veggie bouillon you use is GF
- Want Soy-Free? Use your favorite store-bought meatless crumbles, they are usually soy-free.
- Need more spice? No problem, just add cayenne pepper, jalapenos, or serrano peppers, or try adding a can of Rotel for some added heartiness.
- Storage - Can be placed in the refrigerator for up to 7 days or you can freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and heat as usual.
Try out some of my other delicious soups!