Monday, January 16, 2012

Red Lentil Chili

I woke up this morning, and as usual on Monday mornings I pulled up my blog to see if my new post was up as it was scheduled.  Sure enough, there it was.  Only there was no text.  Oopsi!  I posted photographs and the recipe, but nothing else.  I thought about leaving it that way but decided to add a little story to tell you how this recipe came about.

A recently saw Ashley post these Lentil Sloppy Joes and I’m pretty sure that they were on my mind for about 30 hours straight.  However, when I presented the idea to Paul.  He was totally turned off.  Sloppy Joes were one meal that I could not mess with.  He would not eat sloppy joes without beef, he said, you just don’t mess with sloppy joes.  Ok, I get it, but I still like to try new things with food.

So I didn’t mess with sloppy joes.  I made lentil chili instead.  See what I did there?  I think he pretty much knew.  BUT, we enjoyed the meal, and that’s really all that matters.  We actually ended up eating this once as chili and then once as sort of open-faced sloppy joes and each way was really good.  The flavor is rich and deep, and who doesn’t love a slow cooker recipe?  You just dump everything in and let it go.  This one is a keeper!

One note: if you are making this for only two people, I would suggest halving the recipe, or freezing half for another time.  We ate this for a few meals each and still, we ended up throwing some out because there was so much leftover.

PrintPrint Recipe

Red Lentil Chili

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours


2 cups red lentils, rinsed
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 can (28-ounce) diced tomatoes, drained
1 can (6 ounce) tomato paste
1 small yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs. white wine
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. dried oregano
1 Tbs. dried parsley
1 Tbs. chili powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper


Mix all ingredients into a slow-cooker. Stir until combined, cover, and cook on low for 8 hours.

The lentils should be fully cooked, if they aren’t. Recover and continue to cook, checking every-so-often.

Remove the lid for about 30 minutes to thicken.

Cassie's Notes:
We ate these as both chili and sloppy joes (as from the original recipe.) They were fantastic both ways. If desired, serve on toasted buns with cheese.


49 Responses to “Red Lentil Chili”

  1. #
    Jen @ pretty plate — January 16, 2012 @ 6:32 am

    Love this !! I love lentils but always make them the same boring way. Can’t wait to try this one.

    : ))

  2. #
    Kathryn — January 16, 2012 @ 7:39 am

    This looks like such a healthy and hearty dish, just perfect for cold evenings!

  3. #
    Aggie — January 16, 2012 @ 7:55 am

    This looks absolutely delicious! I have not made chili with lentils yet!

    (lol about the post w just pics…sounds like something I would totally do 😉 )

    Have a great Monday!! Going to try this for sure!

  4. #
    Steve @ the black peppercorn — January 16, 2012 @ 8:08 am

    You are killing me Cassie! This looks incredible! Thanks for this post, I have never thought of using lentils in chili – great idea

  5. #
    Italian Notes — January 16, 2012 @ 8:09 am

    Love lentils. really have to save this recipe.

  6. #
    Deborah — January 16, 2012 @ 8:30 am

    I love this idea!! It even looks like it’s meat-filled. 🙂

  7. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — January 16, 2012 @ 8:36 am

    This looks so good, Cassie! Lentils are one of those things that I can eat a ton of because they’re so good for you. This dish — the fact that you made it a CHILI, is just hands down awesome!

  8. #
    Bev Weidner — January 16, 2012 @ 9:24 am


  9. #
    Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels — January 16, 2012 @ 11:40 am

    Mmmm I love chili but lentil chili sounds incredible! YUM! 🙂

  10. #
    Jackie @ Domestic Fits — January 16, 2012 @ 11:54 am

    Ok, now I just want to make lentil sloppy joes 🙂 But maybe your hubs is right. Those seem to be sacred. Love this chili!

  11. #
    leslie — January 16, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

    Well I think Lentil Chili was a good choice. This sounds deliciously hearty!

  12. #
    Erin — January 16, 2012 @ 3:49 pm

    What a great idea – and way to “sneak” one by your hubby 🙂
    Looks wonderful!

  13. #
    Ramona — January 16, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

    You know I’m a lentil loving girl!! Awesome job! 🙂

  14. #
    kitchenarian — January 16, 2012 @ 6:51 pm

    This looks so delicious. I’ve only made curried lentils before. I can’t wait to try them this way. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  15. #
    Courtney — January 16, 2012 @ 7:41 pm

    looks great!! if you are ever in Topeka, you have to take your hubby to Blue Planet, best sloppy joes ever! and they are vegan.

  16. #
    Ann — January 16, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

    Ooooh, I like this one! I’m a HUGE fan of lentils and this is so beautiful and colorful! Delicious!

  17. #
    Baking Serendipity — January 16, 2012 @ 8:59 pm

    I love meals that make tons of leftovers! There’s nothing better than knowing there is dinner that just needs to be thawed and reheated on a busy day 🙂 I’ve never made anything with lentils before. My husband is a total meat and potatoes guy and I’m gradually starting to change our diet to be more vegetarian. Definitely adding this to the list of veggie meals to try!

  18. #
    Megan — January 16, 2012 @ 9:30 pm

    I love chili, but have never made it with lentils! Definitely love this idea!

  19. #
    Mercedes@Satisfy My Sweet Tooth — January 16, 2012 @ 9:36 pm

    This looks so hearty and satisfying! I have to try to convince my husband to eat meatless meals sometimes too!

  20. #
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — January 16, 2012 @ 11:33 pm

    Oooooh lentils. And I like the idea of using this for sloppy joes! Thanks Cassie… bookmarked!

  21. #
    Krissy @ Krissy's Creations — January 17, 2012 @ 1:12 am

    Husbands are so funny! No matter how good something will taste, there are just those “guy foods” that they want to keep the same – with meat. We’ll I don’t eat meat, so this version of lentil chili is right up my alley! It’s definitely on my dinner list 🙂

  22. #
    Kansas Bob — January 17, 2012 @ 8:23 am

    We did chili this weekend but not the lentil variety. 🙂

  23. #
    Shannon — January 17, 2012 @ 9:20 am

    mm I love lentils, never tried them in chili though! Great idea:)

  24. #
    Katrina {In Katrina's Kitchen. } — January 17, 2012 @ 9:41 am

    Looks so yummy!

  25. #
    amy @ fearlesshomemaker — January 17, 2012 @ 9:43 am

    looks absolutely delicious!

  26. #
    Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} — January 17, 2012 @ 9:55 am

    this is going to be on my mind until i make it!! Love it!

  27. #
    Liz — January 17, 2012 @ 10:37 am

    I made lentil soup this weekend and it went over like a lead balloon! I thought it was great…but will be eating leftovers ALL week. I know I’d get the evil eye if I mentioned lentil sloppy Joe’s…LOL. But your chili looks great! I “might” be able to pull that one off 🙂

  28. #
    DessertForTwo — January 17, 2012 @ 11:20 am

    I looooove red lentils! I usually make them with indian spices, but I love the idea to make them into a chili! This is genius! Next time I reach for the mason jar of red lentils, I’ll be making this for sure!! 🙂

  29. #
    Alexis @ There She Goes — January 17, 2012 @ 11:47 am

    i love this! i never thought to use lentils in chili, im so silly! this looks great!

  30. #
    Katie @ Epicurean Mom — January 17, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

    This is brilliant! I love lentils, like i love quinoa, and am always looking for new fun recipes! This is a keeper!!

  31. #
    marla — January 17, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

    A perfect vegetarian chili for chili nights!

  32. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — January 17, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

    GORGEOUS! And I love the red lentils in place of traditional chili fare. This is lovely!

  33. #
    Holly — January 17, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

    I just love chili. So filling and comforting!

  34. #
    beti — January 17, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

    it looks so thick and full of flavour, this are the kind of things that I love to eat on winter, perfect

  35. #
    Lauren — January 17, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

    This sounds so hearty and healthy! Add in a little cornbread and it’s a perfect dinner!

  36. #
    Anne@FromMySweetHeart — January 17, 2012 @ 8:28 pm

    Cassie…this lentil chili has such a beautiful color! It really does look rich and flavorful. And what a great alternative to the ‘same old’ chili. You are pulling me out of a chili rut with this one! And a great idea, too for the open faced sandwiches. I would definitely stick to the recipe and have enough to freeze for another time! : )

  37. #
    Julia — January 19, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

    I just bought a bag of lentils and wanted to try those sloppy joes… but I fear my husband will protest! I’ll go with this chili instead! And I’ll make the entire batch and freeze part of it for later! Love that you can do that with chili!

  38. #
    Courtney — January 21, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

    This looks so comforting, love the use of lentils!

  39. #
    Kim Bee — January 23, 2012 @ 1:56 am

    Oh my. This would really hit the spot with the cold today. We spent about 30 or 45 minutes out in the cold walking to get the horse at the back of the farm. I am sorta frozen today. lol

  40. #
    sangeeta khanna — October 17, 2012 @ 10:36 am

    Lovely recipe. I am going to make it really soon.

  41. #
    lindsay — December 13, 2012 @ 6:26 pm

    Hi! I am including this recipe in my slow cooker recipe collection here

  42. #
    Michaela — August 31, 2015 @ 11:40 am

    I love this recipe. I’m new to lentils & this is such a tasty start! I put it over quinoa!!

  43. #
    Lindsay — October 12, 2015 @ 10:04 am

    I made this overnight, but the lentils are still relatively uncooked. The flavor is very good and unique, but lentils are just crunchy. Did I miss something??

  44. #
    deepika singh — September 15, 2017 @ 1:43 pm

    wow so amazing i like the chili stuff a lot and everyone also in my house. I’ll definitely try tonight. Just make it good as like you, please God give this power that i can make it good. And everyone will like it.
    Thank you


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