The Best Lentil Chili Ever (Slow Cooker)

I’m serious, this is the best lentil chili I’ve ever tasted and trust me, that means something because I’ve made a ton in my day. Both kids love it too, especially as leftover burgers! This would be great as a taco or burrito filling, nachos or anything with a Mexican flair! Plus it’s super easy to make and who doesn’t love that!

Best Lentil Chili Ever

Best Lentil Chili Ever

The original recipe is from the cookbook “Fresh From The Vegan Slow-Cooker“. I’ve made a few things from this book and loved them all.

Best Lentil Chili Ever!

Ingredients:

  • * Water/broth for sautéing
  • * 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • * 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • * 1 or 2 jalapeños, seeded and minced (I omitted this for the kid’s sake)
  • * 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped (any color – I usually use a fresh red one but I used a jarred roasted red pepper last time and it was GOOD!)
  • * 3 Tbsp chili powder (Yes, 3)
  • * 1 tsp dried oregano
  • * 1 tsp ground cumin
  • * 1 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed and picked over (I’ve been using the sprouted lentil/bean mix from Costco)
  • * 1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • * 1 (29oz) can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • * 1 Tbsp coconut aminos (or tamari or shoyu)
  • * 1 tsp sugar (optional but gives it a different flavor)
  • * 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • * Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • * 4 cups water

Directions:

  1. Water sauté onions in a skillet over high heat.  Add onions, garlic, chilies and bell pepper and sauté for about 4 minutes or until soft. Add the chili powder, oregano and cumin and saute for 30 seconds longer.
  2. Transfer the onion mixture to the slow cooker/crockpot. Add both lentils, tomatoes, soy sauce, sugar and cocoa. Stir in the water, cover and cook on LOW until the lentils and veggies are tender, about 6 to 8 hours. (Mine took closer to 6 since I used the sprouted and red lentils) DO NOT ADD SALT YET! Salt tends to toughen/harden the lentils.
  3. Once it’s done, add salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Serve hot with your favorite chili toppings!
Saute onion, garlic and peppers. Add in spices and saute a minute more then throw that and the rest of the ingredients into the crockpot.

Saute onion, garlic and peppers. Add in spices and saute a minute more then throw that and the rest of the ingredients into the crockpot.

Done!

5-6 hours later… Done!

It's so easy and SO GOOD!

It’s so easy and SO GOOD!

Cash likes it!

Cash likes it!

Ava likes it too! SOLD!!

Ava likes it too! SOLD!!

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  1. Looks really delicious!

  2. Susan Reply

    This sounds great! We love chili, and I love easy recipes. :)

  3. kirsten Reply

    i want to make this!! in what section of Costco are you finding the brown lenti/bean mix at costco? and do you know if its gf? thanks for your help!! :)

    • It’s by the quinoa and rice, in a purple bag. Yes, it’s gluten-free! :-)

  4. A hit! This chili is filling and satisfying. I made it according to the recipe, even including oregano, which I don’t like. Nevertheless, it was fantastic. Serve with avocado to add creaminess.

  5. Jody Reply

    My husband won’t eat chili because of the beans – I may try this on him since I have no idea if that includes lentils!

  6. Susanne Reply

    I took your suggestion and made burgers out of the leftovers. I added oats, ground flax meal and quinoa, made burgers, and baked them on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet, about 15 minutes on each side at 375. My husband and I ate them with homemade sauerkraut, bbq sauce and dijon mustard. Boy were they good! Thanks for the tip!

    • Sounds delish!! I love the burger idea, it’s originally from Melomeals blog!!

  7. Margy Reply

    Just put this together for tonight. Smells delicious!

  8. Jessica Reply

    Trying this for the first time today and while I was writing out the recipe I noticed when you mention adding the garlic and bell pepper, you wrote “and SAUCE” and I was confused. I think you meant “and SAUTE”. Am I correct? Also, if I only use brown lentils, will it still be good?

    • Yes, oops! I’m always in a hurry, thanks for pointing that out! Should still be good!

  9. Annie Reply

    How many people does this serve?

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  12. Thank you for the recipe! Have you ever cooked it on high?

    • I have not because my crockpot is a beast!!! ;-)

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  14. Hi,

    I’m trying your recipe for the first time today. The photo looks like there are kidney beans in the chili but I don’t notice it in the recipe. Do you add kidney beans?

    Thanks so much,
    Cyndi

    • Hi Cyndi!
      I used a sprouted mix from Costco that has a variety of beans in it but you can just use lentils. :-)

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