A few things to know about this delicious spicy lentil chili recipe:

I use a bag of lentils that are already cooked. (Trader Joe’s has them in the refrigerated section next to the bags of lettuce.)

I steam, peel and chop my own tomatoes. (I try to avoid things that come in a can.)

You can use any bell pepper of your choice (I use red and green, and sometimes yellow too if I have it available.)

vegetarian lentil chili

You’re welcome to substitute cayenne pepper if you don’t have chili powder.

This recipe is 100% vegan. My favorite vegans toppings are Tofutti non-dairy sour cream and vegan cheddar.

lentil chili

Spicy Lentil Chili
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free
  • 2 cups lentils
  • 10 tomatoes (or 4 cups diced tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp jalapeno, diced
  • Chili powder, garlic powder, sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional toppings: vegan cheddar, scallions, green bell pepper, Tofutti non-dairy sour cream, Greek yogurt (if non-vegan)
  1. If using fresh tomatoes, pour 3 tablespoons water into pot over medium heat.
  2. Add tomatoes, cover pot, and steam for 3-5 minutes until skin has split and a ring has formed around the top of the tomatoes.
  3. Peel skin, remove seeds and discard.
  4. Dice tomatoes into chunks.
  5. Add tomatoes, lentils, onion, bell pepper and jalapenos to pot.
  6. Season with chili powder, garlic powder, sea salt and pepper.
  7. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Before you simmer the chili, there will be more liquid, giving it a soupy texture. After it has simmered, most of the liquid will have evaporated.)
  8. Remove chili from heat and top with desired toppings.


I also love to pair this soup with a burrito bowl salad!


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