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Smokey Lentil Chili

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

Green lentils are perfect for making a hearty vegan version of chili. They're hearty flavor and texture is so satisfying that you don't even think about meat. I love using chipotle powder because it gives everything a super smokey slow cooked flavor and aroma. You could easily throw all the ingredients into a slow cooker or instant pot but I decided to use my dutch oven to make this. I don't mind the long cooking process especially since we're pretty much stuck at home now.

Cook Time: 90 Minutes

Serves About 6


  • 1 medium yellow onion diced

  • 1/2 green bell pepper diced

  • 1 can of kidney beans drained

  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (I love using fire roasted tomatoes)

  • 1 cup of dry green lentils

  • 1 small can of tomato paste. This is not the time to use the tomato paste in a tube. You need the stuff in the can to help the chili thicken.

  • 1/2 cup of green chilis (optional)

  • 1-1/2 tbs of chili powder

  • 1-1/2 tsp of chipotle powder

  • 1/2 tsp of coriander powder

  • 1/2 tsp of cumin

  • 1 tsp of garlic powder

  • 2 tsp of onion powder

  • 1/2 tsp of dry oregano

  • 2 fresh thyme leaf sprigs

  • 4 tbs of extra virgin olive oil

  • 5 cups of vegetable stock

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 2 tbs of sugar

  • 1 tsp of salt

  • pinch of cayenne

  • pepper to taste

Good Lawd! That seems like a lot of ingredients. Luckily, they are all staples at my house!


  1. Place a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat and add in the onion, thyme sprigs, bell pepper and garlic. Cook for 5-6 minutes while stirring occasionally.

  2. Add in the green chilis, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, spices including the salt and stir.

  3. Add in the green lentils and carefully pour in the vegetable stock while stirring.

  4. Now stir in the tomato paste.

  5. Bring the pot up to a boil while stirring for about 4-5 minutes.

  6. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover with a lid.

  7. Cook for about 30 minutes while stirring occasionally.

  8. Then reduce the heat to low and just let the chili hang out for another 20 30 minutes.

I used the Whole foods 365 Plant Based brand cheddar shreds and lots of fresh green onion.

I never liked sour cream and the vegan versions typically have soy in them so I just used a little Kite Hill Chive Cream Cheese mixed with a little Kite Hill plain vegan yogurt instead!


Some of the ingredients I used:

Think you'll try this recipe? If you do, leave a comment below or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram and on Facebook and let me know what you think. I love seeing your recreations of my recipes.

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Hey I'm Shantelle!


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