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Vegan Lentil Chili

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Looking for a hearty, stick to your ribs, vegan soup? Well, this vegan lentil chili is just what you need! Made with lots of veggies, beans, and of course green lentils. This soup is perfect for cold winter days!

Vegan Lentil Chili being scooped out of a dutch oven soup pot.

I know, another lentil recipe.

However, bear with me because lentils are totally delicious and a great source of protein. Even if you’re a meat-lover you can love this hearty chili!

I have been in deep love with lentils ever since I spent a summer in London and LIVED off this Lentil Couscous Goat Cheese Salad that I would buy daily from M&S. I came home and immediately made a copycat.

But, since it’s winter I wanted to use my lentils but in a warm hearty way.

So, that is how this delicious recipe was born.

Filled with rich spices, fire-roasted tomatoes, beans, and of course green lentils.

This soup is super hearty and perfect for cold winter nights.

uncooked ingredients to make Vegan Lentil Chili.

Ingredients for vegan lentil chili

  • Olive oil – This helps saute the onion but you can use whatever cooking oil is your favorite. I often use avocado oil in place of olive oil.
  • Yellow onion – Onions help add flavor and body to the chili. Plus it’s a classic chili addition. If you don’t have any yellow onion on hand you can use red onion, sweet onion, or even shallots in its place.
  • Green bell pepper – Green bell pepper adds color and flavor to this chili. You can use any color bell pepper you have on hand. If you’re looking to add a little heat why not add in a little chopped jalapeno?
  • Garlic – I can’t make a soup without adding in a little garlic! If you don’t have any fresh garlic on hand you can substitute 1-2 teaspoons of dried granulated garlic in its place.
  • Tomato paste – This helps bring in some acid and flavor to the chili. Since we are using such a small amount of tomato paste I like to use the squeeze tube kind of tomato paste.
  • Vegetable stock – I like the use vegetable stock because it adds even more flavor to the chili. However, if you don’t have any stock or broth on hand feel free to use water.
  • Fire roasted diced tomatoes – I love the addition of fire roasted tomatoes because it adds a deep and delicious flavor. However, normal diced tomatoes work well here too.
  • Green lentils – I like using green lentils for this chili because they hold up well to cooking and don’t necessarily go mushy super fast. However, if you substitute red lentils in it’s place know they will break down a bit more than green lentils.
  • Spices – I used a mix of traditional chili spices but feel free to use what you have on hand. A really easy and fast substitution is buying a pack of taco seasoning and adding that instead of a bunch of different spices. You’ll get the same flavor profile.
  • Beans – I used red kidney bean and great northern beans but you can really use whatever beans you have on hand and that oyu like. I think chickpeas would be a great addition too.
A ladle of Vegan Lentil Chili being taking out of a soup pot.

What should I top lentil chili with?

I like to serve my chili with a sprinkling of cilantro and chopped jalapenos but there are so many options depending on what you like, what you have on hand, and whether or not you’re looking to keep it vegan or just vegetarian.

Keeping it vegan:

  • Freshly minced cilantro
  • Squeeze of lime
  • Sliced green onions
  • Chopped or sliced jalapeno
  • Vegan sour cream or plain yogurt

Keeping it vegetarian:

  • Sour cream
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Plain Greek yogurt
Vegan Lentil Chili in a large white dutch oven.

What do I store leftover chili?

I keep my leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To reheat I either pop it in the microwave or put it in a pot, add a splash of extra vegetable stock (or water) and reheat over medium heat until warmed.

Can I freeze lentil chili?


In fact, it freezes really well! I store it in a plastic container for up to 3 months.

To defrost I place it in the fridge and let it defrost slowly overnight.

A dutch oven with Vegan Lentil Chili in it.

Love this vegan lentil chili?

Why not try a few of my other delicious soup recipes?

Vegan Lentil Chili

Vegan Lentil Chili

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Looking for a hearty, stick to your ribs, vegan soup? Well, this vegan lentil chili is just what you need! Made with lots of veggies, beans, and of course green lentils. This soup is perfect for cold winter days!


  • 1 tablespono olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1-1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 (15 ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup green lentils
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can great northern beans, drained and rinsed


  1. Add a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add the olive oil and heat until it becomes hot, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. 
  4. Add bell pepper, garlic, and tomato paste. Stir and cook for an additional minute. 
  5. Next, add the vegetable stock and stir until the tomato paste has dissolved.
  6. Add the diced tomatoes, lentils, chili powder, cumin, salt, paprika, oregano, and red pepper flakes. 
  7. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. If your soup begins to look too dry, feel free to add more vegetable stock or water as needed. 
  8. Add the red kidney beans and great northern beans. Simmer for another 15 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. 
  9. Serve with your favorite toppings and store any leftover chili in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. 

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 285Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1134mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 14gSugar: 7gProtein: 17g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

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Vegan Lentil Chili pin for pinterest.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burrito Bowls - Nutmeg Nanny

Thursday 6th of October 2022

[…] Is chili calling your name? Try my Vegan Lentil Chili. […]

Shadi Hasanzadenemati

Monday 31st of January 2022

Oh wow, this looks so delicious. My family is going to devour it!

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