This vegetarian lentil chili is hearty, aromatic, and delicious.  A big bowl topped with lots of green onions and a dollop of sour cream is comfort food made easy.  

Vegetarian Lentil Chili

I’m all about easy weekday recipes.  Why?  Because I just don’t have the time and energy to create/cook complex dishes, especially after a full day of work.  And by easy I mean meals that require minimal ingredients and are ready in under 30-45 minutes ish.

When I first told Vishnu that lentil chili was on this week’s menu, his reaction was less than enthusiastic.  He’s not a fan of non-Indian lentil dishes, but because this recipe fits my weekday meal criteria, I ignored him and decided to make it anyways.

I’m so glad I did because not only did I find this chili to be absolutely delicious but so did Vishnu!  He gobbled it up (two nights in a row!) without a single complaint about the star ingredient.

Before I share the recipe, I just want to say that this chili is SO easy to make it’s stupid.  I will say that I had to restrain myself from adding more veggies and spices.  If you find yourself questioning this recipe, don’t.  It’s perfection stems from it’s simplicity!

And PLEASE don’t omit the sour cream and green onions!  They add so much to the flavor profile.  Trust me!

Vegetarian lentil chili

Lentil Chili
Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup dried green lentils, sorted and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes, pureed
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped green onions
sour cream to taste

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Add garlic and saute for 1-2 more minutes.  Add chili powder, ground cumin, dried oregano, and cayenne pepper.  Stir together until combined.  Add 4 cups of vegetable broth, lentils, and tomato puree.  Increase heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium until lentils are tender.  Stir in 1/4 cup of green onions.  Season chili with salt and pepper.  Before serving, top with more green onions and sour cream.  Enjoy!

Are you a fan of chili?  What are your favorite toppings?

By Parita

7 thoughts on “Vegetarian Lentil Chili”
  1. OMG, this is stupid easy! Will have to add this into my rotation. I LOVE chili. The recipe I have on my blog is my staple usually a few times a year (mostly when cooler weather starts up again…so soon for us in the Midwest!). I actually made a lentil chili as well which was a combination of my recipe and my best friends recipe, so it was kind of cool (and tasty!). My favorite toppings are Greek yogurt, green onion and cilantro!
    Aparna B. recently posted…What A Week!My Profile

  2. Okay…so I’m semi-vegetarian, and I only eat chicken occasionally. I’ve never tried regular chili with meat so I don’t know what it’s supposed to taste like, but I just made this for dinner and I LOVE it! It’s super easy to make, and tastes great! The only step I added was to soak the lentils beforehand for a couple hours since I had the time and that way they cook super fast! Great way to get meatless protein into your meal with the lentils.
    Thanks Parita for sharing this recipe! I can’t wait until fall/winter when it will be such a comfort meal on those cold dreary days!

    1. Hi Bina! First of all, I’m so sorry for my delayed response. Second, I’m so glad you loved the chili! It’s a favorite of ours now! And great tip about soaking the lentils. Will def. have to do that next time.

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