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Vegetarian Lentil Chili

Cooked in a rich curried bbq sauce with savory vegetables, and capped with your favorite toppings, Vegetarian Lentil Chili is healthy, delicious, and perfect for Meatless Monday. {Vegetarian, vegan option, gluten-free}

Vegetarian Lentil Chili from SoupAddict.com

Last week, I shared a tasty and oh-so-easy curried lentil stew. It’s a worthy meal all on its own, but today’s recipe was the original goal of that lentil stew: vegetarian lentil chili.

I’ve made my fair share of vegetarian chilis, but I have to say, I think this one is the cat’s meow. I {heart} lentils, and I love to use my favorite lentil, the black beluga lentil, for dishes like one.

Vegetarian Lentil Chili from SoupAddict.com

Black lentils cook up firm, but tender, and they’re the perfect texture for recipes like vegetarian lentil chili.

With smoky notes and the savory yumminess of a curry spice blend, this full-flavored chili is muy delicioso, and super healthy to boot! The secret to getting a meat-eatin’ fam to enjoy meatless meals without complaints (and without quite realizing it’s meatless 😉 ) is to make sure it’s filling and extra tasty, with no unfamiliar textures. This lentil chili covers all the bases!

Vegetarian Lentil Chili from SoupAddict.com

It’s Lenten season (no pun!), and vegetarian lentil chili is the perfect family friendly dish that will please even the most die-hard carnivore.

And — shhhhhh — don’t tell anyone, but the core lentil chili recipe is actually vegan, too! If you adhere to a vegan lifestyle, just make sure you choose vegan toppings, such as green onions, tortilla strips, and dairy-free versions of sour cream and cheese.

Karen xo

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Vegetarian Lentil Chili. Recipe at SoupAddict.com | lentils | chili | vegetarian | vegan | food in bowls
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Vegetarian Lentil Chili

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 4 generous servings
Author: Karen Gibson

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus a little extra
  • 1 medium red onion diced
  • 4 strips of vegetarian bacon chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper diced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons mild curry powder
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/3 cups black beluga lentils or French Du Puy lentils, picked over for stones or debris
  • 6 cups very hot water keep it simmering on low in a small pot on the stove
  • 10 ounce can Rotel tomatoes
  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

suggested toppings

  • green onions sliced
  • cilantro minced
  • sour cream
  • grated cheese
  • tortilla strips

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat, until shimmering. Saute the onions in the oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetarian bacon, and saute until crispy.
  • Scootch the onions to one side, and add a quick pour of extra virgin olive oil to the cleared spot. Spoon the tomato paste, curry powder, and paprika over the oil, and stir until very fragrant (just 30 seconds or so).
  • Mix the spice paste into the onions. Add the lentils, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and then add two ladles of the hot water, stirring well. Let the lentils absorb most of the water, and add two more ladles of water, stirring well. Repeat, until the lentils are tender, but not mushy (i.e., they should be al dente). The stew should be slightly saucy, but not at all soupy (about 20 minutes).
  • Pour in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, BBQ sauce, and mustard. Bring to a gentle simmer. Taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Ladle into bowls and serve with your favorite toppings.
Nutritional information, if shown, is provided as a courtesy only, and is not to be taken as medical information or advice. The nutritional values of your preparation of this recipe are impacted by several factors, including, but not limited to, the ingredient brands you use, any substitutions or measurement changes you make, and measuring accuracy.

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Vegetarian Lentil Chili - hands-down, my favorite vegetarian chili, ever. Lentils cooked in a rich curried bbq sauce with savory vegetables, capped with your favorite toppings. Healthy and delicious. Recipe at SoupAddict.com | lentils | chili | vegetarian | vegan | food in bowlsVegetarian Lentil Chili - hands-down, my favorite vegetarian chili, ever. Lentils cooked in a rich curried bbq sauce with savory vegetables, capped with your favorite toppings. Healthy and delicious. Recipe at SoupAddict.com | lentils | chili | vegetarian | vegan | food in bowls

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