This meatless Lentil Chili makes a delicious alternative to traditional chili and is sure to impress! Add shredded cheddar and a spoonfull of sour cream to top it off!  This recipe includes a secret ingredient, scroll down to the bottom of this recipe to see the secret ingredient.

Lentil Chili

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time5 hours
Total Time5 hours 15 minutes
Course: Main Dish, Soups and Stews
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Keyword: Fiber, Vegan
Cooking Method: Slow Cooker
Condition: Cancer, Dairy Free, Diabetes, Gluten Free, Nut Free, PCOS, Vegetarian
Servings: 8


  • 1 16 oz bag lentils
  • 2 bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 large carrot
  • 4 garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 28 oz can canned tomatoes diced, no salt added
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3-1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • 2-3 tsp salt
  • 1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 15 oz can black beans low sodium
  • 1 15 oz can kidney beans low sodium
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter


  • Combine all ingredients except peanut butter in slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours.
  • Add peanut butter, stir to combine, and cook for an additional 1 hour.

Kaitlin Williams Eckstein, MPH, RD, LD never fails to disappoint.  This lentil chili recipe is amazing, definitely one to add to my regular dinner rotation!

This EASY lentil chili recipe was prepared by our dietitian’s in our nutrition counseling office.

YouTube video

Lentils are such an excellent protein source and can be used in many recipes including some of our favorites:

Why use lentils? It is a great way to mimic the texture of meat if you are trying to eat less meat and add more vegetarian and vegan foods into your diet. 

Is a vegetarian or vegan diet right for you?

There are a number of questions out there in regards to going vegan or vegetarian. For example, I have heard this question several times, “can I be a healthy vegetarian?.” To answer this question– if done right, you most certainly can! There are pros and cons to each different kind of vegetarianism and we’re here to address them and also educate on the nutritional differences between each diet.

An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.