A super simple dump and go Crock Pot Lentil Chili that is thick and hearty. Veggie packed and prepped in about 10 minutes. Slow cooked for ultimate flavor and spice. A cozy and filling meal and perfect with all your favorite toppings!
I am a big fan of vegetarian chilis, and honestly chili in general. My Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili is on repeat all the time in the cold months, but sometimes I don't have it in me to chop up all the sweet potatoes. So I opt for this simple crock pot Lentil Chili instead.
If you love this lentil chili as much as we do, check out this Butternut Squash Chili as well.
Why you will love this lentil chili:
- It requires very little chopping to prep.
- It is packed with veggies and lots of goodness.
- This lentil chili is hearty and filling without the meat.
- Dump all the ingredients and walk away--easy as can be!
Ingredients and Substitutions:
- lentils: Dry lentils are the preference in this recipe. Green lentils will be a bit more on the chewy side if that is what you prefer. Brown or red lentils will come out softer.
- bell peppers: I use red and green, but whatever you have on hand is great as well.
- onion: red onion is what I typically use.
- tomato sauce: not to be mistaken for marinara or pasta sauce. It is this tomato sauce, the canned form.
- tomatoes: diced tomatoes, I like to use the unsalted kind
- tomato paste: This will allow you to adjust the thickness of the of the lentil chili.
- kidney beans: dark or light are fine. Pinto beans are a great swap if you don't have any.
- spices: cumin, chili powder, paprika, oregano are the main spices. You can use smoked paprika
- garlic: freshly minced for. the best flavor, garlic powder will sub well if needed.
How to make this slow cooker lentil chili:
There really is not much beyond dumping everything into the crock pot and walking away.
Combine everything aside from the tomato paste. Wait until about 30 minutes before serving and stir in the tomato paste. Adjust to the thickness you desire.
Notes and Tips:
- Keep some extra broth on hand when making this lentil chili. If your chili thickens too quickly or if the lentils absorb too much of it, just add in some extra broth about ¼ cup at a time. Everyone has their chili thickness preference, adjust to yours.
- You can use any dry lentils. Green will have a bit more chew to them and cook up al dente. If you don't want the extra chewiness, use red or brown lentils.
- This chili will freeze well. You can put it in individual servings in freezer safe containers and heat up on their own. A larger container will work as well. The chili will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Other Chili Recipes:
Easy Crock Pot Lentil Chili
- ½ c onion diced
- 1 red pepper diced
- 1 green pepper diced
- 1 ¼ c dried lentils rinsed
- 1 can or 2 cups kidney beans precooked and rinsed
- 1 can or 2 cups diced tomatoes
- 2 cans tomato sauce (15 oz.)
- 1 c vegetable broth
- 2 T tomato paste
- 1 T chili powder
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika I prefer smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 2 - 3 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon cracked pepper
- Add all ingredients except for the tomato paste into slow cooker. I often start with 1 ½ of the tomato sauce cans and then add more if desired in the end.
- Cover and set to high heat for 4-6 hours or until lentils are tender or on high heat for about 6 hours.
- About 15-30 minutes before serving, add in the tomato paste. This will thicken the chili. If it becomes too thick, add more broth to balance.
- Serve with your favorite chili toppings!