Slow Cooker Two Lentil Chili
June 21, 2016

 Slow Cooker Two Lentil Chili |The Full Helping

It’s been a while since I used my slow cooker, but with the end of my summer term approaching and a lot of cooking to do, this past weekend seemed like the perfect time to step aside and let it work its magic. This hearty, flavorful two lentil chili is the result.

The recipe features both red and brown lentils, an idea that was inspired by this post from Susan and also by a recipe in Robin Robertson’s book Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker (which is a terrific resource for vegan slow cooker recipes). The idea is that the red lentils seem to melt into the chili, adding thickness to the sauce, while the brown lentils hold their shape and provide a “meaty” texture. I always have a lot of different lentils at home, and I love chili, so when I thinking about vegan slow cooker recipes on Saturday night this seemed like a good bet.

Slow Cooker Two Lentil Chili |The Full Helping

Aside from the near perfect texture and all of the smoky flavor (thanks to smoked paprika, one of my go-to seasonings), I love that this chili recipe is packed with iron, protein, and fiber. I also love how hands-off it is. Even if you don’t make it in the slow cooker (I’ve given stovetop instructions), it’s the kind of meal that you can allow to simmer while you take care of other things, and it makes a ton of food, so you can easily freeze half for future stress-free meals once it’s done cooking.

Slow Cooker Two Lentil Chili |The Full Helping

You can serve the meal over brown rice (my usual chili accompaniment) or cornbread (Steven’s favorite). But I also tried scooping a portion over baked sweet potato, and I loved eating it this way. There’s already some sweet potato in the recipe, and adding extra only heightens the dish’s sweet notes.

As far as toppings go, hot sauce, pickled jalapeños, vegan sour cream (or cashew cream), Daiya pepperjack cheese, and vegan yogurt are all great ideas. I used a bunch of chopped avocado, and I loved the contrast of creamy, cool avocado with the richly spiced chili.

Slow Cooker Two Lentil Chili |The Full Helping

Slow Cooker Two Lentil Chili

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
Yields: 8 -10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 white or yellow onion chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers finely chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper chopped
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 small sweet potato cut into small cubes (1 - 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt you can add more to taste once the chili is cooked
  • 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses optional
  • 1 28- ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (or two 14-ounce cans)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 cup brown green or pardina lentils
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth or water

Topping suggestions:

  • Avocado hot sauce, Cashew cream, vegan shredded cheese, pickled peppers, etc.!

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 8 hours. When the chili is finished, stir in a little extra water if it's too thick for your liking. Serve.
  • To prepare the chili over the stove, heat a tablespoon oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers and sauté for five minutes, till the onions are clear and soft. Add the garlic and sauté the ingredients for another two minutes, adding a tablespoon or two of water if the mixture starts to stick to the bottom of the pot. Add all remaining ingredients and bring the chili to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30-35 minutes, or until all of the lentils are tender. Serve.

Notes

Chili leftovers will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge. They can be frozen for up to 1 month.

Slow Cooker Two Lentil Chili |The Full Helping

My plan is to finish about half of the batch this week (we already had leftovers last night for dinner, and chili’s on my lunch menu today), and to freeze the rest for next week, so that we have at least one or two easy suppers before my MNT final. Can’t say I’m not very happy to make this flavorful meal stretch.

Hope you’ll give the recipe a try, and if you do, I hope you enjoy it. I’ll be back this coming Thursday with a new, summery salad that I’m loving this week!

xo

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    20 Comments
  1. The photography on your recipes is so good, I always know what the food is supposed to look like at the end of the cooking process! I’m going to try this one next. Thanks!

  2. This recipe looks amazing! Chili is definitely one of my favorite dishes and I’m always finding new ways to re-create it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Don’t know why I’ve never tried adding lentils to chilli before – but what a great idea to get that thickening texture – thanks! H

  4. I love the flavours in this recipe. Smoked paprika is also one of my fave spices, it just makes a dish pop! I really want to try this out, I’ve never actually made a slow cooker recipe but my mom has one so it is a good opportunity to try it out! 🙂

  5. This is a winner, Gena! I, too, have played with both Susan’s and Robin Robertson’s versions, and I like yours too. I am also a smoked paprika gal–I totally love it in just about everything! I really do like how the red lentils melt into this kind of chili and I bet the sweet potatoes accentuate that. Thanks for another inspiring version! xo

  6. What a great idea to pair the red and brown lentils together for this one! I always make sure to have both stocked in the pantry, but I’ve never tried them together. And thanks for reminding me to get my slow cooker out again. I actually love using it, but if often gets forgotten on a back shelf. Brown rice is always our favorite to go together with chili as well. 🙂

  7. I really love the idea to add Avocado on top. Never saw this before. I really love lentils because I am a vegetarian and I Need to find some healthy Protein Food. xoxo Janine