Lentil chili is the ultimate comfort food. Simmers on the stove top for a thick, flavorful, and healthy chili. Loaded with ground beef, seasonings, and lentil in a hearty tomato broth. Top with your cheese, avocado, tortilla chips for the best bowl of chili ever.
It’s finally getting cold here in Maryland! We’ve lived here for about 6 years and the one thing that I miss the most (we moved here from Utah) are the 4 seasons. Maryland has two seasons; a bitter cold winter or a hot, humid, gross summer. That’s it. Which really stinks because I LOVE spring and fall.
Now that it is finally cold all I want is soup and chili. If my husband and kids would let me do it, I could seriously make and eat soup every single night and never get tired of it. I seem to be the only soup enthusiast in my family…. which is kind of sad because I love it so much.
I love any and all variations of chili. Like this texas taco chili, or this white bean turkey chili, or two of my all-time favorites are this creamy white chicken chili (it’s in serious need of a new picture!) and my version of classic chili.
This lentil version simmers on the stove top in one pot. You will need a pot with a lid for this recipe. The longer it simmers, covered, the thicker and more flavorful it gets. More simmering time equals more time for the flavors to come together. It also makes for great leftovers. The chili gets thicker as it sits in the fridge so you can always add a little bit of water to thin it out slightly, or while you are heating up it will get slightly thinner.
Serve plain straight from the pot or top with all of your favorites. We love avocado slices, shredded cheese, and crushed up tortilla chips. It’s also fun to buy the tortilla chip scoop chips and dip it into the chili.
For an extra burst of flavor add some chopped cilantro or if you like more spice, add some chopped jalapenos or add cayenne pepper to the chili.
We don’t eat lentils a lot, not sure why, but every time I eat them I’m reminded how much I love them. They are hearty, filling, and remind me of beans but in a much smaller shape. They really are delicious.
If you’re not familiar with lentils, you can find them by the other dried beans at the grocery store. To prepare them, just dump them in a colander and let the water run over them for about 1 minute. Drain and swish it around with your hand to make sure the lentils are cleaned. Pick out any obvious bad ones and then add the rest into the soup pot.
Serves 8 adult servings
Lentil chili is the ultimate comfort food. Simmers on the stove top for a thick, flavorful, and healthy chili. Loaded with ground beef, seasonings, and lentil in a hearty tomato broth. Top with your cheese, avocado, tortilla chips for the best bowl of chili ever
20 minPrep Time
40 minCook Time
1 hrTotal Time
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 yellow or white onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
- 1 box (32 oz) chicken broth, or 4 cups
- 1 1/2 cups brown lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped small
- 1 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried ground oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- In a large soup pot cook ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat breaking up the meat into small pieces as it cooks. Drain excess grease.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, lentils, green bell pepper, chili powder, brown sugar, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer (medium low heat).
- Cook for 30-40 minutes until the lentils are tender, stirring occasionally and checking on the chili to make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom.
- Add additional broth, if desired, to thin out the chili (I don't add additional).
- Add additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Serve with your preferred chili toppings.
You can use low-sodium chicken broth or the regular, full-salt. Keep in mind, if you use low-sodium you may have to add additional salt. The meat and the lentils need salt so they taste like something. I have uses the regular chicken broth each time I've made this.
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