I don’t think I really discovered a taste for lentils until I moved back to Texas and acquired a Moosewood Cookbook—a gift from my vegetarian sister. There are a wealth of lentil-based recipes in there, and I found that I enjoyed them baked, pureed, sautéed—just about any way but raw. I came across a recipe– a contest entry by Jo Irvine of Utah — for a large batch of lentil chili and knew I’d make it during our first cold snap. This recipe makes about 10 cups of chili. If you have a soup swap on your horizon, or need to bring someone a meal, this could be your recipe. There is very little prep involved, and everyone in our house, at least, gives it a thumbs up. It easily adapts to become a vegan chili.
Vegetarian Lentil Chili
Great for: big-batch meals
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
4 14.5-oz cans dices tomatoes
1 15-oz cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 12-oz package frozen chopped peppers and 1 12-oz package frozen chopped onions
(My store doesn’t have this so I subbed the same weight in bags of combined frozen peppers and onions and chopped them further)
2C dry red lentils, rinsed and drained
(I reduced this to 2T, then added back 1T after it was done so it wouldn’t be too spicy for the kids. It wasn’t)
2T garlic powder
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 6-oz can tomato sauce
1/8t black pepper
2C shredded Cheddar or Mexican Cheese (4 oz)—or remove it to make it a Vegan meal
- In an 8-qt Dutch oven, combine undrained tomatoes, rinsed and drained beans, 3C water, peppers, onions, dry lentils, chili powder, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil; reduce heat; simmer, covered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in tomato sauce and paste, and black pepper; heat through.
Serve with shredded cheese and tortilla chips (optional).
Store leftovers, covered, in refrigerator up to 3 days or divide into freezer containers and freeze for up to 3 months.