Black and Red Lentil Chili

Ketogenic Recipes: Lentil con Chili

Lentil con Chili embodies the essence of fusion cuisine, melding the hearty, comforting textures of lentils with the bold, vibrant flavors characteristic of chili. This dish serves not only as a testament to culinary creativity but also as a beacon of nutritional excellence, bridging diverse culinary traditions with a commitment to healthful eating.

At its core, Lentil con Chili is a celebration of blending culinary practices—it takes inspiration from the traditional chili con carne of Tex-Mex cuisine and adapts it by replacing meat with lentils, a staple ingredient in vegetarian and vegan diets worldwide. This substitution not only makes the dish more accessible to those following plant-based lifestyles but also respects the environmental and ethical considerations increasingly driving contemporary dietary choices.

Lentil con Chili Recipe

Black and Red Lentil Chili

Lentil con Chili

The summary about Lentil con Chili highlights its role as a fusion dish that marries the hearty textures of lentils with the vibrant flavors of chili, making it a stellar example of culinary creativity and nutritional excellence. As a plant-based adaptation of the traditional chili con carne, it stands out for its inclusivity, catering to vegetarian and vegan diets while aligning with environmental and ethical food choices. Lentils, being the main ingredient, are celebrated for their rich protein content, dietary fiber, and essential minerals which support digestive health and sustained energy levels. This dish is not only a nutritional powerhouse, combating inflammation and chronic disease with its combination of antioxidants-rich vegetables and spices but also showcases culinary versatility. Lentil con Chili can be customized to taste preferences and dietary requirements, allowing for a range of spice levels and additional ingredients. It's suited for various occasions, from family dinners to potlucks, and can be enjoyed any time of the year. In essence, Lentil con Chili exemplifies the intersection of taste, health, and sustainability, serving as a delicious reminder of food's power to unite and nourish in every sense.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine French
Servings 2 people
Calories 483 kcal


  • 1 blender
  • 1 pressure cooker


  • 2 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Chili powder
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. Parsley flakes
  • 1 Chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp. Oregano
  • 3 Minced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 c. Chopped dates
  • 2 Chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 c. Tomato paste
  • 1 c. Diced tomatoes
  • 2 c. Red lentils
  • 3 c. Water


  • For this recipe to get started, place the dates, red bell pepper, tomatoes, and garlic inside the blender. Add in some water and then blend all of this together to make it smooth.
  • Take your lentils and rinse them off to clean them before draining well. Place the lentils into the pot of the pressure cooker before adding in the paprika, chipotle powder, chili powder, red pepper flakes, parsley, oregano, red wine vinegar, onion, and tomato paste.
  • Add in the blended tomatoes and stir all of this to combine well. Seal up the lid of the pressure cooker and bring this to the highest pressure before cooking the ingredients 15 minutes together.
  • When this cooking time is all done, you need to let the pressure have some time to release before serving.
Keyword Chili powder, Lentil, tomatoes

Cooking Tips about Lentil con Chili

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  • Choosing Lentils: Opt for brown or green lentils as they hold their shape well after cooking, providing a satisfying texture that complements the rich sauce of the chili. Remember to rinse them thoroughly before use to remove any dust or debris.
  • Sautéing the Base: Begin by sautéing onions, garlic, and if you like, bell peppers, in olive oil until softened. This forms a flavorful foundation for your Lentil con Chili. For a deeper flavor, you can also add diced carrots or celery at this stage.
  • Spice it Right: The essence of a great chili lies in its spice blend. Common spices include chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and coriander. Start with moderate amounts and adjust according to taste. Adding a small piece of dark chocolate or a spoonful of cocoa powder can introduce a depth of flavor and a subtle richness to the dish.
  • Tomato Base: Use high-quality canned tomatoes for a rich and robust base. Crushed tomatoes work well, but whole peeled tomatoes gently broken apart add texture. A bit of tomato paste can be added for thickness and concentrated tomato flavor.
  • Cooking Lentils: Add the rinsed lentils directly into the pot along with the tomato base and enough vegetable broth to cover. Simmer until the lentils are tender but not mushy, typically around 25-30 minutes. Ensure the pot is partially covered to prevent the liquid from evaporating too quickly, adjusting with additional broth as needed.
  • Adjust Consistency: Depending on your preference for a thinner or thicker chili, adjust the consistency with additional broth or allow it to simmer uncovered to reduce and thicken.
  • Season to Taste: Towards the end of cooking, season your Lentil con Chili with salt and pepper. A splash of lime juice or a dash of vinegar can brighten the flavors, while a sprinkle of sugar or a touch of maple syrup can balance the acidity from the tomatoes.
  • Add Greens: For an extra nutritional boost, consider stirring in a handful of chopped kale or spinach a few minutes before serving. The greens will wilt nicely into the chili, adding color and nutrients.

Serving suggestions about Lentil con Chili

Lentil Chili - Food with Feeling

  • Build Your Own Chili Bowl: Set up a chili bar with bowls of Lentil con Chili and an array of toppings like shredded cheese (or a vegan alternative), sour cream, chopped green onions, diced avocados, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and tortilla chips. This allows guests to customize their bowls to their liking.
  • Cornbread on the Side: Serve warm slices of buttery cornbread or a vegan cornbread alternative alongside your Lentil con Chili. The sweetness of the cornbread complements the savory, spicy flavors of the chili perfectly.
  • Rice or Quinoa Base: Offer a base of fluffy cooked rice or quinoa in each bowl before ladling the Lentil con Chili over it. These grains add a lovely texture contrast and make the meal even more filling and satisfying.
  • Fresh Salad: Pair your Lentil con Chili with a crisp, fresh salad to add a light and refreshing element to the meal. A simple lettuce, cucumber, and tomato salad with a lime vinaigrette works wonderfully.
  • Loaded Baked Potatoes: For a heartier serving option, spoon the Lentil con Chili over baked potatoes. The creamy texture of the potatoes with the hearty chili makes for a comforting and filling meal. You can also include toppings like cheese, sour cream, and chives for extra flavor.
  • Chili Stuffed Peppers: Hollow out bell peppers and fill them with Lentil con Chili, then bake until the peppers are tender. Top with cheese during the last few minutes of baking for a delicious, presentable dish.
  • Nachos Grande: Spread tortilla chips on a large platter, and spoon hot Lentil con Chili over them. Add generous amounts of shredded cheese, and broil briefly to melt the cheese. Finish with toppings like jalapeños, diced tomatoes, and sliced olives for a festive dish ideal for sharing.
  • Soup and Sandwich: Serve a smaller portion of Lentil con Chili as a soup alongside a grilled cheese sandwich or a quesadilla. It’s a twist on the classic soup-sandwich combo that is sure to please.

Top 5 FAQs about Lentil con Chili

Vegan Red Lentil Chili (Crockpot Recipe)

  • What type of lentils work best for Lentil con Chili? For Lentil con Chili, it’s recommended to use brown or green lentils because they maintain their shape well after cooking, which provides a satisfying texture to complement the chili’s rich sauce. Ensure you rinse them thoroughly before using to remove any impurities.
  • Can I make Lentil con Chili in a slow cooker? Yes, Lentil con Chili adapts beautifully to slow cooker preparation. Combine all ingredients in your slow cooker, ensuring there’s enough liquid to cover, and cook on low for about 6-8 hours or until the lentils are tender. This method helps the flavors meld together wonderfully.
  • How can I adjust the spiciness of the dish to suit different preferences? The spiciness in Lentil con Chili can easily be adjusted by altering the amount of chili powder or adding diced jalapeños for extra heat. Start with a small amount of spice and gradually increase it according to taste. Remember, it’s easier to add more spice than to take it away.
  • What are some suggested toppings for Lentil con Chili? Lentil con Chili shines with the addition of various garnishes. Some popular options include chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocados, shredded cheese (or a dairy-free alternative), sour cream, lime wedges, and tortilla chips. These toppings add extra layers of flavor, texture, and freshness to the dish.
  • How long does Lentil con Chili keep, and what’s the best way to store leftovers? Leftover Lentil con Chili can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, making it a great make-ahead meal. It also freezes well for up to 3 months. Ensure it cools to room temperature before storing, and consider portioning it out for easy future meals. Gently reheat on the stove or in the microwave, adding a little water or broth if it’s too thick.

The story of Lentil con Chili is one that beautifully illustrates the intersection of tradition, nutrition, and innovation within the culinary arts. As a dish that bridges diverse culinary landscapes, it embraces the hearty and familiar comfort of chili while introducing the nutritional powerhouse that is lentils. This fusion not only signifies a nod to inclusivity, catering to a broader range of dietary preferences and ethical considerations, but also highlights a conscious turn towards more sustainable eating practices.


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