Kalyn's Kitchen

Vegan Lentil Chili

This Vegan Lentil Chili has brown and red lentils, roasted red peppers, and olives and it’s loaded with flavor. And this delicious meatless lentil chili is also gluten-free. 

Pin Vegan Lentil Chili to try it later!

Vegan Lentil Chili with Roasted Red Peppers, Olives, and Green Onion found on KalynsKitchen.com

This Vegan Lentil Chili was so flavorful that I think it’s a perfect meatless dinner, even for people who aren’t vegans. And the chili is loaded with healthy and flavorful ingredients to make it a wonderful combination of flavors. 

I couldn’t resist adding some red lentils along with the regular brown lentils this recipe started out with. I also added roasted red peppers and sliced olives for a little more flavor, and used canned vegetable broth as the base of the chili.

This was delicious as-is, but if you like tart flavors I think a generous squeeze of lime juice would really be good. You can find lots more meatless recipes in the archives if you’re a vegetarian or someone who’s trying to eat less meat.

Check out Healthy Chili Recipes Your Family Will Love! for more chili options.

Vegan Lentil Chili with Roasted Red Peppers, Olives, and Green Onion process shots collage

How to Make Vegan Lentil Chili:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Heat the oil and then cook the onions until they’re starting to brown. Add garlic and cook about one minute more.
  2. Then add the chile powder, ground cumin (affiliate link), dried oregano, and ground chipotle powder (or cayenne) and cook about 90 seconds more.
  3. You can use all regular brown-green lentils like you normally find in the grocery store, but if you have red lentils, they will dissolve a little faster and thicken the chili, and the red ones add a nice sweetness.
  4. When the spices are fragrant, add the brown lentils, red lentils, vegetable broth, water, and tomato sauce and start to simmer.
  5. When red lentils are mostly dissolved and brown ones are nicely tender, add the sliced green onion, sliced olives, and diced roasted red bell pepper and simmer about 15-20 minutes more.
  6. Serve hot, with a squeeze of lime juice if desired.

Vegan Lentil Chili with Roasted Red Peppers, Olives, and Green Onion found on KalynsKitchen.com

More Vegan Ideas with Lentils

Lemony Yellow Split Pea Side Dish with Garlic and Ginger from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Slow Cooker Vegan Lentil and Chickpea Soup from Soup Chick
Mexican Red Lentil Stew with Lime and Cilantro from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Spicy Red Lentil and Tomato Soup from Andrea Meyers
Lebanese Lentil Salad with Garlic and Herbs from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Vegan Lentil Chili with Roasted Red Peppers, Olives, and Green Onion found on KalynsKitchen.com

Vegan Lentil Chili

Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

This Vegan Lentil Chili has both brown and red lentils, and it’s loaded with flavor from the roasted red peppers and olives.


  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped in small pieces
  • 2 tsp. finely minced garlic
  • 2 T Chili Powder
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
  • 1/8 tsp. dried Chipotle chile pepper (or cayenne; use more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 1/4 cup red lentils (or use more brown lentils if you don’t have red ones)
  • 3 14 oz. cans vegetable broth + 1 can water
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 6 oz. can black olives, drained and sliced
  • 1 12 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
  • lime slices for serving (optional)


  1. Use a large dutch oven type pan so you have a big surface area for cooking the vegetables.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat, then saute the chopped onion until it’s starting to brown. Add garlic and saute about 1 minute more.
  3. Add the chili powder, ground cumin (affiliate link), dried oregano, and Chipotle or Cayenne powder and saute about 90 seconds more, or until the spices are fragrant.
  4. Add the brown lentils, red lentils, vegetable broth, water, and tomato sauce and heat until the mixture comes to a low boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer and let the mixture cook until red lentils are mostly dissolved and brown lentils are well-softened. Cooking time will depend on how fresh the lentils are, but I simmered this for slightly more than an hour, adding more water a couple of times. (Tomatoes make the lentils cook a bit more slowly, so if you’re in a hurry don’t add the tomato sauce until lentils are starting to get tender.)
  5. While the mixture cooks, slice the green onions, drain olives and cut into slices, and drain the roasted red pepper and chop into small pieces.
  6. When lentils are cooked, add green onion, olives, and roasted red pepper and let the mixture simmer 15-20 minutes more.
  7. Serve hot, with slices of lime to squeeze into each serving if desired.


This freezes well. For best results, thaw in refrigerator overnight and then heat in microwave or in a small pan on the stove.

Recipe created by Kalyn.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 167Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1010mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 7gSugar: 6gProtein: 6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Dried beans and lentils are approved for all phases of the South Beach Diet, but they’re limited to 1/3 to 1/2 cup serving for Phase One. However in a recipe like this Vegan Lentil Chili where there are lots of other low-glycemic ingredients besides the lentils, you could have a larger serving. I would limit this to a relatively small bowl for Phase One though, with something like a nice green salad on the side. This would be too high in carbs for traditional low-carb diet plans.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Chili Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Pinterest image of Vegan Lentil Chili

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    41 Comments on “Vegan Lentil Chili”

  1. Jeanette, I agree; the lentils were great in chili!

  2. I tried making lentil chili recently and I have to say I really liked the texture of the smaller legumes for a change. This one looks so pretty – love the bright colors!

  3. Vijitha, thanks!

    Flipchick, there is no need to cover the pot.

    Sarah, glad you like it!

  4. I love that you've posted a vegan recipe. It sure does look delicious! pretty picture!

  5. While the pot is simmeringn is it covered or uncovered?

  6. Delicious looking chili! Hearty and filling meal

  7. Sugaredpecan, hope you enjoy it!

    CrashTestVegetarian, glad you both enjoyed it so much! We loved it here too.

  8. Kalyn,

    This was one of those recipes that just rocked my world. Not only did I literally have all the ingredients on hand and both my vegan self and my omnivore husband adored it. He puts it at 3rd on his favorite soup list.

    The black olives were brilliant, I never would have thought about using them.

    Thanks for this. As always, your recipe is a hit. 🙂


  9. Thanks for sharing this recipe. This will be wonderful on these cold winter days!

  10. Nancy, the chili has only lentils, no beans.

  11. Are there beans in this chili? The pictures seem to have beans. But I don't see any in the recipe.

  12. Duh. I don't know why I forgot the ounces for the vegetable broth. They are 14 oz. cans. I have edited the recipe, thanks.

    Joanne, thanks! Glad you're enjoying the Meatless Monday posts.

    Maya, have not tried lentils in a pressure cooker, but I love to use it for beans.

    Francie, thanks. So glad to hear my blog is useful for you!

  13. Another fantastic recipe!! My husband (a serious meat eater) will even eat this if I add a bit of cut up chicken. I just started doing lowcarb to get my blood sugar under control, and your website is a tremendous resource. Thank you so much!

  14. Have you tried this recipe cooking in a pressure cooker? The lentil takes less time to cook and becomes soft [ one whistle=seven to ten minutes] and let the cooker cool naturally. This is how I cook the lentils at home.

  15. I've so been enjoying your meatless mondays posts also! I love both red and green lentils and this chili sounds like exactly the kind of bowl of comfort that I'd adore.

  16. You write:
    3 cans vegetable broth + 1 can water

    How many ounces is that, please?

  17. Lydia I couldn't see the red lentils at all in the finished chile, but they added a lot of sweetness.

  18. Now why don't I ever think to combine brown and red lentils? Great idea to give depth to the chili.

  19. Thanks, hope you like it as much as we did!

  20. Kalyn,

    I'm glad you posted this. I've been looking for a new chili recipe – in fact I hadn't made my menu for this week yet (oops!) and I think I'll add this to it.

    I've got everything but the olives.

    Can't wait to try it!