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. I'm not familiar with the oz unit (unless I convert it to mL), so i'm wondering if it's a mass or a volume unit in this recipe ? Thanks !

  2. You said you couldn't find the original recipe that inspired you; I think I found it: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/lentil-chili-with-cumin-and-green-onions-1256015

    • Yes, that looks like the base recipe without the things I added; they must have put it online since I posted this. Thanks; I added a link to it!

  3. This recipe came out really fantastic. Your recipes are consistently good and it is those little extras like including the note on adding the tomato sauce later, or giving an alternative to chipotle that keep me coming back to your site.

    Thanks again,

  4. So glad you enjoyed it!

  5. I have been searching for a chili recipe I love for a long time, and I am pumped to say I finally found it! This is delicious! I've been struggling with a clean eating challenge at my gym for a few weeks, so I can't thank you enough for this recipe! I ate 3 bowls of it last night when I made it haha I think I am going to have to make another batch in just a couple of days! I think the olives make it. Yummmmmmm!

  6. I'm always hoping my recipes go beyond what people think of as "diet food" so I am thrilled you've been enjoying them so much!

  7. I know that your website is intended for people cooking in the south beach style but despite never trying the south beach diet I use your recipes quite often. I really like that you use alternative grains in many of your recipes. It was the reason I first found your blog. I've also found many of your veggie sides to be quite tasty. My bookclub has a couple of vegans/veggies and so we embrace the fun of cooking a vegan meal for everyone. I am hosting this month and your Lentil Chili was just the ticket. Thanks for all the healthy recipes that you provide!

  8. I realize this is an old recipe, but I still wanted to say thank you! I tried this chili tonight and it came out wonderful. At first I was skeptical about the amount of liquids and it felt very soup-y to me, but in the end it reduced to a nice consistency. I thought the lentils worked really well. I'd made a vegetarian bolognese with red lentils, no idea why it had never occurred to me to try them in a chili.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing this recipe. It's delicious!

  9. I stumbled upon this recipe because I want to make a homemade version of Pacific brand vegetable lentil soup with roasted red peppers. I'm addicted to that stuff, but it's not very budget friendly. This recipe sounds delicious and I will be making it this week! Thank you!

  10. Thanks Chris, so glad you liked it!

  11. Just made and ate the Lentil Chili. What a winner! Deeeelicious! If anyone tries this, make sure you do the lime squeeze, it really adds pizazz. Love it Kalyn! Gotta tell my readers about his one.

  12. Lynn, so glad you have enjoyed the recipes!

  13. I made this last night and am having some for lunch right now. I'll definitely be making this again.

    I gave the olives sort of a rough chop, so I will make them smaller next time.

    Thank you for all the good Phase One recipes this month – I've saved most of them in my email recipe folder.

  14. This is genius!

  15. I'm a huge fan of that ground Chipotle powder, so much easier to use than the canned Chipotles!

  16. I love this, comforting and healthy! Especially love the use of chipotle powder, too.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  17. Jennifer, glad you like it.

    Even though I like to eat meatless meals and love finding a good vegan recipe, I am not a vegetarian and believe strongly that everyone has the right to make their own food choices. Therefore I will not post comments with links to posts or videos about why people should become vegans.

  18. I love lentils! This chili looks wonderful!