Full disclosure, chili was never my favorite food…until this recipe. Chili was one of those foods that I’d eat if someone else made it, but I never liked it enough to go out of my way to make it. This recipe has changed that forever. It’s not as tomato-y as other recipes, and I love that about it. It’s completely savory and delicious and the walnuts and lentils give it a delicious “meaty” quality. Best of all, it’s healthy! There’s no sugar and only a very small amount of oil (which is optional). If you’re looking for a vegan chili to win you over, this is the one.
Have you tried this recipe? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!
Best Ever Vegan Chili (Vegan, Gluten Free, Oil Free, Flour Free):
- 1 teaspoons coconut oil optional
- 2 medium yellow onions chopped
- 6 medium cloves garlic pressed or minced
- 1 cup green lentils*
- 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes 794 grams
- 6 cups water
- 4 cups cooked kidney beans drained and rinsed if canned, 4 cups is about two 19 ounce or 538 gram cans
- 1 cup walnuts roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt plus more to taste
- 1/4 cup pickled jalapeno slices diced
- 1/4 cup sliced olives
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder blend
- 2 teaspoons Paprika
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- If using oil, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the coconut oil once heated. Saute the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until aromatic, about 30 seconds. If not using oil, skip this step and add the uncooked onions and garlic to the pot with all other ingredients.
- Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil and them lower to medium heat. Boil uncovered for 40 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked through.*
- After 10 minutes, taste and adjust the amount of salt according to taste.
- Stir once every 10 minutes to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Serve with garnishes of choice. I love topping it with a bit of vegan sour cream and diced green onion.
*If you substitute red lentils for green lentils, start with 2 cups less water (add more water only if needed). Try the chili after 15 minutes. You shouldn’t need to cook red lentils for more than 20 minutes for them to cook through. I prefer this recipe with green lentils because they hold their shape and texture better than red lentils do.