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Lentil Chili Recipe with green lentils, black beans, corn and smoked paprika made on a stovetop or throw everything in a slow cooker on a busy day. | ifoodreal.com

Lentils were on my mind since past weekend, again thanks to the food bloggers conference. Canadian Lentils was the official sponsor and as you can imagine, we had lentils for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Literally. Surprisingly, upon my return home I cooked more lentils. That tells me I like lentils.

A few years ago, lentils captured me mostly with their dirt cheap price, and that’s organic green lentils I’m talking about. Spinach lentil soup recipe from my Italian neighbour was my first time I ever tried lentils. Since then I also made Moroccan lentil salad, slow cooker chicken lentil soup and even a chicken and lentil casserole.

This plant-based smoky, hearty and delicious lentil chili is a perfect comforting meal on a cold winter evening. Sweet, with a hint of lime and a heat kick, it’s definitely far away from being boring. If you have no time to cook, pre-brown veggies and throw everything in a crock pot to enjoy lentil chili in slow cooker after a busy day. Chili is mild enough for the little picky eaters. Mine didn’t ask for seconds but ate the firsts without any drama. I will take that.


Lentil Chili with Smoked Paprika

Lentil Chili with Smoked Paprika


  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 5 large celery stalks, diced
  • 1 + 1/2 cups green lentils, dry & rinsed
  • 15 oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 cup corn (frozen is OK)
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp chili powder (more to taste)
  • 2 + 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp thyme or oregano, dried
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lime or lemon, juice of
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


  1. Preheat large heavy bottom saucepan or dutch oven on low - medium heat and add olive oil. Add onions and garlic, saute until translucent or for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add celery and lentils, saute for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining ingredients, except lime juice and cilantro, stir and bring to a boil by raising heat to medium - high. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 1 hour or until lentils are tender. Add lime juice and stir to combine. Adjust chili powder to taste if necessary (my version is mild enough so kids can eat it). Serve lentil chili hot garnished with cilantro.
  3. Slow cooker version: Follow the lentil chili recipe steps above, just instead of cooking on a stovetop for 1 hour transfer to a large slow cooker and cook on Low for 6 - 8 hours or on High for 3 - 4 hours.
  4. Storage Instructions: Refrigerate an airtight container for up to 5 days of freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutritional Info

Servings Per Recipe: 6

Amount Per Serving = 1 + 1/3 cups:
Calories: 258.9
Total Fat: 8.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 882.2 mg
Total Carbs: 44.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 14.5 g
Protein: 13.4 g
WW Points+: 7

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  1. Laura @ Raise Your Garden

    I’m all about lentils too because they’re cheap and pretty tasty! Love this chili. Isn’t it great sharing recipes with neighbors….especially the Polish/Italian ones who have such great ideas and recipes!!

    • Olena

      Thank you! I know. I should ask my East Indian neighbours for a few recipes because my kids keep asking me every day what they are cooking.:)

  2. Allie

    This looks amazing! Would it be ok with other dry lentils as well or does green work best?

    • Olena

      Absolutely. You might cook them less or more depending on type of lentils. I know red lentils cook faster than green and break down more in the cooking process. I have tasted brown lentils but never seen them in a store. Just check when they are done.

  3. Farrah

    how long should I cook the chili when using dry, pre-soaked black beans as well as dry lentils?



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