This really is the best vegan chilli recipe made from pantry staple ingredients. Filled with beans, vegetables and lentils, this is the perfect comfort food as the weather cools down. This recipe is super simple as you just throw everything in your slow cooker and you’re done!
Chilli Chilli Chilli Chilli.
There is nothing more comforting and cozy than a big bowl of chilli. While it’s still pretty hot here in Brisbane even though we are well into Autumn, we have been lucky enough to have a few scattered cooler rainy days which were perfect for a big bowl of this healthy vegetarian chilli.
This chilli recipe is the ultimate in pantry staple comfort food, which is exactly what we all need right now. I also love that it’s made in the slow cooker because I can literally just throw everything in, give it a stir in the morning, and then dinner is ready for me in the evening.
It is probably one of the easiest meals to make, but because the slow cooker does all the work, it feels as though you have been cooking it on the stove all day.
When looking at making this recipe, I read quite a few vegetarian chilli recipes and most of them seemed either too watery or involved blending some of the beans for thickness. I really didn’t want anything that involved that extra step, but I also wanted that thick, hearty chilli consistency that you would normally get when using meat.
The answer? Red lentils. These lentils add a heartiness to the chilli and also start to break down as they slow cook so you are left with a thick, almost stew-like consistency which is so good.
Red lentils are such a good pantry staple because they last forever and can be used in a range of different soups and curries.
The rest of the ingredients used here also have a long shelf life so it’s perfect for using up those extra cans of beans and vegetables that you have collected in the back of your pantry.
How to make vegan lentil chilli
This is the most basic recipe but it tastes anything but basic. You simply throw all the ingredients into the slow cooker then set and forget and let the flavours do their thing. It really is that simple.
I also use a shortcut of using a packet of taco seasoning which reduces the prep time as you don’t have to measure out individual spices. It also means that if you don’t have a lot of spices in your pantry, you don’t have to go out and buy a heap of new ingredients.
If you don’t have a packet of taco seasoning on hand, but you do have a well stocked spice shelf, you can make your own taco seasoning using the recipe in this mexican pulled beef.
Can I freeze leftover chilli?
Yes! And please do.
I often make a batch just to freeze in individual portions as it is just as good if not better reheated later. Freeze your chilli for up to 3 months and defrost in the fridge overnight or heat straight from frozen either in the microwave or in a small pot on the stove.
Chilli is one of my ultimate meal prep recipes as it heats up so well and never disappoints me because its packed full of so much flavour! Plus its pretty healthy, and food that tastes good and is good for me is pretty much the goal.
This recipe is perfect if you are looking for a hearty meat-free recipe. With the beans and the lentils, it has an almost ‘meaty’ texture and taste to it and I can guarantee you won’t be missing the meat. I love this recipe for times when I am trying to avoid the grocery store but still want a filling, good for me meal.
If you have some canned goods in the pantry and are looking for ways to use them that is going to taste amazing but not take too much time and energy in the kitchen, then this is exactly the recipe that you need in your life.
You can play around with what you use in this chilli, adding extra kidney beans instead of black beans, or using chickpeas instead. You can also use diced capsicum if you have any. If you like things spicy, you can also add a chopped jalapeno or some extra chilli powder.
It’s flexible based on what you have, but this recipe provides a good base to start making chilli.
If you do make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and rating below! And tag any of your creations on Instagram with #eightforestlane as I would love to see.
Vegan Slow Cooker Lentil Chilli
- 1 onion peeled and diced
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
- 2 x 400 gram cans tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 x 400 gram can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 x 400 gram can kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 x 400 gram can corn drained
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 x 30 gram pack taco seasoning
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- tortilla chips
- Place all ingredients in the base of a slow cooker and stir everything together. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
- Serve with sliced avocado and tortilla chips if desired.
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.
More Vegan Dinner Recipes:
Vegan Mac and Cheese
Vegan Spiced Chickpea + Veggie Bowls
Golden Turmeric Sweet Potato Soup
5 Minute Sweet and Spicy Noodles
Roasted Vegetable Bowls with Green Goddess Sauce
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Really tasty, fab recipe. How many calories are there per portion?
Thanks Terri, happy to hear you enjoyed it! I don’t have calorie information sorry, but feel free to calculate it – there are many calculators available online. Thanks 🙂
Oh Sally this looks so warm and delicious. Can’t wait to give this a try – I am pretty sure I already have everything I need to make it!
Perfect, hope you enjoy it!
What a beautiful recipe! I adore lentils and this chilli is a great way to use them. A perfect, comforting meal that my whole family will love!
Thanks Andrea, I hope they enjoy it!
This sounds absolutely perfect for now – comforting, healthy and packed with store cupboard ingredients! Can’t wait to make this very soon Sally!
Thanks Robyn, hope you enjoy it!
What a delicious looking meal, I love the use of lentils instead of mince! Would make a perfect Autumn day dinner for sure 🙂
It’s perfect for those cozy days indoors!
Ooooohhhh lentil chili – packed with all good things with maximum taste to boost. This is defo a good alternative for the many meat dishes we eat
So true, and I really didn’t miss the meat in this dish.
Thanks Sally for the perfect recipe when ingredients are tough to find.
It’s great to have recipes that use only pantry staples for times like this!