Slow Cooker Red Lentil Chili
This slow cooker red lentil chili is as easy as throwing everything in a crockpot and turning it on. Enjoy for a hearty, nourishing meal that’s great for meal prep or feeding a crowd.
- dietary features: vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, sugar-free
- perfect for meal prep and freezes well
- amazing topped with avocado, vegan sour cream, jalapeno, crushed tortilla chips or dairy-free cheese
- hearty, nourishing and full of flavour…even better the next day!
Complete list of ingredients and amounts is located in the recipe card below.
- diced tomatoes – any kind works but I love Muir Glen fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- chili spices – I used chili powder, cumin, paprika and oregano…the chili powder is essential but if you’re missing one of the others it’s ok
- bell peppers – any colour works
- lentils – this recipe is best with red lentils, however, you could use green or brown if needed, just note it will have a very different texture as red lentils are soft when cooked and green stay firm and retain their shape
- broth – any store-bought or homemade broth you like works, I used vegetable bouillon powder to make mine
How to Make this Recipe
Step 1. Chop up the bell peppers, carrot, garlic, jalapeno and onion and them to the crock pot.
Step 2. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well to combine.
Step 3. Cook for 3 hours on high for 5-6 hours on low.
Enjoy hot with your favourite chili toppings!
- crushed tortilla chips
- fresh cilantro
- vegan sour cream
- dairy-free cheese
- sliced green onions
- queso sauce
- Saute the onions and garlic in a splash of broth for 5 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a light simmer.
- Cook for 25-30 minutes until the lentils are tender and the chili is nice and thick.
- Let cool then store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days or freezer for up to 3 months.
- If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge.
- Reheat as needed in the microwave or stovetop until heated to your preference.
Did you try this recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review and be sure to tag me @runningonrealfood if you post it on social media.
Vegan Slow Cooker Red Lentil Chili
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
- Yield: 6
- Category: Soup
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
This vegan red lentil chili is so easy to make in a slow cooker. You’ll need less than 10 minutes of prep before throwing everything in the crock pot and forgetting about it until dinner time. So easy!
- 1 medium white or yellow onion, diced (approx. 2 cups or 300 g)
- 2 bell peppers, any colour, seeds removed and diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced (about 1 cup chopped, 150 g)
- 1 jalapeño, de-seeded and minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tsp regular or smoked paprika
- 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes with the juices
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) tomato paste
- 3–4 cups (750 mL) vegetable broth
- 2 cups (370 g) dry red lentils
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Add all of the ingredients to a slow cooker and mix well.
- Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5-6 hours.
- Serve right away with your favourite chili toppings such as avocado, vegan sour cream, dairy-free cheese, sliced scallions and salsa.
Start with 3 cups of broth. Check after 2 hours and see if you may need to add a little more. I’ve made it with as little as 2.5 cups and as much as 4. It just depends how thick you like it!
See post for stovetop instructions.
Customize: Mix in 1 or 2 cans of beans such as chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans or pinto beans for additional texture.
Let cool then store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days or freezer for up to 3 months. If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat as needed in the microwave or stovetop until heated to your preference.
- Serving Size: 1/6th of recipe
- Calories: 295
- Sugar: 9 g
- Fat: 2 g
- Carbohydrates: 54 g
- Fiber: 10 g
- Protein: 18 g
Keywords: slow cooker lentil chili, red lentil chili
Originally published on November 27, 2018.
Amazing taste, packed full of healthy goodness, super quick and easy to make! Slow cooked for 6 hours.
Thanks, Sarah! Glad you liked it.
I made this in the slow cooker, but my carrots were crunchy and the lentils were still firm. I’m not sure that 3 hours was enough (on high, used 4 cups of broth). Maybe I’ll try cooking another hour and hope it helps. Otherwise it’s takeout for dinner tonight!
This was so delicious! I did it stove top. Cashew cream and avocado are musts as toppings. My belly can’t handle that many lentils, so I swapped one cup of the lentils for a 4 oz package of chopped baby spinach that I added at the end of cooking. Thank you!
Great idea! So glad you liked it. Thanks for leaving a review, I appreciate it!
This was a super easy recipe. It smelled great while it was cooking. I put it over some leftover rice I had in the fridge and it was delish.
So glad you enjoyed it, Carry!
AWESOME!!! My new favorite chili! SO flavor-packed and easy. Will def be making again!
Man, this is good! Unfortunately, I evidently used old lentils. They kind of don’t cook right. But I’m eating it anyway.
Darn! That can happen with old lentils, unfortunately. I’m glad you enjoyed it still!
This looks really good. Do you have an adaption for the Instant Pot? I imagine it would be easy enough to do.
I do red lentils for 9 min. So I’d saute the veggies then add everything else and do high pressure for 9 min then quick release. I haven’t tried it though!
I love this recipe! It’s super easy, delicious AND high in protein. It’s one of the first recipes I made after going plant-based and even my husband, who isn’t plant-based, loved it!
I live in New Zealand and came across this blog last weekend while searching for some recipes. I am not vegetarian or vegan but my partner and I want to start eating more meatless meals. I find a lot of vegetarian/vegan recipes time consuming and complex. Hence was really pleased to find this site. The recipes are clearly laid out and the finished product looks like the picture:-) We loved this lentil chilli and so easy to make. I will definitely be trying other recipes. Thanks – I have a new favourite site!
I’m honoured to be a new favourite! Glad you enjoyed the chili, have fun trying some more recipes!
I have made this twice now, it is so quick and easy but tastes SO good! Really hearty and satisfying plus healthy! Passed this recipe on to 3 others who also made and loved it. Thanks for your awesome creations! The Aussies are loving them x
Hey Jacqui – I was looking at this recipe and your comment since you mention it’s good and you’re Aussie… I usually stay away from North American chilli recipes because they call for 2 tablespoons (oe similar) of chilli powder, but I think that usually means a chilli powder blend (with garlic, cumin etc). I’ve tried using this much straight chilli powder with disastrous results! What did you use for the chilli powder? Thank you, Annie
I guess chili powder here means a blend, typically chili pepper blended with other spices like cumin, oregano, garlic and salt. It is not spicy but rather smoky and earthy. You can look online for a homemade chili powder recipe and try using that if you can’t find the right chili powder to use in Australia!
Does it have to be red lentils? I’m not familiar with anything lentil , and only found the white colored ones.. will it still be good?
I’ve actually never heard of white lentils but from what I gather, white lentils are actually split black lentils and wouldn’t normally be used in recipes like this – you can try it but the cooking time would be less. You could use green or brown lentils in this but they’ll have a much different texture as they don’t get mushy like red ones do. If you use them, you might need to adjust the cooking time or liquid amount slightly but you can just keep an eye on it and adjust as needed. Yellow lentils would be fine too.
Do you soak the lentils?
Nope. Just add dry lentils to the recipe. Enjoy!
I made this recipe using the slow cooker method and it was amazing!!! I did a few tweaks based on what I had in the house. I used fire roasted diced tomatoes and omitted the jalapeño. I added red kidney beans at the end as suggested and I also added about two cups of chopped baby spinach at the end (i stirred it in with the kidney beans and put the cover back on and left the slow cooker on warm for about a half hour stirring it once or twice to get the spinach to soften). I served it with “sour cream” and avocado. Going it the monthly rotation. Thank you for this recipe!
That sounds fantastic!! Love those additions. So happy you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for the rating, I appreciate it!
This is a great meal planning recipe. Throw everything into the slow cooker and you end up with tons of chili to eat through the week! It’s super hearty and delicious. I just added some hot sauce since my jalapeno wasn’t hot enough for me!
That’s awesome, Shira! I agree, such a good recipe for meal prep.
I tried this last night and it was soooooo delicious! I doubled the recipe (have a large slow cooker) and added black beans, kidney beans and sweet potato. Will definitely be adding this to my favourites. Such a lovely winter meal. Thank you Deryn, Love your recipes and You are the go to website when I am looking for ideas.
I love all your additions! It sounds so hearty and filling. Thanks a lot for the review. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe!
Wow!! This is THE MOST delicious vegan chili I’ve ever had – and I’ve made quite a few! I love how all the flavors come together! I added pinto and kidney beans and the lentils really give it a hearty/meaty taste! the whole family loved it! Thank you!!!!
Awesome. So happy you and your family enjoyed it!! Love the bean addition, they totally do make it a heartier. Thank you so much for your comment!
I may have to finally learn to use my slow cooker (and actually locate it..). I personally love the texture of red lentils but black beans would be a great addition – they’re cheap and so so good for you.
Oatly do an incredible creme fraiche which doubles as a perfect vegan sour cream, though I’m not sure if it’s available outside the UK. It’s a great alternative if you have a terrible blender like me and get gritty results from blending cashews.