Vegan Lentil & Bean Chilli

Plant Based Chilli

It’s been a long time since my old vegan chilli recipe, but I think this time it might even be better. Loaded with black lentils and beans it will keep you full and warm, especially when it’s a bit chilly outside. Easy to make and very adjustable - you can make it according to your needs so if there’s any vegetable you don’t like, do not use it. If you don’t like black lentils, use other kind or if you don’t like red kidney beans, substitute with black. Serve it with brown rice or other carbohydrates of your choice. I also accidentally made something which I called vegan sour cream and those two go pretty well together, so try it out, too if you’re feeling adventurous.

Serves 6 | Total time: 45 minutes | 1 cup - 250ml | 1 teaspoon - 5ml


  • 1 can (4oo g) of red kidney beans
  • 1 can (400 g) of black or borlotti beans
  • 3/4 cup (164 g) of black lentils, dry
  • 1 can (400 g) of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 can (400 g) of tomato passata
  • 1 cup of water or vegetable stock (or water from soaked ancho chile)
  • 3 tablespoons of oil for frying (I used unrefined organic sunflower seed oil)
  • 1 small onion
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 of sweet pepper
  • 1 smaller carrot
  • 1 dried ancho chile (or a couple of dried or fresh chillies)
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • a bit of dark chocolate (2 squares from a 100g bar)

For the vegan "sour cream":

  • 1/2 avocado
  • juice of 1/2 small lemon or lime
  • 4 tablespoons of coconut milk

To serve:

  • nutritional yeast
  • avocado
  • vegan or regular sour cream/yogurt


Cook black lentils in boiling water. In the meantime finely chop the onion, garlic, carrot and sweet pepper as well as the chillies. If you’re using dried ancho chile – pour boiling water over it and let soak for 15 minutes.


Heat frying oil in a large casserole or deep frying pan. Add all of the spices together with onion and garlic – let it cook until onion becomes fragrant and translucent. Then add chopped carrot and pepper. Cook until soft and slightly caramelized. Pour in whole peeled tomatoes, tomato passata, lentils and beans, chopped ancho chile or chillies and 1 cup of water/stock or ancho chile soaking water. Stir in a piece of dark chocolate, cover and simmer on medium/low heat for about 30 minutes. At the very end of cooking I like to take about 1/5 of the chilli and blend it. I then mix it back into the chilli - this gives your chilli a thicker texture.

Make the Sauce

For the vegan sour cream I blend avocado with coconut milk and lemon/lime juice.

NOTE: Ancho chillies are often used in Mexico for their flavour and aroma. It might not be easy to find them and they might be expensive, so you can use the classic red chillies instead. But if you ever do stumble open ancho chillies for a good price - grab a pack and use them in all types of chilli.

Tried making this at home? Do let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below or tag @kitchen.julie #kitchenjulie on instagram and @kitchenJulieBlog on facebook