Make Ahead

Vegetarian Lentil Chili with Corn and Black Beans

December 26, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Makes 1 gallon
Author Notes

Not to beat the chili thing to death, but this gets remarkable mileage out of a bag of lentils. I used regular brown lentils (this was before I discovered red lentils) and you could probably stretch it even further seving it with some rice .... —wssmom

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups lentils, washed and picked over
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 really big red onion, diced
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspons minced fresh thyme
  • 6-8 tablespoons pure chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper, lots of it
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper (but only if it's on sale, otherwise use two green peppers)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14 1/2 ounce can black beans
  • 2 cups corn, cut from the cob or frozen
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • hot pepper flakes, to taste
  • sour cream and lime wedges, for serving
  1. Boil enough water to cover the lentils, and let sit in a bowl for 10 minutes or so whilst you saute the vegetables.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy (chili) pot; over medium low heat saute the onions and garlic with the thyme, the chili powder, the cumin, the salt and the ground pepper until translucent, about 15 minutes. At the last minute toss in the red and green bell peppers, stir, and let them get acquainted with the other vegetables for a few moments.
  3. Drain the lentils, add to the pot along with 3 cups of the stock and the tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer 30 minutes, adding more stock or water as needed.
  4. Stir in the black beans and the corn, cover, and heat through for an additional 10 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and hot pepper flakes.
  5. Sprinkle each serving with some chopped cilantro, serve with a wedge of lime and a dollop of sour cream.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Debbie Furbeck
    Debbie Furbeck
  • ReinaDelAjo
  • wssmom
  • Jimmy

6 Reviews

Jimmy March 17, 2019
Delicious, made this for Sunday dinner and it was a great success!!! Thanks for the recipe.
Debbie F. July 3, 2013
I made this last week and am making it again. I am new to vegetarianism so this was a great entry. Thanks
ReinaDelAjo December 3, 2011
I made this last night and I really like it. I didn't use as much of the chili powder though but it was still a success. I love how it's so nutritious and I didn't feel like a bloated mess afterwards like how chili with meat AND beans tends to do. Thanks for a great recipe!
wssmom December 5, 2011
I am so glad you enjoyed it Reina! It's one of our faves ...
wssmom January 5, 2011
Thanks so much Dana! I am planning on making a big batch of this for the Super Bowl!
DanaD January 4, 2011
I made this last night almost following the recipe exactly. It had almost a New Mexico flavor from all the chile powder (I used New Mexico powder). My son didn't even comment on the lack of meat so you know it was hearty. Great recipe!