Easy, Smoky Vegan Bean and Lentil Chili

Easy, Smoky Vegan Bean and Lentil Chili

Fresh vegetables and plant-based proteins such as chickpeas, kidney beans, and lentils combine with smoky, savory spices for a stick-to-your-ribs chili. 

Serves: 6

This hearty bean and lentil, kid-friendly version of chili from the Plant-Powered Families cookbook draws on smoked paprika for a spicy essence that isn’t too hot, and features gentle warming spices such as cinnamon and a kiss of mild chili powder. 

What you need:

2 tablespoons plus ¾ cup water, divided
2 cups diced onion
¾ cup diced green bell pepper
¾ cup diced red bell pepper
¾ cup diced celery
½ cup diced carrot
1¼ teaspoons salt
5 cloves garlic, minced
1½ tablespoons mild chili powder
1½ teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon smoked paprika 
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas
1 (14-ounce) can kidney beans
¾ cup red lentils, rinsed
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons blackstrap molasses
2 tablespoons lime juice
Lime wedges, for serving

What you do:

  1. Into a large pot over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of water, onion, green and red bell pepper, celery, carrot, and salt. Stir, cover, and let cook a few minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, oregano, dry mustard, smoked paprika, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Stir and cover again, cooking 4 minutes.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes, chickpeas, kidney beans, remaining ¾ cup water, lentils, bay leaves, and molasses and stir to combine. Increase heat to bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 25 to 30 minutes, or until lentils are softened. 
  3. Stir in lime juice and serve warm with lime wedges.
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