Vegan Lentil Chilli

Delicious and comforting with a touch of spice. This Vegan Lentil Chilli is such an easy slow cooker meal that is packed full of flavour. You definitely won’t miss the meat!

Over the past few months, I have been making a conscious effort to step up what I am doing to help the environment.  I’ve always been an enthusiastic re-cycler (that phrase might catch on!) but I’ve been finding ways to do that bit more. As well as recycling I am trying to reduce the amount of plastic I use; especially single use plastic. 

Aside from recycling, Mr Curly and I have also decided to try and eat less meat. This will be a pretty big change, especially for Mr Curly. Up until very recently he would consider a meal to be missing something without meat. This meant that for lunch and dinner each day, there would be some kind of meat involved. I wasn’t sure how long he would last with wanting to eat less meat but so far we’re doing really well! 

We’re not going too crazy, but trying to have vegetarian lunches and at least two vegetarian meals a week. So I had to come up with some really tasty vegetarian meals that wouldn’t make us miss the meat. I have never been a fan of Quorn so meat replacement products were not going to be my go-to.

One of the first dishes that come to mind was a chilli which is how my Vegan Lentil Chilli came about! My intention was to make a vegetarian dish, but once I was finished I realised it was vegan too which was an added bonus! I thought it wouldn’t be vegan because I was going to add dark chocolate. But when I was talking about this on Instagram, my sister and another blogger friend pointed out that dark chocolate is actually vegan. And if that wasn’t good enough, it is also gluten free too! 

I was slightly apprehensive about this Vegan Lentil Chilli because I’m not very experienced with vegetarian food. It passed my taste test which meant it was the onto Mr Curly. I served it up for him and when he’d eaten it I asked him what he thought. He told me he really liked it, but I confused him when I asked him if he missed the meat. His response of ‘there was no meat in that?’ gave the Vegan Lenil Chilli a big tick! If someone that was a massive meat fan can’t tell its meat free then that’s a huge plus. 

The final taste tester was my vegetarian friend Katie that I work with. Before the recipes had even finished cooking she was messaging me saying she thought she needed to taste test! So I took her some of this Vegan Lentil Chilli along with my tweaked Vegetarian Curry recipe. I am pleased to say she was a huge fan of both of them and has been hassling me to get the recipe written up ASAP. I think what she liked most about this was it has a bit of heat to it. 

If food is packed full of flavour, you definitely won’t miss the meat in my opinion.  I have used my favourite chilli powders for this Vegan Lentil Chilli as well as some chipotles in adobo sauce. You might have to look in a few of the bigger supermarkets to get these, but it really is worth seeking them out. And don’t worry you can use them in plenty of recipes already on my blog!

4.79 from 14 votes

Vegan Lentil Chilli

Delicious and comforting with a touch of spice. This Vegan Lentil Chilli is such an easy slow cooker meal that is packed full of flavour. You definitely won't miss the meat!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican, International
Keyword Chilli, Vegetarian, Vegan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Total Time 7 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 217 kcal
Author Curly


  • 1 onion diced
  • 400g tin kidney beans in chilli sauce
  • 400g tin black beans (rinsed)
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 peppers diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 garlic cloves diced
  • 1 tsp chipotles in adobo sauce (optional)
  • ½ tsp chipotle chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ancho chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ancho chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 red chilli sliced
  • 200 g red split lentils rinsed in cold water
  • 300 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 30 g dark chocolate


  1. Add all of the ingredients apart from the dark chocolate to the slow cooker. Stir thoroughly. 

  2. Cook on high for 6 hours. Break the dark chocolate into chunks and add it to the slow cooker. Stir through and allow to cook for another 30 minutes to 1 hour until the lentils are completely cooked

  3. Serve with boiled rice 

Recipe Notes

I use a 3.5L slow cooker. 

If the chilli starts looking dry, add a splash more water. 

Nutritional information is given as a guide only

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Lentil Chilli
Amount Per Serving
Calories 217 Calories from Fat 828
% Daily Value*
Fat 92g142%
Saturated Fat 24g150%
Sodium 757mg33%
Potassium 59271mg1693%
Carbohydrates 3957g1319%
Fiber 1451g6046%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 1477g2954%
Vitamin A 1190IU24%
Vitamin C 12.9mg16%
Calcium 4511mg451%
Iron 350.8mg1949%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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22 thoughts on “Vegan Lentil Chilli

  1. Michelle Frank | Flipped-Out Food

    Whoa, this is like deja vu! I have exactly the same challenges with the hubster, who I like to call an obligate carnivore. So far, we are to ONE vegetarian meal and ONE pescatarian meal per week. I applaud you on TWO!! And I’m so glad to read your honest assessment of Quorn: I’ve been about to buy it, but I know now that it’s going to flop with my lot! But LENTILS are a meat replacement I can totally get behind. I’ve pulled this trick on the hubster, and he admitted that he didn’t really miss the meat. I definitely have to give your Vegan Lentil Chilli a try. Looks gorgeous, too!

    1. Curly Post author

      Haha! I’ve managed to sneak in a few more than two so far. We’ve been having 2 veggie meals at the weekend and maybe another one during the week too. You may really like quorn, I know a lot of people do. It’s just not for me unfortunately. Lentils are going to be my new favourite ingredient! Thanks Michelle 🙂

  2. Midge @ Peachicks' Bakery

    Looks beautiful! Gorgeous photos and I bet it tastes amazing! Lentils are about the only meat replacement my hubby will eat so he would like this! We can’t eat the quorn or other minces anyway because of egg/soy allergies but there is no way he would touch them! Fussy men honestly! LOL! Thanks for sharing #CookBlogShare

  3. Mayuri Patel

    I too hate quorn. Lentils are so versatile that one can create a dish with flavors from any part of the world. The lentil chili is a good recipe, filling and healthy too. Chocolate definitely caught my attention.

    1. Curly Post author

      I’m so glad I’m not the only one! I’m loving lentils at the moment and can’t wait to use them more. Ooh I’ve got to put chocolate in a chilli!

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  8. ElaineSherrin

    I shall give this a try as an alternative to my normal meat chilli. It sounds really tasty and a healthy option.


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