Here’s a tasty, filling vegetarian chili recipe I adapted by combining two separate chili recipes.  One recipe featured lentils; the other bulgur. Since my pantry is overflowing with lentils, I chose to take that route.

Lentil and Black Bean Chili – Ready to Eat!

Lentil and Black Bean Chili 
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients for Lentil-Black Bean Chili

1 cup dry (brown or green) lentils, picked through to remove unwanted particles, and rinsed

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup onions, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 to 2 Tbsp. canned Serrano peppers, drained and chopped (NOTE: poblano, cubanelle, or sweet red peppers can be substituted)

1 Tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. salt, or to taste

28 oz. canned diced tomatoes, undrained

1 cup yellow corn, fresh, frozen or canned (drained)

1- 15 1/2 oz. canned black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, or left whole (optional) 

For serving (optional): hot sauce, low-fat plain yogurt, and/or fresh lime wedges


1. Place lentils in a large saucepan. Completely cover lentils with water; bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer lentils until they are al dente, about 10-15 minutes. Drain; set aside.

2. In a non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and peppers; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, coriander, and salt to skillet and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.

3. Using the large saucepan again, add tomatoes with the liquid, partially-cooked lentils, and onion-seasoning mixture. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover; reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until lentils are tender and flavors blend. Stir occasionally. If chili gets too thick, stir in a little water to thin it out.

5. Stir in corn and black beans; simmer, covered, over medium heat; cook an additional 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings, if necessary.

4. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro, if using; finish with a squeeze of lime juice.

To serve: Stir in a few drops of hot sauce, a dollop of low-fat plain yogurt and/or a squeeze of fresh lime juice, if desired.

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