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3-Bean Lentil Chili

dinner main meals recipes soups and stews Dec 29, 2021
3-Bean Lentil Chili


Who doesn't love a bowl of chili filled to the brim with delicious toppings? This 3-Bean Lentil Chili is 100% vegan and full of flavor. Look now further than this chili recipe to feed the family with one meal on a busy weeknight when you don't want to think about what to cook.


With three types of beans AND lentils, no one has to worry about where they are getting their protein. Canned chiles in adobo sauce along with cumin add smoky flavor to this plant-based chili without adding too much heat so everyone in the family can enjoy this pot of deliciousness.



Recipe Tips

This 3-Bean Lentil Chili yields 8 cups so plan to eat leftovers for lunch or store half of it in the freezer, depending on the size of your family. Make a batch of this on the weekend during your weekly meal prep so you can just reheat and serve this during the week when you're short on time or energy.


The chili gets its name from the variety of beans and legumes, but feel free to swap with any kind of bean you prefer. Black lentils are best for this recipe because they are the sturdiest and smallest in shape, which pair nicely with the other canned beans. I went easy on the spice for the kids (well, let's be honest, me too!) but if you like heat, add more chiles in adobo.

Serving Suggestions

Make it a party by serving this as a food bar, complete with all the toppings. Here are some of my favorites:


Homemade regular or sweet potato wedges

Tater tots

Tortilla or vegan nacho chips

Chopped cilantro


Sliced baby bell peppers

Shredded vegan cheese

Vegan sour cream


Customize the toppings to accommodate your family's taste preferences and dietary needs, such as ground beef for the omnivores. It's one meal for everyone! 


3-Bean Lentil Chili


Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 60 minutes

Makes 8 cups



2 Tbsp olive oil or ¼ cup vegetable broth

1 small red onion, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)

6 small garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 ½ Tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried oregano

1 chile in adobo sauce, diced (about 1 tsp)

1 15-oz can kidney beans

1 15-oz can pinto beans

1 15-oz can black beans

¾ cup black beluga lentils 

2 ½ cups vegetable broth

1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes

1 tsp kosher salt

juice of 1 lime



  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, oregano and chiles in adobo sauce and cook for another minute.
  2. Stir in the kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, lentils, vegetable broth and crushed tomatoes and salt. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until the lentils are tender and the chili has thickened, about 45 minutes.
  3. Stir in the lime juice. Taste and season with more salt as needed.


Spoiler Alert: 3-Bean Lentil Chili will stay fresh in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for a week.

Batch it up! 3-Bean Lentil Chili will stay fresh in an air-tight container in the freezer for 6 months.


More Soups and Stews Recipes:



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