An easy beluga (black lentil) chili packed with plant-based protein and fiber! A satisfying meatless meal that is vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free.
This easy vegan chili is filled with hearty beans and black beluga lentils.
It is packed with plant-based protein and fiber which helps us feel pleasantly full and energized.
Black lentils hold their shape well while cooking (unlike other lentil varieties that can become a bit mushy). Their dense texture adds such a hearty feel to this dish and makes it a great meat replacement.
They are not as common as other lentils so if you can't find them, no worries, simply replace with green/brown lentils.
Ingredients for Black Lentil Chili
For this recipe you will simmer in a large pot:
- Yellow onion
- Garlic cloves: Or substitute garlic powder if desired.
- Diced tomatoes: Either regular or fire-roasted tomatoes work well.
- Tomato sauce
- Vegetable broth: Use low sodium if desired.
- Kidney beans: Use any two cans of beans you prefer. Here we use kidney beans and black beans, but pinto beans would be great as well.
- Black beans
- Black beluga lentils: These have a delicious, rich, earthy flavor, and their shape holds up well during cooking. Cooked black lentils are high in protein, fiber, and iron.
- Chili powder: I use mild chili powder from the brand Simply Organic.
- Ground cumin: In addition to the cumin, I also like adding 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika for added taste.
Make it spicy: Add chipotle in adobo sauce, jalapeno, or cayenne pepper to taste. Or simply top your bowl with your favorite hot sauce before serving.
Add vegetables: Zucchini, bell pepper, organic sweet corn, sweet potato, or butternut squash would all be great additions.
Make it "meaty": Instead of beans, feel free to add your favorite vegan beef crumbles.
This chili is great served as is, over baked potatoes, or mixed with brown rice or quinoa. A few suggestions for toppings include:
- Diced avocado (my favorite!)
- Fresh cilantro
- Green onion
- Crumbled tortilla chips
- Vegan cheese shreds
- Vegan sour cream
Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator. We find they keep for about 4-5 days. Simply reheat in the microwave.
Freezing: I have not tried freezing this chili but I suspect it would do very well as a freezer meal. Be sure to let it cool completely before freezing, then store in freezer for 1-2 months.
For more inspiration, also browse all lentil recipes.
Beluga Lentil Chili
- 1 yellow onion
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 15 oz. can diced tomatoes (or fire-roasted)
- 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 15 oz. can kidney beans
- 15 oz. can black beans
- 1 cup black beluga lentils (uncooked)
- 2 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- Salt to taste
- Avocado, green onion, cilantro, hot sauce, tortilla strips, dairy-free cheese or sour cream, etc.
- Dice onion.
- In a stockpot over medium-high heat, sauté onion for about 8-10 minutes. (I use 3 Tbsp. water/broth for no-oil sauté method, adding more as needed.)
- Meanwhile, mince garlic.
- When onion is translucent, add chili powder, cumin, and garlic. Stir and sauté 1-2 minutes.
- Add vegetable broth, diced tomatoes with juice, and tomato sauce.
- Rinse and drain both beans and lentils. Add to pot.
- Increase heat and bring to a light boil. Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 25-30 minutes or until lentils are tender.
- Salt to taste and serve with any desired toppings.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
If you are enjoying this Black Beluga Lentil Chili, also check out:
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili
- Hearty Vegan Chili (30 Minute)
- Smoky Chipotle Black Bean Quinoa Chili
- Summer Vegetable Chili