This vegan lentil chilli with black beans makes a great family meal. It's a healthy choice for midweek or weekend and the leftovers are great to reheat the next day too.
I really wish I could get my family to eat more vegan meals like this healthy black bean lentil chilli. It's super tasty and easy as well as being great for preparing in advance. The black beans and the lentils go brilliantly together and add a lovely texture.
I use red lentils and green lentils. The red lentils break down quite a lot and thicken the chilli while the green lentils hold their shape a bit more. It makes for a delicious chilli with lots of flavour and texture!
As well as the lentils and black beans it's also a meal full of other veggies. There are finely diced carrots, celery, onions and tinned tomatoes. Feel free to vary them if you want though. Extra peppers, courgette or aubergine all work really well in this.
What spices are in this lentil chilli?
I love spices and this plant based chilli recipe is definitely full of spice. I added cumin, coriander, all spice and paprika as well as a chilli pepper and some oregano. It's not too hot though. It would have been perfect for the children, if only they had tried it!
They were having one of those days where they refused to even taste it. Never mind, it did mean I got to eat more of it! I'm hoping they'll eat it next time though as they both love this easy hidden vegetable chilli con carne.
How to customise a chilli recipe
Because I got to eat a lot of this lentil chilli, I enjoyed playing around with the toppings and seasonings a little. There is so much you can do to finish off a chilli to make it taste exactly the way you want. I like to squeeze a little lime juice on at the end. I sometimes add grated cheese too. You can also add avocado slices, extra coriander leaves or spring onion.
I even tried a little of this Ooft sauce. It's an award winning hot scotch bonnet pepper sauce and for me at least a small drop went a long way!
How to store and reheat this lentil and black bean chilli?
This lentil black bean chilli keeps well in the fridge for up to three days. You can also freeze it. I like to freeze it in individual portions so it's easy to take out and reheat. To defrost, put it in the fridge overnight or pop it on the kitchen counter for a few hours during the day. If you're in a hurry you can reheat it from frozen, it will just take a big longer.
I usually reheat individual portions of this chilli in the microwave until it's piping hot. If you don't have a microwave you can reheat it in a saucepan but you will need to add a splash of water. You can also pop it in the oven for 20 minutes in a covered ovenproof dish.
Experimenting with my Tortilla Press
You may have noticed the flatbread that I served with the black bean chilli. I got a tortilla press for Christmas and am experimenting with it. The plan was to make tortillas but I didn't quite nail them.
I ended up with a type of flatbread which was delicious but not what I was hoping for. They definitely weren't tortillas. They were a bit like chubby little pitta breads, which is actually not a bad thing at all. I need to try out a few more recipes and work out how I like them but when I do, I promise I'll share the recipe.
After all, there are far worse things to have to experiment with than how to make tortillas!
This vegan lentil chilli is great for batch cooking
If you read this blog regularly you'll know just how much I love recipes which are just as good to make in advance and reheat as they are when they are freshly made. I even have a special Cook Once Eat Twice recipe collection. This vegan lentil chilli undoubtedly fits the bill. It fed me for about three days and each time I enjoyed it just as much.
Vegan Lentil Chilli
- 1.5 tbsp oil
- 2 onions finely diced, I used 1 red and 1 brown onion
- 1 piece celery finely diced
- 1 carrot finely diced
- 1 chilli pepper Remove the seeds to make it less hot. Add more if you want a hotter chilli or leave it out entirely
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- ½ teaspoon ground all spice
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoon tomato puree
- 400 g chopped tomatoes I used a tin but you could use fresh
- 120 g dried green lentils
- 120 g dried red lentils
- 230 g cooked black beans
- 15 g coriander leaf Chopped (cilantro)
- Toppings - avocado, herbs, cheese, tortilla chips, red onions, spring onions, olives, hot sauce all optional
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Cook the onion, carrot and celery gently for about 10 minutes so they soften but don't brown
- Add the garlic and chilli pepper. Stir for a minute then add the spices. Stir in the spices then add the tomato puree. Stir in too.
- Add the tomatoes, lentils and black beans. Top with about 700ml of water. Bring to the boil then lower to a simmer for about 40 minutes.
- Stir in most of the coriander leaf at the end. Reserve a little to sprinkle on top of the bowls.
- Serve with your favourite toppings
Are you looking for more vegan one pot meals?
Try one of these:
Keep in touch
Do let me know if you make this vegan lentil chilli or any of my other recipes.
Disclosure: I was sent a complimentary bottle of Ooft sauce and not required to write about it. I just felt it went rather well in this dish!