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Black Bean & Lentil Chili

Enjoy a meatless meal with this simple, warming chili recipe. It’ll keep you warm and satisfied without missing the meat! Loaded with protein, fiber, folate, magnesiumand zinc from the beans and lentils, this is a recipe perfect for cool days. Kids can be big helpers by stirring, adding and even measuring ingredients.  


2 T olive oil
1⁄2 onion (chopped)
1 green pepper (chopped)
3 clv garlic (chopped)
1⁄4 c chili powder
2 t oregano
2 t cumin
1⁄2 t salt
1 T tomato paste
3 c vegetable broth
1 1⁄4 c lentils (dried, uncooked)
28 oz tomatoes, crushed (canned, no salt added, drained and rinsed)
14 oz black beans (canned, no salt added, drained and rinsed)

Yield amount

6 Servings

Preparation time

10 minutes

Cooking time

30 minutes

Total time

40 minutes


  1. Wash hands and then rinse green bell pepper before getting started.
  2. Following package directions, rinse lentils in cold water and pick through to remove any shriveled lentils, tiny pebbles, or other debris.
  3. In a large pot, heat the oil on medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, and bell pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and spices and cook for another minute. 
  4. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 more minutes. 
  5. Add the remaining ingredients and mix to combine everything. Cover and turn the heat to low. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft. 
  6. Serve immediately or keep warm on low heat until mealtime.


Top with plain low-fat yogurt, a great creamy alternative to sour cream. 
Serve with a sprinkle of green onions or fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley.
Optionally you can soak the lentils in water for 2 to 4 hours. This will reduce the cooking time but since lentils are small, soaking ahead of time isn’t required.

Equipment you’ll need:

  • Knife 
  • Can opener
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Large pot with lid
  • Spoon
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