Color & Control:

Vegan Chili

Red lentils and a duo of beans makes this vegan chili super meaty, and a slew of pantry ingredients impart a ultra-deep, rich flavor.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium jalapeño, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon unsweetened natural cocoa powder
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon light or dark molasses
1 cup dried red lentils
1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
3 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

For serving (optional):

2 medium avocados, diced
4 medium scallions, thinly sliced
1 medium jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced


1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, celery, jalapeño, and garlic, and cook until soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the cocoa powder, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure the spices don’t burn. Stir in the molasses and lentils and cook for a minute more.

2. Add the tomatoes, broth, and beans, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the chili from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

3. Serve topped with avocado, scallions, and jalapeño, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers will keep for up to 4 days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.


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