Traveling the world through cuisine

Lentil Chili

A simple and easy chili recipe using lentil beans, meat, and spices.

Lentil Chili


  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2-3 bell peppers, chopped
  • 3-4 lbs of ground meat
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) of diced tomatoes
  • 3 cans (8 oz each) of tomato sauce
  • 4-6 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of beef base
  • 3-6 tbsp of chili powder
  • 2 tbsp of Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 can of beer
  • 16-24 ounces of dried lentils, soaked.
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a frying pan or skillet, heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium heat.
  2. Place the onion and garlic into the oil and cook until the onion is soft.
  3. Add in the bell peppers and cook until soft.
  4. Remove the the onion/pepper/garlic mixture from the heat and set aside.
  5. In a stock pot, heat up the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil. Place the meat inside when ready.
  6. Brown the meat.
  7. Add in the onion/pepper/garlic mixture and stir.
  8. Add in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, celery, beef base, and seasonings.
  9. Stir thoroughly and bring the mixture to a boil.
  10. Pour the beer into the mixture and stir.
  11. Bring the mixture back to a boil again and then add in the lentils.
  12. Lower the heat to low and simmer until the beans are cooked.

Quick Notes

I mentioned before, but I’ll say it again for good measure. Be sure to soak the lentils before you start this dish. I’m sure you could go about this dish without soaking them, but you might be waiting a lot longer for it to finish.

I used the term “ground meat” because it’s really up to you. For my chili, I used 2 lbs of ground turkey and 1 lb of lean ground beef. You can go all beef or no beef or even a blend of ground meats. It’s up to your palette.

In terms of beer, that’s up to you as well. You can skip on this if you’re not in the mood, but I like adding beer to my chili because it gives the dish a full-bodied flavor. You can go thick with a stout like Guinness, or even some cheap beer will work.


Variate to your hearts content. I mentioned some in Quick Notes, but this really comes down to you. Take the lentils out and use kidney beans or no beans. Use a combination of meats, spice it up more, or even change the vegetables around. It’s up to you.

Serving Suggestions

You can serve this chili plain, or add in some low-fat cheese and fat free sour cream. Zuzana likes freshly chopped chives on hers.

I’ve also used this chili as an ingredient for nachos. Simply lay out the tortilla chips on a plate, add a layer of the chili, salsa, cheese, and any other ingredients you like such as olives, sour cream, chives etc.

Tags: beef, chili, lentil, Tex-Mex, turkey

comments powered by Disqus