This slow cooker lentil and bean chili is an easy and delicious crockpot dump meal that the whole family will enjoy. It only requires 10 minutes of hands on time and is perfect for those week nights where you only have a few minutes tops to devote to dinner.
I feel like there are two types of chili eaters in the world: team beans and team gimme the meats.
I fall squarely into team beans. There’s just something about beef and tomato sauce together that makes me a little queasy. I hate meat sauce on pasta. Spaghetti and meatballs is an hard pass for me. And beef-based chilis are just plain gross. (And yes, I DO like ketchup on my hamburger. I’m not a monster.)
The very first time I tried a bean based chili, I was pleasantly surprised. Turns out it wasn’t the chili I hated, it was the meat in it.
I have a tried and true vegetarian chili recipe that I love to make in the colder months. It has a nice heat to it and is filled with fire-roasted tomatoes, chickpeas, kidney beans, and corn. I also make a buffalo chickpea chili that is seriously heaven in a bowl. (I should totally bring those recipes out of retirement. In the meantime, you can find them in the recipe archives e-book.) And now, I have a lentil and bean chili to round out the trifecta of awesome.
(Maybe I’ll do a chili-off this fall and see which one is the official chili champion…)
What I like about this slow cooker lentil and bean chili:
- It’s easy to make and requires like 10 minutes tops of hands-on time.
- It cooks in the slow cooker, so it is a great recipe for those evenings where you either don’t have time to make dinner or just don’t want to spend a lot of time getting something on the table for dinner.
- It makes a LOT of food, so it can feed a crowd OR be frozen for a later date when you really only have two minutes to get food on the table and in your belly.
- It’s delicious.
But the absolute best part about this particular chili… The Big Kid wanted to eat it, too!
That’s right. She saw me eating a bowl for dinner the other night and asked to try it. Which WHOA-M-G. And then — AND THEN — she asked to have a bowl of her very own for dinner the following night.
I almost fainted.
Did she end up loving it when it was her very own dinner? No. But she tried, y’all. And that was a MAJOR win in my book.
Tl;dr – make the chili. Your kids might like it. And if they don’t, you’ll have a delicious meal that you can enjoy over and over (and over) again.
Slow Cooker Lentil And Bean Chili
- Slow cooker or Crockpot
- 1 cup lentils rinsed
- 2 cups diced tomatoes
- 1 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz can white or cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 4 cups organic vegetable (or chicken) broth or 1 tbsp better than bouillon plus 4 cups water
- 1 ½ cups red onion diced
- ½ cup celery diced
- 1 tsp garlic minced
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes with juice
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- Put all ingredients into a slow cooker and cook for 3 to 4 hours on high or 7 to 8 hours on low.