Three Bean Lentil Chili

It is the end of October, and chili season is in full swing! I am loving the weather here in Georgia, and this Three Bean Lentil Chili is perfect for the cooler days we have been having recently. It is smoky, spicy, and flavorful. The combination of three different beans plus lentils give this chili an awesome texture. You won’t even miss the meat!

Ingredients and Substitutions for Three Bean Lentil Chili:

ingredients for three bean lentil chili

  • Avocado oil – Use any cooking oil that can handle high-heat cooking.
  • Red onion – Use white or yellow onion.
  • Diced tomatoes with green chilies – I used a can of Rotel so that I could have the flavor from the diced green chilies, but you can use plain diced tomatoes if you would like.
  • Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce – I don’t normally cook with these, but they give the chili such a nice smoky flavor, so I wouldn’t recommend substituting them. If you are sensitive to spice, I would include only 1/2 teaspoon at first and increase the amount if needed.
  • Beans – This is a three bean chili, so I used pinto beans, black beans, and white beans, but you could use garbanzo beans, kidney beans, or any combination of those in your chili.
  • Lentils – I used Earthly Choice Lentil Trio that I found at my local Publix. You can use different types of lentils. It will just affect the cooking time. On the back of my package of lentils, it says to cook for 20 minutes. I would use the package cooking time to help gauge how long you will need to cook your chili if you use a different type of lentils.
  • Tomato sauce – You want to use plain tomato sauce with no seasonings/salt added in this recipe for best results.
  • Vegetable broth – Use any type of broth or stock, even water can be used as the liquid in this chili.

How to make Three Bean Lentil Chili:

This recipe is so easy! It is made in all in one pot. First, you saute the onions. Then add the garlic and some seasonings. Next, you add the remaining ingredients, stir, cover, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to reach a nice simmer. Simmer until the lentils are cooked. Ladle into bowls, garnish with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!! 😀

Sizzling Tip:

To reduce the sodium content of this recipe, I recommend using low sodium or no salt added canned beans, tomato sauce, and broth. You can also drain and rinse your beans with cold water to remove any extra salt. I also don’t add any salt to this recipe until the very end after I have tasted it.

three bean lentil chili in a bowl

Three Bean Lentil Chili

Spicy, smoky, flavorful chili with three types of beans and lentils for plenty of protein and fiber.
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings


  • 1 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 tsp diced chipotles in adobo
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can great northern (white) beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup uncooked lentil trio blend I used Earthly Choice Lentil Trio
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 cups vegetable broth low sodium
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste


  • greek yogurt or sour cream
  • shredded cheese
  • cilantro
  • avocado
  • tortilla chips


  • Heat avocado oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat. Add diced red onion. Cook for 3-5 minutes until slightly softened.
  • Add minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar. Cook for another minute until fragrant, stirring frequently.
  • Next, add diced tomatoes, diced chipotles, pinto beans, great northern beans, black beans, tomato sauce, vegetable broth, and lime juice. Stir to combine.
  • Cover, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down low to simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils are tender, stirring frequently to avoid burning.
  • Garnish with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Keyword beans, chili, high protein, lentils, vegan, vegetarian

Adapted from Vegan Black Bean Chili on the Midwest Foodie Blog.

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