Recipe: Lentil Chilli

I decided recently that I wanted to try and eat more vegetarian food. Whilst I enjoy meat, and don’t intend to give it up entirely, I don’t feel the need to eat it everyday and I don’t want to take it for granted. There are lots of reasons why we shouldn’t eat meat, or at least not eat it as frequently that have started to make more sense to me. This recipe came about as a result of me experimenting with non-meat dishes.

lentil chilli

Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture when I first made it… so this is a small portion being reheated on the second night!


1 onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

1 courgette, chopped

1 tin of lentils

1 tin of mixed ‘5 beans’

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

2 squares of dark chocolate (or to taste)

cumin (to taste)

tomato puree (to taste)

chilli powder (to taste)

grated cheese (to garnish)


  • Fry the onion until softened, add the garlic, carrots and courgette and continue to fry until all softened.
  • Add the lentils and heat through, then add the chopped tomatoes and beans.
  • Add your spices and simmer whilst cooking your rice (if this is what you are having to accompany it).
  • Taste, and if to your satisfaction – serve!

When I had this, I thought I would miss the meaty flavour of normal chilli con carne but I was wrong! Luckily, I had my other flavourings right so I didn’t miss it at all. I appreciate that the instructions are pretty vague, but it really is about personal preference. I don’t like my chilli as spicy as some people do, and I always tend to use a lot of cumin. Just do what you enjoy. The lentils were also more filling than mince – which meant I had a lot left over! To get around this, I ate it again the following night with mashed sweet potato and green beans. I also froze a couple of portions so that my boyfriend can try it when he’s back. Enjoy!

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