slow cooker black bean lentil chili

Slow Cooker Black Bean Lentil Chili

This homemade Chili bursts with flavour through simple and basic pantry ingredients.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Lentil Chili

This homemade Chili bursts with flavour through simple and basic pantry ingredients.
slow cooker black bean lentil chili

This homemade Black Bean Lentil Chili bursts with flavour through simple and basic pantry ingredients.

In an attempt to include more protein rich foods in our everyday meals, I thought I’d pull together a completely vegetarian, slow cooker chili! Made with ingredients you most likely have on hand, which means this meal comes together so easily. Place your ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning, set it, and forget it!

The absolute best part about making homemade chili is the ability to diversify to fit your families preferred taste and texture. There is always room for variation and personalized ingredients to make this dish your own. This also includes toppings! I like to create a chili bar where the kids can add their own flare.

Our family (me) has recently become more aware of the protein we are getting day to day. When I started tracking what I was eating, I was shocked at how little protein I was consuming. I’m not a huge meat-eater, so I knew in order to increase my protein, I needed to start cooking with more beans and legumes. To be honest I don’t know why they weren’t apart of our regular meals. They store in the pantry forever, are relatively inexpensive and are so easy to heat up or cook. They round out most meals perfectly!

With that being said, my husband and kids are still after a protein packed but super tasty meal. I’ve tried implementing family style dining more recently and it’s been a huge hit. Chili is a great place to start as you can put out multiple toppings so everyone can make their own bowl. The kids love the autonomy and I love the simplicity!

A few options for toppings:

Garnish – I like to include a squeeze of lime, cilantro, jalapenos or maybe green onions. These extras compliment the richness of the chili

Sauces – A dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt. Try adding cubes of avocado or a nice spicy guacamole for some extra richness

Cheese – I love to add a nice aged orange cheddar cheese. It melts so nicely on top of the hot chili and is hands down my kids favourite topping!


Lentils – one of the best plant based protein sources out there! They are also packed with fiber, folate, iron, and potassium. Best of all? You don’t even notice them in the chili, but they definitely contribute to the thick texture.

Black Beans – Another powder bean, packed full of protein and fiber as well!

Vegetable Stock – Instead of using the pre-made vegetable stock, I suggest using Better Than Boullion – it adds the most delicious flavour and allows you to dilute the intensity, or in my case, add extra! I keep it on hand in the fridge and use it in multiple recipes.

Mushrooms & Onions – the key to creating a meaty type texture, is to use a food processor to chop your mushrooms and onions. The food processor creates the perfect meaty consistency.

To Thicken

I highly recommend using an emersion blender, or even a bullet or vitamix to blend 2 cups of chili to add back into the slow cooker – this creates the thick consistency. Another option is to add 2 tsp of cornstarch to the slow cooker to create a gravy type texture.


This chili is just right for our liking but you can increase or reduce the spice level to your liking. For extra heat, leave the seeds in your jalapenos or add a few dashes of hot sauce or a sprinkle of chili flakes. You can always add ground beef or ground turkey to this recipe as well! If you’d rather, you can always cook the chili in a large sauce pot on the stove. Think low and slow simmer – similar to spaghetti sauce.

Can You Freeze Chili?!


Chili freezes and reheats beautifully. We freeze it in single sized portions for lunches or in freezer bags for a quick and easy protein packed weeknight meal. Defrost in the fridge overnight and heat in a saucepan (or microwave) to serve.

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slow cooker black bean lentil chili

Slow Cooker Black Bean Lentil Chili

  • Author: Jenni Varughese
  • Prep Time: 20 MINUTES
  • Cook Time: 4 HOURS
  • Total Time: 4 HR, 20 MIN
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


Healthy homemade chili featuring loads of beans, lentils and veggies. An absolute favourite, even for meat-lovers! Perfectly spiced and packed with plenty of protein and fiber. Can be made on the stovetop or in your slow cooker.


Units Scale
  • 2 cup whole mushrooms
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 540 ml dark red kidney beans
  • 540 ml black beans
  • 796 ml canned diced tomatoes
  • 398 ml tomato sauce
  • 156 ml tomato paste
  • 1 cup red split lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp Tex Mex seasoning
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  1. Prepare your slow cooker. Select cook time for 4-6 hours.
  2. In a food processor add whole mushrooms, white onion and garlic cloves. Pulse until finely chopped. Add to your slow cooker.
  3. By hand, chop bell peppers into 1/2 inch pieces, add to slow cooker.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients into the slow cooker – dark red kidney beans, black beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, red split lentils, vegetable broth, Tex Mex seasoning, chili flakes, chili powder, garlic salt, paprika, cumin, oregano, sea salt and black pepper. Stir and let cook on high for 4-6 hours.
  5. After approximately 4 hours, taste for flavour. Adding in more sea salt or pepper etc.
  6. Once chili is cooked, using an immersion blender (or scoop 2 cups into a blender), pulse until blended. Add back into the chili. This step is important for creating that thick, stew like consistency.


This recipe makes 8-10 servings. Any leftovers? Freeze and pull out for a quick week day meal option!

  • Category: Mains
  • Method: Slow Cooker


  • Calories: 429
  • Sugar: 14
  • Sodium: 1426
  • Fat: 2
  • Saturated Fat: 0
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 80
  • Fiber: 21
  • Protein: 25
  • Cholesterol: 0

Keywords: chili, black bean, lentil, protein, vegetarian, slow cooker, tex mex

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