This hearty, filling lentil vegetarian chili features sweet potatoes and black beans! It’s the perfect cozy meal to curl up with on cold or rainy days.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over my years of cooking, baking, and well, eating, it’s that you can’t always judge a dish by its cover. Sometimes, the not-so-pretty foods are the most delicious. Case in point: this sweet potato, black bean, & lentil vegetarian chili.
Over the weekend, veggie chili sounded like the perfect thing for the cool weather we’ve been having in North Carolina. I spotted a bag of dried green lentils hanging out in the pantry, which I love using because a) they’re really affordable and b) they have a lot of protein.
I also decided to incorporate sweet potatoes, too, because when can you go wrong with sweet potatoes? And black beans were a natural addition since black beans + sweet potatoes are a match made in heaven.
Although I’m not a vegetarian, I love experimenting with meatless recipes, and the resulting chili was the best thing I’ve eaten in weeks! It was so hearty and filling. Even my meat-loving dad had a bowl of this sweet potato chili the next day for lunch and declared it to be a success.
And check it out: for a huge bowl of vegetarian goodness, you’re looking at 360 calories, 22 grams of protein, and 12 grams of fiber. That’s pretty awesome! Not to mention, lentils and black beans are both packed with iron and sweet potatoes are loaded with Vitamin A.
I already can’t wait to make this lentil vegetarian chili again! Sweet potato chili is healthy comfort food at its finest.
If you try this sweet potato, black bean, & lentil veggie chili, feel free to let me know in a comment or take a picture and tag me @livbane on Instagram– I’d love to see!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 3 cups water
- 25 oz. jar marinara sauce, approx. (can sub 30 oz. canned tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes)
- 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 2 cups dried green lentils
- 4 carrots, diced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder (start with 1 1/2 tablespoon if you're sensitive to heat)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more or less to your desired level of spiciness)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 3 cups (2 cans) black beans, drained and rinsed
In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil, chopped onion, and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients (vegetable broth, water, marinara or tomato sauce, tomato paste, lentils, and carrots). Then, add the spices (chili powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne, and salt). Turn the heat up to high, bringing the broth to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, add cubed sweet potato and black beans and let chili simmer on medium-low heat for 40-50 more minutes or until the lentils are tender. Add extra water or broth to thin, if needed, toward the end.
Top chili with sour cream, avocado slices, and/or freshly grated cheese, if desired. Enjoy!
Nutrition per 1/12 of recipe (a large bowl): Calories: 360 Fat: 4g Protein: 22g Fiber: 12g