Protein Packed Vegan Chili

Chili is one of those meals that tastes great and tastes even better the longer it sits! This Protein Packed Vegan Chili is full of all the good stuff. This recipe makes a big pot, so you can have leftovers and even freeze some too!

I enjoy making a pot of chili on a cool day. It doesn’t matter what season it is. If it’s winter, I’ll pair my pot of chili with hot and crusty bread. Or a favourite is to serve the chili in a bread bowl! So yummy! As we are getting closer to summer, I served this Protein Packed Vegan Chili with tortilla chips. We didn’t even use spoons. The chips were perfect for scooping this smoky chili right into our mouths.

A funny story about my chili making adventures. When I first started to learn how to cook, I went all out and bought all the spices from the grocery store. I made this massive pot of chili. I was so proud of myself, until I tried it. Without realizing it, I bought HOT chili powder. Oh my goodness we tried so hard to eat it. It was seriously painful and we ended up throwing it all out. There was nothing we could do. I learned my lesson and double check the package every time I purchase chili powder.

My kids devour chili. My oldest daughter loves it super chunky as it’s meant to be, while my youngest doesn’t love the chunks, so I usually throw it through the blender for her. It may sound strange, but it’s actually really delicious! Since it’s still such a thick soup, scooping still works!

We love to top our chili with everything and anything. I love to top it with fresh chives right from our garden. Sour cream and cheese are also a big hit around here!

For more quick meals, check out my other dinner posts!

vegan chili

Making this Protein Packed Vegan Chili

  • I like to start out with prepping all of my ingredients. Chop the onion, strain and rinse the beans, measure and rinse the lentils, cut up the bell pepper and measure out your spices. This makes everything run smoothly.
  • Start with sautéing the onions in a little bit of oil. Once they are translucent, add in the garlic and continue to cook until fragrant.
  • Add in the spices and cook for another 30-60 seconds.
  • Pour in the diced tomatoes and juices, beans, lentils and water. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Stirring every few minutes to prevent the lentils from sticking to the bottom. Add more water if needed.
  • Once the lentils are cooked, add in the brown sugar. This helps to cut the acidity of the tomatoes.
  • At this point you can eat the chili right away. or let it sit on low. Chili holds up extremely well!
vegan chili

Protein Packed Vegan Chili

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: chili, soup, vegan
Author: tastesofthyme


  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 29oz can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1 14oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1.5 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • sour cream optional
  • cheese optional
  • tortilla chips optional


  • In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add in the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and spices and cook for an additional 30-60 seconds.
  • Pour in the tomatoes, beans, water, pepper, lentils, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Stirring every 5-10 minutes so the lentils don't stick to the bottom.
  • Once the lentils are fully cooked, stir in the brown sugar. Adjust any spices if you like. I've made this mild so it's child friendly.
  • Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream, and cheese if you like!

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