This is a lovely chill recipe. We enjoyed it only mildly spicy not as a 4 alarm chill, but if you prefer, you can add more heat.

Red Lentil Chili

Serving Size: 6


  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes (14 ounce each)
  • 1/4 cup apple butter
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Chop the onion.
  2. De-seed and chop the red bell pepper.
  3. Heat the oil in a large soup pot.
  4. Place the onion and bell pepper pieces in the pot and sauté until soft.
  5. Add the cans of crushed tomatoes, minced garlic, taco seasonings, red pepper flakes, and cumin.
  6. Turn the heat down and allow the flavors to warmly meld. Then allowed to sit, covered, not cooking, but seasoning. Then shortly before serving heat, and continue with the recipe.
  7. While the base sauce is melding in flavor, cook the lentils. Depending upon which red lentils you use it will take 10-15 minutes until they are soft.
  8. Once the red lentils are soft, drain off any extra liquid through a colander and add the lentils to the cooking tomato base.
  9. Add the apple butter and vinegar.
  10. Stir well to mix evenly.
  11. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and if desired add additional heat using Tabasco, cayenne or more red pepper flakes.
  12. We served the chili over a bed of white rice with a dollop of soy yogurt, some vegan Parmesan garnished the meal with a few parsley leaves.


This made a lot, so we enjoyed left overs, and one can also make burgers by adding a few dried bread crumbs to thicken and create firm burgers.