Lentils are delicious. And I love them. And you will love this lentil chili recipe! This is one of my favorite ways to eat lentils. Lentil chili for days!
I didn’t even know what lentils were until I was in college. The University of Idaho is in The Palouse, and The Palouse is the lentil growing capital of America, or something like that….There is even a Lentil Festival in Pullman, Washington every summer. The first time I came across a recipe that called for lentils was in college. It was a recipe for roasted veggies with lentils, and it was one of those recipes that I just had to make. Honestly, I think it was just potatoes, carrots, onions, lentils, and some seasonings in the crockpot on low overnight, but to a poor college kid with somewhat basic cooking skills, it was a gourmet meal!
Since then my love of lentils has grown, and I almost always have lentils stocked in the pantry. And lentils are cheap! Less than $1 for a bag (~2 -3 cups) at the grocery store! Other reasons to love lentils are as follows:
- Lentils also have the highest amount of protein out of all the legumes.
- 1 cup of lentils = 230 calories, 18 g protein, 16 g of fiber, and 36% of your daily iron needs!
- Lentils cook fast! 20 minutes! No soaking needed!
- Lentil are incredibly versatile from Middle Eastern to Ethiopian to Northwest American cooking and work in any dish from salads to dips to vegetarian main entrees to soups.
This chili recipe packs a lot of flavor (and fiber – FYI)! It’s definitely is not your typical chili recipe… you know I’m always trying to increase vegetables anyway I can, so I added some cabbage. I know what you’re thinking….cabbage in a chili recipe, but let me tell you, it’s delicious! I made this recipe a few times before I decided to post it because it is a little different, but we love it and it’s become another go-to recipe for us. Give it a try, I dare you!
For this recipe I used my trusty old dutch oven, browned the hamburger, sautéed in the onion and cabbage, added in the garlic, then the canned tomatoes, sliced jalapeños, broth, seasonings, and the lentils. Then I stirred it all up, covered the dish, and let it simmer. When the delicious, rich, earthy smell of the lentils starts creeping out of the kitchen and into the rest of your house, you’ll know it’s time to eat!
This recipe is perfect on its own or top with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, tabasco, etc. You could also make this vegetarian by leaving out the ground beef and doubling the lentils.
Enjoy! Let me know if you make the chili (cabbage and all) and #hashtag your post with #boundbyfood
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 1 medium onion, diced
- ¼ head of cabbage, roughly chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2-3 jalapeños, sliced
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp cayenne peppers
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cans of diced tomatoes
- 32 oz beef broth or vegetable broth
- 1 20 oz bag of lentils
- Shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream for topping
- Heat a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat.
- Brown ground beef, breaking into small pieces
- Once ground beef is cooked, add in onions, cabbage, garlic, and jalapeños.
- Cook until onions are soft, about 5 minutes
- Mix in seasonings - chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper
- Add canned diced tomatoes and broth
- Mix in lentils and stir to incorporate all ingredients.
- Cover and let simmer for 20-25 minutes or until lentils are cooked.
- Top with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream.