HellaWella Recipe: Vegan chili


Related Articles

Don’t turn up your nose, carnivores. We guarantee you’ll want seconds of this healthy substitute for beef chili, provided by our own Gail Hoffer. With black beans, white beans, kidney beans and lentils, this chili recipe is packed with nutritious vitamins and minerals. Among them: dietary fiber, folate, protein, vitamin C, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, copper and manganese.



  • 1/2 pound dry black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 pound dry white beans (aka Great Northern or cannelloni beans), rinsed
  • 1/2 pound of dry kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 pound lentils, rinsed
  • 1 box of diced tomatoes (I like using the box since its BPA-free. Canned tomatoes pose the biggest threat of exposure. Click here to see my preferred brand.)
  • 1 can of diced green chilies
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • Spices: Ground cumin, coriander seed, paprika, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes



  1. Combine dry beans (no lentils) in a large pot with about 12 cups (check label) of warm water. Bring to a boil and let sit for about an hour, or overnight if you prefer.
  2. After beans have been soaked, drain a bit of the soaking liquid and return to stove (covered), keeping heat on low.
  3. Add diced onion, green pepper, chilies and lentils.
  4. At this point, you can also start adding spices (EXCEPT salt). I start with about a tablespoon (except for red pepper flakes, which would be about a teaspoon) of each and add more as needed.
  5. It should take about three to four hours for beans and lentils to become tender. It is important to wait until this point before adding tomatoes and salt. The acid from the tomatoes and salt will dry out the beans.
  6. Once the beans and lentils are tender, add the tomatoes (including the juice they are in) and salt. Continue cooking for about another hour. This is also a good time to check to see if the spice level is where you want it and adjust accordingly.
  7. Note: The longer you cook the chili, the deeper the flavor and the less watery it will be.