Saturday, March 4, 2017

Easy Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lentil Chili

Happy Saturday!  It's going to be a rainy Sunday tomorrow and that has me thinking about some warm comforting chili.  What I have in mind is minimal effort on top of being comforting which is great for a Sunday.  I just have to throw everything into the slow cooker and you are done.  Sounds awesome, right?  Well read on then.

I have to admit....I struggle with the slow cooker.  Things often don't turn out as flavorful as I would like.  I often forget to put the stuff in the crock pot in the morning, then too late, I realize I am short on time.  Yet, I still try to throw everything in the crockpot, turn it on high and hope for the best.  And another thing, too many recipes call for browning stuff on the stove before it goes into the crock pot. This is something I refuse to do.  I just refuse.  First of all, who has time to cook in the morning? (Morning people, no one asked you.) Who wants garlic or onions stinking up the kitchen that early. Second of all, the whole point of the slow cooker for me is to make my life easier, which translates into one pot cooking and not standing over the stove cooking.  Perhaps if I had one of those brown on the stove crock pots, that would solve some of my issues, but alas, I do not, and the crock pot hasn't proven it's worth to me enough to invest in one of these.  However, if I can find a few more recipes like the one I am about to share with you, I might convert to a believer yet.

I stumbled across this gem of a slow cooker recipe on Pinterest.  It is from Aggie's Kitchen.  I don't know who this chic is, but I will be visiting her site again for more ideas because YUM.  Here is the link to the recipe and her site.  She has far better pictures than me of the finished product.  I had to referee a disagreement between big brother and little sister, so I got distracted and failed to get a finished picture.

So anyway...........


Easy Recipes, Slow Cooker, Vegetarian
Ingredients for Easy Veggie Chili
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves (Okay - I added 4 because I like garlic)
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 2 bell peppers (Might I suggest one red and one green)
  • 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 can of water (Use the can of diced tomatoes)
  • 1 cup of dried lentils
  • 1 15 oz can of Pinto Beans (She recommends Bush Pinto Beans)
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

1. Place all the ingredients into the slow cooker.  Cook on low heat for 8 hours.

Serve with your favorite fixings: shredded cheese, plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, avocado, green onion, cilantro.  Serves 6-8.

Really - that's it. One step - throw all the shit into the pot and turn it on.  I forgot (per usual) so I just turned it up on high and cooked it for 4(ish) hours and it turned out fine.  

Here is what it looked like (before I got distracted).

Easy Slow cooker Vegetarian Chili, Easy Recipes
Vegetarian Slow Cooker Chili

I typically change things in recipes that I try.  This one, you could leave alone and it would be delicious.  However, things that I would change.  This chili is very mild, so I might add some heat, like say, a jalapeƱo or maybe swap the chili powder for chipotle chili powder (or half regular and half chipotle).  Also, you may have noticed there is no salt listed.  I have to add salt.  Salt is the spice of life (or something like that).  I add the salt at the end.  In addition to the fixings she suggests, we also added nacho chips (because I told the kids that it was nachos).  If you go the nacho route, then I might suggest slightly reducing the liquid.

So if you like it then by all means, add it to your growing menu collection that we discussed last week when we talked about how to make only one trip to the grocery store a week.  If you need a refresher, you can visit that post by clicking here:

If you are stuck for some menu ideas, here is a picture of our menu last week:

Recipes, Weekly menu
Weekly Menu Ideas

Have an awesome weekend ya'll!


  1. I agree I hate having to brown my meat. Adds a step that just adds time and more things to clean. Never thought about not doing it....rule follower here. How does the recipe turn out if you don't? Also, when you say the type of crock pot than you can put on the stovetop, do you mean if I have a ceramic insert I can cook my meat directly on the stove then put it in my crockpot? If this is what you are talking have blown my mind! :)

    1. I do have the ceramic insert, and no, you can't put it on the stove directly, but they do make crockpots now where you can take the insert and put it on the stove to brown your ingredients. I would love to have one, but I have't found enough crock pot recipes that I like enough yet to justify. This one is flavorful enough to skip any browning, and I don't say that lightly because I am a bit of a food snob. Definitely needs more heat though IMO. There are some recipes that you just can't skip that step because it needs the flavor from the caramelization of the meat. If that is hte case then I usually modify the recipe to go on the stove in a dutch oven, so I don't have to clean two pots.