Slow Cooker Lentil Chili

4.63 from 8 votes

Warm and comforting, made with all plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free ingredients

Try this warm and hearty Slow Cooker Lentil Chili!

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a hot bowl of chili on a cold, winter day. The delicious tomato and chili-infused broth combined with thick, chunky stew-like contents do wonders to warm you up from the inside out. Traditional chili recipes are made with beef (and Texas chili doesn’t contain any beans at all). Our Slow Cooker Lentil Chili is different: It’s made with 100 percent plant-based ingredients but will satisfy your belly and your taste buds just like a meaty chili.

It gets even better than that! You can make this Slow Cooker Lentil Chili in a Crock-Pot, saving you a ton of time. No more laboring over the stovetop all day long to get the chili of your dreams. Simply dump the ingredients into the slow cooker, turn it on low, and dinner will be ready by the time you get home from work. Serve it with our easy Plant-Based Cashew Flat Bread instead of traditional cornbread for a vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free meal!

A Bowl Packed Full of Nutrition

This plant-based slow cooker lentil chili is full of nutrients that will warm yu up and satisfy your tastebuds.

This Slow Cooker Lentil Chili not only tastes great, but it’s packed full of nutrient-dense ingredients. For starters, it contains both lentils and kidney beans or black beans. Legumes are some of the most nutritious ingredients out there. They are low in fat and cholesterol, but their high fiber and protein content makes them just as filling as meat. Lentils are a great source of B vitamins, potassium, zinc, and magnesium, while both black beans and kidney beans provide iron, phosphorous, manganese, and thiamine.

Then there are all the vegetables. This Slow Cooker Lentil Chili contains sweet potatoes, carrots, red bell peppers, corn, tomatoes, and chilies. Put them all together, and you’ll get a boost of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients.

Slow Cooker Lentil Chili Made Better with The Right Garnish

Add the perfect vegan-friendly garnishes to increase flavor and boost appearance!

This Slow Cooker Lentil Chili tastes great on its own, but you can make it even better by adding the right garnish. The chili itself is deep and rich, so adding fresh ingredients will brighten it up. Some of these garnishes can make the soup more satisfying and filling, too!

Let’s start with the fresh ingredients. Limes can be used in two ways here. The zest (or grated peel) will add a bright flavor and a touch of bitterness to balance the rich broth. The juice, on the other hand, adds acidity and sourness. This tangy flavor will bring out the other flavors in the chili. Fresh cilantro and chopped green onions add herbaceous notes (and you can absolutely use parsley if cilantro isn’t to your liking).

The optional avocado and vegan sour cream will add satiating fats to the dish. Avocados contain heart-healthy fats like oleic acid, the same fatty acids found in olives. These healthy fats help keep you feeling fuller for longer, so don’t be afraid to add avocado to this Slow Cooker Lentil Chili. We also recommend a dollop of sour cream to add creaminess to the dish. If you’re following a plant-based diet, try our dairy-free sour cream made with cashews.

4.63 from 8 votes

Slow Cooker Lentil Chili

Set it, forget it, and come home to a filling, plant-based dinner that will fill your belly and warm you up!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Yield 12 servings
Serving Size 1 cup
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American


  • 2 cups brown lentils or green
  • 15 ounces kidney beans or black beans, canned, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups carrots thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion medium, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper medium, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 sweet potato diced
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 30 ounces diced tomatoes canned
  • 4 ounces diced green chilies canned
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • zest and juice of 1 lime, fresh cilantro, chopped green onions, or sliced avocado (optional toppings)
  • homemade vegan sour cream or store-bought, optional


  • Add all the ingredients (except the garnish ingredients) into a large slow cooker and stir to combine.
  • Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours (or 4 to 5 hours on high), until the lentils are tender. If the chili isn’t thick enough for your liking, stir in additional tomato paste during the last hour.
  • Garnish each bowl with the lime zest and juice, cilantro, green onions, sliced avocado, and vegan sour cream, if desired.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 722mg | Potassium: 371mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 7032IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 2mg |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 5
Keywords Plant-Based, Slow Cooker

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Chef Lindsay

Lindsay D. Mattison is a professional chef, recipe developer, and food writer. After graduating from Cascade Culinary School, Lindsay worked as the executive chef of a farm-to-table restaurant in Bend, Oregon. She is passionate about using local, organic ingredients and loves teaching home cooks how to incorporate seasonal food into their diet. While she spends most of her time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to create beautiful meals for her family. She lives with her husband in Colorado, where she enjoys the trials and errors of gardening.

More by Lindsay D.


    1. Melanie, Our chili can be made in an Instant Pot. Use these approximately times for cooking:

      Cook on high pressure for around 10 minutes. Allow the pressure to release for another 10 minutes.
      Quick release any remaining pressure.

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