Crock-Pot Lentil Vegetable Chili Recipe

Crock-Pot Lentil Vegetable Chili~a great cold weather meal.

A few months ago my friend and I were at Costco and got a sample of their lentil chili.  It was amazing!  It had that “out of a can” thickness that I have been after, so I started on a journey to the perfect lentil chili.

Slow Cooker Days

Crock-pot Lentil Chili

My kids and I then ventured forth to the library and we found a book all about chilies: The Ultimate Chili Book by Christopher B. O’Hara.  In it I found a Lentil Vegetable Chili recipe.  It’s not the same as what I tasted in Costco, but it was still amazing and got that same great thickness that I was after.  I adapted Christopher’s version, adding a few extra ingredients, and used the crock-pot.

Crock-pot Lentil Vegetable Chili


The Verdict: My family has enjoyed this very much several times.   I put so much kick in it the last time I ate it I was sure that my kids wouldn’t like it.  Yes, my 3 year old son, struggled with it after the nacho chips he was eating with the chili were gone, but my girls asked for seconds, and then Abbie even asked for thirds!

Crock-pot Lentil Vegetable Chili

You can substitute tomato sauce and even spaghetti sauce for the pureed tomatoes in a pinch.  I’ve done it with success.

Crock-pot Lentil Vegetable Chili

As a leftover the chili lentils thicken and make a great filling for burritos.  My husband now actually prefers the lentil chili over the re-fried beans we’ve done for years.

Crock-Pot Lentil Chili Recipe

Crock-Pot Lentil Chili Recipe


  • 2 T olive oil
  • handful of kale, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced (or to taste)
  • 2 bell peppers, color of choice, chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced (I don't peel if it's organic)
  • 3 cups tomatoes, pureed (approximately a 28 oz. can)
  • 1-3 jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded, and carefully chopped
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 2 t cumin
  • 2 t oregano
  • pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • sea salt
  • optional, water


  1. Optional, saute the kale onion, garlic, scallions, bell pepper, and carrots in olive oil. This will make the chili more flavorful, but you can skip this step.
  2. Rinse the lentils.
  3. Place all ingredients in the crock-pot, and cover. If you skipped the sauteing, wait to put the bell pepper in until the last hour of cooking.
  4. Cook on high for 4 hours and then on low for another 3 hours or until the lentils and carrots are soft and the chili is thoroughly heated. After four hours of cooking, if the chili appears to be too thick, add some water. I don't always do it, but I've added up to a cup of water before, and the flavor didn't appear to be diluted in any way.
  5. Enjoy!

I love the flavor of the Lentil Chili way more than the easy, the Crock-pot Can-Can Chili now, but the Can-Can Chili is super fast, and great in a pinch.

Have you tried…?

Chili in the Crock-pot

Go here to see a list of 140+ Natural and Organic Items Costco has.

Costco Whole Natural and Organic Grocery Price List Update

For more slow cooking inspiration, visit my Cookin’ with the Crock-pot board on Pinterest.

Cookin' w the crock-pot Screen Shot

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  1. Raechelle says

    Was this the one based on Amy’s? I can’t recall if that’s the brand or not, but I LOVE that stuff and have been wanting to make my own! I’m terrible with lentils, but love, love, love what they sell at Costco. I will definitely try this recipe! Thanks! (Even though it’s not quite the same, I love chili too, so we’ll give it a whirl.)

    • says

      Hi Raechelle, I actually don’t remember the brand of lentil chili Costco had, but since they have such a limited selection of items, I wouldn’t be surprised if that was my inspiration. This recipe is much spicier, so you can toy with the spices if you want. The great thing about lentils is they are a frugal form of protein! We just started eating them this year. Happy Mother’s Day Raechelle!

    • says

      Hi Suzanne, After I saw the original recipe, I knew I had to try it in the crock-pot. And lentils are so frugal! Blessings!

  2. Laura says

    What kind of lentils did you use? I get different results when I use the red lentils vs. the green/brown.

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