Weeknight dinners are a breeze with this delicious vegetarian Slow Cooker Lentil Taco Chili simmering away in the crock-pot!
My love of lentils is no secret. I put those bad boys in everything!
I’ve been playing around with red lentils in my chilis for a while now, but decided to channel the flavors of my tasty Lentil Tacos and use brown lentils to jazz up my latest chili creation.
Taco toppings and flavors make the most epic match for a big bowl of comforting chili and I am SO here for it.
Lentil Taco Chili for the win!
Because we all could use a win right now, this one pot wonder is made right in the slow cooker.
I’m all for dump and go crock-pot dinners right now and since this vegetarian chili can be made in advance (hello meal prep!) you can also save yourself extra time and clean-up by planning on the deeeeelish leftovers for lunch or dinner another night.
Classic chili has always been one of those dishes that’s even better the next day and this lentil taco chili is no exception! The leftover chili is AMAZING!
If needed, you can also portion freeze this chili for later, since tucking away some healthy “fast food” for later is always an epic time-saver.
Tasty Taco Chili Topping Options
- sliced jalapeños (fresh or pickled)
- sour cream (regular or vegan)
- sliced or cubed avocado
- fresh salsa or pico de gallo
- grated cheddar or Mexican blend cheese (skip for vegan)
- sliced olives
- fritos corn chips
- fresh cilantro
- chopped scallions
- tortilla chips or strips
I’m forever a huge fan of whipping up some fluffy homemade cornbread with my chili. You can stick with classic cornbread or embrace the taco vibes of this chili by serving it with my easy homemade Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread!
Another fun serving suggestion is to plate this Lentil Taco Chili over a bed of fluffy white or yellow rice. Then simply top it with all your favorite toppings from the list above and dive in!
It gives the chili a rice bowl vibe and is super duper filling and comforting – perfect for all the cold weather we’ve been having.
Slow Cooker Lentil Taco Chili
This recipe was made using a 6-QT crock-pot and yields 12 cups or 6 large bowls of tasty lentil taco chili.
Both brown and green lentils will work marvelous here so feel free to use what you have on hand!
Slow Cooker Lentil Taco Chili
- 1 cup dry green or brown lentils
- 1 medium onion (white or yellow)
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 jalapeño pepper (plus extra for topping, if desired)
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 2 cans black beans (15 oz each) drained and rinsed
- 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 1 cup salsa (choose your favorite!)
- 2 TBSP chili powder
- 1.5 TBSP ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 TBSP fresh chopped cilantro plus extra for topping, to taste
Easy Homemade Pico de Gallo
- 2 cups finely diced roma tomatoes (plum tomatoes)
- 1 cup finely diced white onion
- 1 jalapeño (seeds/stem removed)
- ¼-⅓ cup fresh chopped cilantro
- ½ lime , juiced
- ½-¾ tsp salt or season to taste
More Tasty Topping Options
- crushed tortilla chips
- grated cheese (skip for vegan)
- sour cream (vegan or regular)
- sliced avocado
- sliced or diced jalapeño peppers
- QUICK NOTE: This recipe was developed using a 6-QUART slow cooker. Cook time will be approx. 5 hours on HIGH or 9-10 hours on LOW heat.
- Pick over lentils, removing any broken pieces/rocls. Rinse in a fine mesh colander or sieve.
- Next prep your vegetables. Peel and dice onion. Remove stem/seeds from peppers and dice. Peel garlic and finely mince. Measure out remaining ingredients.
- This is the fun part – toss everything but the toppings in a 6-QUART crock-pot! To your slow cooker you will add chopped onion, bell peppers, jalapeno, garlic, beans, corn, crushed tomatoes, broth, salsa, spices, and lentils. Mix it all up and secure the lid.
- Want your chili spicy? Go for it! Feel free to add extra jalapeño on top, use spicy salsa in place of regular, and you can also control the heat of the chili by adding ground cayenne pepper to season your chili.
- Set slow cooker to HIGH for 5 hours or LOW for 9-10 hours, until lentils are cooked through and tender.
- Serve with rice, cornbread, or straight up with your choice of toppings. It's fabulous every which way!
- My favorite toppings for this chili are crushed tortilla chips (perfect for those broken chips at the bottom of the bag!) and fresh pico de gallo.
- To make the pico, finely chop onion, tomato, and jalapeno. Combine with the juice of 1/2 a lime, fresh cilantro, and season with salt. Add a hearty dollop on top of your piping hot chili and get ready to faceplant!
As written this pretty plant-based recipe can be either vegan or vegetarian (it just depends on your topping choice) and is gloriously gluten-free too. Love it so!
Leftover Lentil Taco Chili is cause for celebration! It’s AMAZING the next day and can even be revamped into different recipes such as Vegetarian Chili Cheese Dip or (one of my favorites!!!) Chili Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.
If you get a chance to try this tasty slow cooker lentil taco chili, let me know!
Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!