Red Lentil Chili

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Chef AJ always inspires me. This is my adapted version. You can find her original recipe demonstrated on YouTube

Yield: About 8 cups


  • 1¼ cup (226 g/8 oz) red lentils, rinse and set aside
  • 1 large onion, chopped onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced 
  • 6 dates, pitted (85 g/1½ oz) 
  • 1 (796 ml/28 ounce) can tomatoes
  • 1 (156 ml/6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle powder 

Instructions for Instant Pot

  1. Instant Pot, dry sauté onions until beginning to caramelize, add garlic and sauté briefly taking car to not burn. Add chopped peppers, and lentils.
  2. In blender add dates, tomatoes and tomato paste and blend until smooth. Add blended mixture to the Instant Pot.
  3. Add water and give it a stir to mix. Cook on high for 10 minutes and let pressure drop naturally. 
  4. Carefully remove lid and add all the remaining ingredients. Stir well to mix. Enjoy as is or serve with a baked potato or hearty bun.

Other Cooking Options

Stove Top

This recipe can easily be done a stove top. Follow the same steps, but instead of setting the pressure cooker, bring the mixture to boil, cover and allow to simmer for 25-30 minutes or until lentils are soft.

Crock Pot

Alternatively, place all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for approximately 5 to 8 hours.