Vegan Cornbread & Lentil Chili

While I might have jumped the gun by making soup a few times in September and October, November is now here and I am officially in Soup Season mode.

I love making a big batch of a hearty vegan soup or chili on Sunday or Monday and having it on hand to heat up for an easy lunch or dinner throughout the week.

What I love most about soups and chilis is that you don’t even need a recipe, they come together so easily and its so easy to add a little of this or a little of that to adjust to your liking, and this recipe was no exception, it came together on the spot. Feel free to adjust any of the seasonings and vegetables to your liking. If you want a more mild chili, omit the jalapeño or chipotle pepper.

Vegan Lentil Chili 


  • tsp. of olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bell pepper (I used green)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1 chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce (these come in a can in the Mexican section of most grocery stores)
  • 1 28oz. can of fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • 1 15oz. can of pinto beans
  • 1 15oz. can of red kidney beans
  • 1/2 of bottle of lager style beer (optional)
  1. Chop the onion and mince the garlic (I used a frozen cube of garlic)
  2. Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft and translucent
  3. Season the onion and garlic with the spices (adjust more or less of each to your taste)
  4. Chop the bell pepper, add it to the pot
  5. Chop the jalapeño (remove seeds) and the chipotle pepper, add to pot
  6. Let everything sauté for about 15 minutes so the flavors can develop, add a little bit of broth, water or more oil if things start to stick to the bottle of the pan
  7. Add the can of crushed tomatoes, 4 cups of broth and 1 cup of red lentils
  8. Let cook until lentils are soft, about 25 minutes
  9. Rinse and drain the beans and add them to the pot
  10. Add the optional beer, or more broth or water if it needs thinning  (I have heard that the flavor of beer really enhances chili so I thought I’d try it)
  11. Let simmer for a little while longer so flavors can develop
  12. Adjust seasonings to taste
  13. Add toppings (I used guacamole and cilantro)
  14. Enjoy with a side of vegan cornbread! See recipe below


Vegan Cornbread

Recipe adapted from THE SIMPLE VEGANISTA, my edits are in italics. 


  • 1 cup organic corn meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill Masa Harina)
  • 1 cup spelt flour, whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose gluten free (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 5 tablespoons pure cane sugar (I omitted the sugar because I used sweetened almond milk)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup almond milk (I used unflavored, sweetened) 
  • juice of 1/2 lemon or 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (I used ACV) 
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted) or extra light flavored olive oil (I used coconut oil)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Prepare a vegan buttermilk by mixing the almond milk with the lemon or vinegar and set aside.
  3. Mix the chia seeds with the 1/2 cup water, set aside. Let these set for 10 minutes.
  4. Combine all dry ingredients in medium size bowl. Add milk, oil, chia seed mixture and combine making sure to break up any lumps of chia seeds. Pour batter into an 8×8 greased baking pan or dish. (I used a tin pie pan and 25 minutes was a perfect amount of time)
  5. *Optional: Sprinkle with a small handful of frozen corn before baking* 
  6. Bake for 25 minutes. Test by inserting a toothpick, if it comes out clean it’s ready.

If you are not vegan, or a vegan who eats honey; mix a couple of tablespoons of Earth Balance buttery spread with a squirt of honey for a delicious “honey butter” topping or try maple syrup instead. 



2 thoughts on “Vegan Cornbread & Lentil Chili

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