Makes 12 muffins
Chili Serves 6 to 8
I’m no Texas chili expert, but I am a culinary reality TV expert, and one thing that’s for sure is that if chefs on a cooking competition talk about Texas, they talk about chili. And if they talk about chili they have to state no less than 10 times that Texas chili has no beans in it. They’ll say it in slow-mo and with echo and dubbed over techno music. Texas chili has no beans. Did you hear that? NO BEANS! So this is my reverse homage to Texas chili. A mean pot of stew filled with all my favorite beans! It’s thick and stick-to-your ribs, and super duper meaty thanks to the cooked down lentils. Serve with Cornbread Muffins and guacamole.
Watch me make it and then I’ll watch you make it! Wait, no I won’t.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced medium
1 green pepper, seeded, diced medium
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapenos, thinly sliced (seeded, if you want it less spicy)
3 to 4 tablespoons mild chili powder
1 tablespoon dried mexican oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Several dashes fresh black pepper
1/8th teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups water (plus extra as needed)
1 cup dried brown lentils
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans, rinsed and drained (15 oz can)
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained (15 oz can)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons lime juiceFor the Corn Muffins:
1 cup almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal, medium ground
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons refined coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 cup corn kernels (thawed if using frozen)
Set your slow cooker to “sear.”Saute the onion, green pepper and jalapeno in the oil with a big pinch of salt for 5 to 7 minutes, until onion is translucent.
Add the garlic, and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients, cover and set to slow cook for at least 8 hours. Lentils should be very tender.
Taste for salt and seasoning, and thin with a little water if necessary.
Preheat a 4 quart pot over medium high heat.
Saute the onion, green pepper and jalapeno in the oil with a big pinch of salt for 5 to 7 minutes, until onion is translucent.
Add the garlic, and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chili powder (start with 3 tablespoons and go from there), oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, and cloves and toss to coat the onions, letting the spices toast a bit (about a minute or so).
Add the 4 cups water and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Add the lentils, cover the pot and turn the heat up to bring to a boil. Let boil for about 20 minutes, stirring every now and again. The lentils should still be firm, but almost tender enough to eat.
Add the crushed tomatoes, kidney beans and black beans. Cover the pot, and turn heat down to simmer. Let cook for about 30 more minutes, stirring occasionally. The lentils should be quite mushy, almost melting into the chili. You may also need to add more liquid depending on how much the chili has cooked down. Adding up to two cups more would not be unheard of.
Add lime and maple syrup, then taste for salt and seasoning. It tastes best if you let it sit for 10 minutes or so, but if you can’t wait then just dig in!
For the Corn Muffins:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.
Measure out the milk and add the apple cider vinegar to it, then set aside to curdle.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center and add in the milk, oil and applesauce. Stir together the wet ingredients in the well. Then mix the wet and dry together just until the dry ingredients are moistened, being careful not to overmix. Fold in the corn kernels.
Fill each muffin tin most of the way with batter. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes. Tops should feel firm to the touch and a knife inserted through the center should come out clean.
Remove from oven and when cool enough to handle (usually 10 minutes or so), transfer muffins to a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way.
I’ve never understood the outraged culinary purists who say there should be no beans in chilli because really chilli without beans is really just a spicy meat sauce and what’s special about that. I posted an awesome black bean chilli recipe a while back, which is great but requires a very long ingredient list so I’ll give this one a try because it’s a relatively simple and the cooked down lentils will give the sauce a nice meatiness without resorting to TVP which is something I can’t quite come at.
Here’s a link to my vegetarian black bean if anyone’s interested, the moral being you just can’t have too many recipes for vegetarian chilli
Yay! Watched the awesome vid the other day and was super excited for the recipe! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂
this chili is kick-ass and you are hilarious! thank you!!!
Yo, I live in Texas, and all my chili has beans!
I love these videos! You are awesome.
This looks delish!! I’m always looking to kick it up a notch, especially when it comes to meatless dishes. Having a strong family history with heart disease, I try to eat as much vegan as I can. I’ll be making real soon. Thanks so much for sharing it with the world! Cheers from Canada 🙂
Thank you so much for this recipe Isa. We have a chili cook off fundraiser coming up in November and per my request they finally introduced “Alternative Chili” category. Can’t wait to make this and show everyone how delicious meatless can be 🙂
Isa, what is the brand name of your slow cooker. I like the sauteing feature and my slow cooker just died.
I really want to try this. It looks delicious.
For the corn muffins, could I substitute anything for the coconut oil, like regular veg/canola oil? My daughter has food allergies. Thanks!
I’m also getting a new slow cooker. I’ve never had one that sears. Any recommendations? Thanks!
About to go buy groceries for this! If I’m cooking stovetop, would you advise against letting it cook all day? Thanks, as always, for being perfection <3
I will have to try this chili recipe! I grew up in Nebraska – the best corn on the cob ever!
…. damn that looks good !
I just love you, Isa. I share you every chance I get. Just today I was sharing you with a new vegan who was overwhelmed by the prospect (I’m an OLD vegetarian relatively newly vegan) and I could honestly tell her not to worry, everything was not only going to be ok, it was going to be fun and delicious and even a little irreverent. She’s not overwhelmed any more and she’s laughing.. (FYI we are a couple of old broads in our 60s.) Only problem is, now I want a Breville slow cooker (with sear function!) to go with my convection/toaster oven ;0)
Loved the video, and that the chili is so simple. Those corn muffins also look delish…
My slow cooker doesn’t have a sear setting. Is there another option? ie high for #mins or preparing some other way first?
Actually, scrap that….I should learn to read on… 😉
As someone else asked, what non oil liquid could be used for the coconut oil?
I would do two tablespoons almond butter, 2 tablespoons extra applesauce.
Isa yr videos are amazing! And here I thought I couldn’t like you more than I already do.
Don’t have a slow cooker but love the idea of lentils in the chili. Gotta try this soon when it cools off a bit more.
Jalapeno’s are difficult to buy fresh where I live, so wondered if fresh Green Chillies could be used as a substitute, and if so, how many? Thanks!
Luv What You Do
This looks amazing! I can’t wait to make it lentil chili!
Isa! I stepped away from the computer for a wee bit and when I return I find Isa’s gone video. Not to be weird, b-u-t…I think I’m in love! You are amazing and this meal is going into my slow cooker right now! Grazie, bella!
Made this and it was a HUGE hit. And it was sooooo easy.
I just made this for dinner and even my “reluctant” omnivore husband loved it! My lentils were still “crunchy” though, even after 9+ hours, not sure if I did something wrong. This is the first time I have made chili, vegan or otherwise, that I finally said, “Yeah!”
Isa, is that just a large cookie scoop you’re using in the video or is it one designed specifically for muffins? Thanks!
It’s an ice cream scoop!
The BF made this today. So, so good.
I’m living in Germany and would love to make this dish; however, I#m not very secure with American recipes. So, when you write chili powder, do you mean powdered chili pepper (i.e. cayenne pepper?) or a blend of spices which besides chilis already includes oregano and cumin and is sold here as chili powder, chili mix, or chili flavor? Thank you for your help (and your lovely recipes)!
Blend of spices. Not cayenne, or you’ll burn off your whole mouth.
Is it 4 cups of water or 2? Ingredients say 2, instructions say 4.
Stovetop is 4, slow cooker is 2. There are two separate instructions.
I am excited about the corn muffins. I hate when they are too sweet!
I made these corn muffins tonight to go with some chli I had already made this weekend. I love them! They will now be my goto recipe. Instead of applesauce I used some leftover pumpking puree I had in the fridge and couldn’t tell the difference. I also topped the muffins before baking with a sliced jalpeno from a jar just for looks and a little heat YUM. What a hit. Thank you and I love your videos!!! When will I see your show on the food channel?!
You are so funny!! I recently discovered your blog after going vegan and it has become my bed time reading. I especially like your “About” page! I also live in NYC and adopted the cutest Maine Coon cat from Brooklyn :o)
Hi, Isa! Thanks so much for another great looking recipe. Planning on making your chili this weekend–can’t wait. Just wanted to be sure that the recipe for muffins is for the mini muffins tin? Or could I use the regular one and double? Thank you!
Leopard print paring knife! How did I not know such a thing existed before now??? I am a Breville girl without a doubt, they get my brand loyalty. 🙂
Sadly my slow cookers are both in excellent shape and don’t have a sear function, I’ll have to start on the stove top and move across to the slow cooker. This looks delicious.
Your Chili tastes so damn good! I’m right now at work and eating it. It’s devine. Thank you for posting this recipe. Germany will be lucky cause I’m blogging about it in a few days 🙂
Wonderful muffin inspiration! just what I needed! These were great. I added a chipotle pepper and used part whole wheat pastry flour and less sugar.
I just got your book today. I put the chili in the slow cooker this morning and invited friends over. I made the Ranch Salad with Red Potatoes and Smoky Chickpeas to go with. Holy moly! My guests all raved about the soup and salad! I think the Ranch Salad is my favorite salad ever! It’s SO good! I had seconds of the salad and can’t wait for lunch tomorrow to eat more!
Isa – you rock! Your new book is stunning and I am looking forward to cooking my way through it. Rock on!
HEy, Isa! This is the first time I’ve seen your website, and I’m already excited to make many of the recipes! The first will be either this or the Red Lentil Thai Chili…(’tis the season for warmth, after all, here in MinneSNOWta, where I live…ugh!)
One question for you about the ingredients: you call for Mexican Oregano in the chili; is that different from the standard Oregano that is sold in most grocery stores?
Thanks in advance!
It doesn’t matter THAT much, but dried oregano is typically Mexican or Turkish and the flavors are slightly different. Sometimes you can get the herbs specifically labeled, but sometimes it just says “oregano.” And that’s fine, too!
Do you think this could be made in a pressure cooker instead?
That’s a beautiful rich looking chili. I love chili and can’t imagine it without beans. Bless you..
It’s wet and cold here in the UK. I picked the last of my bhut jolokias, so will start some fires! Thanks for a very noticing recipe!
Hi Isa! I am a Texas girl and I made this chili yesterday! It is Delicious!! After cooking in my slow cooker 8 hours the lentils were still not quite done. Cooked on stovetop a bit longer and it was all good!! Very yummalicious!! Thank you!
When I saw this video , in my kitchen I had lentil, black bean, pinto bean , tomato can and polenta. I cooked in the morning and now I ‘ve eaten it . . . A W E S O M E ! It will be added to my recipe.
Thank you everything and always. I will try your corn muffin soon.
Our fave chili recipe was always Chili sin Carne al Mole from VWAV. I made this one and loved it too next time I’m going to combine the 2 and put lentils in the VWAV recipe! Crazy.
Awesome recipe! I made this for a chili cook off at work and won first place! Oh, did I mention I live and work in TX? Thanks Isa!
I made this chili tonight for dinner…it is so delicious! I’ve been looking for a go-to chili recipe for a while and this will definitely be it. Thanks Isa!
Adding chickpeas given a few pulses in a food processor adds a nice layer of texture/meatiness as well!
I can’t get enough of this chilli!!!
Thanks sooo sooo much Isa!
I followed the recipe exactly as it was presented and the results were great. Mind you, it was better the day after which is the norm for chilis, soups, and stews. For those trying this for the first time, understand the potency of your spices. My cumin was overly strong, my oregano weak, my chili powder weak. I would consider this a “forgiving recipe” because I was able to easily correct the inconsistencies and once I did, the layers of flavor revealed themselves quite nicely. I recommend giving it a go if you haven’t already. This will be a winter staple in our household ! Thank You 😉