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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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Sweet Potato and Lentil Veggie Chili.

I am totally back in the groove in the kitchen these days.  In my earliest weeks (okay months) of pregnancy, cooking was a struggle.  I’m sure you noticed.  But I promised you if you’d just hold on, I would eventually make it up to you.  And now week by week, meal by meal, I am trying to do just that.

I apologize to those of you who live in climates where you are still wearing shorts and sundresses.  Fall has arrived in Seattle and I just can’t help myself.  Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s nesting – either way, all I want to make are hearty meals that can be eaten on the couch under my favorite fuzzy blanket.  I encourage you to do the same.

Sweet Potato and Lentil Veggie Chili

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Print this recipe!

Ingredients: (makes 8 servings)

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1.5 cups green French lentils
  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • salt to taste

Instructions:  In order to make a proper chili, you’ll need to use a heavy-bottomed pot.  Add onions to the pot with a bit of olive oil, and sauté for 5 minutes until beginning to soften.  Add carrots and sweet potatoes, and continue to sauté and stir until partially cooked. 

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After allowing the vegetables to cook for about 15 minutes, add the jalapeno pepper.  If you like a more spicy chili, you might want to consider adding an extra pepper as well.

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Next add your tomatoes.  Try to find a variety that is fire roasted or has a bit of extra flavor and kick.  Don’t drain, just open and dump.

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Finally, add the lentils, broth, and spices.  Make sure to use green French lentils.  Red lentils will turn to mush!

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Bring chili up to a simmer and then turn the heat down to low and cover.  Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, until lentils are fully cooked and chili has thickened.  If it becomes to thick (or you prefer a less hearty soup), you can also add an extra cup of water. 

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Season to taste with (lots of) salt.  Serve piping hot in your favorite mug.

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I made some delicious (gluten-free!) cornbread to go along with this soup too, but that recipe will have to wait until later in the week – still needs a bit of tweaking. 

Note to my slow-cooker friends, I definitely think this recipe could be made in a crock-pot too!  Just add all the ingredients and cook until flavors have developed and lentils have softened. 

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I told you guys I wasn’t kidding about being totally in fall mode now.  This hearty lentil chili is so simple and tasty, and I’m sure the leftovers are even better.  I can’t wait to pull them out of the freezer on a cool November day, when my baby is screaming and an easy, simple meal is more than needed. 

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I hope you like it as much as I do – enjoy!

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105 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Krystina (Organically Me)     at 10:20 pm

I love chili, I just wish it were cooler in Florida right now so I could make it!

[Reply]

Koko @ Koko LIkes     at 10:24 pm

This looks SO good, I think I’ll try the crockpot version and come back to you with how it went!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Awesome!! Please let me know if you get a chance! Believe it or not, I don’t own a crock-pot. Crazy!

[Reply]

Katie KS Reply:

Um you need a crockpot. It’s essential for momhood:)

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Haha I know! I tend to use my rice cooker for all crock-pot related things though, so I haven’t really felt compelled to get one yet.

[Reply]

Emily S. Reply:

I made this recipe last fall and loved it, so now that it’s getting cold here again, I had to dig it up again and plan to make another batch this weekend. I saw the comment about the crock pot, and wanted to report that I did make this in the crock pot and it was great! I’m not sure how it would compare, but it turned out really well, and made this super easy. Thanks, Emily, for the great recipe. It’s a keeper, and I’ve recommended it to others who want a tasty and healthy dish for fall.

[Reply]

Alison @ Hospitality Haven     at 10:27 pm

Sounds delicious! I hope you enjoy it in November, but I certainly hope your baby won’t be screaming while you do. :)

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Shaya (Eye Girl Eats)     at 11:49 pm

I’m planning on a version of Iowa Girl Eay’s chili with cornbread in a mason jar soon– WHY does cornbread go so well with chili?? Why am I questioning the perfection?? haha

Glad you’re stocking up the freezer– so smart for when you’re short on time and sleep in a month or two.

[Reply]

Candy @ Healthy In Candy Land     at 12:17 am

Looks delicious! I love that you served it in a clear mug–it’s so pretty! I am always looking for new crockpot recipes, so I will definitely be trying this.

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Hayley @ Oat Couture     at 12:29 am

My absolute FAVOURITE types of meals! In fact I would say I cook lovely, hearty one pot stew like dishes probably 9 months of the year, with zero regards to the weather! I can’t help it! :) Thanks for another yummy looking recipe to try! It actually got a little windy here last night which surely means autumn is on it’s way! Woo hoo!

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Blog is the New Black     at 2:27 am

I’ve never made an all veggie chili. I made my first turkey chili of the season last night, but I love this version! It’s healthier and still filling! YUM!

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Lauren     at 3:31 am

Looks wonderful! I need to cook with lentils more. :)

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Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups     at 3:45 am

I can’t wait until it gets cool enough in Orlando for chili. I love how it makes the whole house smell so yummy!

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey     at 4:19 am

It’s definitely fall here too! I love chilis and soups – they are my favorite fall meals!

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Tessa @ Amazing Asset     at 4:28 am

I am absolutely book marking this recipe (I’m pretty sure I say that about all of yours!) but I truly cannot wait to make this one! Thank you for the recipe Emily :)

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

You are most welcome!

[Reply]

Heather @ Better With Veggies     at 4:33 am

I love the idea of sweet potatoes in chili, sweet and comfortable! Fall is definitely my favorite season for many reasons, but food is certainly a big one. :)

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Beth     at 5:23 am

This recipe looks so good! I will have to try it :)

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Emily     at 5:33 am

Emily this chili looks awesome! I love sweet potatoes in soup and I love that this doesn’t have a million ingredients :) Can’t wait for the corn bread!

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Lindsay     at 6:07 am

May be a dumb question – but why a heavy bottomed pot?

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Not a dumb question! For things that cook for long periods of time, the heavy bottom helps conduct the heat better and makes it less likely to burn. :)

[Reply]

Jes     at 6:31 am

This looks delish. I had to laugh when I saw this, though, because just over the weekend I made your potato-pea-curry recipe, but with sweet potatoes and onions. And served it over lentils. :)

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Haha too funny. Hope it turned out well!

[Reply]

Jes Reply:

Haha, yes, it was delicious. Kept the peas in, too. I’ll have to make this AND your actual other recipe soon! :)

[Reply]

mindy @ just a one girl revolution.     at 6:47 am

I’ve been craving chili something crazy lately – this sounds great! Thanks Emily!

[Reply]

Sara     at 7:02 am

Hi! Can you use precooked lentils for this? If so, when do you add them?

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Hi Sara! I haven’t used pre-cooked lentils before, but I assume they work similar to canned beans. I would add them in the last ten minutes or so, and I would also cut the liquid down to 2 cups or so (and then adjust as needed). A lot of the cooking liquid gets absorbed by the dried lentils, so you don’t want yours to be too watered down!

[Reply]

molly l. Reply:

Sara- thanks for asking and Emily, thanks for answering! I just realized mid-veggie saute that I have the pre-cooked ones and I’m glad I checked the comments before I used too much liquid. I’m planning to simmer this for a couple of hours until guests come over- do you think my lentils will be ok? Thank you!

[Reply]

Dorsa     at 7:05 am

This looks amazing. I have been looking for new chili recipes for the fall and I am going to def use this one.

[Reply]

Gina @ Running to the Kitchen     at 8:10 am

This is perfect for the cool, rainy weather here in NY today :)
Chili is the ultimate fall food.

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Agreed!

[Reply]

Liz @ Southern Charm     at 8:26 am

Love how this recipe is so different from anything I’ve seen! Can’t wait to try it …

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Kati Mora, MS, RD, Kellogg's FiberPlus(R) Wellness Advocate     at 8:34 am

Yum! This looks delicious and I love how it incorporates a few new fiberlicious ingredients into the chili mix.

[Reply]

Julie (A Case of the Runs)     at 8:36 am

It’s 90-ish in Southern CA this week. I love Fall and am anxious for it to get here. Late in the summer, we get this weird pattern where it’s like 60 in the morning and then 90 by about 1 PM, then cold again.

BTW, I have smoked paprika, and it tastes very strong to me. So seeing 1 Tbsp made me do a double-take, but I’d have to try it!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Haha well some smoked paprika is stronger than others, so use your discretion if you have a particularly potent batch! :)

[Reply]

carey     at 8:49 am

Question about Lentils. They never seem to get fully soft for me, they always have a crunch to them or hardness. Even when I cook them in the crock for hours on end. Is that just the way they cook up or am I missing something?
Thanks

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

French lentils should always have a little bite to them. Red lentils tend to turn to mush pretty quickly. Usually lentils need a ratio of 3 to 1, water to lentils. Perhaps add a bit more water so that it all gets soaked up? Like I said, they will always have a little bite, but definitely shouldn’t be crunchy.

[Reply]

carey Reply:

Thanks, they were french lentils, so that explains it. I don’t really like that little bite they have to them, will try red lentils in future.

[Reply]

Alison Reply:

I would actually try the brown lentils – they have less bite than the green lentils but don’t turn into mush like the red.

[Reply]

deva @ deva by definition     at 9:42 am

The photos of this chili have me craving my mom’s vegetable soup. I can almost taste it!

[Reply]

Allison     at 9:56 am

Great fall flavors. Looks like a wonderful chili recipe.

[Reply]

Amber K     at 9:59 am

It looks so warm and comforting. I’d definitely have to make it ahead of time though. When I want dinner, I never have the patience to let something cook for an hour. Can’t wait for the gluten-free cornbread!

[Reply]

Rebecca     at 10:26 am

Looks great! Can you recommend a substitute for the carrots? I have some in my family that have an aversion to cooked carrots.

Also, the other day I made the butternut squash and black bean enchiladas and they were so good! THANKS!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

You can definitely swap out the carrots for extra sweet potato or butternut squash, or just leave them out entirely.

[Reply]

Sarah     at 10:41 am

Yum! I’m in chili-and-all-foods-fall mode, too. I just made a pumpkin chili using tofu instead of meat.It was so good. Now I’m wondering if I should take a cue from you and freeze some for the baby’s arrival…I’m not sure I’ll be able to stop myself from eating it all before he gets here!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

That sounds delicious! I am a little sad I didn’t at least save one leftover serving for my lunch the next day. Now it’s all frozen – too late!

[Reply]

Lynne     at 11:23 am

I can’t wait to try this!! I’m out of sweet potatoes though and hope it will work with butternut squash!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Squash will definitely work!

[Reply]

Lynne Reply:

This was AMAZING!! Added some shaved parmesan on top (we are not vegetarians…yet) and it was delicious!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Awesome!!

[Reply]

Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers     at 12:19 pm

That sounds wonderful. Even the pics are comforting – I’m sure relaxing with a big ole’ mug of it would be an awesome way to end a day (especially a rainy day like it is here).

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

YES! It’s such a great way to finish off the day.

[Reply]

Jen     at 1:38 pm

hey emily- would you happen to know the weight of the sweet potatoes? i bought two that are a little under a pound, would these be big enough? Thanks!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Shoot, I’m not sure. I would say that yours are probably fine. It’s really more of a guideline than a necessity. You can always add extra carrots if it doesn’t seem like enough veggies.

[Reply]

Alexa @ Simple Eats     at 1:48 pm

Yum yum yum! I love sweet potatoes in anything and chili sounds awesome!

[Reply]

Amy*     at 2:39 pm

I love chili!*

[Reply]

JL goes Vegan     at 3:54 pm

Beautiful recipe, Emily!

[Reply]

Lauren @ vegology     at 7:25 pm

This looks so delicious! We must be on the same wavelength – I did a healthy version of chili fries tonight with roasted sweet potatoes and veggie lentil chili. We’re recipe twins.

[Reply]

Luv What You Do     at 7:44 pm

I make a lot of Chili in the fall/winter and never thought to add lentils. I will definitely try it. Happy Fall!

[Reply]

Kate @thepseudovegan     at 8:39 pm

this looks incredible! Kinda funny though, I’ve been pouring lentil soup over a baked sweet potato all week!! This is a nice (a bit more normal) combo! cant wait to make it!!

[Reply]

Alexis @ hummusapien     at 9:40 pm

darn! i just made some tempeh chilli and it was good…but not as good as this one looks! I have like 10 sweet potatoes so this is next on my list for sure!

[Reply]

Marie@feedingfive     at 10:21 pm

It’s still quite hot here in Southern California, but I love cooking soups like this all winter long. I actually have some French lentils and yams right now. Maybe this recipe is fate?

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Most definitely.

[Reply]

Jen     at 8:42 am

as a beginner cook i have a lot of questions… feel free not to respond if you don’t have the time i understand! i was wondering how much olive oil would be good for this recipe? 1 TB? thanks again!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

I think 1 tbsp would be plenty for the veggies!

[Reply]

Melissa {west coast nest}     at 9:14 am

Oh my goodness! I was just thinking with the arrival of cooler temps, that a big batch of chili is just what is needed to celebrate the arrival of fall! Thanks! :)

[Reply]

Katie of Cabbage Ranch     at 9:21 am

I love your apology to those of us living in warm climates. I shall now apologize to myself. It’s still in the 90s here, and it’s totally not right!

[Reply]

Chelsea     at 9:37 am

I made this last night and am having it (cold) for lunch today. It’s soooooo delicious. I used a large can of organic diced tomatoes (couldn’t find fire roasted), used 1.5 jalapeno peppers, and added a few cloves of minced garlic, 1 tbsp of cumin, and some kale. I’ll most definitely be making this again!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Sounds delicious! Glad you liked it.

[Reply]

Jess     at 11:45 am

I just had sweet potato stew/chili on Monday, but I already want to make this this week too. Stews and soups are the only good thing about cold weather, and this looks fantastic.

[Reply]

Kelan     at 12:54 pm

Do you have a recommendation for a heavy bottomed pot for someone on a budget?

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

A lot of people get the expensive Le Creuset cookware, but I have a much less expensive option from Crate and Barrel (it’s Mario Batali’s line):

http://www.crateandbarrel.com/kitchen-and-food/enamel-cast-iron/mario-batali-red-4-quart-dutch-oven/s641014

It’s still not exactly cheap, but much less than the Le Creuset!

[Reply]

Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) Reply:

I went to Williams Sonoma the other day and got a full on lecture from the shop employee who said that Staub is MUCH better than Le Creuset (its actually cheaper too).

Le Creuset’s handles can’t go in hot ovens and they are much more likely to chip and get stained. Also Staub’s lids allows for steam cooking, which is great for keeping in moisture!

[Reply]

Shanna Reply:

Ha ha. Don’t start the debate! I did some research on this while I was looking into buying some Le Creuset and the debates on chow hound can get pretty heated. It seems that it comes down to the price people are willing to pay, personal preference, and the batch that people get. You’ll get people who swear by and against each brand.

[Reply]

Margret     at 3:23 am

Yum yum yum :) made this last night and it was so good that I could not stop eating. When I woke up this morning I was still full!

Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe
Margret

[Reply]

Jen     at 6:24 pm

Made this for dinner tonight – was a BIG hit – DELICIOUS!!!

[Reply]

jane richardson     at 6:48 pm

oh it smells so good! the paprika….Making this right now in Pacific Palisades, CA…foggy and cool so it seemed like a good plan for tonight! Thanks for a new take on chili.

[Reply]

Sonia Castro     at 11:02 am

Can you please tell me how many calories for 2 cups serving. I don’t see it.
Oh, if you can give all the nutritional info, that would be great.
Thanks.
mama

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Hi Mama. :) I didn’t calculate the nutrition facts for this, but you can enter the ingredients in the recipe calculator from Spark Recipes! I love that tool!

[Reply]

sistaosca     at 8:09 pm

Yup, this works with a crock pot. Brilliantly, I may add. I was looking for a way to use my stash of lentils and sweet potatoes. Success, I’ve found one! And now, I have packed lunches until the end of October (may be exaggerating, but it looks like it).

MAN IS THIS SPICY!!! LOVE IT! Although I did a newbie movie and substituted cayenne pepper for chili powder, since I didn’t have any around. I even increased the amount of jalapenos. Won’t complain about lack of taste here…

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Ahh glad to hear it – thanks for letting us know! You are brave for the cayenne/chili swap – YUM! :)

[Reply]

martha     at 8:47 pm

made this tonight, and delicious doesn’t begin to describe how wonderful this chili is! and the house still smells divine!

[Reply]

Quick, Cheap & Easy: Just How You Like It!     at 5:01 am

[...] For the rest of the recipe and procedure visit Emily’s site! [...]

Whitney     at 8:59 am

I made this last night for my boyfriend & I in London. Was incredible! A touch of the south for me (being from Texas) and a yummy discovery for my very british boyfriend! (He went back for seconds.. then thirds!) YUM, Thank you :)

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Yum! Glad to hear it!

[Reply]

Dena     at 10:04 am

Just took it off the stove. Yummy!

[Reply]

Tammy     at 7:45 am

In the crock pot now!

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Sarah     at 9:16 pm

I made a double batch of this tonight for lunches this week plus four frozen servings for later! It’s so delicious and hearty and very different than anything I’ve made before! I absolutely love it!! Yummmm.

[Reply]

Karina     at 5:01 pm

just made this for dinner tonight!! great fall recipe! i love the way the different spices work so well together :)

[Reply]

Ganadora!! « la cocina de karina     at 5:16 pm

[...] Daily Garnish Sweet Potato and Lentil Chili: [...]

Stephanie     at 6:34 pm

Made this for dinner tonight and it was quite yummy! I packed up the leftovers into single serve containers to pop in the freezer and I’m looking forward to bringing them to work for lunch.
I’m going to try it in the crock pot next time around.

[Reply]

alanna     at 9:25 pm

Hey Emily,
I’ve made this twice now, so I wanted to leave a comment (I love when people chime in with comments and substitutions or changes after they made the dish). The first time my jalapeno was uber spicy (I didn’t taste it until after I dumped the whole thing in). So I ended up adding in extra veggies to balance it out. I didn’t realize until tonight that I haven’t been using French lentils. I’ve been using green lentils, but not french – there a little softer and bigger, but still works. Also, I always make giant batches of grains and freeze them, so my lentils were already cooked and it worked fine – just lowered the liquid a bit. I made a couple of changes, but my favorite was to chop and roast the sweet potatoes first. I love roasted sweet potatoes.
Overall, this is a great fall/winter recipe. Easy, healthy, tasty, flexible, and freezes great.

[Reply]

Jeanine     at 4:10 am

I made this last night and it was DELICIOUS! I substituted lentils for red and white kidney beans and it worked out great. I am not much of a cook so when I try out new recipes that are easy and yum, I get excited! My brother, who is a chef and fellow Johnson and Wales graduate thought it was fabulous. Thanks for a fabulous veggie chili recipe.

[Reply]

Amelia     at 5:25 pm

I made this tonight and it was so good!!! My boyfriend (a chili fan and big meat eater) was skeptical but said it was the best vegetarian chili he has ever tried! Thanks :)

[Reply]

Sweet Potato and Lentil Chili with Kielbasa | Flying on Jess Fuel     at 10:15 am

[...] (adapted from Daily Garnish) [...]

Kendra     at 9:21 am

Making it today! Can’t wait! Love your Vegan recipes :)

[Reply]

Melissa     at 6:59 pm

This was delicious, thank you so much!

[Reply]

Friday Foodie Favorites: October 18, 2013 | Clean Eating Veggie Girl     at 4:54 am

[...] recipe, especially now that the weather is finally turning cold?  I cooked up a huge batch of Emily’s Sweet Potato and Lentil Veggie Chili on the weekend and ate it for lunches and dinners throughout the week.  Prepping soup for the week [...]

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