This Crock Pot Vegetarian Lentil Chili with sweet potatoes is a healthy spin on comfort food – it's the perfect hands-off dump dinner!
How to make sweet potato lentil chili
This sweet potato lentil chili is SO easy to make thanks to the help of your slow cooker! You pretty much just dump and press start.
Here are the instructions:
- Dump all ingredients except for spinach in the slow cooker in the order they appear.
- Cook on low for 8 hours until sweet potatoes are tender and lentils are soft.
- Stir in spinach, then serve with toppings of choice.
Ingredients and substitutions
- olive oil – use any neutral oil you'd like, such as canola, vegetable or sunflower oil
- yellow onions – red or white onions will work here, along with shallots
- celery – leave it out if you don't like it, or use carrots instead for more veggies
- garlic – you can use jarred garlic here
- red and green pepper – feel free to use any colour bell peppers, or add jalapenos, or leave them out altogether if you don't like peppers
- sweet potatoes – I don't recommend any substitutes here; you could use quinoa instead to add carbs and protein though
- brown lentils – green or black will also work. I don't recommend red for this recipe as they will become mushy
- corn – leave it out or use quinoa as a starch instead
- chili powder, cumin and smoked paprika – feel free to use regular paprika, or use 1 tbsp chili powder in place of the spices
- crushed tomatoes – diced tomatoes or tomato sauce will also work
- vegetable broth – use any broth you'd like
- chopped spinach – any greens, like kale or Swiss chard, will work
Making it on the stovetop
You can easily make this recipe on the stovetop! Here are the instructions:
- Saute onions, garlic, celery and sweet potatoes with olive oil over med-high heat in a large pot for 5-6 minutes until softened.
- Stir in spices, then rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 45 minutes with a lid on, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in spinach, then serve and enjoy.
Making it in the Instant Pot
You can easily make this recipe in the Instant Pot. The sweet potatoes may be a bit mushy, so I suggest you cut them into larger chunks before cooking under pressure. Here are the instructions:
- Add all ingredients to Instant Pot in order in which they are listed, besides spinach.
- Cook on high pressure for 2 minutes, then do a quick release of the pressure.
- Stir in spinach, then serve and enjoy.
What to serve with vegetarian chili
This sweet potato chili is super hearty on its own, but you can serve it with sides to make it a larger meal. Here's what I would suggest:
- Crusty bread
- Side salad
- Oven fries
- Roasted or steamed broccoli
- Cauliflower rice
- Wild rice
Toppings for lentil chili
You can also top this chili to make it even more out of this world! Here's what you could use:
- Sour cream
- Pico de gallo
- Lime wedges
Storing and reheating
You can easily store this chili in the fridge up to 5 days. I recommend storing in individual portions in glass meal prep containers so all you have to do is reheat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes.
Freezing lentil chili
You can also freeze this chili! Store in glass containers with lids up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen in the microwave for 6-7 minutes, stirring halfway through. You can also reheat on the stove.
More vegetarian slow cooker recipes
Meal prep tools
- I use brown lentils like these ones here
- Get your Slow Cooker here
- I also love these glass meal prep bowls for reheating this chili in individual portions
Crock Pot Vegetarian Lentil Chili
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 yellow onions, diced
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup brown lentils
- 1/2 cup Corn
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 (750mL) can crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups chopped spinach
- Dump all ingredients except for spinach in the slow cooker in the order they appear. Cook on low for 8 hours until sweet potatoes are tender and lentils are soft. Stir in spinach, then serve with toppings of choice.
- Will keep frozen up to 2 months - to reheat, microwave on high for 5-7 minutes, stirring halfway through.