Lentil Chili Baked Potato {Vegetarian}

Lentil Chili Baked Potato. An easy vegetarian meal that will satisfy your vegetarians and meat-eaters alike // www.happyfoodhealthylife.com


So, it’s no secret that I’m vegetarian, right? Yeah, you’ll never see a big ole’ slab of meat here on the blog. No steaks, no shrimp, no tuna, no chicken. Things you will see on the blog instead: soy protein, tofu, Morningstar Chick’n strips, mushrooms, beans, and lentils. As a busy vegetarian mama catering to meat-lovers, I have found it to be super simple to just substitute ground beef for soy crumbles or shredded chicken for soy-based vegetarian substitutes. As I’m becoming older, wiser, and more interested in my health, I am starting to second guess some of the choices I have made, in the sake of convenience. So from here on out, I am really going to try and use natural and REAL foods when it comes to turning carnivorous foods into vegetarian-friendly foods.

And that is where this baby was born. Generally, when I make my chili, I just throw in a bag of soy-based Morningstar crumbles to substitute the ground beef. This time, I didn’t want to fall into the convenience factor. So I decided to use lentils as my protein substitute. Yes, there is one extra little step, but it’s a simple one. Cooking lentils is simple. And you think you don’t like lentils? Yeah, well, my family couldn’t even notice that I had done anything different to my chili recipe, and in the end, I felt a million times better about what I was eating.

What’s so great about this recipe is that you could make the chili for a meal one night, and later for a leftover night, you can top potatoes with it. Very versatile.

This coming week, my son is going to be travelling with his dad, so I get to make some meals that aren’t quite as kid-friendly. For us, that means, spicy food, salads, and beer with dinner. I’m going to have to say that I just can’t wait! Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll be craving an ooey gooey homemade baked mac and cheese dish by the time he returns in a week. But until then, I’ll pump my body full of real food. Healthy food. Food that I crave all the time.

What is YOUR favorite dinner-time shortcut??

(Yes, that’s me asking you to leave me a comment down below!)

Lentil Chili Baked Potato. An easy vegetarian meal that will satisfy your vegetarians and meat-eaters alike // www.happyfoodhealthylife.com

Lentil Chili Baked Potato {Vegetarian}
  • 8 medium russet potatoes , washed
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut (or olive) oil
  • 1/2 onion , diced
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 can chili ready beans
  • 1 can northern white beans , drained & rinsed
  • 1 can black beans , drained & rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cheddar cheese , grated
  1. Preheat the own to 350 degrees F.
  2. Poke each scrubbed potato with about 7-8 holes, using a fork. Wrap each potato in tin foil and place in the oven for about 90 minutes or until tender when poked with a fork.
  3. With 45 minutes left on the potatoes, add water and lentils to small saucepan. Simmer on medium heat and cover for about 20 minutes. It is very important to be sure it is a slow simmer so your water does not vaporize before the lentils are cooked. Check every so often to be sure you still have water in the pan so you do not have scorched lentils.
  4. With about 30 minutes left on the potatoes, heat coconut oil to medium heat in large and deep skillet. Once heated, add onions and garlic. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
  5. When translucent, add all remaining ingredients, including the cooked lentils, except for the cheese. Stir and let simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove bay leaf from chili mixture.
  7. Unwrap and slice open potatoes. Spoon lentil chili over potato, top with shredded cheese, and enjoy!

If you’re looking for other easy weeknight meals:

Southwestern Crunchy Burritos
Economical Family-Style Vegetarian Enchiladas
Fiesta Potato Skillet
Ravioli Bake


  1. Lisa @ Je suis alimentageuse says

    Yumm! Good idea! I don’t like using faux meat either. I like to add barley to chili to fill in the spaces like ground meat does, but I think I’ll add lentils next time =) Looks delicious Holly!

    • says

      Thanks Lisa! it’s been kind of a hard transition to make because of the convenience factor, but I think it’s important for me to eat more REAL foods. it’ll be harder for me to figure out all the yummy casseroles I make without adding Morningstar Chick’n strips or Crumbles… but I probably shouldn’t be eating casseroles anyway.

      • Lisa @ Je suis alimentageuse says

        I never really had casseroles growing up! They’re kind of a weird phenomena for me anyway. But I agree, I prefer eating real, unprocessed foods as much as possible, which can be hard for a soy-product-heavy vegetarian/vegan culture.

  2. Jamie says

    I normally don’t comment on blog posts but felt the need to come back to this one and leave a comment! This recipe is easy and delicious! I am a “most of the time vegetarian” and my husband still eats meat regularly. We both LOVED this recipe! We both ate more that we should have! All the ingredients for this recipe cost me about $20 (I bought all organic) and we will have leftovers for days! When we heated up leftovers last night my husband was still gawking over how much he liked the bean and lentil chili and how surprised he was that he didn’t miss having ground beef in his chili. I will definitely be returning to this blog for more great recipe ideas!

    • Holly Waterfall says

      Jamie! I’m so glad you and the hubs liked this meal!! Isn’t it great?? My wife is also a meat-eater and doesn’t miss it at all when I make things like this. It’s amazing how a few little substitutes and yummy spices all work out together. Thank you so much for the feedback. I love when people try my recipes and then back telling me how they worked out for them. Hope you come back soon!!

  3. says

    Hello there, your Lentil Chili Baked Potato recipe looks awesome and while it’s not fully vegan with a few tweaks and some time I think I can veganize it. If I ever do I will be sure to send it back over to you and give proper credits. I would love it if after a few tweaks you like it as well.


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