This black lentil chili dish is the epitome of comfort food and is packed with a whole lot of roasted pepper and tomato goodness. It’s perfect on its own or you can dress it up with yummy crispy shoestring fries and an incredible, crunchy, and colorful veggie Pico de Gallo that really adds a fresh quality to the mix. You can eat this chili with chips or add it to quesadillas, burritos, tacos, and salads. Yum!

Black Lentil Chili With Pico de Gallo and Shoestring Fries [Vegan]



For the Chili:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 of 1 red or white onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 dry red or dry white wine
  • 1 jar of strained tomatoes
  • 10–12 cups filtered water
  • 4 cups black lentils
  • 2 Poblano peppers, roasted and diced
  • 1 Anaheim pepper, roasted and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted and diced
  • 1 red orange pepper, roasted and diced
  • 1 red yellow pepper, roasted and diced
  • 2 tablespoons Ancho powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons sea Salt
  • 1 cup frozen corn

For the Crunchy Veggie Pico de Gallo:

  • 1/2 cup radishes
  • 1/2 cup red cabbage
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Poblano Pepper, roasted and diced
  • 1 Anaheim pepper, roasted and diced
  • 1/2 of 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove Garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt

For the Crispy Shoestring Potatoes:

  • 1 yellow potato
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus more for baking sheets
  • A pinch of sea salt

For Garnish:

  • Vegan cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Vegan sour cream (optional)
  • Avocado (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro (optional)
  • Jalapeño (optional)


To Make the Lentil Chili:

  1. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, add the onion and olive oil to a straight sided pan and sauté on medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook until garlic begins to brown. Add wine and cook until reduced and a syrupy consistency is reached.
  2. While onions are cooking, grind the ancho peppers to a powder.
  3. When the wine is reduced add the strained tomatoes and spices, except for the salt. Turn up the heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the water and lentils and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium again. Cook for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Add the spices, roasted peppers, corn, and salt.
  5. Let cook on medium-low for at least 10 minutes to incorporate the flavors. You can also purée up to half of the lentils before you add the vegetables.

To Make the Crunchy Veggie Pico de Gallo:

  1. Roast the Poblano and Anaheim peppers on the stovetop at medium-high heat. Char the peppers on all sides turning with a pair of tongs. When good and charred, steam them for about 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut to hold in the steam.
  2. Take a paper towel and rub off the char, it’s ok to leave a little on. Slice in half and remove the seeds and stems.
  3. Add the onion, jalapeño, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, and salt to a medium-sized bowl and mix well. Next add the radishes, cabbage, and the bell peppers to the bowl. When the roasted peppers are steamed, dice and add them in, mix everything well.

To Make the Crispy Shoestring Potatoes:

  1. Use a julienne peeler, or a spiralizer, to cut potatoes into strips. Submerge the potatoes in a bowl of cold water. Drain potatoes and place on a clean towel. Pat as dry as you can with paper towels.
  2. Toss together potatoes, oil, and salt in a bowl. Arrange potatoes in a single layer as best you can on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake for about 12-18 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown. Turn potatoes with a metal spatula a few times and rotate the baking sheets halfway through.