Smoky Lentil and Quinoa Chili

Deidra Nelson, MS, RDN, LDN
Photo: Deidra Nelson, MS, RDN, LDN

Nothing says cozy like a good bowl of chili on a cold day. This Smoky Lentil and Quinoa Chili is hearty and filling and comes together in a slow cooker.Smoky Lentil and Quinoa Chili - It gets its smokiness from Spanish smoked paprika and chili pepper salsa. Just like any chili, it freezes well and takes little effort in the kitchen. Lentils are a great source of plant-based protein, high in fiber and naturally low in saturated fat. Quinoa is a whole grain and is also a good source of plant protein. Personally, I can’t eat chili without cornbread, but add your own toppings and sides as you please.

The good in this? This chili is 100 percent plant-based. Plant-based diets have been shown to lower the risk heart disease, obesity and certain cancers. Aim to incorporate more meatless meals throughout the week!

Smoky Lentil and Quinoa Chili

Serves 6 to 8


  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • ??medium onion, diced
  • ??bell pepper, chopped
  • 12 ounces frozen corn
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • ??tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ??teaspoon salt
  • ??teaspoon pepper
  • Chili pepper salsa and fresh cilantro for garnish


  1. Place all ingredients into a slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  2. Cover with lid and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.
  3. To serve, portion about 1? cups in a bowl and top with salsa and cilantro.
Deidra Nelson on Instagram
Deidra Nelson
Deidra Nelson, MS, RDN, LDN, is a community dietitian based in Memphis. Her nutrition philosophy focuses on finding the good in everything you eat. Read her blog at Follow her on Instagram.