BBQ Crock Pot Lentil Chili {Vegan}

Easy BBQ Crock Pot Lentil Chili {Vegan}

  • Author: Lindsay Cotter
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: 5-6 1x


A hearty yet healthy BBQ Vegan lentil chili made with a few simple ingredients. Gluten-free and Grain Free.



  • 16 oz bag of lentils (I used red lentils, but any will work. Green lentils cook more al dente)
  • 34 cups Vegetable broth (3 cups for thicker chili)
  • 2/3 cup diced onion – red or white
  • 12 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 c to 2/3 cup diced tomatoes or canned tomatoes (drained)
  • optional – 2-4 tbsp spicy BBQ sauce mixed in
  • 1/2 cup of diced bell peppers (plus extra for topping)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • Your favorite barbecue rub or seasoning or chili seasoning mix. About 2-3 tsp (if it has high salt content, reduce amount you use or taste first.
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • optional 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • sea salt/black pepper to taste
  • Plant Protein Option– BBQ tempeh, tofu, Veggie burgers. These options might not be gluten free though so read labels.
  • Toppings of choice – Cilantro, roasted pumpkin seed, red chili flakes nutritional yeast. See notes for more.


  1. Pour the lentils in a strainer and rinse thoroughly. Next, place the rinsed lentils in your Crock pot or slow cooker. Add 1½ to 2 times as much broth as lentils, anywhere between 3-4 cups.
  2. Add in your onion, oil, tomato, BBQ sauce, chopped peppers, and garlic. Mix all together, then add your molasses and all the seasonings, except for salt and pepper.
  3. Cook on high for three to four hours (on low for around 5 hours). Check halfway through cooking and mix. Taste halfway and add more seasoning if needed. Add salt and pepper the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking.
  4. If you are using green/black lentils, they will probably take closer to 4 hrs and hold their shape. I found that cooking the red lentils on high 3.5 hours made them soft enough. Red/orange lentils don’t hold their shape as well as the green/black. Which makes them great for thick chili/stew. If chili is too thick at halfway point, you can add more broth.
  5. Once cooked, serve and garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds, cilantro, more chopped bell pepper, red pepper flakes, and optional nutritional yeast. I like to add a little bit of plain coconut cream on top in place of real sour cream.
  6. Keeps well in the fridge for up to 5-7 days.


  • If you are not vegan, feel free to add in sausage or other meat.
  • Vegans can up their protein by adding in tofu or tempeh last 30-45 minutes of cooking
  • Category: chili/soup
  • Method: slow cooker
  • Cuisine: american


  • Calories: 285
  • Sugar: 5
  • Sodium: 100 mg
  • Fat: 2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 50 g
  • Fiber: 9 g
  • Protein: 18 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: crock pot, lentil, chili, vegan chili, gluten free chili, bbq, healthy recipe,


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