This Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili takes just a few minutes to throw everything in together. Four hours later you have a hearty meal that is sure to warm you from the inside!
There are a few things that I can’t get enough of once autumn hits.
The cool crisp air (minus the snow). The beautiful leaves changing before they fall to the ground. An unlimited amount of Pumpkin Spiced Lattes (that I’m totally making at home this year – dairy-free style)!
And of course, hearty bowls of soup and chili to warm my body up.
You see, I may be a fan of the cool crisp air, but when it comes down to it, once I get cold, I have the hardest time warming back up. You have to layer me in about 3 pairs of socks, a long-sleeved thermal, a hoodie, thermal pants under my sweats, and maybe even a scarf. And that’s just indoors! I don’t want to talk about going outside in the cooler months – I pretty much just hibernate.
Thankfully, I absolutely love soup to warm me up. And not just any soup, but a chunky chili full of heartiness, massive amounts of flavor, and of course lots of healthy protein to give you the energy to jump through as many piles of leaves as your heart so desires.
In the cool months, I could not live without my slow-cooker! This is the one I use, and I absolutely swear by it! Of course, it’s programmable, but what I love most about it is that if you aren’t quite ready to eat when your chili is done cooking, the slow-cooker will automatically turn to a warm setting until you turn it off. Total genius. And believe me, the warm feature keeps it just as hot as if it just came off the stove.
No one has to know that you had a screaming child, spilled milk, and a clogged toilet all right before dinner that caused it to be 45 minutes later than you planned. Because this is real life, and real life is never as we plan it to be.
For the longest time, when I started morphing my mom’s chili to-die-for chili into a vegetarian version for myself, I was using meatless soy-crumbles as a meat substitute. And while that was super delicious, I have since graduated.
I am absolutely addicted to eating as much REAL food as I possibly can. Food that I can explain to my son where in the earth it came from. I think I got sick of people asking me what fake meat was made of and not quite having an exact answer.
So the substitution was made in this chili, and I love it even more. Meatless and Fake-Meat-Less chili for the win. The hearty lentils take the place and win by a landslide. Both in flavor and nutrition!
And don’t be scared. Lentils are full of protein and are totally worth introducing into your diet. And with this recipe, you don’t have to be a health-nut master-chef to know how to prepare them. You honestly dump every single ingredient into the slow-cooker, turn it on, and walk away.
Boom. Mic drop.