Lentil Pasta Chili

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I had originally intended this recipe to be a one pot meal, but the first time I made it that way it took so much longer than I wanted and I didn’t really want to put you through that. So this is a short cut version to save time, though this uses 1 more pot. *Shrug*

The key to making this chili a bit faster is cooking the pasta separately. The first time I boiled it all together and it took close to an hour. So first step is starting a pot of boiling water and adding 1 cup of small pasta. Cook according to package instructions and drain when finished cooking. In a separate large pot, add 1 cup of water and 1/3 cup of brown lentils. Bring this to a boil and let it cook for about 20 minutes or until water is absorbed.

Meanwhile, dice 1 bell pepper and 1/2 an onion. Once the lentils are done, add a bit of oil, diced bell pepper, and onion in with the lentils. Saute for about 5-10 minutes until pepper and onion has softened.

Add 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder to the veggies and lentils. Combine until the veggies are coated. Drain and rinse a 15 oz can of hominy. Add the cooked pasta, drained and rinsed hominy, 15 oz diced tomatoes, 15 oz tomato sauce, and 1 tbsp tomato paste. Stir well to combine. Set temperature to medium/high and allow this to heat for about 5-10 minutes until simmering. Then add 1 cup of frozen chopped spinach, stirring occasionally until the spinach defrosts and starts to break down. Last, add 1 cup of cheese of choice and salt and pepper to taste. We used fiesta blend, but cheddar, monterey jack, colby jack, or gouda would also be fine.

Lentil Pasta Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked small pasta (we used elbow)
  • 1 cup cooked lentils (1 cup water : 1/3 cup brown lentils)
  • 1 diced bell pepper
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 15 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • 15 oz hominy
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 cup cheese (cheddar, monterey jack, colby jack, etc)

Instructions:

  1. Cook 1 cup of dry pasta according to package instructions, then set aside. In a separate large pot, add 1 cup of water and 1/3 cup of rinsed brown lentils. Bring to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed.
  2. Once lentils are cooked, add a bit of oil, 1 diced bell pepper, and 1/2 an onion. Saute for about 5-10 minutes until the pepper and onion have softened. Add 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder and stir to coat the veggies and lentils.
  3. Add the cooked pasta, 15 oz diced tomatoes, 15 oz drained and rinsed hominy, 15 oz tomato sauce, and 1 tbsp tomato paste. Bring this to simmer then add 1 cup of frozen chopped spinach. Let this simmer for 5-10 minutes until the spinach has defrosted and combined.
  4. Add 1 cup of cheese stirring occasionally until fully melted. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve!

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