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
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add 1 cup of cheese stirring occasionally until fully melted. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve!