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Apparently, I am all about black beans this week.

Spicy Black Bean and Lentil Chili with Cotija Guacamole + Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries | @hbharvest

Didn’t mean to show you two black beans recipes in a row, they just happened. And you know what? I was even thinking about making black bean brownies this week, but I stopped myself because, I don’t know, is that weird? I feel like it’s a little weird so I am kind of skeptical. I mean, can’t I just make my brownies with loads of butter and all the good things that usually go into brownies?

Any thoughts on black bean brownies? I think I am just a bit too much of brownie purest to try them out, but I could be persuaded.

Spicy Black Bean and Lentil Chili with Cotija Guacamole + Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries | @hbharvest

Ok, but let’s talk about serious things. Now that I am in my own place, I am finding the quiet while I cook kind of weird. Well, honestly I haven’t really been alone while cooking, except for on the weekends and even then, I have had workers coming in and out. BUT on the few days that it has been just me, I have been listening to Pandora to break up the quiet (remember I come from a family of nine, plus the “extras”). The thing is I am so tired of hearing the same stuff.

I need music suggestions. Currently I am listening to a lot of Taylor Swift Radio and umm, it is just so not doing it for me. I mean, I love T-swift, but I like a little variety, and when you are in the kitchen cooking for more than six or even eight hours, even Taylor can get old. And since I really haven’t had time to keep up with all the new music out there, I totally need some help. I thought of asking my brothers, but then swayed away from that in fear of what they might suggest. I mean, it could possibly good, but it could also be really bad. You never know with them.

So what do you guys like? I’m pretty open to everything… just not rap. I really cannot handle rap.

Spicy Black Bean and Lentil Chili with Cotija Guacamole + Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries | @hbharvest

Also, music is like a million and one times better than screaming little girls. Just sayin.

Spicy Black Bean and Lentil Chili with Cotija Guacamole + Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries | @hbharvest

Double also, chili loaded with beans and lentils is totally my new favorite! Who knew a vegetarian chili could pack in so much flavor and texture? Not my meat-eating brothers, that is for sure. And yes, they never even tried this. Losers I tell ya… with the exception of Brendan, because he will eat anything. Gotta love having him around!

Anyway, I made this spicy black bean and lentil chili last week while all of my family was still here because I knew that my cousins would eat a bean filled chili. I am not sure who actually had a chance to try it though since we had so many people and so much food in one house at one time. But people did try it and the reviews were good, and um hello, I clearly thought it was awesome.

Spicy Black Bean and Lentil Chili with Cotija Guacamole + Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries | @hbharvest

I added some super fun toppings to mine, but if you are short on time, the chili is delicious solely on its own.

If you do have the time though, I highly recommend making the fries and most definitely the guacamole. It’s the perfect chili topper. Especially if you use the fries to sort of scoop up the chili and then get a little guac on there too. So flippin delicious and totally cold weather appropriate too!

Spicy Black Bean and Lentil Chili with Cotija Guacamole + Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries | @hbharvest

Ok, so what else? The chili is super easy to make and there is a good chance that you’ll have all the ingredients on hand. It’s mostly just some spices, tomatoes, a little broth, lentils and black beans. I always have these foods in my panty, but I’m not sure if this is standard for most, since I try to keep a pretty well stocked pantry. While, I try, but it seems I am ALWAYS out of whatever I need and either running to the store or sending a family member…which may not be happing all that much anymore since I am now out of the family house.

Oh no.

Spicy Black Bean and Lentil Chili with Cotija Guacamole + Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries | @hbharvest

Seriously though, don’t let anything scare you off from this recipe. If you’re short on time, simply make the chili. If you do have some time though, make the fun toppings too. Either way it’s a beyond delicious, cozy winter meal!

OH and extra healthy too! Yahoo!!

Spicy Black Bean and Lentil Chili with Cotija Guacamole + Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries | @hbharvest

Spicy Black Bean and Lentil Chili with Cotija Guacamole + Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8 Bowls
Calories Per Serving: 863 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.



  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne or more or less to your taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4-5 cups veggie broth
  • 2 cups green lentils
  • 3 cups cooked black beans drained and rinsed if using canned
  • 1 (28 ounce) jar spicy marinara sauce
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce (optional not vegan friendly)
  • sharp cheddar cheese for topping

Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries

Cotija Guacamole (optional)


  • In a large heavy pot over medium high heat, add the olive oil, then the onion and carrots. Cook until the onions have softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for about another minute. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne and salt. Cook for about two more minutes or until everything is fragrant.
  • Add the veggie broth (starting with 4 cups), spicy marinara sauce, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in the lentils. Crank up the heat to high, bringing the broth to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium low, cover and simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
  • Add the black beans and cook for about 20 more minutes. Add the extra cup of broth, if needed to thin.
  • While the chili is cooking, make the fries (if making). Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Place cut potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with oil. Add the garlic, chipotle chili powder, salt and pepper. Gently toss with your hands or two spatulas to evenly coat. Spread the fries among two baking sheets in one even layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes, then flip and bake for 15-20 minutes more at 400 degrees F. You want the sweet potatoes to be crispy, but not burnt.
  • To make the guacamole, mash the avocados in a medium size bowl (I left mine pretty chunky, but go as chunky or as smooth as you like). Add the cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and fold in the cotija cheese.
  • Serve the soup in bowls topped with guacamole, sweet potato fries and cheddar cheese.
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Spicy Black Bean and Lentil Chili with Cotija Guacamole + Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries | @hbharvest

Now pass the spoons please!

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  1. I just love your blog and recipes and for 2016 was looking to do more health-inspired (but still fun) recipes with my fiance so I’m loving this post. Can’t wait for all the new recipes to come!! For music maybe try Florence & The Machine radio or Lana Del Rey? Kinda indie but fun still. I also love Tori Kelly, Meghan Trainor, and I have to say Motown radio is impossible to be in a bad mood listening to!

  2. I’ve made this before and it was a HIT. If I were to do it again with a slowcooker, any advice on the initial prep other than throwing all chili ingredients in the cooker and revisiting in 8 hours?

  3. Just finished making this recipe and eating it! It was delicious. I have to admit there are a couple things I would change just to make it a little bit better. I think soaking the lentils would help because mine still weren’t quite completely soft even though it was cooking for about an hour. I also would take a way a little bit of the chili powder, I couldn’t believe the recipe called for three tablespoons! The taste wasn’t overwhelming though. Lastly I think this chili would be fantastic with some more beans in it. I was thinking kidney and pinto in particular 🙂

    My husband and I really enjoyed it though. Thank you so much! Will definitely be having this again.

  4. Oh my stars, sweet potato fries & guac w/ chili! That is brilliant. I really wish it wasn’t 97 degree weather right now. Or maybe I’ll just crank the air conditioner up to max and eat chili anyway!

    If you’re open to different types of music, try some Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin. Michael Buble, for something more modern. I have seriously gotten into Amerian standards. My favorite is Tony Bennett, especially his two Duets albums. Rod Stewart is amazing, too- he’s revitalized his whole career doing standards.

  5. Hi,
    I made your dish today. But I was wondering is your chilli powder mild. Im in Australia and it is hot++. I only put in two teaspoons and it definitely has a bite to it. Other than that it is a great recipe. Easy to make for lots of flavour.


  6. Just made this & it is delish!!!! Instead of the jar of marinara sauce I used 2 15 oz. cans no salt added diced tomatoes & I left out the cayenne pepper as I have kids. Kids loved it!!! Def putting this in the normal rotation. Very simple & hearty!! We ate ours topped w/ shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado & red onion.

  7. My daughter chose this as “brain food” for her finals week this week and I made it last night. It turned out SO delicious & flavorful, even with a few modifications to suit our own taste. Even using only 1 can of tomato paste and 4 1/2 cups of water (gah! I forgot to add the “better than bouillion!” and didn’t think of it until just now?!) it was still so hearty and thick, not soupy like some chili recipes. I used 1 1/2 Tbs. chili powder (ours is pretty kicky) and only a scant 1/4 tsp. of cayenne and it was still plenty peppy. This makes a lot and we’ll be so happy for a big, warm pot of leftovers. (Yes, it’s even chilly in Southern California this week…it’s 60 degrees and cloudy, for Heaven’s sake 😉

    1. Wow, so impressed that your daughter picked this for brain food! THAT IS AWESOME! 🙂
      So happy you all loved it, thanks!!

  8. Hi Tieghan!! I love love LOVE your recipes! They’re all so innovative and delicious looking!

    We made this chili yesterday and honestly, words do not do justice to how delicious it is!! I brought it for lunch today and everyone is so jealous. Especially of the fries on top 🙂

    Thank you!!

    1. AWE!! Thank you so much!! I am so excited you loved this recipe and thank you for all the kind words!

      Hope you had a great start to your week!! 🙂

  9. Absolutely delicious! Made this for dinner last night and enjoyed while watching the Patriots crush the Colts. I was a little skeptical of making a meatless chili, but both James and I loved it! Definitely glad I made the sweet potato fries and guac too.

  10. Do green lentils taste similar to brown lentils? Because while I love Moong dal and other lentils used in Indian cooking, I dislike the earthy taste of brown lentils. I don’t mind lentil soup, but that’s about the only recipe I’ve been able to stomach brown lentils.

    I do however like black beans, so maybe I’ll try this without lentils, or just use my moong dal instead.

    I really like cooking dried black beans in the slow cooker. They turn out great after soaking the night before. I normally use some garlic salt, chopped garlic, and a little dried basil/oregano, broth, and then I top with cheese when serving.

    I always look forward to seeing what recipes you come up with. I’ll have to try this chili on a cold day.


  11. Our musical tastes are probably pretty dissimilar, but lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Cat Power, Elliot Smith, & Wilco. Although, in the kitchen I tend to want something fun, something that rocks; David Bowie, Pixies, The Cure, etc…
    Becks new album is really great, & I think Jack Whites latest record is the best thing he’s done in awhile. Have you heard First Aid Kit? Might be something you’d like.
    Anywhoo… This chili sounds awesome. I love lentils, but I’ve never used them in chili. I dunno why I never thought of it before! This will be great for meat free Monday. Thx!

    1. Also, check out Spotify. You can use it for artist based radio just like Pandora, but you can also make playlists, & listen to whole albums.

  12. I am loving your blog! These recipes are perfect for the cold windy days on Nantucket! Making a few of your recipes for the weekend and this week! I look forward to seeing all of your new posts.

  13. I am planning to make this tonight! I would like to add a can of diced tomatoes for some chunkiness. Is there something I should take out? less tomato sauce or paste?