Chili is the ultimate comfort food that soothes and warms from the inside out. Many chili recipes call for meat, but here, plant proteins create a perfect brain- and heart-healthy meal.
Serves 3 to 4

Bean and Lentil Chili

Yield: 3-4

Bean and Lentil Chili


  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green, red, or yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, diced with seeds
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon each sea salt and black pepper, divided, plus more to taste
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder, divided
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 28-ounce can low-sodium crushed tomatoes
  • 1 3⁄4 cup water, plus more as needed
  • 3⁄4 cup dry red lentils, rinsed in water and drained
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, slightly drained
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, slightly drained
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice


  1. Place a large pot over medium heat. Add the oil, onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Then add 2 tablespoons chili powder, oregano, 1 teaspoon cumin, paprika, nutmeg, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and water, and stir to combine. Once the mixture starts boiling, add the red lentils and cover the pot. Allow to boil for about 15 minutes, stirring every 4 to 5 minutes. Then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer. Cook for another 20 minutes, or until lentils are mostly tender. During the process, you may need to add more water if the mixture looks too dry or if the lentils aren’t fully submerged.
  2. Then add the kidney and black beans, 1⁄4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon chili powder and 1 teaspoon cumin. Simmer over medium heat, and once the mixture starts bubbling, cover the pot, reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. More water may be needed if the chili boils down too much (about 1⁄2 cup to 1 cup).
  3. Remove from heat and add the lime juice. Adjust seasoning as needed.
  4. Serve as is or garnish with cilantro, red onions, and avocado slices or guacamole.

Mind Kind recipes are developed by Dr. Ayesha Sherzai, a practicing neurologist with a culinary and nutrition background. Each recipe is crafted to provide optimum taste, convenience, and health benefits.

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