I eat chilli at home often enough that recently, I felt the need to switch things up. However, rather than reaching for more chilli powder or different types of chilli, I reached for a couple of other ingredients to make this lentil chilli: maple and bourbon.
The idea for this version of vegan lentil chilli started percolating around in my head last Christmas – yup that’s right, over a year ago! I’d made myself a Maple Whiskey Sour from Cookie & Kate and realised that I was really into the maple and bourbon combination.
And just like that… over a year later… this chilli was finally realised.
The bourbon lentil chilli I ended up creating isn’t a spicy one. In terms of heat, it’s down right mild. So if you prefer yours hotter, by all means up the heat with some extra chilli, more cayenne pepper or add some dried chilli flakes.
Likewise, if you want it sweeter, add more maple syrup. Or try adding a dash of cinnamon.
I like this served with brown rice and some slices of chilli on top. Perhaps a dollop of cashew sour cream too, if there’s some around. I’ve also been known to scoop it up into romaine lettuce cups, or spoon some into a wrap. The possibilities are endless… well maybe not endless but certainly plentiful!
No bourbon? No problem!
If bourbon isn’t an option, don’t panic. I’m a lover of chilli and so come prepared with some alternative vegan chilli recipes! Check out one of these instead.
Bourbon Lentil Chilli Recipe (vegan)
Luci Rebecca, Made by Luci
- Prep: 5 minutes
- Cook: 55 minutes
- Total: 1 hour
- Serves 4-5
- Calories 439
- 1 medium onion, finely diced (~90g)
- 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped (~135g)
- 1 carrot, chopped (~110g)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 x 400g tin kidney beans (drained)
- 175g (~1 cup) dry green green lentils *
- 60g (~1/3 cup) dry red split lentils
- 4 tbsp (1/4 cup) bourbon (I used Jack Daniels)
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp liquid smoke
- 120g (~1 cup) frozen sweetcorn
- Put a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the onions with some oil or water. Cook until soft (less than ten minutes, usually about five-seven minutes for me), then add the sliced garlic and cook for about one minute, until fragrant.
- Add the chopped pepper and carrot and cook for a few minutes.
- Add all the spices and stir for about thirty seconds, until they become aromatic.
- Add all the remaining ingredients, except for the frozen sweetcorn. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the lentils are cooked through.
- Add the sweetcorn and cook for ten minutes more, then serve.
* To reduce cooking time, use pre-cooked green lentils.
Calories and nutritional information based on four portions.