Crockpot Lentil Chipotle Chili

First, a quick note: I’m not going to do the “blog three meals a day” thing.  It’s been done, and far better than I could do it, by lots of other great bloggers.  If I did this, you would be very tired of looking at pictures of eggs, yogurt bowls, cereal, and turkey sandwiches, since I like eating basically the same breakfasts and lunches every day.  But I will, from time to time, feature a recipe I think is pretty healthy and delicious and interesting, and, well, not copyrighted, like the applesauce post I did last week.  This is one of those recipes.

Anyway, it’s late September.  This means that some of my favorites make it back into the bi-weekly food rotation: chili, soup, stew, and other various concoctions!   I will be honest.  I had never even eaten chili until last year, because, well, it looked kind of gross.  But T requested it, and I figured it would be worth a try if I could find a recipe I liked.

Well, I didn’t really find a recipe I liked, so I kind of fused elements I liked from a few recipes together to create something that looked good.  And so, I present to you, Crockpot Lentil Chipotle Chili!  You will need the following things:

  • 1 cup apple juice (I use Simply Apple, no added sugar)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups dry lentils (no need to soak)
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pound ground meat of choice (sometimes we use turkey, sometimes extra lean ground beef)
  • garlic (to taste–I like a lot, about 5-6 cloves, chopped)
  • chili powder (about 2 T)
  • hot tomatillo salsa (again, to taste–our favorite is from Chipotle!)

The best part about this recipe is that the instructions are basically that you dump the juice, water, lentils, meat, garlic and tomatoes into the crockpot, and let it cook covered on low for 6-8 hours.  Right before you’re ready to eat, stir in the chili powder and salsa, taste and add and tweak until you’re ready, and voila! easy dinner.

Pre-cooking:

cereal 008

Everything in the crock pot, ready to go:

cereal 010

Chili powder and salsa at the end of the cooking process:

chili 005

I made corn muffins to go with it, and topped it with some cheese:

chili 006

Mmmm…lentils.

chili 007

What you don’t see (because my camera ate the picture) is that this makes about 8 servings, total.  There are 6 portions of this sitting in the freezer, ready to be thawed out for T’s lunch or another dinner for the two of us.  This recipe really couldn’t be easier, and is incredibly healthy and delicious!  I love using my crockpot–right now we have a 1970s model inherited from my mom, but we’ve registered for a nice new one that will be much easier to clean.  Even if you just have 1 or 2 people in your household, they’re great for freezing leftovers and totally easy meals.

Do you have a crockpot?  Any recipe suggestions?

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4 Responses

  1. I LOVE my crockpot. There are tons of great cookbooks, but it’s so easy to just throw some meat, veggies and a sauce in, and you have a great meal. My favorite thing to make has been falafel!

  2. Chili is one of my favourite foods! I basically live off it in the winter and am always looking for new recipes to change it up. Definitely hanging on to this one! (the apple juice in it intrigues me – that’s new to me!)

    I do own a crockpot but have yet to use it. I have a bag of steel cut oats just waiting to be cooked in it!

  3. When I had first moved in, I made dinner using Mallard’s crockpot all the time. I have an awesome peanut chicken recipe from recipezaar! Here’s the link
    http://www.recipezaar.com/Crock-Pot-Peanut-Chicken-141490

    You probably can’t click it, but you can paste it into your browser.

  4. Lentils in chili? I like that idea! That looks delish 🙂 I will try this sometime.

    Jenn

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