Skyline Lentil Chili Recipe

Skyline Chili restaurants are famous for their chili cheese coneys and their secret family chili recipes that have been passed down for generations. Hearty, flavorful, and almost addictive, their chili is perfect for any meal at any time.

If you’re craving some masterfully-prepared chili but you don’t have a Skyline near you, we have a delicious homemade option. Even better than that, this recipe is vegan- and vegetarian-friendly. It’s a simple recipe with ingredients you probably already have on hand, and there’s nothing complicated about it. Skyline often uses black beans in their vegetarian chilis, but this recipe calls for lentils and kidney beans. This gives it a fun flavor variation as well as some texture.

We recommend cooking this lentil chili in a Dutch oven if you’re tight on time, but you can just as easily cook it in a large pot and just simmer it for a bit longer. Skyline often serves their chilis over a bed of pasta, so you may opt for that, top it with any of your favorite toppings, or eat it simply as it is.

This recipe yields 8 servings, but it can easily be stored in the freezer for a future meal.

Skyline Lentil Chili

Skyline Lentil Chili

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 314 kcal


  • Dutch Oven


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 (16 oz.) bag of brown lentils
  • 2 (14.5 oz.) cans no-salt diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 (32 oz.) cartons vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • Fresh ground salt and pepper


  • First, heat the olive oil over medium heat n a large heavy duty dutch oven. Then add the chopped onions and red bell pepper. Saute the vegetables for 8 minutes or until soft and lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the garlic and chili powder, and cook for 1 minute.
  • Next, add the lentils, tomatoes, bay leaf and vegetable or chicken stock. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Bring the pot to a boil, and then lower the heat to medium-low. Allow the chili to simmer, partially covered for 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf.
  • Transfer 3 cups of the cooked chili into a food processor and process until pureed. Then add the pureed chili back into the pot and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
  • Stirl in the chopped cilantro and serve hot.


  • If you like your chili spicy, you can add a freshly chopped jalapeño or red pepper flakes.
  • This vegetarian dish can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 or 5 days or in the freezer for 3 or 4 months.
  • If you don't have a Dutch oven, you can use a big pot, and just cook 30-45 minutes longer.

If you’re looking for more chili inspiration, check out this Wendy’s copycat chili recipe. It’s hearty and flavorful, and you can make a vegetarian version simply by omitting the ground beef.

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