This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy for more details.

Thick and hearty, this vegetarian slow cooker chickpea lentil chili is sure to keep your baby, child (and you!) happy and nourished. It’s also an incredibly iron-rich meal for babies!

a bowl of slow cooker chickpea lentil chili with diced avocado and cilantro
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

Reasons to love this chili with chickpeas

This meal is seriously the easiest and most economical way to add a lil’ comfort to your week. 

It makes a lot so enjoy all the leftovers, a.k.a. a busy parent’s best friend. Am I right or am I right? ;). You can also freeze some for a quick, future meal.

This dish is especially awesome to make when you’re going to be out and about all day with the kids. Simply dump all the ingredients into your slow cooker, set the timer, and you’ll come home to a meal that’s ready to be devoured.

It will be evenly more amazing with this healthy homemade cornbread – so moist!


all the ingredients for lentil chili laid out on a white background

Lentils – You can use either brown or green lentils. I don’t recommend red or yellow lentils as the chili will turn out too mushy. But you can use them to make these delicious lentil balls!

Chickpeas – feel free to swap with any other bean. Here’s the ultimate guide to chickpeas for babies.

Sweet potatoes– Adds a lovely sweetness and body to the chili.

Spices – You can start with 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder if you are feeling especially anxious about introducing fiery spices to your baby. I will say, though, that even with 1 teaspoon, it won’t really be spicy because of all the other ingredients.

Related post: Herbs and Spices for Baby Food


Will keep this short. Dump all the ingredients. Set it to cook on low for 5 hours. Go about your day! You’re welcome ;).

Tips for Success

  • This is a THICK chili and that’s intentional as it will be much easier (and less messy) for babies and toddlers to eat with either their hands or spoon.
  • If you desire a thinner consistency, I HIGHLY recommend adding some full-fat coconut milk at the end! It’s SOO good. You can also add more broth.
  • This recipe makes A LOT. You can absolutely freeze to enjoy later.

Serving and Topping Suggestions

chickpea lentil chili in a slow cooker with an orange spatula

You can enjoy this chickpea lentil chili in a bowl with various toppings as suggested below


Grab some tortillas. The chili is thick and chunky so makes for a perfect filling for tacos/burritos. You can even add some cheese and enjoy as a quesadilla.


  • Lime juice – really brightens everything up. This is a MUST in my opinion.
  • Cilantro or parsley
  • Cheese
  • Sour cream or yogurt
  • Avocado

How to make on the stovetop

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and sweet potatoes and cook for about 5-6 minutes.
  2. Add the spices and stir until well-incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer (covered) for 35-45 minutes, until lentils and sweet potatoes are soft. Be sure to stir occasionally.

How to serve chili to babies

baby's bowl of mashed chickpea lentil chili with finely chopped cilantro and avocado wedge

For 6-8 months:

Transfer a small portion to a bowl and mash with the back of a spoon. You want to make sure that the chickpeas are smooshed. Mix in some cilantro and lime juice! You can also add some coconut milk or yogurt. Serve alongside a big avocado wedge.

If you’re looking for an awesome non-toxic suction plate and bowl, we absolutely LOVE these! The spoon is included in the same post as well.

For 9-12 months:

There’s no need to mash

Related Post: How to serve the right food size and texture

How to serve to chili to toddlers and kids

a toddler's bowl of lentil chili with tortilla, lime, avocado, cilantro, and cheese stick on the side

Kids love to have choices and a sense of control over what they eat. So I encourage you to serve the chili alongside various toppings to invite fun as well as increase the chances of them eating the meal you served. Or try serving family style!

Lately, my son has been refusing to eat shredded cheese but will happily eat it sliced or in sticks. Toddlers…so hard to please. The other day he was so upset that I cut his banana. Lord help me.

Stainless dinnerware set can be found here.

toddler pushing bowl away

Is your toddler becoming picky?

Arm yourself with these strategies that will transform your mealtimes!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do lentils need to be soaked?

No need! Simply rinse and sift through.

How to store leftovers?

Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze for up to 3 months.

How should I reheat the chili?

You can either microwave or rewarm on the stovetop. You may need to add some liquid to get it going.

Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!

5 from 6 votes

Slow Cooker Lentil Chili with Chickpeas

Thick and hearty, this vegetarian slow cooker chickpea lentil chili is sure to keep your baby and child happy and nourished. It's also an incredibly iron-rich meal!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!


  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 cups sweet potatoes (cut into 1/2 inch pieces), , about 1 medium potato or 290g
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups (400g) brown lentils, rinsed
  • 15 ounce can no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 28 ounce can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
  • 32 ounce low-sodium vegetable broth
  • (optional) Full-Fat coconut milk
  • Toppings: Greek yogurt , sour cream, cheese, lime, cilantro/parsley


  • Add all the ingredients in the order listed. Place lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours. Chili will be pretty thick in consistency. If desired, add some coconut milk (so good!) or broth.
  • Enjoy with your favorite toppings.


Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze for up to 3 months.


Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 104mg | Fiber: 20g | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 6mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

5 from 6 votes (6 ratings without comment)


  1. I use my slow cooker all the time and I really glad to find a good vegetarian recipe. Please bring this by Weekend Bites today.

  2. I really need to get a slow cooker! I used to have one, but it was one of the many electronics I had to abandon when we moved overseas. When we first moved to Sweden I never saw slow cookers around, but now they seem to be popping up all over the place. I’ve pinned this chili for when I do get one, or maybe before if I just do it the old fashioned way in my Dutch oven. Those flavours look so lovely. I love to make a big batch of chili and freeze it. Some days a bowl of chile out of the freezer is a lifesaver!

    1. Wow! I can’t imagine being without my slow cooker! Good to hear that you can finally get your hands on one ;). Come to think of it, I don’t ever recall seeing one in Korea either (I go back to visit my parents pretty often). I can’t wait for you to try this, Katie! And yes, chilis = perfect freezer-friendly meals!

  3. You don’t even know how in love I am with the slow cooker. And this recipe looks like it will make my tiny little apartment smell like Fall and make me wish I lived in the snow! I could also use some more lentils in my life…Pinning and can’t wait to let you know how it comes out 🙂
    P.S. I have the same bowl 😉

  4. This looks beautiful! I love that you’ve used both chickpeas and lentils 🙂

  5. I love my crockpot for hearty stew and stoups in the winter. This one looks perfect and I adore chickpeas. I also love that cute blue mug you photographed the chili in. Is that homemade pottery?

    1. Thanks, Trisha! Can’t wait for you to try!! No, I believe I purchased it either from Pier 1 imports or Marshalls..can’t remember but it HAS to be one of those 2 places since that’s where I do most of my shopping 😉

  6. Wow, that almost looks too good to eat- too bad I’m greedy and I’d faceplant it straight away!

  7. Raisins in the recipe?! Yes – I want this. And I really really really need to dust the flour dust off my slow cookers. What a great pantry-staple recipe, Min!

  8. This chili sounds so wonderfully hearty! Gorgeous photos, all pinned. Can’t wait to make this myself!

  9. Muhahahahah I love those moments when we’re devilishly planning out our “secretly healthy” meals and anticipating our husbands NOT knowing what’s up. 😀 Ohh now you’ve got me craving chili bad~I love that chili is such a hearty and potentially healthy dish, but it costs next to nothing oftentimes. And I hope you have a beautiful day, hopefully things go smoothly this week 🙂