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!
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.
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.
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.
Sweet potatoes- Adds a lovely sweetness and body to the chili.
Spices - You can start with ½ 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
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
- Sour cream or yogurt
How to make on the stovetop
- 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.
- Add the spices and stir until well-incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.
- 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
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
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
No need! Simply rinse and sift through.
Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze for up to 3 months.
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!
Slow Cooker Lentil Chili with Chickpeas
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 2 cups sweet potatoes (cut into ½ 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
- ½-1 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.