Lentil chili is usually made with brown lentils, but I prefer split mung beans for speed. Cocoa powder is the secret ingredient. Cooktime is around ten minutes.

cost calories net carbs fat fiber protein sugar
~$0.701 242 33 1 10 13 8


  • large microwave-safe bowl
  • 1/4 cup dry split mung beans
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp broth base (I use beef)
  • garlic (I use granulated)
  • onion (I use powdered)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste


  • rinse beans
  • combine all ingredients, stir
  • microwave on high until liquid is absorbed and beans are tender, about 5-10 minutes
  • stir in a few ice cubes until cool enough to eat
  • salt to taste


Canned diced tomatoes are a good addition if you keep them around, though I find tomato paste is sufficient for flavor.

Brown, black, green, or yellow lentils can replace the mung beans, albeit with a longer cook time. Avoid red lentils: they’re quick to cook, but will break up and leave the chili without texture.

Frozen vegetables and dried mushrooms are good choices to add volume. A vegetable oil of your choice - I use olive - will add fat and boost satiety.

Thickeners like chickpea flour or psyllium husk can be added afterwards if the consistency is watery.

  1. mung beans $12.33/4lb (Spicy World, Amazon), broth base $3.00/12oz (Orrington Farms, Walmart), onion powder $9.49/22oz (McCormick, Amazon), garlic powder $8.94/26oz (McCormick, Amazon), chili powder $6.17/7.5oz (McCormick, Amazon), tomato paste $.42/6oz (Great Value, Walmart), cocoa powder $1.98/8oz (Great Value, Walmart)