Spicy Lentil Chili with California Prunes

California Prunes adds a sweet layer of contrast in this spicy lentil chili. Created by Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN.

Servings: 6


  • 1 tablespoon avocado or sunflower oil
  • 1 small or ½ medium red onion, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1¼ cups dry brown lentils (8.5 ounces)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced, no-salt-added fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (32 fluid ounces)
  • 12 California prunes, finely diced (3.5 ounces)
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño and cook while stirring until the onion is lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, and cinnamon and cook while stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the lentils, tomatoes (with liquid), and broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Partially cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until lentils are just tender, about 25 minutes.

Remove lid, stir in the prunes, and cook while stirring occasionally until desired consistency, about 3 to 4 minutes. Adjust seasoning.

Ladle into small bowls, sprinkle with the cilantro, and serve.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 240