Raw Chili

by Susan on November 1, 2012

There are a lot of recipes for raw chili but of course,  with the weather changing, I though it was time for me to throw my hat into the raw chili ring! This is a super simple recipe that requires no dehydrator! 

Balancing flavors and textures is alway my number one goal and this dish delivers. Just remember to soak your lentils the night before and they will be ready when you are! You can also cut down time by marinating the veggies the night before if you wish. 

I love the crunch and freshness that the soaked lentils bring to this chili. Just make sure you throw them in water to soak the night before and you will be good to go. You can also prep and marinate the veggies in advance if you wish. This goes together quickly and with a quick warm in the dehydrator or on the stove, dinner is ready in a snap. I love this topped with a little avocado but that is completely optional.

If you heat this on the stove, be extremely careful if you want to keep it raw. Use very low heat, stir frequently and once it starts to warm to the touch, be prepared to remove to another bowl as the temp will rise VERY quickly. Keep in mind, it will continue to warm even after you remove it from the heat so stop when it barely warms. Alternatively, you can heat it in your dehydrator, if you have one. You can even eat it cold as it is delicious that way for lunch. 

I am so excited about this one I am going to be serving it at my dinner party Saturday night. I already know I am going to have to make a second batch!

Raw Chili 

Serves 4

  • 1 cup green lentils, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 4 large carrots, diced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, diced
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 dates
  • 4 medium ripe tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder*
  • 1 tablespoons coconut crystals
  • Himalayan salt 
  • 1 tomato, diced

1. In a large bowl, stir together diced carrots, onions, and mushrooms. 

2. In a seperate small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, nama shoyu, and coconut crystals. 

3. Pour over carrot mixture and let sit at least an hour to marinate.

4.  To make the chili sauce, in high speed blender, blend sundried tomatoes, olive oil, dates, tomatoes, raw apple cider vinegar chili powder and coconut crystals until smooth.  

5. Add lentils to veggie mixture, pour chili sauce over veggie/lentil mixture and stir. Add a dash of Himalayan salt to taste and top with diced fresh tomato, if desired. 

Chef’s Hint: Chop the veggies in your food processor. It is super fast!

Also: If you do have a dehydrator, do the marinating of the veggies in that. After you toss the veggies with the marinaide, spread the mixture on non-stick sheets and place in dehydrator at 115 for an hour. It adds a whole depth of flavor that is delicious. 


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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather November 1, 2012 at 9:05 pm

I love chili and have been enjoying eating more raw food lately so I am definitly going to make this tomorrow. Gotta go get my lentils soaking now! :)


Lexan November 1, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Once again, brava! You may convert me to raw living yet.


Alia November 1, 2012 at 9:47 pm

This looks delicious! Can’t wait to give it a try. The photos are gorgeous!! Thank you for sharing such beauty here in so many ways.


Ludia November 1, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Hello Susan.
I am puzzling over how in the world does one dice veggies in the food processor? Is there a special attachment? I can’t imagine how I might dice veggies in a food processor. Did you mean to chop them?
Thank you,


Susan November 1, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Chop, dice….semantics. If you prefer, I could say chop but still probably wouldn’t be accurate. You just want a cut that is similar to a dice. :-) Probably process to a fine dice? Who knows. Cheers!


Melinda November 1, 2012 at 11:03 pm

This looks delish!!! What could I substitute for the coconut crystals?


Kim November 2, 2012 at 9:31 am

Hi Susan,

Would any other lentil work? Like red lentils since they are what I have on hand.
Thank you for your help, Kim


Aimee November 2, 2012 at 9:46 am

Can you substitute Tamari for the nama shoyu? Thanks!


Faith November 2, 2012 at 11:09 am

this looks great. and reminds me of lentil sprouts- one of the better types of sprouts to make- they taste good and keep longer in the fridge than some other sprouts. you would of course soak them and then let them grow a few days…they would be great on top of this chili!


Susan November 2, 2012 at 5:09 pm
Kathryn November 2, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Wow – just the thing for colder weather. I had some sprouted mung beans in the fridge and used these instead of the lentils. D-licious.

You’re are constant inspiration. Thank you.


SARAH November 2, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Can I substitute the coconut crystal for something else? Gtreat recipe!!!


Susan November 2, 2012 at 5:08 pm

You can use raw agave. It is much sweeter so you will have to taste. Cheers!


Erin November 3, 2012 at 7:08 am

I purchased a bag of TruRoots sprouted, dried lentils to have on hand for power outages during Hurricane Sandy. Figured they’d be easy to reconstitute. Now I’m just trying to figure out what to do with them post Sandy! I’ll be trying this and you Lentil Sprout and Cucumber Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette recipes this week!


Rose Roesch November 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm

This dish was amazing and yummy! Thanks, Susan!


rhinda November 3, 2012 at 2:03 pm

I just made it and am leaving it out on the counter til dinner. Its very yummy! I was surprised that the lentils softened as much as they did. I also added cheyenne pepper for heat. Love your recipes, Susan!


Sandy November 4, 2012 at 8:29 am

Looks lovely and just the sort of thing I can try without a dehydrator. I presume raw chilli pepper would be too acutely hot to taste and powder is preferred. Can’t wait til the lentils have soaked :-)
Thank you for the recipe.


Lizz November 11, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Oh gosh.. This was even better the second day!
I love left overs!


Susan November 11, 2012 at 4:50 pm

I agree…the flavors really meld well!!


Patricia Robinett November 11, 2012 at 7:45 pm

yummy!!!! i made this and love it! ate it plain the day i made it. now it’s mellowed for a couple of days and i added nutritional yeast on top for a cheesy flavor, some cultured raw salsa, and avocado – double, triple, quadruple yum!!! my roommate is on his third ‘small meal of the day’ with this dish. THANK YOU, Susan! chili is something i have missed for years. this is the best.


Emma November 21, 2012 at 9:22 am

This was great, I was so surprised how “cooked” it tasted despite not dehydrating it. I ate it at room temperature and followed your advice and topped it with a little avocado. Thank you for the recipe!


Lisa R November 28, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Wow! I’m having my second bowl… This is so good! I’m not a big fan of raw lentils, but there are enough flavors in the sauce to cover up the undesirable flavor. I imagine that if I were to warm the lentils in the dehydrator while the veggies are marinating and make the sauce in my Vitamix at the very last minute, blending until it is warm, that I could make a nice warm chili for a cold day. It’s not especially cold here today.

I didn’t have enough fresh tomatoes, so I used some frozen ones that I thawed out while the veggies marinated. I also thought I had fresh mushrooms, but I discovered that they were moldy (first time in my life that has ever happened–usually they just dry out), so I reconstituted some dried ones I had in the pantry. I would have preferred the texture of fresh, but that was better than none.


Michelle December 9, 2012 at 9:04 pm

I absolutely love your dishes!! Never thought possible, but I am cooking up raw foods by the dozen. Thank you!


Lois Doporcyk December 16, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Susan – finished and it is fantastic – not serving it today – need suggestion – should I mix sauce with vege and lentil mix and store or store separately ?


Susan December 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Lois, you can store it all combined. The flavors meld even more and it will be delicious. Cheers!


Mary December 16, 2012 at 5:42 pm

I’m new to raw “cooking” and so far we have enjoyed many tasty meals! I am wondering about the non-stick sheets. Would this be the same as using parchment paper?


Susan December 17, 2012 at 1:10 pm

No. Non-stick sheets can be ordered for your dehydrator. They are thicker and washable. Cheers!


Susan December 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm

This is DELICIOUS!!! I have made it several times. I have dehydrated the vegetables and love the flavor. Thank you so much. This is great! :-)


michelle December 19, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Have you/can you sprout the green lentils for this recipe? If so would it make it more nutritious and would it change the flavor or texture? Thanks!


nouna December 29, 2012 at 12:00 am

I don’t understand, you don’t sprout the lentils? You only soak them?
I don’t like when it’s crunchy.
I’ve just seen a coral lentils recipes in which you told to soak and sprout them.
Are the green ones different?
What about the brown ones?


Susan December 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Feel free to sprout the lentils. Soaking starts activating the nutrients. They have the crunch of, say, celery when they are soaked. I like that texture. Cheers.


Remi January 6, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Nice dish. So glad that I came across this recipe, because I sometimes fall off of the raw food rails in the winter in search of heartier fare. The chili portion of the recipe is *REALLY* good (I added more sun dried tomatoes, chili powder and included Spanish smoked paprika); so if you want to eliminate the lentils, carrots and onions in place of zucchini noodles and this sauce alone – you’re good. Mission accomplished.

P.S. The raw lentils might have a green taste and texture that’s not for everyone, but don’t let that dissuade you from experimenting with the base chili recipe. Thanks again, Susan.



michelle January 9, 2013 at 6:22 pm

I can’t wait to try this!!! I got all of the ingredients today. By accident I got red letils. Could you subtitute the green for another colour lentil? Thanks!!!


Dani Fenwick January 20, 2013 at 2:46 am

I actually think my husband would eat this! Not many raw dinner recipes I could say that about!


Rhonda February 4, 2013 at 5:03 pm

I fixed this for supper last night and my husband loved it! The dish has a nice crunch too it and satisfied our craving for chili! I will be making this again. Thanks so much for sharing it.


Andrew Norton March 3, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Hi. What exactly is RAW agave ? I have searched the web and only found very negative reviews on all agave. Some documents even say that raw agave is no better than white table sugar. I am so confused about the whole agave issue.


Susan March 3, 2013 at 2:17 pm

If you use the search function, you will find what I have written on agave. If you dont’ want to use it, substitute maple syrup or another liquid sweetener of choice. :-)


Jerilyn February 13, 2015 at 1:40 pm

I really enjoy using the Coconut Secret Syrup or coconut sugar as a sweetener. It has a really low glycemic index and is full of amino acids. I don’t know if it the syrup is considered raw. I also love the Coconut Secret Liquid Aminos and their vinegar as well.


lacey March 21, 2013 at 4:57 pm

I am new to raw foods, but I made this with red lentils yesterday and it turned out really good. Even my husband loved it! the avocado on top really adds to it too, so I wouldn’t skip that. Thanks for the recipe!


Susan March 21, 2013 at 4:59 pm

So glad you liked it! I have made many batches. Cheers!


Sara April 5, 2013 at 5:20 pm

I just started eating raw and your recipes are what got me started me.. I actually enjoy prepareing meals now, who would of thought it could be fun! Thanks for making such appetizing recipes and easy to follow steps. The chili is awesome, but the lasagna is my favorite!


holly September 6, 2013 at 9:23 pm

You didn’t mention soaking the sun dried tomatoes. Did you use dry ones for this or wet? Thanks:-)!


Susan September 7, 2013 at 10:42 am

If you are using dry, you should soak them. I did not use dry. :-)


Diane Charbonneau September 16, 2013 at 10:56 am

One of my favourites! I tried it and enjoyed it so much, I made some for my family and they are crazy about it. As we like spicy foods, I doubled the chili powder and also added red peppers. This is a definite keeper.


Victoria September 24, 2013 at 11:34 pm

I have been looking for a good recipe for my raw lunch meal plan, and this is it!

Easy to make, great flavor, nice sweet taste, looks so pretty after all the ingredients were mixed together as the chili sauce made a great color from the deep red chili powder that I used, and this dish taste even better the next day!

I enjoyed eating this chili this week. Now for a raw corn bread recipe to accompany the chili.
J K… :) I’ll try the Raw corn chips recipe to go with this dish.

The recipe makes a very large bowl of chili, has anyone had any luck freezing the left overs?


Eva September 30, 2013 at 5:50 am

This is the best chili, it’s even better than the coocked one, both me and my husband agreed.
I used sprouted lentils and it was just great.
Thank you for theese great recepies!


Martha October 5, 2013 at 6:04 pm

I have to tell you, I love this recipe so much! I like to add some chia seeds to it to soak up the sauce a bit. (Don’t want to miss any!) I love to have this over a bed of salad greens and topped with guacamole. Delicious!


Leslee November 2, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Hi there,
Just wondering how many serving this makes…we are a family of 5 with one hungry teenager. Thanks!!


Susan November 2, 2013 at 12:22 pm

If you look, I put serving sizes right under the Title in the actual recipe. :-)


Lindsay Baker November 18, 2013 at 11:18 pm

I’m just starting to explore raw food, so I have a couple of questions;

Are “coconut crystals” the same thing as coconut sugar?

By “gluten free soy”‘ do you mean soy sauce?



Susan November 19, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Yes, gluten free soy sauce and yes, coconut sugar. Cheers!


Karalee November 21, 2013 at 8:29 am

My husband and I love this chili! I will be making more today. We enjoy eating the rosemary almond crackers with it. Well, actually, we enjoy eating the crackers all the time…they are fabulous. Thank you for sharing these great recipes.


Heather October 3, 2015 at 4:18 pm

I just made this. I was happy to find a nut/seed free recipe. Can I just say that is ABSOLUTELY FREAKING AMAZING! Thank you so very much. Yum, yum, yummmmmmmmy!


Susan October 5, 2015 at 10:10 am

So glad you liked it, Heather! Cheers!


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