Lamb and Lentil Chili
This lamb and lentil chili is a classic American dish made with Moroccan ingredients. Enjoy a delicious and comforting bowl of chili that’s perfect for a fast weeknight meal.
Spices for Lamb Chili
Chili, a classic American dish, is usually made with spices like dried chilies, cumin, and oregano. For this recipe, I used Moroccan spices, specifically my Moroccan Magic spice blend. This spice blend is similar to ras al hanout, and contains turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and more. Moroccan spices add an intoxicating quality of sweet and savory to any dish.
Lentils in Chili?
Even though this dish was born out of necessity for a fast and delicious weeknight meal, it’s absolutely delicious nonetheless. It was one of those nights where I was looking at my bare cupboard and wondering what the heck to make. I had in my pantry some precooked lentils, frozen lamb, and a few odds and ends of veg. Within 45 minutes I had a delicious meal on my hands! Many versions of chili contain beans, so I figured why not go with the lentils, a legume often used in Moroccan and middle eastern cuisines, it just made sense! If you don’t have precooked lentils on hand, chickpeas make a good substitution.
What’s the Best Meat for Chili?
Chili, as an American dish, is typically made with beef. Often ground beef or diced beef chuck is used. I used lamb for this recipe because it’s what I had on hand and because I like the flavor of lamb. It also holds up well to the strong flavors of the Moroccan spices I used. If you don’t like lamb, feel free to substitute ground beef or turkey.
What to Serve with Lamb Chili
Lamb chili is a one bowl meal, designed for an easy and satisfying weeknight meal. It’s delicious topped with plain yogurt and chopped cilantro, and served with a side of pita bread for dipping.
Lamb and Lentil Chili
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small carrot
- 2 roasted red peppers from a jar
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
- 1 Tablespoon Moroccan Magic spice blend
- 3 oz. tomato paste
- 1 cup water
- 9 oz. cooked lentils (available in the produce section, I like Melissa's brand)
- Cut onion into a medium dice. Mince garlic and slice carrot in half lengthwise and then crossways into half moon shapes. Dice roasted red pepper. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium sized soup pot. Add ground lamb and brown, breaking up with a metal spoon into smaller bits. Add 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt.
- Once the lamb is browned, add the chopped veggies and cook until starting to soften, about five minutes. During this time add the Moroccan Magic spice blend and another 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt. Stir to combine.
- Add tomato paste, water, cooked lentils, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes and serve hot. Serve with rice, pasta, or flat bread on the side.