The zing of the lemon highlights the rich lamb in this bright and tasty chili, while the lentils create a smooth and lovely base. Red lentils are hulled and split for quicker cooking, so this dish comes together quickly enough for a weeknight dinner.

Recipe from Guido’s Own Dietitian, Rachel Alves, RD

Serves 4 to 6


1 tablespoon olive oil

½ pound ground lamb

1 medium onion, chopped

3 large cloves garlic, minced

1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 medium poblano pepper, seeded and chopped

1½ tablespoons ground chili powder

1½ teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground sweet paprika

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 cup red lentils, rinsed

One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

One 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

½ cup chopped, fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)

Low-fat sour cream, lemon wedges, olive oil, crumbled feta, for serving (optional)


Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add lamb and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, peppers, chili powder, cumin, paprika and oregano, stirring well to combine. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the onions and peppers are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the lentils and cook for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally.

Add the tomatoes along with their juice, the broth, 1 cup of water, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and several grinds of pepper to the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are just tender, 15 to 17 minutes. Add the kidney beans and cook until heated through, 2 to 4 minutes.  Remove the pot from heat. Stir in the fresh herbs, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and lemon wedges, or feta and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.