This Easy Winter Chili in a Jar recipe is the perfect easy gift to give someone on your list. Whether it’s the holidays or someone is feeling under the weather, this soup will make them feel special!

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I was at Chloe’s school for lunch last week and her teachers asked me about the recipe for the “bean stew” they noticed in Chloe’s lunch box. They said it looked incredibly tasty, especially on such a cold day. That was all the prompting I needed to share with them my uber-excitement over this DIY Easy Winter Chili in a jar. 


As you can see from the picture, you can layer all of the ingredients in a mason jar (add a pretty label with the recipe and a note and it’s a perfect holiday gift, by the way!) and just tuck it away until you are ready to make it. I explained to Chloe’s teachers that all you had to do was dump the contents of the jar into a pot along with a can of chopped tomatoes and water and…voila! In just an hour you have chili!


No soaking the beans, they asked? Nope. No other ingredients? You got it, everything you need for this dish is in the jar (except for the can of tomatoes). I then surprised them by mentioning how it cooks in only one hour. How could that be, they asked when beans supposedly take so long to cook. Well, one of the random pieces of knowledge you acquire attending culinary school is the difference between a bean and a legume (also known as a pulse). This chili is made with lentils which are considered a pulse (at this point in the conversation even the kids were listening in to understand more).


Some of the major beauty of using lentils in a recipe like this is that they’re inexpensive, high in vegetarian protein, and — as I just described — cook in a fraction of the time as beans. This mild chili is one of my new favorite recipes. And if you have friends who may despise cooking but still love to eat good wholesome food, this recipe in a jar is a culinary gift you can give them that will keep on giving!


Let me know if you make this and what you think by tagging me on social media!


Easy Winter Chili In A Jar

This Easy Winter Chili in a Jar recipe is the perfect simple gift to give someone on your list. Whether it's the holidays or someone is feeling under the weather, this soup will make them feel special!
4.60 from 5 votes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 jar
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes



  • In a quart-sized mason jar, layer 1/2 of the lentils, 1/2 of the yellow split peas, 1/2 of the green split peas, the barley, 1/2 of the green split peas, 1/2 of the yellow split peas, 1/2 of the lentils. Top with the spices and bouillon cubes.
  • To make the soup: combine contents of jar with the tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, until the lentils and barley are soft.


Note: each jar makes 8-10 servings of chili


Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 170mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 5g
Did you make this recipe?Mention @Weelicious or tag #weelicious!

About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.


  1. 5 stars
    My friend (and neighbor) dropped off a jar of this chili mix and a can of tomatoes. I made it the same night and it served my family of four numerous times over the rainy weekend. I’d happily make this again and I plan to give some away.

  2. why do you use only half of the dried peas and barley and do you also half the spices or why not just write recipe 1/3 of peas and 1/2 cup barley???

  3. Hello! We are so excited to make these as a volunteer project to donate to families moving from shelters to permanent housing.

    Is there a measurement for the amount of bouillion? Since we are making many, I think it might be more cost effective to get boullion powder and measure it out instead of the cubes.

  4. I have the same question as Jenny. I’ve always used the smal bouillon cubes – 1 cube per cup of water. The only ones that I was able to find for this project were larger cubes (they’re not actually ‘cubes,’ they’re more like rectangular boxes), and the directions say to use 1 cube per 2 cups of water. I’m making holiday gifts for my colleagues, and would LOVE to know how much bouillon to use! Thank you so much!

  5. are the cubes this calls for about 4g each? i’m finding they come in different sizes. thanks! 🙂

  6. I went to two different stores and couldn’t find yellow split peas, would I just double the green ones or do you have another suggestion?

4.60 from 5 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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