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. Pulses of all kinds take too long to cook – using up so much energy. I suggest you use a pressure cooker to make this instead. Slow cooked ‘dal’ does taste better but it is so much easier to first fry up the masala well, then add the mixed lentils and cook it, and for everyday use, the difference in taste is acceptable!

  2. We added some ground beef and a little extra spice. It tasted great except some of the peas weren’t quite cooked. Next time I’ll just cook it longer. But my non veggie eating family loved it.

  3. Can this be cooked in a slow cooker instead of the stove top? Is so, for how long? Thanks for a cute and useful gift.

  4. Hi,
    Do I need to rinse and pick through the peas and lentils first (& then dry them on a towel overnight)? I normally do this per the bag’s instructions. Thanks.

  5. The tomatoes add flavor! You can definitely leave them out and just use about an extra cup or 2 of water!

  6. We have a tomato allergy in our family. If I omitted the tomatoes would this ruin the recipe? Can you suggest anything as a substitute? Thanks!!!

  7. Hi,
    This looks great! I always rinse my lentils really well before using but not sure how that could be done in this recipe. Do you rinse your lentils?

  8. Yum, this looks amazing! I can’t wait to make this, nutritious, easy and quick to make and prepare is just what busy mums need.

  9. I pick over them to make sure there are no rocks or sediment. You can rinse and allow to dry if you want!

  10. Thought I would try this before I gave these as Christmas presents. It was a big hit and is joining our dinner rotation.
    I do have one question – the peas, lentils and barley all said to rinse before using. Do I need to rinse the above wait for them to “dry” and then combine ingredients or can I just skip the rinsing part and make up my jars?

  11. This goes all the way to the top of the 1 quart jar (see the photos in this post) so a 24 ounce jar would be a tad too small!

  12. What a fantastic gift idea!! I love it, and I love the sound of the chili too…I’ve been living off soups & chili since the baby’s been born for easy quick meals.

  13. Just cut everything in half! 1/3 cup of each split pea and lentil, 1/2 cup barley, 1 bouillon cube, etc… Cook in 5 cups of water plus a 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes (I know the tomatoes aren’t exactly halved, but those are the typical can sizes)

  14. Can anyone figure out the measurements if you wanted to halve the recipe to do 1/2 pint jars? I have many single friends who wouldn’t want that many servings.

4.60 from 5 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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