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. This sounds delicious. I want to make it with fresh ingredients, what would be the equivalent of a teaspoon of garlic and onion powder? Thx.

  2. Had this chil and it was delicious. My daughter made up some jars and gave them as prices for a bridal shower. The idea was loved.

  3. […] 4. Easy Winter Chili by Weelicious […]

  4. How much water is needed to make this chili I see 10 cups for the soup but nothing for the chili

  5. Hi Catherine,
    I just wanted to let you know that a parent (and child) from the Purple Twig gave me this chili for a holiday present and my kids love it. We all love it. What a fantastic idea and gift. Thank you!!1

    1. I don’t understand why only half of ingredients are layered in the jar?? I really want to make this😟. Help please!💛

      1. Hi Jan! You end up using all of the ingredients. I just wrote it out so that there are more layers of the lentils, yellow split peas and green split peas. So you’ll have two layers of each of those ingredients for presentation sake. Sorry for the confusion!

  6. […] gift ideas: easy winter chili in a jar (Weelicious), coconut macaroon mix in a jar (Vegan Richa), candy cane carob bark (Out to Lunch […]

  7. I have made this for my 2yr old with great success (the whole family liked it) and also made it as gifts in a jar. I washed and reused 1L pickle jar and it worked great!

  8. I just made this today. It turned out great! After tasting it at 1 hour I decided to add 1/2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp cumin. I let it simmer for a total of 2 hours, which I think it needed. A little drizzle of good olive oil on top of the bowl added a little richness and helped bring out the flavors. I think I might try adding cooked ground beef, ground turkey, or chicken sausage next time.

  9. I wonder if you could put the dry powders in a small plastic baggie (maybe the craft size ones) and then include instructions to rinse the lentils, peas and barley before putting in pot.

  10. I woke up this morning, and tried putting everything on the slow cooker for lunch. I put it on high for around 2-3 hours. I guess you could say it was doneish,, but could go a little longer.. I was hungry and wanted lunch, so I transferred to a pot simmer for 30ish more minutes.

    I couldn’t find veg bouillon, so I used beef buillon. I was also out of cumin, so I had to use 2 Tbs of taco seasoning.

    I enjoyed it, but more importantly my picky 2yr old ate it. I call that success 🙂 I went ahead and prepped 2 more jars for gifting. I made the whole recipe for our family, but halved the recipe for gifting.

  11. Oh, and also it’ll allow you to add finely diced veggies like carrots or gourds which soften during pressure cooking so you can’t make them out separately – so you can, theoretically, do without the bouillon cubes.

4.60 from 5 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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