• 1 1/2 cups onion, chopped (approximately 1 large)
  • 1-pound red bell pepper, halved, core removed, and chopped
  • 3 ounces dates, chopped (approximately 12 Deglet Noor or 5 medjool)
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans tomatoes, fire roasted and low sodium or salt free preferred
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste, salt free if possible
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1-pound red lentils
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons parsley flakes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

Adapted from Dr., by Chef AJ

Serves 8-10


Set Instant Pot on sauté function and dry-sauté the onion until golden, adding a bit of water or broth to prevent burning (2-3 minutes). Stir in the bell pepper, dates, and garlic. Dry-sauté until peppers are slightly wilted. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and cider vinegar. Using an immersion blender, blend a bit but leave somewhat chunky. Instead may blend very briefly in a food processor or blender (use care with this hot sauce).

To the slightly blended sauce in the pan, add 1-pound red lentils, 8 cups water, and the herbs and spices.

Set Instant Pot on high and pressure cook for 10 minutes. Release pressure after 15 minutes, or release naturally.

If using a Crock Pot, use a pan to make the initial sauce and blend sauce as instructed above. Add sauce and all ingredients to the crock pot and slow cook for 6-8 hours.

When finished taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. I added a spoonful of Harissa paste for a bit of heat, salt and pepper, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

For variety I have added a bag of frozen (defrosted) roasted corn at the end. Reheat if necessary

Delicious topped with Vegan Sour Cream and served with a mixed green salad, and yummy cornbread. For the Vegan Sour Cream and vegan Whole Grain Cornbread go to, recipes or my YouTube channel, YouTube/nan simonsen.