I've made these zesty beans many times for picnics and potlucks—they're hearty and zippy with chili pepper and the extra flavor of lentils in the ban mix. The recipe can be made ahead and heated before serving.
—Arthur Morris, Washington, Pennsylvania
Lightly fry bacon in a heavy 3-qt. saucepan. Add onion; cook until transparent. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook over medium heat for 45 minutes or until lentils are tender, stirring once or twice. Remove bay leaf before serving.