Butternut Squash & Cheddar Chilli

Cooking time
Serves2 people
Butternut Squash & Cheddar Chilli

A smoky veggie chilli of seasonal butternut squash and tender lentils, stirred with cheddar cheese and served with quinoa and cooling crème fraîche.

4 ratings
layout 4 comments


  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • A pinch or two of chilli powder
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 3 vine tomatoes
  • 400g tin of green lentils
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 150g quinoa
  • 600ml boiling water
  • 100g cheddar
  • A handful of coriander, leaves only
  • 1 lime
  • 100g crème fraîche

Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 30 mins

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1. Peel the onion and finely chop it. Peel the garlic cloves and crush or finely chop them. Warm 1 tbsp oil in a large pan on a medium heat. Slide in the onion and garlic. Dust with 2 tsp each ground cumin and smoked paprika and a pinch of chilli powder (this chilli powder is nice and spicy, so use as much or little as you prefer). Add a little salt and pepper and fry for 5-8 mins, stirring occasionally, till slightly softened.
2. Meanwhile, trim the stalk and base off the butternut squash. Peel the squash, slice it in half vertically and scoop out the seeds. Finely chop or coarsely grate it. You can also whizz it in a food processor, if you have one. Chop the tomatoes into small chunks.
3. Tip the squash and tomatoes into the pan with the onions. Add 1 tbsp of the cocoa powder. Drain and rinse the lentils, and tip them into the pan. Pour in 300ml boiling water. Crumble in the stock cube. Stir, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Pop a lid on the pan and cook for 25 mins, stirring occasionally, till the squash is softened and the sauce is thick.
4. Rinse the quinoa under cold water for 1-2 mins to wash off the soapy coating that can make the quinoa taste bitter. Tip into a small pan and cover with 300ml boiling water. Simmer for 10-12 mins till the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and set aside for 5 mins.
5. Grate the cheddar. Roughly chop the coriander leaves. When the chilli is cooked, stir through the cheese and coriander leaves. Squeeze in the juice from half of the lime. Stir well. Have a taste and add more salt, pepper or chilli powder if needed.
6. Divide the quinoa between a couple of bowls and top with the squash and cheddar chilli. Top with splodges of crème fraîche and serve with wedges of the remaining lime half on the side.
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A really lovely veg chilli - stuck to the recipe except for roasting the squash before adding

always up for something new


a really good veg chilli and worth the pain of grating (well I chop it into small pieces) butternut squash (large glass wine and the radio for 20 mins works for me- also help of teenager). However much, much improved if you find some good quality dried anchoa chillis - just do everything as the recipe says but soak a large dried anchoa chiili in the 300 ml of boiling water for about 30 mins, remove the seeds and stalk and liquidise then add to the chilli when the recipe says add the boiling water. yes the ingredients list is incomplete but if you read it first you can pick them up - and the cocoa is necessary to the flavour so don't miss it out! has become a family favourite and freezes well for camping (impresses friends no end)



Recipe is incomplete. Instructions mention cocoa powder, cheese, coriander, quinoa, lime, stock cubes. However they are not included in the ingredient list. I'd also question being able to trim, peel, chop etc the squash in the 5-8 minutes that the onions and garlic are frying. It looks like a good recipe, but the lack of attention to detail is really offputting.



Who needs meat?! This chilli is delicious! Although there a few cheeky extra ingredients in the instructions not in the ingredients list so check before you start cooking!