Chunky Squash, Lentil & Bean Chilli

Cooking time
Serves6 people
Vegetarians Vegans Gluten-free diets
Chunky Squash, Lentil & Bean Chilli

A hearty veggie chilli to warm you from the inside out. A mix of beans, red lentils and sweet butternut squash. Bubbled in a rich tomato sauce. Flavoured with spicy smoked paprika and a dash of cocoa.

8 ratings
layout 6 comments


  • 2 onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 chilli
  • A handful of coriander
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • ½ tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 75g dried red lentils
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 400g tin of kidney beans
  • 400g tin of black beans

Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 60 mins

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1. Peel the onions and finely chop them. Peel and crush or finely chop the garlic. Halve the chilli, scraping out the pith and seeds if you prefer less heat, and finely chop it. Separate the coriander stalks and leaves. Finely chop the stalks and set the leaves to one side.
2. Set a heavy-based pan on a low heat and lightly coat with oil. Add the onion, garlic, chilli and coriander stalks. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Pop on a lid and gently fry for 15 mins, stirring often, till the onion is glossy and soft.
3. Meanwhile, top and tail the squash, then peel it. Slice it in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Dice it, or coarsely grate it. If you have a food processor, you can whizz it through the grating attachment.
4. Add the squash to the pan, stir well to mix, then pop the lid back on and gently fry for 10 mins. Stir occasionally.
5. Add the smoked paprika, ground cumin and dried oregano to the pan and fry, stirring, for 2-3 mins. Add the cocoa powder and red lentils. Stir to mix. Tip in the chopped tomatoes, and the kidney and black beans with the liquid from their tins. Top up the pan with 400ml water. Turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Simmer for 30 mins, stirring occasionally, till the chilli has thickened and the beans, squash and lentil are tender.
6. Taste the chilli and add more salt or pepper or a pinch of sugar, if you think it needs it. Ladle the chilli into warm bowls and garnish with the coriander leaves. Enjoy by itself, with steamed rice, tortilla chips or sweet potato wedges.
7. Eat Me, Keep Me
This chilli will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge, or up to 6 months in the freezer. Cool the chilli, divide into containers, seal and chill or freeze. Rehat till piping hot on the hob with an extra splash or water, or in the microwave. If frozen, defrost before reheating.
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Loved this easy and tasty dish. uses butternut squash without prior roasting. Used ordinary paprika and less water, I added dash of balsamic and dash of soy. I also reckon red wine instead of water would make it richer as would tomato purée- which would also thicken it up if you find it too watery. Used heavy bottom pan for longer simmering.



Like others have said, it’s quite watery so I’d recommend reducing the amount. I also wish that the amount of squash would be specified by weight - surely ‘1 squash’ can be pretty variable?



We found it to be very watery and needed a considerable amount of reducing. It was tasty when we eventually got there but I agree with the comment about the cinnamon stick. Am going to try it in the slow cooker next time and increase the volume of lentils.

Aunty Carol


I made this today was cautious as I am not overly keen on smoked paprika, i used the sweet smoked paprika and added organic cocoa which I have never added to a savoury dish. I added a red pepper finely diced and added two chillies. Will serve with some guacamole and brown rice. Looking forward to it. Already passed recipe on. xx



I love this recipe! Simple to make and very tasty. Good for large groups. I double the amount of lentils and serve with a side of organic basmati rice.



Tasty dish - I served it with rice. Probably should have weighed my lentils out - I estimated and don't think I had enough, and subsequently a little too much water. I forgot to order adzuki beans so tried my local supermarket last minute, but theirs apparently "may contain gluten" so had to leave them out as hubby has coeliac's. It was still lovely though. I think a cinnamon stick would do wonders for this recipe. I'll be adding one next time.