Meatless Day 5 – Steph’s Vegetarian Squash Chilli

I don’t know about where you are, but it’s pretty grey and drizzly here.  Nothing warms me up more than a good and hearty chilli and this one is a favourite of N’s, despite the lack of meat.  We actually have this one on a regular basis because it’s easy, super tasty and very versatile.  Spice-wise, you can flavour the chilli however you like.  It can be super spicy, mild or somewhere in between.  I like to experiment with different chillies and spices so this is a perfect dish for that.

Sorry this is a day late and all of that jazz… late night last night and all I wanted to do after dinner was go to bed!

Yeah... this is after dinner in the tupperware stage.  Sorry!
Yeah… this is after dinner in the tupperware stage. Sorry!

Ingredient List (quantities my own, makes enough for four so hoorah for leftovers for lunch!):

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or oil of your choice… we sometimes use coconut)
  • 1 large onion or 2 small onions
  • 1 tin of black kidney beans (or pick your fave)
  • 1 can of pre-cooked lentils (or handful of dried lentils… keep an eye and make sure they don’t dry out!)
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced.  Dice small and it won’t take super long to cook.
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes (keep can to top up with water as the chilli thickens)
  • 1 1/2 heaped teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 heaped teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon of spicy powder of your choice.  I like a combo of 1/2 ancho chilli powder which is quite mild and deep flavoured and 1/2 chipotle chilli powder which has more spice.  It’s up to you, play around with it!
  • 1 chipotle chilli in adobo sauce (optional.  I LOVE these but they’ve definitely got a kick!)
  • fat-free yoghurt to serve
  • chopped coriander to serve

Method (since this is my own recipe, I’ll tell you how I do it!)

  • Add olive oil to your pot and gently heat (I recommend a large stock/soup pot or a le crueset pot like ours).
  • Roughly dice your onions and add to the pot.  Cook for around 10 minutes until the onions are nice and soft.
  • Add all of your spices and fry off with the onions for an additional 2 minutes.  This creates a nice, deep flavour.  Be careful not to let the spices burn.
  • Next add everything else!  Butternut squash, beans, lentils and chopped tomatoes.  You may want to add additional water using the tomato can.  Keep the can on hand to top up the liquid as it evaporates, especially if you’ve used dried lentils.  These little bad boys will suck up the water as they cook.
  • Cook for around 40 minutes.  Depending on how big you’ve diced your squash, you might need more or less time.  I like my squash so tender that it falls apart when forked.  You might like it differently.
  • Serve with coriander and fat-free yoghurt to taste.



If you’re interested in getting in touch, tweet me at @stephanie_khani or @londondiaries1.  Alternatively you can email me at emailthelondondiaries [at]


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