Butternut squash and bean chilli

Yesterday was the hottest day of the year but a few weeks ago we had a spell of cold, wet weather when I was craving spicy, comforting food. So I made a big batch of this chilli, using a mix of beans (kidney, butter and fresh green beans) cooked in big portions to have plenty to freeze. I’m trying to eat less meat and vegetarian chillies and curries are an easy and cheap way to do go meat free. This chilli is vegan (although I served it with yoghourt).

My golden rule when making chilli is to use different hot spices (fresh chill, chilli flakes, cayenne pepper) so that you build up a real depth of flavour. Another rule is to make sure all the spices are cooked properly before the the remaining ingredients are added – cooking them slowly in oil with the onions.

This chilli is great served with a crunchy salsa (cucumber, spring onions, tomato and fresh coriander) and mango chutney and yoghourt. I also added fresh green beans which I cooked separately (a bit of an after thought here but they can also be added earlier in the cooking, with the tinned beans).


  • Butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into cubes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes or chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 1 tin kidney beans, drained
  • 1 tin butter beans, drained
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • Water from a boiled kettle
  • Fresh coriander to garnish
  • Oil for cooking


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Add all the spices and cook, stirring, on a low heat, for about five minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for a few minutes more.
  3. Add the butternut squash, tinned beans and tomatoes. Rinse out the empty tomato tin with hot water and add to the mix. Bring to the boil and simmer for at least 30 minutes before serving.


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Do you have a cheap, fresh and easy recipe I can try? Let me know and I’ll feature it on the site and link back to you.

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