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This is for my nephew Oli who loves a chilli :o)

This is a really flexible recipe – you can substitute almost any vegetables for those listed or different beans/legumes (even baked beans work well though they add additional sugar!).  For example sub carrots or sweet potato for squash, peas or broad beans for the green beans.  The only thing to remember is to add them earlier if they take longer to cook, at the squash stage, or at the green bean stage if they are a quick cook vegetable.  If you want to make it with meat use 250g lean steak mince instead of one of the tins of beans.  Frozen Quorn mince also works really well (300g), again, use instead of one of the tins of beans.  I’ve included alternate method below if you’re using either of these.  I normally serve it with brown rice but quinoa or cauli rice also go well.

Serves 4-6


  • 1 tbsp sunflower or olive oil
  • 1 red or white onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped or crushed
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chipotle paste or powder
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cumin
  • 2 heaped tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 450g butternut squash peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1 red pepper cut into 1.5cm cubes
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin black beans
  • 1 tin red kidney beans
  • small bunch of coriander, leaves picked and roughly chopped, stems finely chopped (keep separate)
  • 120g green beans cut into 2cm long pieces
  • 1 small tin sweetcorn (about 150g)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup or 1/2 tsp sugar (if needed)
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • Unsweetened unflavoured non-dairy or dairy yoghurt, or cashew cream made with lime juice (soak two small handfuls of unsalted cashews in water for 2 hours, drain, add juice of one lime and 1 tbsp water and blitz until smooth and a spoonable consistency – you might need to add a little more water)
  • Wedges of lime


  1. Heat a big saucepan over a medium heat and add the oil.  
  2. Add the onions and a small pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes until they are soft and going translucent.  Turn the heat down if they are turning brown/sticking, or you can add a little water (1 tbsp) if need be to cool the pan down.
  3. Add chilli flakes and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. If you are using meat turn the heat up a bit, add the meat and cook for 5-10 minutes, breaking it up with the spoon, until browned.  If liquid comes out the meat wait until it is boiled off before continuing with the recipe.
  5. Add smoked paprika, chipotle, cumin, garlic and coriander and cook for 1 minute stirring frequently.
  6. Add cinnamon, squash, red pepper and stir thoroughly.
  7. If you are using Quorn mince, add it now, frozen.
  8. Add chopped tomatoes and the tins of beans, including the liquid in the tins.
  9. Put a lid on the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes until the squash is just about tender (take a piece out and try it, it should still be slightly firm in the centre).  Stir every 4-5 minutes to make sure it’s not sticking to the pan.
  10. Add the coriander stalk, the green beans and the sweetcorn and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. Taste it – it should be ok for salt as the bean liquid has salt in, but it might need a little sweetness if the tomatoes are acidic.  Add 1 tsp maple syrup or 1/2 tsp sugar if need be.
  12. Add spinach and stir through to wilt.
  13. Serve with the yoghurt or cashew cream, coriander leaves and wedges of lime squeezed over the top.


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