Butternut chilli

Butternut chilli

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(88 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr


Serves 4

This Mexican stew is hearty enough to satisfy both vegetarians and meat eaters, with butternut squash, black beans and juicy tomatoes

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal370
  • fat16g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs33g
  • sugars16g
  • fibre11g
  • protein10g
  • salt1.7g


  • 600g medium vine tomatoes, or 400g can chopped or cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 onions, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 red bird's-eye chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano



    Closely related to marjoram, of which it is the wild equivalent, oregano has a coarser, more…

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 600g butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 12 pitted green olives, roughly chopped
  • 150ml red wine
  • ½ vegetable stock cube
  • 200g jar piquillo pimiento peppers, or 2 roasted Romano peppers, roughly chopped
  • 400g can black beans or red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • small bunch chives, snipped
  • 175ml soured cream


  1. If using fresh tomatoes, pour boiling water over them in a bowl, count to 30, then lift out, peel and chop.

  2. Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan with a lid and add the onions and garlic. Soften gently, stirring occasionally. Stir the chilli, cayenne, oregano and bay leaf into the onions. Stir-fry for 1 min, then stir in the squash, olives and wine. Simmer for a couple of mins, stirring, then add the tomatoes and 200ml water. Crumble in the stock cube and stir. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 mins, stirring occasionally.

  3. Add the peppers to the pan and check the seasoning. Add extra water if it’s looking dry. Cover and cook for a further 25-30 mins until the squash is tender. Can be frozen at this stage for up to 1 month – defrost overnight in the fridge before continuing with the recipe.

  4. Add the beans to the pan and reheat. Serve with chives and soured cream on the side.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Linda Dadze's picture
Linda Dadze
11th Jun, 2020
This was so lovely! My fiancé couldn't believe that there was no meat in this chilli. I didn't add olives, and added extra paprika and cayeen pepper. Also did not add beans, and used the bean calories on naan bread instead !
Neil Browning's picture
Neil Browning
1st Feb, 2020
I think I've done something wrong. Tasted awful. Maybe it's the olives?
18th Jan, 2020
A lovely dish and really quick and easy to make. I used tinned cherry tomatoes and, like many others, reduced the amount of water and doubled the spices.
Jayne Storey's picture
Jayne Storey
2nd Nov, 2019
This is a favourite in our house, made many times. I usually increase the spice, often adding chipotle paste if we have it, and reduce the liquid. It gets more delicious the longer it is simmered. Very fine served with guacamole, soured cream and cheese.
balck777's picture
7th Sep, 2019
Really impressed. I made a couple of changes because I was missing a couple of the ingredients. Instead of cayenne pepper I used paprika and cumin, and I didn't have any olives so I put the whole stock cube in for the extra salt. My son who claims he doesn't like butternut squash ate it quite happily. My husband said it could be less watery, so next time I will simmer with the lid off for a few minutes. I thought it was delicious, and I'm looking forward to having the leftovers for lunch. I will definitely make this again.
25th Aug, 2019
This was very nice. The only thing I added was a little smoked paprika and cumin, other than that left it as the recipe with red beans. Will defiantly be making it again :)
9th Jul, 2019
Very tasty, I doubled up on the spices and also used port instead of red wine.
25th Jun, 2019
Excellent! Made it for the first time last week and we both really enjoyed it. Making it again tonight, now an addition to our regular vegetarian dishes. Served with a few potato wedges because we're greedy!
18th Jun, 2019
Great recipe - one of those which is equally successful when you can make it as described and when you use it as a base to riff around. Additions I've made (at different times!) include mushrooms or courgettes sauted with garlic or green lentils (to eke it out when family turned up unexpectedly - they thought it was scrumptious). It's now one of my central repertoire.
Christine Wood's picture
Christine Wood
11th Apr, 2019


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