This is my homemade veggie/vegan chilli recipe – it’s a really easy, cheap and filling dinner that only takes about 30 minutes to make. It includes sweet potato and butternut squash in addition to other veggies, kidney beans and lentils. It’s also gluten-free, so perfect for anyone with coeliac disease. If you’re a meat-eater, have you considered going veggie at least once a week? Some great health effects to be had by including beans and pulses regularly in your diet.


  • 100g dried lentils
  • 135g sweet potato (peeled and chopped weight)
  • 150g butternut squash (peeled and chopped weight)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 carrot, sliced thinly
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of chilli powder (or more if you like it hot)
  • 400g tin/carton of passata (value brand is fine)
  • Tin of kidney beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  • Place the dried lentils in a sieve, and rinse thoroughly. Put the lentils in a saucepan with plenty of boiling water, and boil for around 15 minutes
  • Meanwhile, in a second saucepan, add the chopped sweet potato and butternut squash, and boil until tender (about 20 minutes)
  • While the lentils, sweet potato and butter squash are cooking, add the olive oil to a third pan, and add the chopped onions, pepper, crushed garlic, and pepper. Cook gently for about 10 minutes
  • Add the herb/spices, the passata and kidney beans to the onion/pepper/carrots mixture. Continue cooking gently for another 5 minutes. Your chilli is now almost finished
  • Drain the cooked lentils well, then add to the chilli mixture
  • Drain the sweet potato and butternut squash and add to the chilli mixture
  • Add the black pepper to taste. You can also add some salt if you need to, but try to limit this


This meal will serve 4 hungry adults, with extra for the following day!

Cost per serving

This whole chilli cost only £2.75 – that’s a mere 68p per adult serving

Nutritional information

This meal does not contain any meat, but the lentils and kidney beans provide a good amount of protein, fibre, iron and also calcium. It’s a good idea to try going veggie at least once a week – this reduces your fat intake and increases your fibre intake (great for a healthy heart). Each portion contains 250kcal, 14g protein and a miniscule amount of fat – less than 2g of fat per serving – healthy, low-fat and high in protein!

Tips / Serving suggestions

  • Serve with brown rice or a jacket potato
  • If you need/want to gain weight, add double or sour cream to the finished chili, sprinkle with grated cheese, and serve with a generous dollop of sour cream


Annemarie Aburrow

Annemarie graduated from the University of Southampton in 2003 with a first class honours in Physiology with Nutrition. She went on to study a Postgraduate Diploma in Dietetics at Cardiff Metropolitan University, leading to registration as a Dietitian. Between 2005 and 2013, Annemarie worked for the NHS in a wide variety of clinical and community roles. More recently, she has specialised in health promotion and prescribing support. She has particular experience in obesity management (both adults and children), diabetes, nutrition for the under 5s and nutritional supplement prescribing. In 2013, Annemarie left the NHS to set up her private practice 'Expert Dietitian'. She now works as a freelance Dietitian, offering private consultations in Hampshire, telephone and Skype appointments, corporate nutrition consultancy and bespoke training. She has a growing portfolio of project work, including working with her local council to provide nutrition training and expertise to Early Years settings, article writing, work with schools and running training/workshops. Annemarie is a member of the British Dietetic Association (BDA) and is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).