Butternut Squash and Quinoa Chilli

I’m having a big quinoa kick after finding this amazing tri-colour quinoa in Aldi. It looks SO pretty I had to put it in my basket, and then I ate out at the weekend with a friend and who ordered a quinoa chilli and I was fully inspired to make this at home.

I coupled it up with a butternut squash I already had in the cupboard, plus a couple of peppers and tin of spiced beans and this became a really easy, cheap dinner that’s nutritious and perfect for this hellish snowy weather. I love eating something spicy when it’s cold outside, don’t you? I used the slow cooker for 3 hours to cook it through, but if you were in a rush you could simmer on the hob for half an hour or so.

I got really extra with the plating up here. I went a bit crazy on the heat, so to cool it down I served this with avocado, Greek yoghurt (healthier than sour cream!), cheese, spring onion and… Tangy Cheese Doritos. Just try it, trust me. It was an absolute TREAT.

Here it is, have you ever seen a chilli so extra?




Recipe after the jump!

Butternut Squash and Quinoa Chilli

Makes 4-6 servings

  • 1 medium white onion
  • 2 peppers, any colour
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 cup/180g uncooked quinoa
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 fresh chilli (or half if you prefer mild)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked chipotle chilli paste
  • 1 tin peeled plum tomatoes
  • Veg stock cube or melt
  • Oil, for frying

Peel and chop the butternut squash into 1-2 inch pieces. This is my most hated vegetable to prepare, but I find it easier if you chop the top off, then cut in half horizontally across the ‘belly’ just before the hollow bit. You then have two more manageable pieces that you can peel using a knife (unless you have a very good very sturdy veg peeler). Peel and chop the onion and dice up the peppers and finely chop up as much chilli as you want to put in.

In a big pan or your slow cooker, saute all the veg together in a little oil, adding the butternut squash in last. Then add the minced garlic and chilli cook for a further minute or so or until the garlic is smelling good. Add in the rest of the spices, the chipotle paste and the plum tomatoes. Squidge up the tomatoes as you put them in so that they break apart. Give that a good stir and reduce the heat down so it’s just bubbling a bit. Fill up the tin from the tomatoes with water and add in with the vegetable stock cube or melt.

Next, take the quinoa and give it a REALLY good rinse under the cold tap at full whack. Then add to the pot, stirring well. Leave on slow cook / 90c in the oven – for at least 2 hours, or to simmer on the hob for 30-40 minutes if you’re in a rush. Keep checking it for liquid amounts regularly and add more water if needed.

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