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vegetarian chili with cornbread topping and pineapple salsa

Vegetarian chili with cornbread topping

Mandy Mazliah
This delicious recipe for butternut squash black bean chili has a cornbread crust and is served with pineapple salsa. It makes a hearty and filling vegetarian meal that is perfect at any time of year.
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine International
Servings 4 people


For the chilli

  • Olive oil
  • Half a small butternut squash peeled and diced (around 400g)
  • 1 large onion peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 tsp mild chilli powder optional
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 large carrot peeled and diced
  • 800 g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 400 g tinned black beans drained and rinsed
  • 400 g tinned kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper optional, to taste

For the cornbread crust

  • 110 g coarse cornmeal or polenta
  • 35 g strong white bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 225 g natural yoghurt
  • 1 medium egg

For the pineapple salsa

  • 200 g fresh pineapple diced
  • 1/2 small red onion diced
  • 1 red chilli chopped (optional)
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • Salt (optional, to taste)


To make the butternut and black bean chili

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (fan)/200°C/gas mark 6. Place the diced butternut squash (half a squash) in a roasting dish, drizzle with olive oil and roast for around 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Remove from the oven when cooked.
  • Heat a little olive oil in a large ovenproof saucepan (if you don't have one you can transfer to an ovenproof dish later). Add 1 chopped onion, stir well, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and sweat for 10-15 minutes until soft. Remove the lid then add 2 cloves of chopped garlic, 1 tsp dried oregano and 1 tsp mild chilli powder (if using) 1 tsp ground cumin and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon. Cook for one more minute, then add the 1 diced red pepper and 1 diced carrot. Cover with the lid again and cook for a further 10-15 minutes until the carrot is beginning to soften.
  • Add the tinned kidney beans and black beans and two tins of chopped tomatoes. Stir in the butternut squash once cooked. You may need to add a dash of water as well if it looks dry.
  • Cook over a low heat for an extra 10 minutes - or as long as you like. This dish improves in flavour the longer you leave it. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make the cornbread crust

  • While the chili is bubbling away make the cornbread crust.
  • Place 110g polenta, 35g strong white flour, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda in a mixing bowl and whisk to remove any lumps. In a separate bowl beat 1 egg and then beat in 225g yoghurt. When you are ready to bake, mix the two together and pour over the top of the chilli.
  • Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and a knife inserted in the crust comes out clean. NB: if you transfer the chili to a shallow dish you may need to make extra crust to cover the whole of the top.

To make the pineapple salsa

  • While the crust is baking make the pineapple salsa. Mix together 200g diced pineapple, 1/2 small red onion, chopped, a chopped red chilli (if using), the juice of a lime, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander and 1 pinch of salt to taste.
Keyword butternut squash black bean chili
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