Pumpkin chilli con carne recipe

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This recipe puts a veggie spin on a Mexican classic, but you don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy it!

  • Yield: 2 Servings
  • Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cooking Time: 45 Minutes


  • 120 g brown rice
  • 240 g pumpkin, cut into 2 cm cubes
  • Oil spray
  • ½ small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 fresh green chilli, chopped, plus extra to garnish (optional)
  • 220 g tinned crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup (125 ml) reduced-salt vegetable stock
  • 150 g tinned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 150 g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1–2 teaspoons chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 200 g low-fat plain yoghurt
How to Make It
  1. Place the rice and 300 ml of water in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Cover and reduce the heat to medium–low. Simmer for 20–25 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from the heat and leave to stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
  2. Fill a saucepan with water until 5 cm deep and insert a steamer basket. Cover with a lid and bring the water to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium. Add the pumpkin and steam, covered, for 10–12 minutes or until tender. There should be a little resistance when a knife is inserted – the pumpkin will finish cooking in later steps.
  3. Roughly mash half of the pumpkin.
  4. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and spray lightly with oil spray. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and green chilli (if using) and cook for a further 2 minutes or until soft and fragrant, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the mashed pumpkin, pumpkin pieces, tomatoes, stock, black beans and chickpeas. Stir in the chilli powder, cumin, paprika and oregano. Taste to check the seasoning and add additional cumin and chilli powder, if desired.
  6. Bring the chilli con carne to the boil over high heat, stirring occasionally to ensure the ingredients are well mixed. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the sauce is too thick towards the end of cooking time, stir in a small amount of water. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  7. To serve, place the pumpkin chilli con carne in two serving bowls and top with the yoghurt. Sprinkle over the extra green chilli (if using) and serve the rice on the side.

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