Black Lentil Chili with Butternut Squash and Leeks

By Liz A. RSS Fri, January 22, 2016

This recipe is from Tracy McGuigan, the chef who leads our Chow Down on Wellness series. Chow Down on Wellness is a monthly program, open to the public, that was created in partnership with a wellness group from the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. Each month, Chef Tracy leads the group in creating a delicious vegetarian meal for which all hands are on deck in the cooking—and eating—process.

Black Lentil Chili with Butternut Squash and Leeks

Serves 6


  • 1 lb. black lentils
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 green bell pepper diced
  • 2 red green bell pepper diced
  • 1 whole butternut squash, peeled and cubed into bite size pieces
  • 2 leeks, half-moon thin slices
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes with their liquid, or 26 ounces of fresh tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable stock (optional)


1. In a large pot, over medium high heat, sauté all the vegetables for a few minutes until tender.

2. Add tomato products, seasoning, and lentils.

3. If there is not enough liquid from the tomatoes, add enough water or stock to cover.

4. Bring to a boil and let simmer for an hour. (The lentils will only take 20 minutes to cook, but let the mixture simmer for an hour to marry the spices.)

5. If the chili seems too thick, add some additional water or stock—if too thin, re-season with salt and pepper.

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