Kabocha Chili

Eat Healthy

This Kabocha Chili replaces the kidney and pinto beans found in traditional recipes with red lentils, a member of the pulse family.

Like their cousins the chickpea and mung beans, lentils are packed with folic acid (folate), potassium and fiber. When combined, these nutrients support a healthy heart and blood pressure. 

The fiber in lentils provides the added bonus of aiding in digestion, satiety, blood sugar levels and appetite control.

Additionally, the American Heart Association reports increasing dietary fiber can significantly reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. 

Lentils also are a good source of protein for those trying to cut back on eating meat during the week. 

A medley of Indian spices provides a cultural twist on classic chili, with the added benefit of supplying antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of certain health conditions. 

Turn this rich chili into a nourishing bowl of soup by adding more vegetable broth, or use less liquid and spoon the mixture over roasted cauliflower florets or into whole-wheat tortillas. 


Kabocha Chili

Recipe courtesy of the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program

Serves 6


1 cup red lentils

2 cups kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and diced into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup onions, diced into 1/2-inch pieces

1 cup red bell pepper, seeded and diced into 1/2-inch pieces

1-2 tablespoons jalapeno or serrano chili, finely minced (optional)

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced or pureed

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1-2 teaspoons curry powder, to taste

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

Salt and pepper, to taste



1. Combine lentils, kabocha squash, onion, red bell pepper, chili pepper, garlic, ginger, curry, cumin and vegetable stock in a large pot.

2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until lentils are thoroughly cooked. Adjust with salt and pepper to taste.


Nutritional information per serving:

Calories: 157; Carbohydrates: 27.3g; Protein: 10.7g; Total Fat: 0.6g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Dietary Fiber: 11.2g; Sodium: 51mg



Published on: November 19, 2015