Though winter is pretty much here there’s still some autumn left to be had which means pumpkins and squashes are available and on the menu. Only last year did I have gem squash for the first time and I love it. A small squash perfect for stuffing and scoop eating that halved cooks in just 30 min, perfect. In this recipe I made a black bean and sweetcorn chilli to stuff the little gems with and top the parcel with nutritional yeast and blue corn chips!

When it gets colder and darker I, like many others, crave more hearty dishes and that is just what this dish offers. For some extra warming effects the squash is stuffed with a chilli made with chilli flakes, cayenne pepper and sambal oelek. The tomato based chilli really brings the otherwise quite bland squash to life! And the sweet corn add some crunchy sweetness whilst the black beans give us our protein and add to the heartiness of the dish.


Gem squash is high in carotene which develops into vitamin A in the body which keep our eyes healthy and cells renewed. Garlic and chilli which are the main spices in this dish are great for the immune system which can be much needed this time of year.


I enjoy this dish with a healthy sprinkle of nutritional yeast over the top for a cheesy flavour as well as some crunchy tortilla chips. In this recipe and pictured I use blue corn tortillas but any kind will work. Really any beans would work for the chilli as well and in terms of stuffing your gem squash you can get super creative, go crazy! The chilli can also be eaten with your favorite rice if your cupboard is lacking squash.

Feeds 2-4 people depending on portion size.

Cooking time 40 min.



2 gem squash
1 brown onion
2 garlic cloves
1 can/packet chopped tomatoes
1 can/packet black beans
Kernels from one corn cob (or equivalent canned)
Generous pinch of chilli flakes
4 shakes of cayenne pepper
2 tsp sambal oelek
2-4 servings tortilla chips
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for drizzling squash and sauteing onion
Nutritional yeast (optional)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Cut gem squash in half and remove seeds.

Place squash on oven tray/in oven dish and drizzle lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 30 min.

Meanwhile chop onion and garlic.

Place a pan over low heat and add oil, onion and garlic as well as chilli flakes.

Whilst keeping an eye on the pan remove kernels from corn cob.

Rinse and drain black beans, set aside.

Add chopped tomatoes to pan and add cayenne pepper and sambal oelek as well as salt and pepper to taste.

Place corn kernels in sauce and let simmer for 5 min.

Add black beans to chilli and simmer for another 5 min.

Remove squash from oven after 30 min or when it is tender and golden.

Scoop chilli into squash and sprinkle with nutritional yeast and broken tortilla chips.

Enjoy on a cold autumn evening with a side of tortilla chips which you could also use to scoop up leftover chilli!