Autumn Spiced Chicken & Squash Chilli / Soup / One Pot Recipe and Food Photography Ideas

Autumn Spiced Chicken & Squash Chilli / Soup / One Pot Recipe and Food Photography Ideas

chicken squash chilli soup autumn recipe landscape food photography backgrounds backdrops

Autumn Spiced Chicken & Squash Chilli recipe, shot on the Earl food photography backdrop


Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog!

I wanted to share this recipe with you as it's SO warming at this time of year.  It feels like it hasn't stopped raining in Derbyshire (England!) at all yet in November, it's been grey and soggy day after day so having a big pot of this to dip into has been a real treat.

I'm not sure if its a chilli, a soup, a casserole, a stew, a one pot or something else - but I am CERTAIN that it is delish and has everything in it for a complete meal (it's paleo if you're into that).  You can of course add nachos, fresh greens, rice, chunky bread or even chips to dip in.  I'm a big fan of soup and chips, is that a thing where you are?! 

I tend to batch cook curries, soups etc so I can freeze portions and have them to hand when I can't be bothered to cook but want something wholesome and tasty, so this is a BIG recipe - half it if you only want enough for say 4 bowl portions.  (When I reheat from frozen I'll often add a big handful of fresh spinach or kale to liven it up again near the end of the cooking.)

As usual for me, this recipe is a mash up of things I've eaten out, recipes I've used and flavours I want to try.  I've made it 3 times now and for friends yesterday and the verdict was YUM so now I'm ready to share it with you!

In a nutshell, it's quite a typical chilli - tomato based sauce, hot (spicy hot!), comforting and easy to eat in chunky mouthfuls, but I've made it feel more autumnal with a different mix of spices, no paprika or kidney beans - it feels quite like a tagine actually.  Another title it could have only I didn't cook it in one! Only hotter and not sweetened at all. Pure comfort without being filthy (unless you want to add that of course!).

Oh and by the way, all my recipes fall into the category of 'lazy, tasty and pretty' - I don't often make things that require too much precision or faffing about, but I do like them to look pretty!  This is a hug in a bowl and will be easy to make I promise - and fill your house with amazing aromas! Check out the other #lazytastypretty recipes on this blog!

I hope you like it! Please let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below :)

Sophie xx


Autumn Spiced Chicken & Squash Chilli / Soup / One Pot / Tagine Recipe

 chicken squash chilli soup autumn recipe food photography backgrounds styling backdrops

Autumn Spiced Chicken & Squash Chilli recipe, shot on the Earl food photography backdrop



Coconut oil to cook

2 onions - red or white it doesn't matter!

4 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped

Small thumb of fresh ginger

4 teaspoons cumin seeds 

4 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

teaspoon cayenne pepper

2-3 chillis - type and amount depending on how hot you like it!

2 medium squashes, roughly chopped into 2-3 cm pieces - I used a butternut squash and a crown prince squash

12 free range boneless chicken thighs, chopped into 1-2inch bite sized pieces

2 tins of chopped tomatoes

Handful of fresh coriander

500ml good quality chicken stock (Look for paleo if you need it to be, most isn't!)


To top

Sour cream

1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds per person

1 teaspoon cumin seeds per person

Fresh coriander, dried chilli flakes to your taste



To make

Heat your oil in a large, deep sided frying pan or cast iron pot, soften the onion for around 7 minutes on a medium heat. 

If needed remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool slightly before adding the ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, ground coriander, ground cinnamon, cayenne pepper and chillies.

Add more oil if needed and return to a low heat, warm the spices through for a few minutes before adding the chicken.

After thoroughly coating the chicken in the spices, add the squash (they'll absorb loads of flavour anyway!).

Add both the tinned tomatoes and enough chicken stock to cover, season and increase to a medium/high heat to bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat again and simmer for 20 minutes without a lid so it thickens up as the water evaporates.  Simmer or rolling boil for the last 10 minutes - allowing the sauce to thicken to your liking (or add more stock if you need to!).  At the end of the cooking throw some coriander in and stir through.

When you're ready to eat, heat a dry frying/sauce pan (no oil) over a medium heat and toast the pumpkin and cumin seeds - they'll only take a few minutes and will colour quickly once they start so hang around the pan for this bit!

Serve in bowls, top with sour cream, fresh coriander and the toasted seeds, add chilli flakes if you like!

If you make any of my recipes please let me know by commenting below and use the hashtag #lazytastypretty @blackvelvetstyling on Instagram!


 Autumn Spiced Chicken & Squash Chilli recipe, great with nachos and cheese too!


This recipe was shot on the Earl photography backdrop - it's one of my favourites as it's a very versatile medium grey, exudes a lot of texture and just lets the dish shine in a professional looking set up.  

You can see how different it can look depending on the depth of field and colour editing below.

Which image do you prefer of the three below? And which topping would you make - just cream and seeds, nachos and cheese, or chunky chips? :)


Featuring McCain triple cooked gastro chips - they're REALLY good, probably because they are cooked in beef dripping! When you cook them they leek a LOT of fat/oil but they taste sooooo good for it, more like roasties than chips!

Thanks for reading, I look forward to your comments! 

Sophie is a food and prop stylist and content creator working all over the UK and from home for large and small brands. Read more about Sophies styling work here or get in touch to discuss your project.

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