One-pot chilli pilchards

Save on dishes and prepare this easy one-pot supper. Keep the pilchard bones in the mixture, they’re soft enough to eat, and add a boost of calcium.

Ready in

1 hour

Serving size

Serves 6


  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 small red chilli, whole, or chopped if preferred
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) mild curry powder, or more to taste
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) paprika
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) dried mixed herbs
  • 2 cups (500 ml) strong Rooibos tea
  • 1 cup (250 ml) uncooked red lentils
  • 1 x 50 g (50 ml) sachet tomato paste
  • 1 x 410 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400 g tin pilchards in tomato sauce
  • 1 x 400 g tin red kidney beans, drained
  • black pepper to taste
  • fresh Italian parsley or coriander leaves and lemon wedges to serve


  1. Heat oil over medium temperature in a large saucepan and fry onions and carrot until soft. Stir in garlic, chilli, spices and herbs and fry for a few more minutes.
  2. Add Rooibos tea and lentils and simmer, with a lid, for 10-12 minutes or until lentils are almost tender.
  3. Stir in tomato paste and chopped tomatoes. Add pilchards in tomato sauce, with the bones and gently flake fish into chunks. Stir through gently and add beans.
  4. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with pepper to taste and serve with fresh herbs and lemon wedges.


  1. Replace pilchards with any fish of your choice, like tinned tuna or mackerel or even leftover white fish.
  2. Substitute the red lentils for brown lentils and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.

One-pot chilli pilchards

This recipe is from the Dash Edition

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