What to Make with Leftover Chili

what to make with leftover chili

Chili is one of those dishes where there are always leftovers because you can never make enough. That may be because the leftovers are so good! But have you ever asked what to make with leftover chili? What if I told you there are a ton of creative uses for leftover chili that you might not have even heard of before!

That’s right!

Get your Tums ready because we are about to spice things up and give you a plethora of ideas so you’ll never have to ask what to make with leftover chili again!

How long is leftover chili good for in the refrigerator?

1 – 2 Weeks

First of all, let’s make sure that we get this squared away first. You will want to make sure you store your leftover chili properly. In order to make sure you can get the most out of your leftovers you will want to keep the chili in an airtight container.  It is extremely important that the container you are using to store your chili is airtight. This will ensure that the chili stays fresh. You will want to make sure you put this airtight container back into your refrigerator within 2-3 hours of taking it out.

How long can leftover chili stay outside?

4 hours

Now, let’s talk about how long your leftover chili can be outside of your refrigerator and still be safe to eat. If you’re planning on throwing a party and letting guests self-serve from the crockpot, you can leave your chili out for around 4 hours at a time. Make sure you discard the chili if it has been outside of the refrigerator for more than 4 hours at any point during the day. This will ensure maximum safety.

Can you freeze leftover chili?

Yes

If you’re going to freeze your leftover chili, you want it to be in a freezer-safe container. If the lid of your container is not airtight, do not use that container for freezing. You will want to make sure that the chili is completely cooled before putting it into a freezer-safe container and placing it in your freezer. A good rule of thumb is to place the freezer-safe container with your chili in it in your refrigerator overnight and then move it from the cold refrigerator to the freezer on a completely different day.

How long will frozen leftover chili be safe to eat?

2 months

You can freeze leftover chili for up to 2 months at a time. If you’re going to keep it longer than that, we really recommend cooking up a fresh batch and just freezing the portion you don’t use. Frozen chili is safe indefinitely, but will lose flavor and texture over time if left in your freezer for too long.

Creative uses for leftover chili

Freeze it in ice cubes:  If you really want to make sure you stretch your chili and get even more use out of it, consider freezing some of it in ice cube trays. You can then add these chili cubes into various recipes that call for broth or canned tomatoes. This is a good way to add flavor without having to purchase canned tomatoes or broth.

Soup : If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to canned soup, consider making some chili-infused soup. You can simply add frozen leftover chili into your favorite homemade soup recipe and enjoy!

Mexican dishes:  A lot of Mexican dishes call for tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, or canned chilies. Adding in some frozen leftover chili can be a great way to stretch your food budget and add lots of flavor to your meal.

Baked potatoes:  You can also take leftover chili and mix it into mashed potatoes for a new twist on an old favorite! Everyone will wonder how you made this tasty side dish.

Make chili-cheese dogs:  Lastly, you can take leftover chili and use it to top your favorite hot dogs, hamburgers, or bratwursts. This is a great way to liven up leftovers while making them new again!

Leftover Chili Recipes

Leftover chili enchiladas

Ingredients:

1 can (15 oz) chili

1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

8-10 corn tortillas

1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup chopped green onions

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together chili, black beans, and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Set aside. Soften tortillas by heating them in the microwave for about 15 seconds.Lay out each tortilla and spoon about 1/4 cup of the chili mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll them up and place them in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas, then sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with green onions. Serve hot.

Leftover chili burgers

Ingredients:

2 lbs ground beef

Leftover chili

1 large egg

1 cup bread crumbs

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, chopped

1 tbsp cayenne pepper

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, chili, egg, bread crumbs, garlic, onion, cayenne pepper. Form into patties. Cook over medium heat in a skillet or grill until your desired level of doneness is reached. Serve on buns with your favorite burger toppings.

Leftover chili spaghetti

Ingredients:

1 lb spaghetti

1/2 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 bell pepper, chopped

1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

1-2 cup leftover chili

1 tsp cumin

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. In a large skillet or saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, bell pepper, black beans, chili, and cumin. Cook until vegetables are soft. Drain spaghetti and add it to the skillet or saucepan. Toss until everything is evenly mixed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste

Leftover chili lasagna

Ingredients:

1 lb lasagna noodles

1/2 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 bell pepper, chopped

1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

1-2 cup leftover chili

1 tsp cumin

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. In a large skillet or saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, bell pepper, black beans, chili, and cumin. Cook until vegetables are soft. Drain noodles and add them to the skillet or saucepan. Toss until everything is evenly mixed. Pour half of the sauce into a 9×13 inch baking dish and layer with lasagna noodles. Add the rest of the sauce to cover and sprinkle with cheese (if desired). Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve hot!

Leftover chili dip

Ingredients:

1/2 cup leftover chili

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

Directions:

In a medium bowl, mix together chili, sour cream, and grated cheese. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy with tortilla chips, crackers, or vegetables!

There are many delicious ways to enjoy leftover chili. We’ve provided a few of our favorite recipes, but you can get creative and come up with your own ideas, too! Leftover chili is a versatile dish that can be used in many different types of recipes. So don’t let those leftovers go to waste – get cooking!

 

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