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so much leftover chili - what to do with it?

My office had a chili cook off and I am left with so much leftover chili!! Any suggestions about what to do with it? Any special recipes? Thanks!

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  1. Freeze it in 1 or 2 cup containers. It will keep for 3 months. Then you can use it sparingly as a topping for burgers or hotdogs, take it to lunch at the office, make chili mac (which I hate, but people like it), chili frito pie (esp if you have kids to feed)....

    4 Replies
    1. re: Hungry Celeste

      Agree with Celeste. Chili freezes beautifully. I usually make a big pot once a month, straight to 1c gladware into the freezer for my lunches!

      1. re: abowes

        Yes, we freeze our leftover chili all the time and it works great.

        1. re: Hungry Celeste

          Ditto. We've kept chili as long as six months with no noticeable decline in flavor or quality when thawed and reheated. Last December, in fact, I made one giant batch of chili for DH and myself and never had to make chili again all winter. We finally ate the last bag a week or so ago, and it tasted just as good.

        2. Frito pie, tamale pie, a weird variation on shepard's pie. I once knew a a guy who poured canned chili over spagehtti, because it was easier then making a meat sauce.

          3 Replies
          1. re: sweetie

            That would almost be Cincinatti chili.


          2. I buy sopes. Supremo makes them. They are very thick masa cakes with a rim, they sort of look like those Mary Ann short cake things. After lightly frying fill with chili, top with cheese and salsa. Delicious.

            1. If the chili isn't too liquidy make pasties. Buy ready make puff pastry (in Australia it comes in squares, I'm sure it's similar for you). On each square spoon some chili onto the pastry, fold in half diagonally and press down on joined edges with a fork. Wrap and freeze these pastry goodies and when hungry pop one in the oven for around 20mins. You can brush the pastry with milk or beaten egg before putting in the oven to give a nice brown topping.

              I do these pasties with leftover thick lentil soup as well. If it is too liquidy I cook it for a little bit to reduce the liquid, then let it cool before making the pasties.

              1. I use leftover chili as taco filling. Cook enough liquid out of it for it to be thick enough. Use fresh grated cotija cheese for one of the toppings. Yum.

                1. I usually turn leftover chili into a type of enchillada.
                  I just layer it with some tortillas, a little cheese and whatever sauce i have around (salsa works), and bake until warm and the top cheese is melted.

                  Super easy.

                  1. At Spaghetti Warehouse they serve a Beer Chili Spaghetti dish and you can get cheese and onions to top it off with. It's really good, so I would try some of the chili over spaghetti.

                    1. For an indulgence, homemade chili cheese fries. I like to cut my potatoes into wedges because I think it's a sturdier shape to hold up to the weight of the toppings. Because I like spice, I make the cheese sauce with jalapeno jack and throw in a decent amount of smoked paprika for a smoky/spicy combo.

                      Previous posters did have a good point- chili tends to freeze really well and is often on emergency reserve in my house.

                      1. I love to make a chili pie with leftovers. I warm the chili in a LeCruset, sprinkle some shredded cheddar or pepper jack on top, then pour cornbread batter over this mixture and bake according to the cornbread directions. I like homemade best, but in a pinch I use Jiffy cornbread mix. YUM.

                        1. chili omlette (if it is a thick chili) add some good cheese and onions, maybe top with some salsa and sour cream. makes a good lunch or breakfast.

                          also can do the popular chili & cream cheese dip serve w/fritos, I loved it as a teenager.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: amopdx

                            +1 I love to use leftover chili in omelets. Also like them topped with slices of avocado.

                          2. Lot's of good ideas already, but taco salads with chili are good, and if you have some of those tamales from Trader Joes throw it on top with some crumbled cheese and you've got a meal.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: othervoice

                              +1 on the taco salad. I consider chili a salad dressing, almost. Great with green lettuce, tomato, avocado, and all the other chile fixings you may like.

                              I also like it as a topping on baked potatoes. With cheese and sour cream, of course.

                              1. re: thymetobake

                                Here's to you, Mr. Giant Taco Salad Inventor:


                                "Some may ask, is your Taco Salad healthy? Of course it is. It's a salad, isn't it?"

                                1. re: thymetobake

                                  +1 - I love Chili Cheese Baked Potatoes. Add Chili, Shredded Cheese, Diced Tomatoes, Sour Cream and sometimes even diced ham. Full meal deal! I'm jealous that you have the extras! Do you ship?

                              2. Thin with water/stock, add pasta, for hamburger soup. Spread in a baking pan and cook a batch of cornbread on top.


                                1. 1. Top scrambled eggs (wrap in a flour/corn tortilla) or serve with polenta cakes
                                  2. Layer corn tortillas, shredded chicken, chili, and cheese (do until fills top of casserole) top with cheese and bake at 35 degrees in oven until warmed thourgh and cheese has melted

                                  1. You can put a little chili in a casserole dish, and then layer with tortillas, more chili, cheese and sour cream. Make as many layers and you'd like, but end with a layer of chili, cheese and sour cream. Top with sliced olives and jalapenos, and bake until heated through.

                                    1. I can't believe no one has said this yet, but how about chili dogs?

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Pylon

                                        The very first reply did.

                                        I'd make a tamale pie with cornmeal tossed on top the chili, mixing in some fresh corn, onions, olives, and maybe some hot salsa in the chili first. Bake and serve with cheese garnish.

                                      2. Chili fries have been mentioned - yum! Tonight we had leftover chili over baked potatoes. I mashed the hot potato down in a shallow bowl then sprinkled shredded sharp cheddar on top. Next came a couple ladles of hot chili, topped with a dollop of light sour cream and some crushed red pepper seed. There's a method to my layering: The cheese melts nicely when sandwiched between the potato and chili.

                                        1. I know this is a real late response, but considering SuperBowl...

                                          I made a chili-dog-chili. Make your usual chili and get pkgs of your favorite hot dogs. Cut the what-looks-like-butts pcs off of them and discard. Then slice the remaining dogs into bite size pcs. Add to your chili and simmer nearly forever.

                                          The dogs start to blend in, and become one with the chili. I made this for a picnic because I didn't know what anyone would eat and I panicked.

                                          Took my 12 qt All Clad full of chili w/ground beef, peppers, onions, tomatoes, spices etc,-- dumped lots of the cut up dogs into it and prayed someone wouldn't be grossed out by the dogs. (I personally am not fond of most hot dogs unless they're so covered in whatever.)

                                          End result - are you kidding me? It was gone in mere minutes. I did taste it and had to admit it was decent. Something about the dogs blending with the chili, probably. Now everyone at that picnic wants to do chili-dog-chili. Who knew?

                                          Not original, I'm sure - but just my experience. So easy too. So far removed from my normal everyday cooking it felt like I was taking a piss.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: breadchick

                                            You really throw away the ends of the hot dogs? Just curious....otherwise the chili and hot dog idea sounds good.

                                          2. Leftover chili freezes pretty well. I always like to have some on hand for a quick appetizer. I spread a block of softened cream cheese in the bottom of a pie pan, put some thawed/drained chili on top, top with shredded cheddar, and bake until everything is warmed through. Serve with Tostito scoops or tortilla chips.

                                            1. Freeze that chili! Just go to the hardware store or Target and buy a stack of plastic quart and pint containers with lids. Fill them with chili. Put a little label on them. Chili in the freezer is like money in the bank.

                                              1. I know it's been a long time since the original post... but chilli on kraft dinner!!! ooooh yaaaa! A guilty pleasure. Homemade spaghetti meat sauce is good on KD too. Yum.

                                                1. Forget corn bread or chili dogs……
                                                  Hash browns with chili and a over easy egg. Top with country gravy with ham or sausage.(thank you waffle house)
                                                  Mac & cheese with a scoop of chili, can also add bacon.
                                                  Stuffed bell peppers with dirty or spanish rice and chili

                                                  1. Make a lean dough, stuff it with said chili, bake, then voila! HOT POCKETS.

                                                      1. So what did you end up doing??


                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: Davwud

                                                          Outside25 hasn't posted since 2008. Doubt we will get an update at this point.

                                                          1. re: smtucker


                                                            I didn't realize that it was started that long ago.