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Oct 22, 2007 08:35 AM

What can I add to canned chili?

I LOVE love love Trader Joe's chili. It's incredibly tasty and is really easy. I add an additional can of kidney beans which fleshes it out some, but I'm also looking for goodies to add to it. I do top it with sour cream and shredded cheese once it's done.

Any suggestions?

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  1. Chopped bell pepper and slivered red onions are nice add-ons to chili. Frito corn chips add some crunch, if you want to invest more time then you could deep fry some tortillas yourself, I live some starch with my chili, but am not a big fan of spaghetti/macaroni in there, the tortilla (or chips) options do it for me.

    1. You aren't refering to TJ's veg. chili are you? I used to love it, but haven't seen it in the store for more than a year. Anyhow, when I USED to have canned chili I'd add some frozen corn and top it with sour cream and a dash of hot sauce. Healthy, low fat and good. I really miss it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Glencora

        Sadly, no. It's the turkey chili. That's the one thing I hate about Trader Joe's - the disappearance of products you've grown to love.

      2. A can of those Del Monte 'olive oil, basil, and garlic' diced tomatoes...
        They cut thru the density of a lot of bean dishes nicely...

        Also, the meat ripped from the carcass of a rotisserrie chicken... Or---
        Cubed and sauteed eggplant...
        Steamed Potato chunks, or potato chunks cooked with the chili for the last hour if making homemade chili...

        This mix of ingredients would be better 'the next day'...

        1. I've never had it but if it's like most canned chili, you'd probably do well adding some hot sauce. I'd go with sriracha. It's got a good chile flavour that will work well in your chili.
          You could also, or instead of, add some canned chipotle in adobo. It will add an air of smokiness to it. You can pull them out and cut the seeds out to make them less potent.
          Peppers and onions are a nice addition and I like to puree mine for chili.


          1. Make Frito Pie. Put a layer of Fritos in your bowl (the small ones, not those scooper thing). Top with chili. Top that with shredded cheddar and chopped onion. Enjoy with a nice cold Shiner Bock!

            More on topic, adding a can of green chiles can be great. Corn is also a good add in. I personally prefer black or pinto beans in chili - kidney beans don't really work for me. But, I'm a Texan and we're weird about beans in chili to start with!