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What to do with a can of chili?

I have a can of Hormel chili (no beans) that I don't know what to do with. I bought two cans with a coupon I had. The first was served on a baked potato with sour cream and jalapenos. It was ok, but I want to do something else this time. I'm not crazy about the taste of it, so any ideas to doctor it up would be helpful. I'm tempted to just donate it to a food bank, but I'm determined to make it edible. Any ideas?

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  1. Oh, definitely doctor it up- add chile powder (pure chile, as opposed to 'chili' powder, which also has salt and will overdo it on that aspect if you add it to canned chili), cumin, oregano and garlic powder. At least a TB of chile/cumin, half that for the garlic/oregano. I'd also include a portion of cayenne in that chile powder component.

    Then you can do as you did- use it as a topping on nachos, chili dogs, etc.

    1. Well, next time buy a can of Wolf Brand, and you won't need to do much to it. ;-)
      Despite some unkind comments you might get from others, canned chili is nothing to be ashamed of! The classic South Texas concession stand treat of Frito pie is hot chili over a small bag of Fritos, topped with grated cheese and optional chopped onions. Bottled hot sauces are offered to taste. Best served with a plastic fork.

      Btw, sometimes the serving vessel is the bag itself, slit on the side, but a paper hotdog boat will work just fine.

      1 Reply
      1. re: marthasway

        I love Frito pie! That was the number one favorite school lunch (yes, yikes!) at the school where my DD went to kindergarten. Even the parents would show up when they served that. It is much greater than the sum of its rather questionable parts.

      2. Smother with cheese and sour cream. Makes everything and anything delicious.

        1. Add diced onion, mustard, a bit of ketchup and worcestershire to taste to make a michigan style topping for hot dogs.

          1. Oooh, make chili dip out of it. Everyone loves chili dip!

            Spread a bar of cream cheese (even Neufchatel is fine, but not no-fat) across the bottom of an 8 x 8 baking dish.

            Go ahead and doctor the Hormel as suggested with chili powder or whatever you like, seasoning-wise. I wouldn't add a whole tablespoon for just one can--a teaspoon will probably go a long way. You can always add more...

            Spread the chili over the cream cheese.
            Sprinkle shredded cheddar (or your cheese of choice) over the chili.
            Bake in the oven till bubbly and serve with tortilla chips.
            There is NEVER leftover chili dip! :)

            It tastes even better, of course, when it's your own chili...an idea for another time.

            6 Replies
            1. re: kattyeyes

              I can get on board with starting out with a lesser amount and then adding more if needed. I usually add more during my midnight snacking when I do this sort of thing, though, but everybody's taste is different.

              1. re: TongoRad

                :) Dig your avatar, btw. I'm a Day of the Dead girl myself!

              2. re: kattyeyes

                I was going to post this exact recipe - it is ALWAYS a huge hit!

                1. re: biondanonima

                  Me too... I just made a vegetarian version. I took a can of vegetarian chili, put it into the blender so that that beans were smooth, added a habanero to kick it up a bit. I topped it with cheddar, plus a process cheese square which made it a bit more creamy, put it in the microwave and it worked well. There was some leftover the next day and I put it over a Trader Joes tamale.

                  1. re: biondanonima

                    It's interesting. I've never seen or even heard of this. Could it be a regional thing? Bob's family makes a dip with canned, no bean chili and tons of grated cheddar cheese. Got to have the dipping Fritos for it :) The only thing I use cream cheese for is spread on bagels!

                    1. re: c oliver

                      I never heard of it until a friend at work told me about it. She lives in Northern NJ. It was super. I didn't think I'd like the cream cheese in it but it works well.

                2. Thanks for all the quick replies! I'll check my pantry when I get home to see which of these great ideas I can make.

                  1. Quick Polenta and Chili Mock Tamales

                    2 3/4 cups water
                    1 cup milk
                    2 Tbs dehydrated onion flakes
                    1 tsp garlic powder
                    1 tsp onion powder
                    1 teaspoon table salt
                    1/8 tsp white pepper
                    1 egg, well beaten
                    2 Tbs olive oil or cooking oil
                    1 cup yellow corn meal

                    1 (15 oz) can Hormel No Beans Chili

                    In a 3 quart covered microwaveable casserole dish,
                    mix together the water, milk, onion flakes, garlic powder,
                    onion powder, salt and white pepper.
                    Stir in the beaten egg. Whisk well.
                    Stir in the olive oil. Whisk well.
                    Stir in the corn meal. Whisk well to stir out all lumps.

                    Cover and microwave on high for 6 minutes.
                    Remove lid and stir well, stirring out any lumps.
                    Cover and microwave on high for another 6 minutes.
                    Uncover and stir well until polenta is creamy.

                    Separately, heat the contents of the can of Hormel No Beans Chili.

                    Spoon the polenta into individual serving bowls and top with heated Hormel No Beans Chili.

                    Makes 4 to 6 servings.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Antilope

                      Hey -- this sneaky substitute just might work--
                      actually sounds pretty tasty!

                    2. A dip variant. It has all ingredients that foodies sneer at, but it is beloved in Texas. Velveeta--melt. Add can of chili and can of rotel. Heat. It is a great queso dip for tortilla chips--keep warm or it will harden. It is the only way I would eat canned chili.

                      4 Replies
                          1. re: Sharuf

                            Keep it warm and use it as a dip for tortilla chips. It isn't really a healthful food, but it sure does taste good.

                          1. re: roxlet

                            I try to always have a can of no-bean chili on hand. Thanks to Chow-friend Veggo, I saute' onions, garlic, jalapenos and poblanos. Then I dump in the canned chili. On top of chili dogs. Thanks again, Veggo, for the rec of Oscar Mayer Angus Bun Length dogs. They have a great snap. Oh, yeah, and of course grated cheese and chopped onion.

                          2. Salt and a squeeze of lime and a dash of cumin will certainly brighten it, and then you can layer it over steamed or fried corn tortillas, top them with a fried egg and top that with sasa. It's a fine breakfast, these shortcut huevos rancheros.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: mamachef

                              Mmm. I shall definitely be doing this. I'm able to buy fresh corn tortillas and am always looking for new uses. (I pay about a dollar for four dozen!)

                            2. Doctor it up with more "everything" like onions garlic green bell peps & seasonings maybe tomatoes too.
                              Toss some ground beef and ortegas plus spice in skillet let render down to no more pink skim grease add to chili. Stir to blend. Pour whole shootin match over a boatload of tortilla chips shred a bunch of cheese over all put in microwave just to melt cheese, black olives and thinly sliced scallions over all... Enjoy

                              1. Heat up chili and pour over a bowl of Fritos and enjoy while watching a televised sporting event. ;-)

                                4 Replies
                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                    Add a can of pork and beans with canned hotdogs to canned chili? I don't know. That sounds like an odd matchup, Il Divo. Is it something your 5-year-old eats?

                                    1. re: mamachef

                                      isn't that just a chili dog? maybe a bit on the sweet side, but i don't see the issue.

                                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                                        The issue, for me, is actually the texture of the canned hot dogs. There's a remote possibility that if you just mixed pork and beans with canned chili, the spices in the chili would overtake the sweetness of the pork and beans, in which case I might could choke it down poured over a freshly steamed hot dog. But the whole idea of mixing the two sounds.....just disastrous to me. In theory and in general. I guess maybe I can't see the point, because it doesn't sound like an improvement to me at all.

                                1. Do like Wendy's and make your chili the "meat" of a taco salad. Top shell and lettuce salad with tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, salsa, corn... good summer meal.

                                  1. Make a few quarts of beef-vegetable soup or bean soup and use the chili in that, so it doesn't
                                    have enough of a presence to be objectionable.

                                    1. brown up some ground beef, throw in some good salsa, maybe an onion if you have one, some jalapenos, some chili in adobo-adds a lot of heat and some good smokey flavor-, toss in the can of chili. and then use it for chili dogs, taco filling, burritoes, put it over rice (a hawaii favorite), a chili size (on an open face burger with onion and cheese), or just a 'bowl of red'

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                                        Yay, KM. You have basically neutralized canned chili. Good for you ) Best, C

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          but the can of chili does add some base flavors, helps thicken things up. You just have to start with a decent can of chili. Hormel, Dennison's, and i'm told Wolf.

                                          and yes, depending on my mood I may add pinto beans, black beans, or small red kidney beans. Even been known to add all three when I'm making a big batch. One time (when I had a few too many adult beverages) i accidently threw in a can of refried beans.... that was a mistake.

                                          thanks CO

                                      2. NACHOS!!! My quick & wicked version requires no "real" cooking and practically all pre-made products. Heat chili and pour over tortilla chips. Then on layer guacamole, salsa, grated cheese, olives, and finally pickled jalapenos. My guilty pleasure.

                                        1. Heat and serve over:

                                          frito chips
                                          hot dogs

                                          those are my favorites

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. I'd heat up a passel of hotdogs and make chilli dogs... the hotdog flavour will cover up a multitude of sins in the chili.

                                            1. Well - being that I grew-up in Austin, I've had me a few cans of Hormel Chili. I like it when camping... Add a can of diced tomatoes and about a half of cup of diced raw onion. Add a tablespoon of Ancho powder and a couple long hard shots of Cholula. Add a can of black beans or pinto beans .... slow cook and serve with cilantro & sour cream.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Maggie19

                                                I add some sour cream and/or velveeta and use it for dip. Totally good!!

                                              2. Chili spaghetti! Add some of the seasonings mentioned above, top spaghetti with it and top that with cheese and grilled onions! DELICIOUS! ;-)

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: WildSwede

                                                  hey we think alike.
                                                  I used to order this at Bobs Big Boy years ago and loved it.

                                                  1. Open a good can of chili con carne cook up some spaghetti noodles, butter them slightly, spoon cooked chili over noodles, small spoon of sour cream on top, shredded cheddar on top of sour cream fresh chopped white onions on top and enjoy.

                                                    1. I use it in a breakfast burrito with a scrambled egg and cheese on top. Wrap, toast, and eat! Adds extra protein. I think I added it up once (may have been a tomato-basil wrap tortilla) and it came to about 30 grams.

                                                      1. There are a lot of posts here about what I consider things to do with chili, not a single can of chili. If it takes more than a can of chili you would be better served to make the chili from scratch. It is not difficult to do and the results are far superior than what you get in the can. The fat content and sodium alone are reasons to make it yourself.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                          Then its been way too long since you've had a big steaming bowl of Wolf Brand chili.

                                                          1. re: JonParker

                                                            I had to do a search for Wolf Brand Chili to understand that your reply was a Wolf slogan. I also discovered that Wolf chili might be in the stores in Minnesota (remember, we are home to Hormel Brand Chili). Here is a paragraph from a news release announcing Wolf's expansion into the midwest last fall:

                                                            "The brand’s expansion was driven by consumer research that showed even though the Midwest has the highest index of chili consumption in the nation, the region reports only moderate canned chili sales. “Chili eaters in the Midwest are more likely to make their chili from scratch,”

                                                            To really put that into context is that never in my life have I kbowingly eaten a bowl of canned chili.

                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                              I got scathing responses on the Texas board to my liking Wolf Brand chili, the taste of my Texas childhood. I will defend it and my personal to those meanies any day!

                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                I now live in MD, where Wolf Brand is not available. I use Hormel for chili dogs and the like, but its not the same. Canned chili is a totally different art form than homemade -- like the difference between painting and photography, or silent and sound film. And for canned chili, Wolf Brand is the master.

                                                          2. deep fry some seasoned fries, sautée some onions, & fry up some bacon (6-8 slices) don't forget to warm up the chilli. Once fries are done pour some chilli over them add shredded cheddar cheese and onions place bacon on top and you'll be in HEAVEN.