10+ Things to Do With Leftover Chili
There's nothing like making a big pot of chili on a cold winter night. But these big-batch recipes often make more than what one family can consume at a single meal. Ever wondered what to do with leftover chili? You've come to the right place. Throw your leftovers on a carb-loaded comfort food (seriously, you can't lose with these Chili-Topped Potatoes), stir them into creamy mac and cheese (you'll love this Chili-Cheese Mac recipe), or put a Southwestern spin on a classic pasta dish (Chili Stroganoff, anyone?). No matter what you're looking for, you'll find a new favorite in this collection of leftover chili ideas.
Breakfast Frito Pie
Frito pie is the perfect snack for a winter party gathering. It's self-contained, requires no dishes to clean up after, and infinitely customizable (if you have vegetarians, you can have veggie chili, etc.).
Warm spices like cinnamon and paprika round out the chili for a hearty meat sauce with plenty of depth. Serve with sautéed Brussels sprouts or simply steamed haricots verts or broccoli florets.
Smashed Chili Cheeseburgers
Our healthier take on a beach-side burger, these patties have a delectable seared crust but are juicy inside, especially if you use a screaming-hot cast-iron skillet.
Cooking the potatoes in the microwave will make prep time even shorter and the chili can be made ahead and frozen. Dinner can't get much easier than that.
Our version of this bar food favorite has half the sat fat, 450mg less sodium, and double the fiber compared to the classic. Notorious for being a calorie-and-sodium bomb, I gave these nachos a virtuous spin, slashing both calories and sodium by 40% without sacrificing their indulgent nature.
Chicken Chili Pot Pie
This hearty and comforting chicken chili is made with poblano chiles and butternut squash. You can make individual servings in 10-ounce ramekins or one large pot pie using a 3-quart baking dish. Either way, everyone will love the puffed, cheesy cilantro-grits crust.
Two-Bite Chili Shooters
While we love chili enough to always make it the main event, these two-bite shooters are a great way to still include chili on the menu when it’s not. Not to mention, this party-perfect hors d'oeuvre couldn’t be easier to whip up. Simply use bean-less canned chili, that you’ve gently heated on the stovetop and spooned into shot glasses (or whatever small vessel you like), as a base for fun, fresh toppers. We opted for colorful diced bell pepper, scallions, cilantro, and tortilla strips for our shooters here, but feel free to mix it up. A little dollop of sour cream, diced red onion, or a fresh corn salsa would all be welcome additions.
Chili Potpie with Cheddar Biscuits
We thicken the chili slightly, stir in more fresh fall vegetables, and bake with a flaky cheddar biscuit topper for a fun, fast take on a classic potpie.
Summer Garden Chili Bowls
While the summer heat often makes us go for lighter foods, that doesn’t mean we don’t still want chili—so we made a lighter, brighter version. Equally perfect for a casual summer supper at home as it is for fueling a cookout or tailgate, these chili bowls are loaded up with vibrant veggies. To keep this tasty entree quick and simple, we use canned chili as a base, then dress it up with grilled corn and zucchini, black beans, fresh avocado slices, cilantro, queso fresco, and a handful of corn chips for good measure. Serve with lime wedges and you have a summer hit on your hands. While this recipes is especially convenient for when you want a tasty bowl chili, but don’t necessarily want to eat off of a huge batch of it for days, the recipe is easily multiplied to accommodate larger crowds.
Easy Chili-Bean Dip
Get your dip on with this super easy, 7-ingredient Tex-Mex dip. Just combine your ingredients and heat them together on the stove. Then top the creamy dip with any cheese – we love sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, or queso fresco – along with black olives, green onion, and anything else that strikes your fancy. If you can’t find canned pico, you can use Rotel diced tomatoes, instead.