20 Things to Do with Leftover Chili


A couple weeks ago I made a double recipe of my Hearty Bean and Tempeh Chili. I cooked it in an 8-qt pot and I’m guessing that it made about 7 (which comes out to… 28 cups?). Which is a lot of chili. I took some to a friend who’d just had a baby, put some in the fridge, and froze the rest. It’s in the freezer now and I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m telling you, I LOVE chili. To the point where it might be borderline unhealthy, or an obsession, or something. 
Consider, also, that my giant behemoth pot of chili only cost me about $23 to make. So, in the spirit of Shakespeare, I will count for you the ways in which I love to eat chili and when your fridge and freezer are cleared out you can get you some beans and go to town.

chili ingredients pricedAssuming the recipe makes 28 cups and 1 serving is about 12 oz the cost per serving would be about $1.30. If you used non-organic tomatoes and/or left out the tempeh, it would be even less!

20 Things to Do with Leftover Chili
  1. Eat a bowl of it, duh.
  2. Pour it into a bag of Fritos. This is called Frito Pie, I think.
  3. Serve it over cornbread.
  4. Make a breakfast scramble with chili, potatoes, crumbled tofu and vegan cheese. Serve with tortillas, if you’d like.
  5. Use it as a burrito filling. Add spinach or lettuce, tomatoes, olives, vegan cheese, etc.
  6. Use it as enchilada filling.
  7. Make a casserole: Grease a casserole pan. Starting with a layer of tortillas or tortilla chips, layer the chili, remaining tortillas/chips, vegan cheese, olives, cashews, whatever you’ve got ending with a layer of chili and/or cheese. Bake at 375 till heated through.
  8. Make chili dogs. Use the Field Roast frankfurters because they are AMAZING.
  9. Make baked potatoes and smother with chili, vegan cheese, chopped scallions, and vegan sour cream. (Or just chili.)
  10. Make a taco salad substituting chili for fake meat and beans.
  11. Heat it up in a sauce pan with vegan cheese, a small can of roasted green chiles, and some vegan sour cream or cream cheese. Serve it as a dip with chips.
  12. Make french fries and the cover them with chili and cheese.
  13. Give it to a friend who is sad.
  14. Better yet, share it with a friend who is sad.
  15. Share it with friends who are happy.
  16. Have a pot luck where everybody brings something that will go with the chili and then you will all have less cluttered refrigerators.
  17. Apparently kids love pizza made with chili, hot dogs and cheese. I want to be grossed out, but it looks kind of amazing. Use a vegan biscuit recipe and Field Roast frankfurters.
  18. Steam broccoli and cover it with chili and melted cheese for a side dish.
  19. Add some BBQ sauce and make sloppy joes? (I haven’t tried this, hence the question mark.)
  20. Chili Stuffed Bell Peppers. Substitute vegan things for the dairy things. This just sounds incredible.

32 thoughts on “20 Things to Do with Leftover Chili

  1. This has some great ideas! I’m definitely going to try a few. You need to remove all the vegan crap or say, cheddar cheese/vegan cheese. Or ground hamburger, use tempeh if you’re vegan. Sorry, but most people are not vegans and by making your article seemingly aimed only at vegans is going to keep people from finishing an otherwise great article.

    • Dear my name,
      Thank you for visiting and for your suggestions. I apologize for the confusion about vegan/non-vegan. Originally, this blog was exclusively vegan which is why I wrote this post the way I did. However, as you’ll see in my next post (and have inferred already if you saw my Beef Stew post, haha), it is no longer exclusively vegan. I do hope that you try some of the vegan recipes, though, and let me know what you think!
      Best, Sara

    • It’s frito chili pie. Put fritos in a bowl, add chili and then cheese and whatever toppings you like or in the bag. Walking tacos are the same concept but with taco meat and all the fixings. I’ve never heard of frito chili pie in the bag before but its a good idea!

  2. oh, I love these ideas! 13-15 had me cracking up, I’ve gotta be honest :) another idea? Chili Cheese Frybread. it’s kind of a Native (American) thing, and a staple in any Native’s house but even Chili Cheese Frybread can get old after a while. I have got to try these cause we have a lot of leftover chili and I have run out of ideas (till now lol)! thank you, so much, for the ideas! :)

  3. My favorite idea was to share it with someone who is sad. And then someone who is happy! Very outside the box for leftover chilli recipe. Well done

  4. In defense of great women poets I must tell you that your reference to Shakespeare is incorrect. “How do I love thee, let me count the ways” was written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Sonnets from the Portuguese).
    Your chili suggestions were a great help!

  5. Chili Taco-
    Make some great chili (don’t buy GMO loaded store junk), steam some corn tortilla’s, put the chili, some lettuce, sour cream and optional: hot sauce and sport peppers in the tortilla and roll it up.

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  7. Great ideas, always looking for new ways to eat one of my favourite foods too, some on your list I do too. How about a chilli lasagna, with mushrooms, similar to No.7, so I guess you could call this one 7a.

  8. 4 C leftover chili, 3-4 lbs steaks or cheap roasts, as Many cubed potatoes as you can cram into a 9 x 13 pan. I toss in bread crumbs to help thicken up the chili even more. Cover the top in onions and top with a dough of some sort, uncooked biscuits, tortillias, chips even. Toss a bit more cheese on top of this mess, bake at 350 for 45 mins.

    6-8 whole unpeeled potatoes in the crock pot, dump in chili, a bag of baby spinach, 2 lbs sliced mushrooms, put on medium for 6 hours or low for 8-10. Scrumptious.

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