5 Ways to Use Leftover Chili

Chili is one of those meals that can be doubled or tripled without much thought, which is perfect when you need to feed a bunch of hungry guests. Sometimes, though, you can get overzealous when cooking, and then you find that there's a ton of chili leftover. No worries — leftover chili can be used in myriad ways, from combining it with rice for stuffed bell peppers to cooking it into a casserole and topping it with cheese.

If nothing strikes your fancy, though, the easiest thing to do with leftover chili is to simply freeze it to enjoy on another day. Chili will keep well in the freezer for several months if you use freezer-safe zip-top bags and squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing.

  • 01 of 05

    Stuffed Bell Peppers

    Vegetarian stuffed bell peppers
    Brian Macdonald / Getty Images

    If you have fresh bell peppers, this is an easy dinner: Combine your leftover chili with some leftover rice, add a bit of cheese (or a bit of salsa, if you have some leftover as well) and stuff the mixture inside a bell pepper. Bake the peppers until they're a little soft and the cheese is bubbling. If you want to increase the protein content, use cooked quinoa instead of rice. 

  • 02 of 05

    Chili Casserole

    Chili con carne in a white casserole
    Magrig / Getty Images

    There's no one perfect type of chili casserole, but there are certainly plenty of options to try out in pursuit of it. For example, make a Shepherd's Pie with chili that's been modified by adding peas or other extra vegetables, topped with mashed potatoes, and then baked. If you don't feel like making mashed potatoes just for that dish, replace them with cornbread batter and bake it up for a tamale pie instead.

  • 03 of 05

    Chili Cheese Dip

    Beef and Bean Dip
    Diana Rattray

    Whether you're getting ready to tailgate for the big game or you just want a filling snack for the afternoon, chili cheese dip is the way to go. Simply mix up your leftovers with cream cheese, salsa, and freshly grated cheddar cheese. Serve it with tortilla chips and freshly cut veggies to appeal to a wide variety of people.

  • 04 of 05

    Chili Cheese Biscuits

    Chili biscuit cups
    Diana Rattray

    Indulge in the epitome of comfort food with chili cheese biscuits, easily made by baking store-bought biscuits that have been topped with leftover chili and shredded cheddar cheese. 

    This also makes a perfect party app if you have been holding onto frozen chili for a while now and have guests stop by unexpectedly. Keep the biscuits frozen in the fridge, too, and you will have everything you need to pop hors d'oeuvres in the oven at a moment's notice. 

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  • 05 of 05

    Taco Salad

    Taco Salad
    Rich Legg / E+ / Getty Images

    While you could make up a taco salad by browning some ground beef with taco seasoning, you can also make things easier on yourself by using leftover chili as a topping.

    Heat up the chili, and then use about a cup of it as a topping for your choice of greens, whether it's romaine, spinach, or spring mix. Ramp up the flavor by crushing up tortilla chips to add to the salad, sprinkling cheddar cheese over the chili, or adding corn and fresh bell peppers. If you have premade taco shell bowls, those provide a solid base for the salad. Don't forget the guacamole and sour cream.