What to do with left over chili is something I am often faced with because I cook in such large quantities. I haven’t gotten used to the kids being gone and still cook enough for an army. Here are some great ideas of what to do when you have left over chile, these just may inspire you with some new ideas of your own.
Chili Burgers & Dogs – Chili burgers are a great way to use up your left over chili, you can have all kinds of items to add to your burger with chili being one of them. Much like a taco bar you can have such ingredients as:
- Chili – cheese (either shredded or sliced)
- Mayonnaise – mustard – ketchup
- Lettuce – tomato – pickle – onion – peppers
Once you grill up your burger patties and have your side ingredients ready all you need is your bun. Now you can have your bun soft and make a traditional burger, which you better have lots of napkins ready because the chili can get pretty messy. Another way is to grill or toast your bun and have it opened face, much like a chili size . The toasting of the bun helps it to hold up to the wetness of the chili. Simply put, your open faced bun on the plate, add any sauces, put on your patties and add your chili followed by any other toppings you might like. You can build your burgers any way you like them even as simple as a bun, patty and chili to keep it simple. Adding some sides like baked beans, corn on the cob since you already have your grill going makes for a great meal.
Chili Pasta – This can be such a quick and easy recipe to make using your chili left overs. Simply cook up some spaghetti noodles and add the chili to it when done. You can serve it with shredded or Parmesan cheese and that is as simple as it gets. You can change up your pasta and use angel hair pasta, vegetable or whole wheat, whole grain pasta, even your linguini, penne, bowtie or any other pasta that you enjoy. I like to have some additional toppings because that is just the way I roll and that would include, diced onions, sour cream, red pepper flakes and salsa. You can use them all or any combination, but in the end you will have another great meal from your leftovers.
Chili Casserole – This is such a great idea and one that I love to make whenever I can. This is much the same as making enchiladas or what I call chilaquiles and it is a great way to recreate your chili into something new. Take a baking dish and spray it with non-stick spray, put some of the chili down, put a layer of either corn or flour tortillas, add more chili, some cheese, another layer of tortillas, more chili, more cheese, continue for as many layers as you like in your dish. Make sure to end up with chili and cheese on top and bake this at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour or until hot. Let this sit for 5 or 10 minutes before cutting into it to serve. If you want, you can have some sour cream, salsa and guacamole to top it off. Another delicious way to use that left over chili recipe that you made.
Sloppy Joe’s – Why not add some barbecue sauce to your left over chili and use it as the filling for your Sloppy Joe,s? Take you hamburger buns and toast them so they are firm, lay a piece of cheese and lay it on the warm bun, and pour your now, sloppy joe mixture over the buns. You can leave it open faced or for a traditional version, don’t toast the bun and simple add the mixture between the buns, make sure you have plenty of napkins around because this can get pretty messy.
Broccoli Side Dish – This is a great way to change up you broccoli by adding your left over chili and some cheese to it. You can use the Mexican shredded cheese or I like to use Ragu yellow cheese in the jar. This is the same cheese sauce I use for my mac-n-cheese because I like it extra creamy. You can even throw you left over chili into your mac-n-cheese and you end up with chile mac-n-cheese.
Other ways to use your chili can include chili fries, chili baked potato or chili burritos, you are only limited by your imagination.
From my kitchen to yours…That’s what’s cooking!