Chili is my go-to dish on game day. I prep everything in the morning, put it in the crockpot, and let it cook all day. By game time, you’ve got hearty, delicious bowls of chili.
But with an entire crockpot, there’s almost always leftovers. In the past, I would freeze half of it and save half for additional meals during week.
In fact, sometimes chili is even better the day after. But to change things up, you can also transform your leftover chili into an entirely new meal!
From chili cheese dogs to sloppy joes, here are 16 ways to use leftover chili. You may want to make an extra batch of chili just so you can make these tasty variations.
1. Chili Cheese Dogs
It’s easy, delicious, and the perfect use for leftover chili. Just pour some leftover chili over your favorite hotdog or sausage and top with cheese and you’re all set! It’s a classic.
2. Breakfast Bowls
What a great way to turn your leftover chili into the perfect breakfast. Just combine chili with tater tots, scrambled eggs, cheese, and whatever other ingredients you like adding to your breakfast bowl. It’s hearty, yummy, and super easy!
3. Chili Loaded Baked Potato
Chili and potatoes taste great together, so why not stuff that leftover chili into a baked spud? Whether it’s baked potatoes or sweet potatoes, topping it with chili will surely make it even tastier.
4. Chili Mac and Cheese
You know what chili and mac and cheese have in common? They’re both amazing comfort foods. That’s why it only makes sense to combine them to make one glorious dish!
It’s so easy – all you have to do is pour some of that leftover chili over your mac and cheese, give it a mix, and enjoy.
5. Chili Potato Nachos
Chili is a Mexican dish, so it only makes sense to transform it into another Mexican classic! But, instead of using the regular nacho chips, why not use potatoes instead? It’s a lot heartier, so it makes a great lunch that will fill you up easily!
6. Chili Cheese Lasagna
You can use chili with almost anything that calls for meat sauce, and lasagna is one of them. So, why not use chili as the meat base to make a Tex-Mex inspired lasagna? Interesting flavors that your family will surely enjoy!
7. Chili Spaghetti
Here’s another pasta you can make with leftover chili: spaghetti! Just use the chili in place of your regular spaghetti sauce and you’ve got yourself a fusion of Tex-Mex and Italian cuisines. How lovely.
8. Cheesy Chili Stuffed Peppers
Aside from potatoes and sweet potatoes, here’s another vegetable you can stuff chili into: bell peppers!
This healthy dish is super easy to prepare, especially when you’ve already got the sauce ready! Just fill your softened peppers (you can achieve this in the microwave) with chili, cheese, and rice, and bake until the cheese is bubbly.
9. Chili Cheese Fries
As I’ve mentioned earlier, chili and potatoes make a wonderful pair. So, it only makes sense to top your fries with loads of chili!
Take it one step further by adding lots of shredded cheese as well. Then pop that beauty in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or just until the cheese has melted.
10. Chili Dip
Now this one is perfect for game day! Just add some shredded cheese and Greek yogurt to your leftover chili, bake it until the chili bubbles, and you’ve got yourself an irresistible dip! Serve with your favorite chips, crackers, and raw veggies. Yum!
11. Chips And Cheese Chili Casserole
Here’s another dip idea: turn your leftover chili into a casserole. Just combine chili with crushed tortilla chips and shredded cheese and bake!
12. Chili Empanadas
An empanada is a ridiculously delicious fried or baked turnover with meat filling. Here’s an interesting idea: why not use leftover chili as a filling to your next batch of empanadas?
If you don’t have time to make dough from scratch, don’t worry, just use store-bought pizza dough instead! Easy and delicious.
13. Chili Joes
Chili and sloppy Joe’s have very similar flavors. That said, why not use your leftover chili to make sloppy Joe’s? Just fill those toasted slider buns with chili and top with cheddar cheese and all your favorite toppings.
Tortilla makes everything better, including leftover chili. Transform your chili into a burrito by mixing it with leftover rice and cheese! Wrap that goodness in tortilla bread and it’s all set!
Or, here’s another idea, especially if you want burritos for breakfast: add some eggs. Just layer your tortilla with some scrambled eggs, chili, and cheese. Microwave for a minute or until the cheese is melted. Top with tomatoes and green onion.
Cornbread is usually a sweet dish, but you can also make it savory by baking it with a layer of chili!
To make, just put your leftover chili into a casserole dish. Pour the cornbread batter over the chili, and bake for 35-40 minutes. Yum!
16. Taco Salad
Last on our list is another Tex-Mex dish that yearns for some leftover chili. Instead of going through the trouble of cooking ground beef, just use chili to make your taco salad!
To make, just put together your favorite greens, cheddar cheese, bell peppers, corn, crushed tortilla chips, and pour over a ladle of chili! Top that bad boy with sour cream and guacamole and there you have it: the perfect taco salad.