The Most Delicious Ways to Turn Leftover Chili Into Something New
These dishes start with last night's chili and are perfect for Game Day, or a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
So you made a pot of chili for the big game last weekend. And maybe you went a little overboard: Kate and Audrey didn't show, and cousin Bryan left the kids at home. Turns out tripling your favorite chili recipe wasn’t totally necessary. But leftover chili is one of the primary reasons we like to make it in the first place. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with reheating and hitting it with fixings but, by day three, you might be craving something a little different. Here, a few of our favorite other ways to eat the game day staple:
The Shepherd’s Pie Treatment:
Transfer chili to a baking dish. Steam, boil, or bake 4 to 5 large sweet potatoes (depending on the size of your dish) until tender. Mash the potatoes and add about a cup of shredded cheddar. Spread potato mixture on top of chili and bake in a 425°F oven until heated through and starting to brown on top, 15 to 20 minutes.
The Enchilada Angle:
Spoon a thin layer of chili in the bottom of a baking dish. Fill soft flour tortillas with a tablespoon of shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack and a couple spoonfuls of chili. Roll up and place seam-side down in the baking dish. Top with a little more chili and cheese. Bake in a 425°F oven until cheese is melted and enchiladas are heated through, 10 to 15 minutes.
The Sloppy Joe Approach:
Bake a batch of buttermilk biscuits. Split, spread with butter, then top with warm chili.
The Hot Pocket Path:
Cut a sheet of puff pastry into 4 squares. Place a few spoonfuls of chili on one side of each rectangle. Brush edges with beaten egg and fold pastry over chili, crimping with a fork to seal. Brush tops with egg and season with salt and pepper. Bake in a 400°F oven on a parchment lined baking sheet until puffed and golden, 18 to 20 minutes.
The Pan Pizza Plan:
Press 1 pound prepared pizza dough into a lightly oiled rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with a little more oil and top with a thin layer of chili. Top with 12 ounces sliced mozzarella. Bake in a 450°F oven until under side of crust is golden and cheese is melted, 12 to 15 minutes. Scatter with fresh basil leaves.
The Nacho Road:
Arrange a single layer of tortilla chips on a foil-lined baking sheet. Top with shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack then a layer of chili. Repeat with chips, cheese, and chili. Bake in a 425°F oven until cheese is melted (be sure to check the center), 8 to 10 minutes. Hit 'em with your favorite toppings.
Need mo' inspo? It might just be a matter of switching up your toppings. Sour cream and shredded cheddar are great go-tos, but what about using a different cheese? Crumbled cotija or queso fresco are salty and satisfying; avocado (or a little leftover guac) is certainly welcome. My personal favorite? Sliced fresh and pickled jalapeños and a smattering of chips, preferably Fritos.
Whether you spoon it over broiled hot dogs or tuck it inside a baked potato, extra chili is a blessing. You should probably double down and make one of these recipes now. Or throw one of these in the slow cooker. We'd hate for you to run out of leftovers.