7 Meals You can Create with Leftover Chili
I love one pot meals because they can be used in a variety of ways. Chili is one of those dishes for me.
My favorite thing about it is that I can make a large batch on a weekend and freeze it. Then when I need to make a quick dinner meal, I can use some of the frozen chili.
But who wants to eat leftover chili for days?! Not my family, that’s for sure.
So we use the frozen chili to make other quick meals that are delicious.
Here are 7 meals you can make with leftover chili when you’re pressed for time. Not only are these weight loss friendly meals, they’re also popular dinner favorites.
I'll Be Using This Chili Recipe
Chili, cornbread and apple - 462 calories and 20g fiber
Chili dinner at my house is a bowl of chili, cornbread and piece of fruit. Simple, tasty and weight loss friendly. It’s a no-fuss meal in the bag.
Here’s my award winning bean chili recipe you can eat as-is; or, if you want to add meat, a pound of lean ground meat or mock burger mixes in very well.
7 yummy meals using leftover chili
Taco Salad: chips, chili, lettuce, olives, tomatoes, onion and avocado - 396 calories and 15.5g fiber
Here’s how you can make this meal: Taco Salad (aka Haystacks)
Start with chips, add your chili and then pile on the veggies...carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, red peppers, avocado are some great ones to add. Since the calories are so low, add a cup of pineapple chunks to end the meal on a sweet note.
This is a great single serve meal or set up buffet style for everyone to have their plate the way they want it.
Chili dog, pasta salad and apple - 694 calories and 19g fiber
Here’s how you can make this meal: Chili Dog
A healthier way to serve your next hot dog meal is to add chili beans. You’re adding more fiber so you won’t need to eat as much to fill up. Plus you’ll stay full longer.
Try this meal the next time you have a cookout or the kids are begging for a dog. And if you’re going to a friend’s house for a cookout, the chili and whole wheat pasta salad sides will be a hit with family members and they’ll help you reach your weight loss goal.
#3 Potato Hash
Potato hash with chili and broccoli - 489 calories and 16g fiber
Here’s how you can make this meal: Potato Hash
Not only can you use leftover chili in this meal, you can use leftover baked potatoes. And since potatoes are suitable for any meal, try it for breakfast by serving this potato hash with your scrambled eggs.
We know this might be a little different for some, but if you choose to try this for breakfast, you’ll start your day off with a great filling meal. Eating beans at breakfast not only helps you lose weight by revving up your metabolism but does wonders for blood sugars.
This is a quick meal. While the potatoes, onions and peppers are cooking, heat up your leftover chili and broccoli steamer bag in the microwave. Easy peasy!
Stuffed pepper, brown rice and salad - 497 calories and 16g fiber
Here’s how you can make this meal: Stuffed Sweet Peppers
Sweet peppers just get sweeter when they’re baked, in my opinion. Brown rice pairs nicely with the peppers, but quinoa would be a nice twist too. You could even use leftover rice from another meal.
The best thing about these peppers is you can make them a day or two before you bake them in the oven. A meal ready to go!
The salad is Walmart’s Marketside Garden Veggie Chopped Salad kit, so all you have to do is dump it in a bowl and toss it all together. Bon appetite!
#5 Chili Mac
Chili mac and watermelon - 487 calories and 17g fiber
Here’s a skinny casserole that’s a favorite for a lot of families. It marries the love of macaroni noodles with the flavor of the chili and cheese. While it’s baking, slice up a watermelon for a mouth quenching treat to end the meal.
Here’s how you can make this meal: Chili Mac
Whole wheat pasta is a good choice here since you'll already be adding lots of fiber from the beans.
Cook your favorite whole wheat penne pasta according to directions on box. When finished cooking, mix 5 cups of bean chili with the pasta, top with 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese and bake.
Enchiladas with avocado and salsa, brown rice and sautéed veggies - 570 calories and 22g fiber
Here’s how you can make this meal: Enchiladas
I keep corn tortillas in the freezer for times when I need to throw a meal together. Roll up chili in a tortilla, pour on enchilada sauce, sprinkle with cheese and bake. Top off the enchiladas with salsa and sliced avocado and pair them with a side of rice and veggies for a very full plate.
What’s great about the sides in this meal is you can use them with other meals. Make a little extra and you have meals you can throw together with leftover sides. I do this to have easy fiber-rich lunches at work.
#7 Loaded Polenta
Polenta with chili, sautéed veggies and peach - 486 calories and 23g fiber
Here’s how you can make this meal: Loaded Polenta
Not only is this meal great for lunch and dinner because it is really quick, it’s a favorite meal of mine. I like polenta because it reminds me of eating grits growing up in Georgia. If you’ve never cooked polenta before, use the ready to eat polenta you can find at your grocery store. It’s not 100% whole grain but a good choice if you’re looking for something quick.
Top polenta with a cup of chili and serve with a side of veggies.
To save even more time, I used leftover veggies from the Enchilada meal above. That’s a win-win in my book.
Plan Ahead for Easy Meals
So, next time you’re looking for a quick meal to prep, cook chili and plan on using the leftovers for one of these easy, delicious and weight-loss friendly meals. If you want to try all of the creations mentioned in this post, you’ll need to cook and freeze 3 batches of the bean chili.
Full Plate Living is a small-step approach with big health outcomes. It's provided as a free service of Ardmore Institute of Health.