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17 Best Leftover Chili Recipes

Do you end up with lots of leftovers every time you make chili? It’s such a simple and filling meal, but it’s easy to get into a chili rut where you’re having the same dinner over and over.

Leftover Chili Recipes

If you’re wondering what to do with leftover chili, here are some creative recipes that will mix up your chili routine.

Start by whipping up your favorite chili, and then get creative with any of these fun ideas. You can store your leftover chili in the fridge for up to four days, or freeze it for 4-6 months.

It’s a great starting point if you’re trying to master meal planning, and your family will love the new weeknight dishes.

Keep reading for some delicious and fun leftover chili recipes that are easy and delicious!

1. Leftover Chili Mac N Cheese

The best of two comfort foods combine in this filling recipe. And it couldn’t be easier to make.

Simply boil up some pasta, and then toss it in a skillet with your leftover chili and some shredded cheese.

You can use any type of noodles and cheese that you have handy, but elbow macaroni and cheddar cheese give this dinner a classic taste and look.

Kids will love the simple meal, and you’ll love adding protein and fiber to an easy mac and cheese recipe.

2. Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a traditional Israeli dish that’s popular for brunch. Enjoy all the excitement of exploring a new region of cuisine without a lot of labor.

This recipe has you starting by making their vegetarian chili, but you can instead reheat leftover chili in a large skillet.

You’ll want to get your chili to a nice hot summer so you can poach the eggs inside.

Follow the directions to get a perfectly-cooked egg, and then add in the optional feta or goat cheese.

Before you know it, you have a brand new meal that’s fun to say, easy to make, and built from chili leftovers.

3. Leftover Chili Baked Potato Casserole

If you’re a sucker for potato entrees, this recipe is for you. Add a layer of leftover chili to twice-baked potatoes, and you’ve got this amazing Chili Baked Potato Casserole.

Follow the directions carefully to make sure you’ve got perfectly creamy mash and crispy potato skins.

The hearty chili and the rich potatoes are a match made in heaven. And since you may not typically serve chili with potatoes, the combination will feel like a brand new meal.

4. Cornbread Chili Pie

We love leftover chili ideas that incorporate cornbread. This recipe uses the classic combination of cornbread and chili but prepares it in a fun way, so it feels like a new meal.

Start with a fully baked cornbread and leftover chili. Defrost some from the freezer or use what’s in your fridge from the night before.

You can use any cornbread recipe, and once you have your two core ingredients, it’s as easy as layering them and sticking them in the oven.

Finally, a way to make chili and cornbread into something new and exciting.

5. Chili Cheese Burritos

Chili is such a staple in American kitchens that it’s easy to forget that it’s a cornerstone Tex Mex dish. Embracing its roots will allow you to use your leftover chili in really fun ways, like these Chili Cheese Burritos.

This recipe calls for rice and cheese inside the burritos, but you can add any of your favorite ingredients.

It’s a restaurant-style meal that you can easily make at home.

Bring the kids into the kitchen to get them involved in the cooking and create their own burritos.

6. Leftover Chili Potato Nachos

These Leftover Chili Potato Nachos are perfect for football season or viewing parties. Can’t you imagine everyone sitting back and watching the game with these chili potato nachos?

They’re easy to make, super addicting, and packed with flavor.

The key is getting your potatoes the right thickness, so they get nice and crisp while still staying strong enough to support the weight of your chili and other toppings.

Is this basically just chili and potatoes? Yes! Is it way more fun to eat it like nachos? Most definitely!

7. Chili Lasagna

When you search for recipes with chili, you might be surprised to find lasagna on the list. But this chili lasagna is an unlikely treasure.

Trade your usual Italian sauce for some leftover chili, and replace the ricotta with sour cream.

Layer it in with your noodles, and you’ve got Chili Lasagna – a quick and easy recipe that’s also fun and creative.

The key is using ready-to-bake noodles. It makes it faster to make and easier to assemble.

Want to make dinnertime even more of a sinch? Layer your lasagna the day before so that you just have to pop it in the oven when you get home from work or school.

8. Chili Cheese Spaghetti Bake

This is a budget-friendly recipe that you can make with lots of love. Layer your cooked spaghetti noodles and your chili, and then top with shredded cheese.

You can’t believe how nicely spaghetti and chili go together.

This recipe guides you through making the chili, but you can skip those steps if you’re starting with your leftover chili.

Highlight the spaghetti elements by serving with garlic bread. This is another prep-ahead meal that will make dinner a dream.

9. Leftover Chili Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers are a great way to create a nutritious and hearty meal. Have you ever thought of creating stuffed peppers from leftover chili?

If you’re deciding what to make with leftover chili, you can’t go wrong with these stuffed peppers.

This recipe is super easy because it skips pre-boiling the peppers, but you may want to reheat the chili before adding it to the halved peppers for best results.

You can choose red, yellow, or green bell peppers for this dish, or mix them for a colorful display.

Use mini bell peppers for fun and easy finger food.

10. Chili Cornbread Casserole

This Chil Cornbread Casserole recipe is another fun twist on the classic chili-and-cornbread combination. This one has you baking the cornbread right on top of the chili.

Cooking the casseroles in individual ramekins makes this dinner extra fun, but you can also cook it in a full-size baking dish. Be sure to put the chili on the bottom and the cornbread on top.

You can use any cornbread recipe that you love, or follow the recipe for a quick cornbread that’s ready to complement your leftover chili.

11. Chili Cheese Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are a classic kids’ dish, but not everybody loves the taste. Using leftover chili as the base for the sloppy joes makes this meal a true crowd-pleaser since it gives you more control over the flavors and seasonings.

Plus, it makes it a hassle-free dinner.

Add in shredded carrots and zucchini to sneak some veggies into your kids’ diet (or your own!).

Use more ketchup to give it the classic sloppy-joe flavor, or opt for tomato puree to embrace the chili’s taste. Either way, topping it off with sour cream and shredded cheese will make these sandwiches into a fun and easy entree.

12. Chili Baked Potatoes

This is another recipe that uses pantry staples to turn your leftover chili into something unique. Find even more toppings, like guacamole, corn chips, and nacho cheese sauce, and create an entire baked potato bar.

You can cook the potatoes in the microwave, but baking them in the oven will make a great crispy crust with warm chili and soft toppings.

Substitute sweet potatoes for a different flavor and more nutrition. These recipes for leftover chili make a fun party food too.

13. Chili Cheese Empanadas

Have you ever made empanadas? Don’t be intimidated by a new dish. Using leftover chili and pre-made empanada shells makes this adventurous recipe a cinch to make.

Use Keto empanada shells to make this dish Keto-friendly. Serve these yummy pockets with sour cream, avocado, and salsa for a complete dinner.

Follow the directions to master the Empanada fold, which is the only tricky part of this recipe.

Once you’ve got it, you’ll be ready to make all kinds of Empanadas.


You’ll love the mix of flavors and textures in this Chili Cheese Chicken and Rice Casserole. It combines all your favorite foods into one creative and easy dish.

If you have leftover chili AND chicken taking up room in your fridge or freezer, this recipe will help clear them out and satisfy your hunger for a filling meal.

You can assemble this casserole in advance and even freeze it if you’re not ready for your chili leftovers yet.

15. Chili Cheese Shepherds Pie

Shepherds pie is a filling favorite and a one-dish meal. You can mix up this classic comfort food by using leftover chili as the base.

This recipe calls for boxed mashed potatoes (the kind with the potato flakes), but you can use real potatoes too. It’s flexible based on what you have in your pantry.

You can also customize the ratio of chili to potatoes, depending on your preference.

16. Chili Tortilla Bake

This is another super-easy recipe that honors chili’s Tex-Mex roots. And all you need is a package of tortillas and some shredded cheese.

Layer the ingredients and pop them in the oven, and before you know it you have a delicious dinner that changes up the same-old-same-old chili.

Like all the best casseroles, you can create this in advance and then bake it when you’re ready.

This makes your weekly meal planning easier than ever. Add fresh toppings to the bake, or keep it simple.

Either way, you’ve created a family-friendly meal and reduced waste.


Who doesn’t love a classic nacho? Now you can make a filling and easy nacho dish by utilizing your leftover chili.

Layer cheese with your chili and tortilla chips and pop it in the oven for a few minutes. Then you can top it with all the cold nacho essentials, like sour cream, guacamole, and avocado.

If you’re looking for ideas for leftover chili, these easy chili nachos are fun and creative.

Leftover Chili Recipes

17 Best Leftover Chili Recipes

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 (15-oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-oz.) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cup. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 12 ounces. pasta, such as orecchiette or shells
  • 2 cup shredded cheddar


  1. Heat oil over medium heat, and then add the onions. Cook for several minutes until they’re beginning to become soft and translucent.
  2. then add the garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds, until fragrant.
  3. Brown the ground beef in the pan with the onion and garlic. Then drain the fat.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes, kidney beans, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, chicken broth, and pasta.
  5. Bring to a simmer and cook it all together for about 14-15 minutes, until the pasta is cooked.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in cheese so that it melts into the chili
    Serve garnished with chives

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