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The Complete Guide to Chili

Chili is perfect for everything from game day to easy back-to-school meals. Here’s your go-to guide for this hearty fall favorite.

Fall is fast approaching and cooler temps mean it’s time to break out the tried-and-true, comfort food classics. Simple to make and fun to eat, chili may just be the ultimate fall food. It’s a festive offering to serve on game day, and it makes a flavorful, filling, but easy-as-can-be meal during the back-to-school season.

There are many different takes on this popular dish, with the beef, bean, and tomato version being one of the most well-known. There’s also Texas-Style that skips the beans altogether. However you prepare it, nothing says “fall is here” quite like cooking up a big batch of chili.

If you’re looking for an ultra-simple chili recipe to get you started, this skillet chili has just 4 ingredients and is ready to serve in 15 minutes! Or, try this version that lets your slow cooker work its magic. Either way, you’re on your way to savory, delicious chili with minimal effort. How good is that?!

Chili Guide-Chili Toppings

Chili toppings and sides

While chili tastes fantastic on its own, a full spread of toppings lets people choose their own chili adventure. Sour cream, shredded cheese, corn chips, sliced avocado, and green onions all make excellent additions. And don’t forget the hot sauce for those who like their chili with a little extra spice!

Chili also pairs nicely with an array of different sides. Cornbread is a can’t-miss classic that everyone is sure to love. Cinnamon rolls and chili may be a slightly less well-known pairing, but once you try them together you’ll see why the combination of sweet and spicy is so good. Pillsbury Biscuits and Crescents go deliciously with any meal, and chili is certainly no exception.

How to store leftover chili

Another great thing about chili recipes is that they’re very easy to double — so it’s simple to make an extra large batch for meal prepping and freezing! Chili will keep for three to four days in the fridge, and freezes well for up to three months.

You can store your leftovers in either glass or plastic containers. If you aren’t a fan of the dreaded reddish-orange stains on your plastic containers, here’s a helpful tip: before putting your leftovers in, lightly mist the interior with cooking spray. This will help prevent all that tomato-y goodness from leaving its mark on the sides of your container.

How to reheat leftover chili

Reheating your leftover chili is just as simple as can be. You can use a microwave; just remember to stir the chili periodically so it heats evenly. The stove also works well: transfer the chili to a saucepan and heat on medium-low until it warms through.

Because chili is a deliciously versatile dish, there’s plenty of opportunity to get creative with your leftovers as well. Take your inspiration from Cincinatti- or Coney-style chilli and serve up your leftovers on hot dogs or spaghetti. Or use them to top a loaded baked potato. You can even take your mac and cheese to the next level by mixing in your leftover chili to give it a zesty kick.

If you’re looking for some inspiration for turning your leftovers into a totally new dish, check out these recipes where chili is the star.