Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Leftover Chili Bake

Chili is often on the menu at my house. Whenever I whip up a batch, I usually make double so that I can pop some in the freezer for an easy meal later on.

But sometimes, even us chiliphiles get bored with a hearty bowl topped with cheese.

To spice things up a bit, I created a casserole that also let me use up the half-full bag of tortilla chips in the pantry.

This dinner got the thumbs up from my boys. All of whom (husband included) ate the leftovers, too.

What's nice about this dish is that you can customize it depending on the chili you use. Got leftover Pumpkin Black Bean Chili? Toss with chips and cheddar. Beef and Beer Chili? Mix in elbow macaroni instead of corn chips. After cooking for 30 minutes, spread a layer of sour cream, then cheddar cheese on top before the final bake. Turkey, Sweet Potato and Black Bean? Use crumbled corn bread instead of chips and top with Monterey jack and cheddar cheeses.

What's your favorite dish to make with leftover chili?

Mangia! Mangia!

Leftover Chili Bake

6 cups leftover chili
3 cups crushed corn tortilla chips, divided
2 cups shredded cheese, divided
Sour cream, guacamole and salsa for topping
Note: Adjust the amounts of each ingredient based on how much chili you have on hand, and to suit your own tastes.

Generously spray a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat over to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together chili, 2 cups corn chips and 1 cup cheese. Mixture should be moist, but not soupy. Add more chips if necessary.

Pour chili mixture into prepared baking dish and spread evenly.

Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle 1/2 cup to 1 cup crushed corn chips and remaining cheddar cheese on top.

Return pan to oven and bake for another 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted, bubbly and starting to brown in some spots. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Cut into squares, top with guacamole, salsa and sour cream and dig in!

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