Tag Archive: Chili

I didn’t actually get a picture of this one, but instead put pictures of two previously posted “Empty the Fridge Chowders”  Making a chowder or chili is one of my favorite ways to use up leftovers.

4-5 c. leftover meat and starch (I had about 4 or 5 cups of some delicious boneless lemon pepper chicken thighs and brown rice and black beans that weren’t getting eaten fast enough.  I chopped the chicken up into smaller pieces)

1 bag Dole Chopped salad (I save the salad toppings and dressings from the chopped salad for future use).  Broccoli slaw would also work well as the fresh add-in.



Combine the leftovers with the greens from the Chopped salad, and place in crock pot.


Add in:

1 jar salsa (I used Muir Glen organic that was on sale)

3 Tbsp. bacon jam

1 Tbsp. dehydrated minced onion

2 C. chicken broth

Any leftover meat and starch will do.  I sometime even freeze leftovers I know will work well in a chowder or chili.  Make sure you label them, though.  They are often unrecognizable when you look at them in a container in the freezer.


To the chicken, rice, bean, and chop salad mixture, I then added salsa, bacon jam, dehydrated minced onion, and chicken broth.


Cook on low in the crock pot for 8 hours.

Optional toppings:  Shredded cheese, nuts, sour cream, crushed chips, etc.

Optional add-ins:  Any leftover veggies or starches.




I love the Little Big Meal deals at The Fresh Market.  They put all the ingredients in one spot and it’s a no thought and just a little effort required weekday meal!

This week it was a Chili meal.  For $20.00, I got:

1 lb. fresh ground turkey (you could also choose ground chuck or a vegetarian meat substitute)

1 package veggies (onions, peppers, and garlic – ready to go)

1 jar Frontera Chili Starter – a Rick Bayless product.  I chose White Bean with Chilis – YUMMMMM

1 can beans (I chose cannelloni beans)

1 package shredded cheese

1 container (8 oz) Daisy sour cream

6 corn muffins

It is advertised as enough to feed a family of four.  I bought an extra pound of ground meat (chicken) and had lettuce, tomato, and avocado on hand for toppings, as well as some tortillas left from taco night.

Brown meat and veggies in olive oil.


Add drained beans and chili starter.


Simmer 15-20 minutes.

I thickened it with breadcrumbs (my new go to for thickening sauces, chilis and stews)






4 c. leftover Chimichurri chicken, shredded (or buy a rotisserie chicken to use)

1 can white shoepeg corn, drained

1 can garbanzo beans, drained

1 can great northern beans, drained

1 container fresh salsa

2 Tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes

Combine everything in a crock pot and cook on low 8-10 hours.

Serve with Diaya shredded cheddar style cheese (non-dairy alternative cheese) and chips.

Sour cream and guacamole would have been nice too, if I had had any.


2 lb. ground chicken

1/2 jar mango salsa

1 can petite diced tomatoes with zesty jalapeno

1 can corn drained

1 can garbanzo beans drained

1 can great northern beans drained

1/2 onion, chopped

1/4 c. sofrito

Combine everything in the crock pot and go off to work!  Come home to a yummy chili.  I ate mine topped with avocado, sour cream and shredded cheddar.  The kids had some chips with theirs!

Empty the Fridge Chili with Gluten Free Chips

My kids used to resist leftovers. They still would rather not think about the ingredients in a new recipe being leftovers. However, it is the only way to not waste food sometimes.

If I have leftover meat, be it steak, shredded meat, ground meat, hamburgers, meatballs, whatever, I often freeze small portions to keep for a quick add in to a crock pot meal.

I also hold on to soups, sauces and broths.

My favorite container of choice for this is plastic gelato containers with screw on lids that I use over and over. Love them!

Tonight, I combined:

Leftover steak, cubed
Leftover chicken sausage, cut into small pieces
Leftover brown rice
1 jar salsa
1 c. chicken broth
Leftover beans from cassoulet (the kids picked all the meat out)

I combined it all when I got home and heated it a skillet and poured it into my crock pot to keep warm. The kids were none the wiser and enjoyed the gluten free chips and toppings.

These chips are our new favorite!

We topped it with shredded cheese, diced avocado and sour cream.

Don’t tell them it’s leftovers!

Empty the Frig Chili

Leftover pork ribs (from yesterday’s recipe)- I cut it up in tiny bite-size pieces
Leftover Jamaican beef patty filling (from a few days ago!)
2 c. fresh salsa
1 can corn kernels (drained)
1 can chick peas (reserving some to put on top)
1 can navy beans
1 can canneloni beans
1 can black beans
1 can diced tomatoes with chilis

Combine in crock pot and cook on low 6-8 hours.

This was a HUGE HIT. Definitely a case of the leftovers being more of a family favorite than the original (pork ribs) recipe.

We ate it over rice and had a salad on the side.

Everyone raved. Of course! It will be next to impossible to duplicate. It just goes to show, though, that good ingredients make a good finished product!

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