Making Chili with What You’ve Got.

Chili with LeftOvers

One great way to use up the food that you have in the refrigerator is by making soups, chili or stews. We cook with a lot of beans at our house and chili is a great way to use up some leftover beans that are collecting in the fridge.

This past week I cooked two pots of beans. One was pinto beans and the other was navy beans. I like both of these beans because they cook up soft and the skin of the bean is not tough.

I decided that Chili would be a good meal for us on Monday. I did not have any ground meat. My typical chili has ground meat in it and a lot of tomato sauce. It is more like your typical chili. This week I couldn’t make my typical chili because I didn’t have all the ingredients so here is what I did:

I chopped up

  • 2 Onions
  • 2 Peppers
  • 3 Stalks of Celery
  • 2 small zucchini

I added them to my pot.





I sweated these down with a little salt and some olive oil in my dutch oven.

I then added:

  • pinto beans
  • navy beans
  • leftover beef stock from soup made earlier in the week
  • leftover chicken stock
  • 2 jars of my mom’s canned tomatoes


I love having these tomatoes. It is such a handy thing to have garden fresh, preserved tomatoes on hand for things like this.

I then added my seasoning.

  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chili powder
  • paprika
  • cummin
  • oregano

I pretty much just add to taste. Which means you have to keep testing your chili. Since my goal is to use up what we have in the fridge and not let those things go to waste, there isn’t exact measurements for the beans. Depending on how much chili you end up with will determine how much of the spices you add.

I believe that you know what you like, and you know how you want something to taste. So as you are cooking taste the food and think about what would make it taste good. Does this mean sometimes it won’t always taste the best because you made a mistake? Yes. Is that ok? Yes. 😉

That is how you learn. It is a good thing.

I ended up with a lot of chili. We ate our dinner, my husband took some to work the next day and I put two containers of it in the freezer for later. I might use it this weekend as our Sunday meal.

What are you cooking this week?




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