What to do with leftover chili

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How to use up that last bowl of chili - savingsinseconds.com

Determined to limit our household food waste, we’ve been trying to use up the last bits of food in our fridge.  This is not only because of trying to stick to a budget, although it helps in that area too!  We’re also trying to teach our children to be good stewards of our resources, which includes the food we’ve purchased.  This morning we woke up with a minor crisis in the house (my son has a huge splinter lodged in his nailbed) and my husband took him to the ER.  Thankfully my son chose my husband to take him because I’m not sure my mama’s heart could have handled it!!  In the end, the doctor decided to do nothing and let’s see if it grows out. In celebration, I wanted to make something hearty for the boys so they’d have a hot meal when they got home.  There was this lone bowl of leftover chili in the fridge that wasn’t going to polished off, so I decided to make it into something a little more hearty.  

We don’t often have a problem with leftover chili at our house.  My family usually finishes it off, but maybe I made an unusually large pot this time or something.  Normally we would serve the chili on top of a bowl of noodles, baked potatoes, or chili dogs.  Today though, these two cans of crescent rolls that were a few days past their expiration date called to me; I wanted to use them up, too.  Behold these little handheld sandwiches with a chili filling and a slice of melted cheese inside.  It couldn’t have been easier or more delicious.  Isn’t it great when one dish makes two full meals?

Chili pockets - savingsinseconds.com

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  While the oven heats, open up the crescent roll can and separate into halves.  I used 4 crescent rolls for each pocket. If you buy the jumbo size, you could probably use less.  You could also spread them out a little more and make triangular pockets instead.  One pocket was plenty for each person.

2.  I used about 1/2 cup of chili inside each pocket.  After spreading out the mixture, each chili dollop was topped with half a slice of American cheese.

chili pockets - savingsinseconds.com

3.  Seal the edges with your fingers or the tines of a fork.  Don’t worry if the top opens up a bit.

4.  Bake for 20 minutes.

chili pockets - savingsinseconds.com

They turned out beautiful with a golden brown crust.  The crescent rolls were perfectly baked; I was concerned that they  might be a little doughy with the filling but it was fine.  These would be a great way to reinvent leftovers for an easy handheld lunch!

chili pockets - savingsinseconds.com

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  1. Gosh! This is genius! I am always looking out for ways to reduce food costs in our household.. and this is such a smart way to make use of the left over chilli for another full meal! Thank you 🙂

  2. Great idea! We usually end up putting it on hot dogs (or freezing it for later).
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  3. What a great idea. i love chili and putting inside crescent rolls is genius! Thank you for sharing.

  4. This looks amazing!! And we love chili!! SO doing this!

  5. Great idea! Although chili does often taste better the next day!

  6. What a great idea. We always have left over chili. I like to put it on a baked potato!

  7. My kids love anything with crescent rolls. This looks great! Thanks for the idea!

  8. Looks yummy. Our son is obsessed with crescent rolls. I brought them for snack for his birthday.
    I’ll give this a try with ground turkey and marinara sauce too.

  9. Sherry Compton says:

    Poor little boy and poor mama! not a fun experience, but what a meal to come home to. Yum. Baked chili in a golden flaky crust. It’s amazing how simple change ups for recipes or leftovers can really turn out.

  10. Amy Wright says:

    Great idea! Would love to try this.

  11. This is so delish! I hardly ever have leftover chili, either, I’d make an even bigger batch to make this. What a nice meal for your loved ones to come home to, esp after having to go to the ER.

  12. Mariah Applegate says:

    How clever. Pinning this! We almost always have leftover chili with just my husband and me. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Jennifer Hiles says:

    I hate wasting food (which happens way too often in our house). When I make chili, I normally make way too much. I end up freezing quite a bit of it. That works out well but there are always leftovers. The recipe sounds delicious. I love how you show pictures along with the directions. Such a great way to use up that extra chili. I know my family would love these!

  14. This is a great idea, I cannot wait to give this a try it looks delicious. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  15. vicki howes says:

    my husband will love this – will have to try it.

  16. We always have tons of leftovers when we make chili, this is a great way to stretch your food and budget!

  17. That’s a great idea. I am going to try this

  18. Amber Ludwig says:

    Wow!! These look fantastic!! I like to use my leftover chili for chili cheese fries and chili cheese dogs 🙂

  19. Laurie P says:

    This is brilliant, it’s rare that we even have leftovers in this house, but it does happen, and this is all kinds of awesome!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  20. Chici is always good, especially the next day. I actually think it tastes better leftover, so this remedy will come in handy.

  21. Sherry Compton says:

    Chili is great and you can make a lot. I like your idea. We will even put it over hotdogs with coleslaw. My daughter just made mac and cheese and put it with the leftover chili for a delicious chili mac.

  22. Sherry Compton says:

    National Chili Day, and these recipes are great ways to get chili in. It’s cold out today and a great day for chili, but we recently had it. Freezer leftovers will be great with cheese in a pocket.

  23. Cynthia W says:

    This looks and sounds delicious! I think I can even make this, LOL. Thanks for the recipe.

  24. Thanks for sharing. Will definitely try.


  1. […] for years and it’s just about the only way I can make biscuits without burning them.  Crescent rolls come out perfectly baked, and my friend Kathy swears that the stoneware loaf pan is the secret to my […]

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