Add-in Ideas for Canned Chili

Canned chili con carne is a great budget meal for families watching their costs. It's relatively low in cost and packed full of 23 grams of protein per serving, making it one of the better meat values on the market. By itself, chili is a tasty dish. But, mixed with some basic ingredients, it can be turned into a tasty casserole that your family will enjoy.

Add in vegetables

That wonderful seasoning that makes it chili is a combination of stewed tomatoes, onions, pepper, garlic, and an assortment of herbs. To stretch that can of chili, one or more of the following vegetables are a fantastic addition:
  • 8 ounces of corn
  • 4 ounces of chopped, green pepper (chili or Bell)
  • 4 ounces of sliced olives
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup sliced zucchini
  • 1/2 cup cooked, diced onion
  • 1 can drained kidney beans

After adding your choice of vegetable, heat until the chili reaches a slow simmer, then serve.

Add in meat ideas

Chili con carne comes with meat already in the can, so it really isn't necessary to add more of your own. However, if you are stretching the dish to feed more in the family, you can add one of the following:
  • Shredded chicken, beef, or pork
  • Browned, drained hamburger
  • Chopped hot dogs

Add toppers

Toppers are that little something extra that give a bowl of chili some extra eye appeal. Toppers can include:
  • Shredded Cheese, either Monterey Jack, Colby, or Cheddar
  • Slightly crushed tortilla chips
  • Dollop of cream cheese
  • Spoonful of diced olives

Easy skillet ideas

Three of our family favorite canned chili stretchers are these easy, one dish meals.

Chili cornbread pie: Pour two cans of chili in a cast iron skillet. Heat. While beans are warming up, prepare a batch of Jiffy corn bread mix, following directions. Pour on top of chili, and bake in a 350 degree oven 20-25 minutes.

Easy Chili Mac: Combine one can of chili, one cup of cooked, drained macaroni, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1 cup cooked ground hamburger and one diced tomato in a skillet. Heat thoroughly and serve.

Short cut tacos: Fry 1/2 pound of hamburger in a skillet. Drain, and add one can of chili. Stir until thoroughly heated. Serve up in a corn tortilla, with lettuce and cheese on the side.

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