How to Freeze Chili & Reheating Tips (2024)

By Laura Fuentes on Updated

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This method for freezing chili is super simple and the most convenient since it doesn’t take much room in the freezer! Double your favorite recipe, and enjoy a delicious bowl of chili whenever you need it!

How to Freeze Chili & Reheating Tips (1)

Does Chili Freeze Well?

Chili is a crowd-pleaser, but we don’t always have a crowd to feed nor know what to do with all those leftovers. We also know chili tastes better the next day but did you know you can freeze it and enjoy those same delicious results later?

Freezing works whether you are making all meat or vegetarian chili. While the texture might change slightly due to the veggies and beans, everything still reheats in one cohesive, delicious lunch or dinner that you can serve with your favorite toppings and add-ins or pack into athermoscontainer for a hot lunch. I use the freezing method in this post whenever I make a double batch of my famousPaleo Chili.

How to Freeze Homemade Chili

Freezing chili helps you save time, make the most of leftovers, and avoid any waste. I’ll show you how to freeze chili for future meals quick and easy using a zip bag and a baking sheet:

  1. Cool down
    Allow chili leftovers to cool down to room temperature.
  2. Label the bags
    Before filling the bags, write down the date, servings, and thaw/reheating instructions in the bag. This will be very useful for later!
  3. Pack
    Pour the chili into a freezer-safe bag. Pack it in single-serve portions or the amount of servings you usually serve for dinner. You can also use an airtight container or souper cubes.
  4. Flatten
    Place the bag on a baking sheet and store in the freezer for about 2 hours or until solid. This way, the chili will freeze flat, making it easy to store.
  5. Store
    Once the chili is frozen, remove the baking sheet and keep it in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.

Watch this video and I’ll take you through the steps!

How to Freeze Chili & Reheating Tips (2)

If you cooked chili and feel that it turned out more like a soup, here you can learn how to thicken chili before freezing it.

Can You Freeze Chili with Beans?

Yes! Whether you cook chili with or without beans, you can freeze it to enjoy later with your favorite chili sides. That said, beans may change their texture a little bit, but the chili will still taste delicious.

Best Container for Freezing Chili

Freezer-safe bagsare your best ally for freezing soups and stews. Since they have a stay-open design, you can easily pour chili leftovers right into the bag, avoiding any counter mess.

If you prefer a reusable option and have more room in your freezer,souper cubesare a great choice too!

How Long Does Chili Last in the Freezer

Chili will stay good in the freezer for 4 to 6 months! So when I plan to make a batch, I’ll double the recipe, use ½ for dinners that week, and freeze the extra that day.

Whenever I’m in a pinch or know a day out my upcoming week will be extra busy, I have a delicious dinner waiting to be defrosted and reheated.

How Long Does Chili Last in the Fridge

Chili can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. After that, you should freeze it to extend its shelf life.

How to Freeze Chili & Reheating Tips (3)

How to Thaw & Reheat Frozen Chili

You can thaw frozen chili in the fridge, with cold water, or using the microwave. These are the same methods I use to defrost chicken. The microwave method is the quickest, but I prefer to use it only for emergencies! Even in this case, remember to NOT place the frozen bag directly from the freezer.

Defrost in the fridge
Place one or two zip bags with frozen chili in a large bowl. Store in the fridge overnight so it will be thaw the next day, ready to heat it up.

Defrost with water
For defrosting chili faster, place the chili zip bag or container in the sink with room temperature water. Flip the container until is thawed.

Defrost in the microwave
First, run the frozen chili bag under hot water, so the soup detaches from the container’s surface. Once done, transfer the chili to a large bowl to microwave.

To reheat chili, you can use the stove or the microwave:

  • Stove top:place the chili and a cup of water in a soup pot. Bring it to a boil over medium heat until it’s warm enough, stirring often.
  • Microwave:microwave the chili on high for 5 minutes, stirring often until it’s heated through.

Best Chili Recipes

Now that you master the art of freezing chili, it’s time to cook it in bulk! You’ll want to fill the freezer with these delicious chili recipes:

  • Slow Cooker No Bean Chili
  • Red Chicken Chili
  • Ground Chicken Chili with no Beans
  • Ground Turkey Chili
  • Low Carb Chili
  • The Best Ever Keto Chili

by Laura Fuentes

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How to Freeze Chili & Reheating Tips (2024)
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