Freezer Cooking – Chili

Chili, of any variety, lends itself to freezer cooking very easily.  You can easily multiply it.  There is no worry about the contents becoming mushy.  It is easy to stretch.  And there are lots of varieties.

Now, if you are in the areas of the country currently experiencing triple digit temperatures, chili is probably the last thing on your mind.  Did you know it doesn’t have to be eaten hot?  You could put this in a crock pot, cook all day, cool off, freeze, then pull out to use as a cold or cool soup.  As it is, I’m anticipating fall.  This pot will provide me with four meals.  That means it will be another four or five months, assuming we eat chili once a month, before I need to make chili again.

I also plan on making some Turkey and Black Bean Chili later in the month using the same method of cooking and freezing.

I made this particular recipe the same day I made the Red Wine Marinade Sirloin Steaks.  That recipe was so easy I decided to keep going.

That day I decided to make Chocolate Chipotle Chili.  The picture above shows the ingredients I used.  Many were the same as what I had used.  There were only a few I had to put away and a few I had to take out.

Also, I substituted several things in this recipe.  It actually calls for pinto and kidney beans, neither of which we like.  Black beans are our preferred bean, so that is what I use.  There was a random can of pintos hanging out in the pantry so I took the  opportunity to use it up.

Another substitution was home canned crushed tomatoes for diced ones.  Since I canned up many jars of crushed tomatoes last year, I have decided not to buy diced tomatoes.  There hasn’t been much of a difference in the recipes.

The meat had been browned the night before, while making spaghetti.  So, I skipped that step in the recipe and went right on to dicing the onions and red peppers.

Dicing onions used to be a dreaded cooking chore, until I came across a blog that showed me how to do it.  How is it that I never learned, or maybe it was that I just didn’t retain the knowledge, how to chop and onion?  Anyway, not it is so easy I can do them quickly and it is actually fun.

Diced onions and red peppers got added and cooked.  The rest of the ingredients were added.

We also tend to like our chili with less liquid, so I didn’t add all the liquid I was directed to.  It also got cooked down a bit.

When it was fully cooled, I spooned it into freezer bags, labeled and froze.  Bags with liquids like these I lay flat to freeze.  They store easier that way.

Remember, when labeling add the meal that is inside, any heating/cooking/thawing instructions, and the date you froze it.  Sometimes I will add the amount that is in there.  As I’m not sure how many cups of chili are in each, I didn’t add this bit of information.

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