13 Chili Recipes That Make Great Lunch Leftovers

13 Chili Recipes That Make Great Lunch Leftovers
Photo: Ambitious Kitchen.

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When it comes to meal prep, occasionally I have it in me to cook big batches of grains, protein and a bunch of different veggies for easy mix-and-match lunches. Other weeks, I can only muster enough time, energy and enthusiasm to throw together a single recipe. On those weeks—especially during colder months—I opt for delicious (and easy) chili recipes.

It’s a no-brainer, really. Chili is a pretty broad category, with any combination of veggies, beans, protein, grains and a whole lot of spices. It’s easy to pick a different recipe each time you make it, to keep from getting bored. Plus, once you have a good stock of spices and canned beans, you can throw together all kinds of chilis from a relatively short grocery list. The recipes below run the gamut from classic beef-and-bean chili to hearty vegan chili made with tender tofu. Some come together in the slow-cooker, while others cook on the stovetop. Most are tomato-based, but there are a few creamy options for anyone who prefers that flavor profile.

Generally, cooked chili will keep for up to four days in the fridge, and for several months in the freezer. Whip up a batch for Sunday lunch or dinner, then refrigerate or freeze the leftovers in single servings so you’ll always have a healthy homemade lunch ready to heat up at a moment’s notice!

STYLECASTER | 13 Chili Recipes That Make Great Lunch Leftovers

Cooking Classy.

1. Slow-Cooker Chili

The classic slow-cooker chili recipe literally everyone should know how to make.

STYLECASTER | 13 Chili Recipes That Make Great Lunch Leftovers

Chelsea’s Messy Kitchen.

2. Crock-Pot Creamy Enchilada Chili

Love enchiladas but don’t love putting together the whole casserole? Do everything in the Crock-Pot instead—no assembly required for this enchilada chili.

STYLECASTER | 13 Chili Recipes That Make Great Lunch Leftovers

Ambitious Kitchen.

3. The Best Healthy Turkey Chili

This turkey chili will be your new favorite healthy lunch—trust me.

STYLECASTER | 13 Chili Recipes That Make Great Lunch Leftovers

Pinch of Yum.

4. Rockin’ 5-Ingredient Sweet Potato Chili

This sweet potato chili requires minimal work for maximal flavor.

STYLECASTER | 13 Chili Recipes That Make Great Lunch Leftovers

It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken.

5. The Best Vegan Chili Ever

This vegan chili gets its meaty texture from tofu that’s been precooked with nutritional yeast.

STYLECASTER | 13 Chili Recipes That Make Great Lunch Leftovers

Vegetarian Ventures.

6. Creamy Vegetarian White Chili

This creamy veggie-forward white chili is so full of flavor you won’t even have a chance to miss the meat.

STYLECASTER | 13 Chili Recipes That Make Great Lunch Leftovers

Budget Bytes.

7. Cheesy Vegetarian Chili Mac

This cheesy chili mac is an inexpensive lunch option that combines chili and macaroni, two classic comfort foods.

STYLECASTER | 13 Chili Recipes That Make Great Lunch Leftovers

Heather Christo.

8. Pork Chili Verde

This herb-forward pork chili verde can be as mild or as spicy as you want it to be.

STYLECASTER | 13 Chili Recipes That Make Great Lunch Leftovers

Slow Cooker Gourmet.

9. Slow-Cooker Pulled-Pork Chili

Pulled-pork sandwiches are a little too messy for packed office lunch. Pulled-pork chili, on the other hand, is perfect.

STYLECASTER | 13 Chili Recipes That Make Great Lunch Leftovers

The Chunky Chef.

10. Creamy White Chicken Chili

This rich and creamy white chicken chili has just enough cream cheese and half-and-half to bring it to the next level, but not so much that it’ll bring you into a midday food coma.

STYLECASTER | 13 Chili Recipes That Make Great Lunch Leftovers

Host the Toast.

11. Slow-Cooker Jamaican Jerk Chicken Chili

This Jamaican jerk chicken chili packs a unique flavor profile, but plenty of familiar ingredients. Oh, and it calls for plantain chips. (Yum.)

STYLECASTER | 13 Chili Recipes That Make Great Lunch Leftovers

Super Healthy Kids.

12. One-Pot Pumpkin Quinoa Chili

This fall-themed pumpkin quinoa chili is packed with fiber and plant-based protein, thanks to the combination of quinoa, beans and pumpkin.

STYLECASTER | 13 Chili Recipes That Make Great Lunch Leftovers

Wallflower Kitchen.

13. Sweet Potato and Kale Vegan Chili

This sweet potato and kale vegan chili is perfect for anyone who loves hearty sweet potatoes and slightly bitter kale.

 

A version of this story was originally published in December 2016.

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