Freezer Friendly Recipes: Chili
Freezer Chili for the Perfect Fast Meal
On days or weekends that I don’t have much going on outside my home, I love to make up pots of things that I can freeze for later meals. Freezer Chili is one such meal. I make up what my family calls a vat of chili and then freeze it in plastic bags or containers so that on busy weeknights I can pull one out, heat it up and have dinner on the table in minutes. You can make Freezer Chili as hot or mild as you like, with or without beans, and as saucy as you like. It’s a versatile recipe that gives you many meals with just a couple hours of simmer time.
What Kind of Meat for Freezer Chili
When I make Freezer Chili I use a combination of ground beef and stew beef which I cut from whatever roast is on sale. The combination of the two gives you a great texture in your final chili and adds exceptional flavor. The choice is up to you as to what you want to add. You don’t have to use beef though! Pork, venison, and even chicken make amazing Freezer Chili, each with their own delectable flavors. No matter what meat you use, the technique for making the Freezer Chili is the same. So use the meat you prefer, or mix them up and use more than one.
2 lbs chuck roast or sale roast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 lbs ground beef
2 large onions
2 T olive oil
1 large (or 2 small) cans light red kidney beans, undrained
1 large (or 2 small) cans dark red kidney beans, undrained
1 large (40 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups tomato or vegetable juice
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
4 T chili powder
Heat a large stock pot or saute pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and brown the roast meat until no pink remains on the outside. Remove from the pan, leaving the drippings.
Add the ground beef and onions; saute until onions are clear and beef is browned.
If simmering on the stove, the roast meat back in with the ground beef. Add the rest of the ingredients, plus a can of water for each large can of beans. (If using a slow cooker, place everything in a large 6 qt slow cooker and turn to low for 6 hours)
Stir well and bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat and cover, simmering 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally.
Serve hot or cool and freeze.
Freezing Your Freezer Chili
The easiest way I’ve found to prepare my Freezer Chili for the freezer is to let it cool and refrigerate it overnight. Give it a good stir in the morning, then pack it into well labeled plastic zippy bags or freezer containers. Even glass canning jars work well. Seal completely, removing any extra air if possible. Freezer Chili will be good for about 3 months in a refrigerator freezer, and a year if you have a deep freezer. You’ll have containers of Freezer Chili ready for dinner in minutes!