I just love when I can throw together a quick dinner using leftovers! That's exactly how I made this fast and easy chili - I used the leftovers from two dinners we had earlier in the week... meat sauce from our pasta dinner 2 nights ago, and beef taco filling from dinner last night. I combined the two in a large sauce pan, added a can of kidney beans, a little cumin, some diced sweet peppers, and about 1/4 c of water. I simmered the mix over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot, and served with the usual toppings. Isn't it great when a meal falls together so easily!
Easy Chili from Leftovers
- 2 cups leftover meat sauce (made with ground beef or ground turkey)
- 2 cups leftover taco filling (also made with ground beef or ground turkey)
- 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin (or to taste)
- Optional Garnish: diced tomatoes, diced sweet bell peppers, minced red onions, sliced scallions or chives, cheddar cheese, sour cream, cilantro or parsley, hot sauce, crushed red pepper
- Combine ingredients and heat through.
Notes: I make my meat sauce with either ground beef or ground turkey (which ever I have on hand at the time). I start by sauteing one jumbo Spanish onion in olive oil; sauteing until the onion starts to caramelize, then I add 3-4 cloves of pressed or minced garlic; stirring for about a minute. Then I add 3 lbs. of ground beef or turkey and S&P to taste; cooking until browned; stirring occasionally to break up the clumps. If I'm using ground beef, I'll drain away any fat (not necessary if using ground turkey). Then I add an equal amount of the cooked meat to my favorite San Marzano Tomato Sauce (but you could use whatever tomato sauce you like), and heat until bubbly.
I make my taco filling the same way as described above, but instead of adding tomato sauce, I add one large can of refried beans, a couple of teaspoons of taco seasoning, and a little water. Combine well and heat until bubbly.
Because the meat sauce and taco filling are both seasoned already, I don't add any additional S&P when turning the leftovers into chili.