This chili stuffed peppers recipe makes stuffed peppers easy and repurposes leftover chili from the fridge or the freezer. It’s a no-nonsense super easy midweek meal or weekend lunch.
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Using Leftover Chili For Stuffed Peppers
When we make chili at home, we make a big batch that will last us through the week, or that can be frozen for leftovers. Then, I look for tasty ways to cook up that leftover chili. This is one of my favorite ways to repurpose chili because no one would know it’s actually a leftover.
If you don’t have left over chili, honestly, you can use a can of chili if you have it.
Don’t have any leftover chili? Check out our favorite chili recipes here:
Instant Pot Chili With Dried Beans And Beef – This is the chili used for this stuffed pepper with chili recipe
Beef, Black Bean, and Pumpkin Chili – If making stuffed peppers with this chili, swap out parmesan or mozzarella for the cheddar cheese
Ingredients For Chili Stuffed Peppers
You can use green peppers for this stuffed peppers with chili recipe. I prefer red or yellow because they are a bit more sweet. I often find green peppers a bit bitter.
I like to slice the peppers in half but keep the tops on before slicing. This makes the peppers stay a little more together rather than collapsing. And it adds some color when serving.
Any leftover chili will work, either chili with kidney beans or black beans or no beans at all (not on this site!). Vegetarian or vegan chili will work too.
Other than that, use a touch of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt, and cheese. Any kind of cheddar cheese will work – even vegan cheese. If you like a bit of spice, and your chili is not already spicy, you can add a bit of crushed red pepper.
If your chili has come from the freezer, wait for it to defrost. Then, add a spritz of fresh lemon or lime if you have it, to refresh the chili a bit before stuffing it into the peppers.
Looking for other leftover chili recipes? Check out our recipe for Chili Cheese Burritos.
How To Make Chili Stuffed Peppers With Leftover Chili
Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet, glass baking dish, or small dutch oven with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Or, just grease the bottom with olive oil.
Place the peppers cut side up on the baking sheet. Rub a little olive oil on them so that they don’t dry out. Place a sprinkle of cheese in the bottom of each pepper to make them super cheesy.
Spoon the chili into the peppers and sprinkle with crushed red pepper if using. Bake for 20 minutes until the peppers just start to soften.
Carefully remove them from the oven and sprinkle with cheese. Place them back in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the peppers have softened. The peppers will still have a bit of crisp to them, but the crispness offsets the chili perfectly!
- 2 red or yellow peppers, cut in half and deseeded
- 2 cups shredded cheese
- Sprinkle of salt
- Sprinkle of crushed red pepper (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Line a baking sheet, glass baking dish, or small dutch oven with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Or, just grease the bottom with olive oil.
- Place the peppers cut side up on the baking sheet. Rub a little olive oil on them so that they don’t dry out.
- Place a sprinkle of cheese in the bottom of each pepper. Sprinkle the peppers with salt.
- Spoon the chili into the peppers and sprinkle with crushed red pepper if using.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Carefully remove them from the oven and sprinkle with cheese.
- Place them back in the oven for about 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the peppers have started to soften.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 510Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 1033mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 28g
This nutritional data is provided by a third-party source and should not be relied on if you are on a strict diet.
Modifications For Leftover Chili Stuffed Peppers
One thing I’ve learned is that there are about a thousand ways of how to eat stuffed peppers. This is only one.
First, if you use gluten-free chili powder, this quickly becomes a great variation of gluten-free stuffed peppers.
Although this is a stuffed peppers without rice recipe, to stretch the chili even further, cook up a cup of white rice. You can even use a boil-in-bag rice or microwave rice and mix it with the chili mix. This makes it a little more like a regular stuffed peppers recipe. Although we only used about two cups of chili to serve two people, adding rice can turn two cups of chili into a meal for a family of four.
I wanted this leftover recipe to be super easy. But, if you want them to be a bit more cheesy, mix a couple of tablespoons of shredded cheese into the chili before stuffing them into the peppers.
Lazy Stuffed Peppers
I consider these lazy stuffed peppers because you don’t boil them ahead of time.
If you prefer your peppers super soft you can boil them before baking. Add them to boiling water for about 5-7 minutes just to start cooking them before baking. You might want to do this if keeping the peppers whole rather than slicing them in half so that they cook quicker.
Or, if you keep the peppers whole and don’t want to boil, you might need to cook the peppers for 30-45 minutes to get the peppers to soften more.