Are you the kind of person who loves the tangy flavor of spicy foods? Foods that almost make your nose run and your eyes water? If so, you probably love chili and may want to know how to freeze chili.
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On a freezing cold winter’s night, there is nothing better than tucking into an inviting bowl of steaming hot food. Most people love things like soups and stews, and these can be made with all sorts of interesting and exciting ingredients.
Chili is a delicious way to spice up a meal. There are numerous different ways to prepare chili. I love my chili when it is made as a thick sauce, filled with meat and chili peppers.
Many people enjoy their chili with vegetables instead of meat. But however you like it, if you are a chili-lover, it is useful to know how to freeze chili.
What Are The Different Types of Chili?
There are so many types of chili, and most of them can be frozen successfully. Let’s take a look at the most popular variations of this delectable Mexican dish.
- Chili Con Carne
Chili con carne is chili with meat. This is almost like a kind of stew, cooked in a pot on top of the stove. The main ingredient is chunks of meat, and it can be made with beef, lamb, or pork. The sauce is made with your choice of chili peppers and is also filled with other hearty ingredients like tomatoes, onions, and beans.
- Vegetable Chili
Vegetable chili is very similar to Chile con Carne, but without the ‘carne.’ ‘Carne’ is the Spanish word for ‘meat’. So Chile con Carne is chili with meat, while vegetable chili is chili with vegetables, but without meat.
Many people make vegetable chili as a full meal, so they add other types of protein to the dish. Black beans, red kidney beans, white beans, and tofu are all popular ingredients to add to vegetable chili.
- Texas Chili
Genuine Texas chili will truly make your eyes water! It is made only with chili peppers that have been chopped up and cooked together to make a smoking hot sauce. You should not add any other vegetables or beans to real Texas chili.
- Black Bean Chili
As you will probably have guessed from the name, black bean chili is made with black beans, rather than other beans. It can be made as a vegetarian dish, with other vegetables added, or you can add meat like pork or beef to the chili.
- Chili Verde
Chili Verde is green chili. As its name suggests, it is made with green chili peppers. Other ingredients are pork, garlic, oregano, and tomatillos.
Tomatillos sound like mini tomatoes, but they actually aren’t. They look like green, unripe tomatoes, with a dry, leafy husk that covers the vegetable. They are a distinctive bright shade of green.
- Turkey Chili
By now, you are probably getting quite good at guessing what type of chili dish each one of these is. But maybe I have got you a little confused here. Texas chili originates from Texas. So you would think it is safe to assume that Turkey chili comes from Turkey. But No!
Turkey chili is for those people who prefer lean meat to fatty options, so they choose to use turkey meat in their chili. Turkey is actually a very versatile kind of poultry. It is nourishing and healthy, and very low in fat. It is a delicious complement to a chili dish.
Can All Of These Chili Dishes Be Frozen?
Most of these can be frozen very successfully, by cooling and then placing in the freezer in a plastic storage dish. But I actually prefer to make and freeze my chili sauce separately. I will explain how to do this. Let us take a closer look at how to freeze chili.
How To Freeze Chili
The best way to make many of these dishes is to make your base chili sauce by peeling and cooking your chilies first and then adding the chili sauce to your other ingredients.
When I do this, I allow the chilies to cook for a long time, so that the chili sauce is strong and very concentrated. You can then always add extra water when you add the sauce to your dish.
When you make the chili sauce, it is useful to make a large batch and then freeze some, so that you have it ready in the freezer and can just take some out and pop it into your pot whenever you feel like a chili dish.
Can You Freeze The Chili While It Is Still Hot?
No, you should always let the chili cool to room temperature before placing it in the freezer. If it is too warm when you freeze it, it may separate and go all watery.
What Container Should You Use To Freeze Chili?
Let me share a brilliant tip with you. I always freeze my chili in ice cube trays. Try to find trays with large cubes. Once frozen solid, remove the cubes of frozen chili from the tray and place them in ziplock bags. Try to expel as much air as possible and seal the bag well.
The frozen cubes can also be frozen in a plastic freezer storage container with an airtight seal.
You can then simply remove as much chili sauce as you need and add the frozen cubes directly to your simmering pot on the stove.
How Long Can Chili Keep In The Freezer?
Freshly made chili can keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. It must be packed correctly in order to avoid ‘freezer burn.’ If your chili is exposed to air in the freezer, it will lose its flavor very quickly.
Will Chili Still Taste Good If It Has Been Frozen?
When making any of these scrumptious chili dishes, they will taste just as good after freezing, as long as you follow my suggestions of how to freeze chili.