Can You Freeze Chili?

Thankfully, you can freeze chili and save it for another day when you need to. Whether you are making it up in larger batches to make up meal preparation, or you have got leftovers from your dinner, you can put it in a container and pop it in the freezer to save it from going to waste.

It can be difficult to make exactly the right portions, and it is better to have too much than too little, and you can freeze your chili and have it another day instead. 

However, there are some things that you will need to know about freezing chili so you can make sure it tastes just as good when you defrost it as it did before it was frozen.

There are different things to consider, like freezing times, different containers, and methods of freezing in order to get the best results. These rules apply to both meat and vegetarian chili, and either can be frozen with ease. 

How to Freeze Chilli

Before you go ahead and freeze your chili, there are some things that you will need to know first. You can safely freeze chili by either filling up freezer bags with it or by pouring it into a sturdy and durable container.

They will need to go straight into the freezer once they have cooled down, and you shouldn’t freeze chili that has been left out until the next day. 

It doesn’t matter whether you use freezer bags or a container, as long as it is airtight to avoid a build-up of frost of freezer burn. You can portion these into meal sizes to make it easier when it comes to defrosting them at a later date.

This way, you can take out only the amount you need, rather than the entire amount. It will also make it quicker to defrost as there is a lower volume of chili to thaw.

Whenever you are freezing chili, you should try to get around to eating it within the first two months of it being frozen. This doesn’t sound like long compared to some other frozen foods, but this is the time period in which the chili will have the best flavor and its normal thick texture.

If it is frozen for any longer than this, it can start to taste funny and might be quite watery when you defrost it. 

Write a label on your freezer bags or container with the date that it was frozen and the date you have to eat it by. This will ensure that you don’t accidentally leave it too long before you eat it. 

How to Defrost Chili

The best way to defrost chili is to take it out of the freezer and leave it in the fridge overnight. You can plan this for the day before you are going to eat it, and it will be fully defrosted by the next day. You can then heat it up over the stove or in the microwave.

You can also take the container or freezer bag out of the freezer and place it in a bowl that is filled with room temperature water. The temperature of the water will help to defrost the chili faster. This could be really handy if you forgot to take it out the night before. You shouldn’t use hot water for this process. 

The final method of defrosting your chili is to put it in the microwave and defrost it for around three minutes on the defrost setting. If your chili is in a freezer bag, make sure that they are suitable to be used in the microwave.

All you need to do next is to pour the chili into a pan over the stove and heat it up until it is ready to serve. Make sure to keep stirring to get the best results.

If you are unsatisfied with the consistency of the chili and find that it is too watery, you can add some cornstarch to help thicken it up again.

Factors to Consider Before Freezing Chili

If you have cooked up a fresh batch of chili yourself, make sure that you let it cool down to room temperature before you try to freeze it. You should never freeze warm or hot food for two reasons.

The first of which is that the heat from the hot food can partially defrost other items in your freezer, causing them to melt and refreeze, which can alter the taste and texture of the food. The second reason is that it will take much longer to freeze, which could cause a build-up of bacteria. 

For easier storage and to save more space, you can fill up freezer bags with your leftover chili and flatten them before sealing. This will allow you to slot them easily into your freezer without taking up too much space. 

You should always freeze chili the same day that it has been cooked, as soon as it has cooled down. Don’t freeze your chili if it has been left on the side overnight.

Freezing the chili as soon as possible will lower the risk of harmful bacteria developing in your meal. If it is left out, bacteria can multiply and lead to food poisoning when you go to eat it next time. 

If you plan to eat your frozen chili within the next few days, there is no need to freeze it at all. Instead, you can store it in the fridge for up to three days after cooking, and the texture and flavor will be near perfect. 


Hopefully, this has answered your question. Yes, you can freeze chili, but you will need to make sure that it has completely cooled down before you put it in the freezer.

You should defrost and eat your chili within the recommended time of two months for the best results, as after this time, the flavor and texture may start to degrade. Then, all that’s left to do is heat it up and enjoy your meal.