Monday, August 2, 2010

Leftover Spaghetti Sauce Chili

I love chili!!  Whether in a bowl by itself, poured over nachos, or on top of a baked potato, you can’t go wrong.

Most chili enthusiasts will tell you that real chili should be made by slow cooking a cut of beef such as a chuck roast.  I would agree that this produces the best chili.  But I have four kids.  Sometimes I need something quick and easy.  Out comes some frozen leftover spaghetti sauce.  With the simple addition of chili powder, spaghetti sauce is transformed into chili!!



Many chili aficionados will also tell you that real chili should not have beans in it.  I personally like beans in my chili.  Not only do beans taste good, but they are a simple, cheap way to make the chili go farther.  And they add fiber.  I always start with dried beans since they cost much less than canned beans.


Chili powder is available in a few different ways.  The first and most expensive way to buy it is in little packets.  Not only do the packets cost more, they don’t offer you the flexibility to adjust the amount.  The next best alternative is to buy a jar or bottle.  The cheapest (and my favorite) way to buy chili powder is from the bulk bins.  When I get it home, I transfer it to a canning jar to maintain freshness.  Last time I was at WinCo I priced chili powder in packets, jars/bottles, and the bins (Hy-Top is WinCo’s store brand):

Packets
McCormick, 1.25 oz.--$0.97 (77.6¢/oz.)
Hy-Top, 1 oz.--$0.44 (44¢/oz.)

Jars/Bottles
McCormick, 2.5 oz.--$1.68 (67.2¢/oz.)
McCormick, 4.5 oz.--$2.77 (61.6¢/oz.)
McCormick, 9.25 oz.--$5.68 (61.4¢/oz.)
Spice Pantry, 2.5 oz.--$0.50 (20¢/oz.)

Bulk Bins--$2.84/lb. (17.8¢/oz.)


You may want to add the chili powder gradually, tasting as you go.  I like a little heat in my chili.  If you don’t want it as spicy, add less.




Leftover Spaghetti Sauce Chili
2 qts. leftover spaghetti sauce
1 qt. drained beans (small red, kidney, or chili)
1 c. chili powder
Assorted toppings, optional (shredded cheddar, sour cream, chopped onions, etc.)

Combine all ingredients in large pot over medium heat.  Simmer until heated through, stirring occasionally.  Yields 3 qts.  Total cost:  about $5.  Unit cost:  about $1.67/qt.

Southwest style:  Stir in frozen corn and/or serve with tortilla chips.
Cincinnati style:  Serve over hot spaghetti.
Japanese-American style:  Serve over hot white rice.

Unfortunately I didn’t weigh the chili when I was done.  But I can assure you that it cost less to make it than it would have cost me to buy canned chili (which I don’t like anyway).  At WinCo last week, canned chili cost anywhere from $0.88-$1.51 for a 15 oz. can.


6 comments:

Teeg said...

I just wanted to say thanks. Had extra leftover spaghetti sauce and wanted to make chili from it and your post was perfect! Now I'm going to go check out some more of your blog, it sounds very interesting (I'm a stay at home mom as well). :)

Teeg said...

I just wanted to say thanks. Had extra leftover spaghetti sauce and wanted to make chili from it and your post was perfect! Now I'm going to go check out some more of your blog, it sounds very interesting (I'm a stay at home mom as well). :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much. I cooked a big pot of spaghetti sauce and we ran out of spaghetti noodles. So I froze the sauce. I wanted to make something else with the sauce but lasagna cost to much. So making Chili seemed like a good idea. This will be my dinner tonight. Thank you!!! I too am a stay at home mom.

Sherry Lewis said...

Thanks so much for this. Making this tonight. Glad to see I'm not the only one who lives on a budget an creates meals.

d3 said...

We've always done chili 2-3 days after spaghetti. By adding cumin, chili powder, onions, and beans, the kids have yet to discover it. I do suggest adding either chili beans or Rotel tomatoes to fully hide the Italian undertones.

lawrence said...

Was just trying to figure out what to do with some leftover spaghetti sauce - this fits the bill perfectly. The tip about the bulk spices was really helpful too. I never realized how much of a price difference there is - bulk bins rule!

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