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If you are looking for hearty dishes to cook and freeze, then look no further than a pot of chili. Chili recipes usually make a lot, and you can enjoy some for one dinner with your family, and freeze half in quart or pint containers for another meal. If you are looking for a big freezer stash of chili, make a double batch.

Freezing Chili

Make sure to label the containers with the name of the dish, and the date it was made and frozen. Chili can be frozen for 6 to 9 months.

You should freeze it in freezer-proof containers, and remember to leave a little headspace, 1/2 inch or so, between the top of the soup and the lid of the container. This is because the chili will expand slightly as it freezes, and if the container is filled to the top, it could pop the top off when it expands.

Freeze chili in pint or quart containers for easy defrosting, or you can use freezer-proof zipper-top bags. If you use bags, freeze the chili with the bag lying flat so it takes up less awkwardly large amounts of space. Then, you can stack the bags or even turn the bags of frozen chili on their sides and line them up like books.

If you are looking for hearty, protein-packed dishes to cook and freeze, then look no further than a pot of chili. Here are 9 chili recipes to big batch cook and freeze.

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Defrosting Chili

To defrost chili, place it in the fridge overnight. Larger containers may take up to two days to defrost.

You can also defrost chili in the microwave using the defrost setting (make sure you are using a microwave-safe container), and then transfer it to a pot and heat it on the stove. Or if you are in a rush or haven’t planned ahead, you can even place the frozen chili in a pot and heat it slowly, stirring often, over low heat.

Toppings should be fresh, but shredded cheese can be frozen, and obviously, salsa is shelf-stable until opened, so those are perennial topping options. Sour cream lasts for a long time in the fridge.

9 Chilis to Big Batch Cook and Freeze

Texas Red Chili / Katie Workman / / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen

Texas Red Chili

A "Bowl of Red" — meaty, beefy, and absolutely not a bean in sight inside Texas chili.

Game Day Ground Beef Chili

Game Day Ground Beef Chili

This easy ground beef chili is a pretty classic beef chili recipe with a nice medium (but adjustable!) level of heat.

Slow Cooker Beef Chili

Slow Cooker Beef Chili

A super classic, soul satisfying chili, made in the crockpot.

Beef, Black Bean and Jalapeno Chili

Ground Beef, Black Bean, and Jalapeño Chili

Hearty and perfect chili for cold weather with just the right amount of heat from the jalapeños.

Instant Pot Vegetable Chili

Instant Pot Vegetable Chili

The classic perfect vegetarian chili recipe, reinterpreted for the Instant Pot.

Barbacoa Beef Chili

Barbacoa Beef Chili

Starting your chili with barbacoa beef cooked in the slow cooker means that you will have one of the most flavorful pots of chili ever.

Turkey or Chicken Chili

Turkey Chili

This is our all-time favorite chili recipe, made with ground turkey and turkey sausage, thick, rich, and flavorful.

Spoon in a pot of Buffalo Chicken and White Bean Chili.

Buffalo Chicken and White Bean Chili

The flavor of buffalo chicken wings translated into a healthy white chicken chili.

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

A crock pot turns juicy chicken thighs and pureed chipotles in adobo sauce into a very satisfying chili.