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Can You Freeze Chili? Does Chili Go Bad?

Chili has a shelf life of about 3 days in the fridge. Does it mean the only way is to discard the chili if it lasts beyond that? The answer is YES. A spoiled chili should never be used. But if you want to extend the shelf life beyond three days, freeze it when it is still fresh.

A frozen chili can last much longer than a frozen one. So, stop wasting money by waiting to throw away spoiled chili. Think of can you freeze chili and how to freeze it to improve the shelf life up to 6 months. In this article, we will walk you through how to freeze chilis and answer all your questions. Keep reading to find out all the information you need.


Recipe With Chili

Recipe With Chili

Chili is a popular dish to many people across the world. There are many recipes out there, depending on your city or town. They may differ slightly, but the result is a delicious chili meal. In this section, we will be highlighting 3 famous chili recipes. Check them out!

Meat and Veggie Paleo Chili Recipe

Meat and Veggie Paleo Chili Recipe


Material Quantity
Ground beef 1 ½ pounds
Olive oil 2 Tablespoonfuls
Chopped cloves garlic 2
Diced yellow onion 1 ½ cups
Chopped celery ½ cup
Diced carrots 1 ½ cups
Chili powder 2 Tablespoonfuls
Oregano 1 teaspoon
Salt 1 teaspoon
Ground cumin 1 teaspoon
Cayenne pepper ½ teaspoon
Diced medium zucchini 2
Tomato sauce 15 ounces
Diced tomatoes 15 ounces


Brown the beef, garlic, and onion in a large pan over medium heat. When the meat is cooked, transfer it to a 6-quart slow cooker with a mixture of cumin, salt, oregano, chili powder, carrots, and all other ingredients.

Cover and cook for about 5 hours or until the chilis turn thick. It can take up to 8 hours on slow heat.

Loaded Chili Tacos Recipe

Loaded Chili Tacos Recipe


Material  Quantity
Leftover all meat and veggie chili
Flour tortillas or taco boats 8
Shredded cheddar cheese
Peeled, pitted, and diced avocado 1
Sour cream


Warm the tortillas as outlined in the package level

Fill the tortilla or taco with chili and add cheese, avocado, and sour cream on top.

Freezer Chili Recipe

Freezer Chili Recipe


Material Quantity
Thawed cooked ground beef 1 pound
Diced onion ½ cup
Diced Jalapeno 2 tablespoonfuls
Crushed fire-roasted tomatoes 28 ounce can
diced fire roasted tomatoes 14 ounce can
Chicken broth 1 cup
Homemade chili seasoning 2 tablespoonfuls


Cook the ground beef, drain, and then cool.

Divide into one-pound portions and keep in freezer bags

Chop up onions and add ½ cup to each part in the freezer bag

Dice jalapenos after removing stems and seeds and add 2 tablespoonfuls to each portion of ground beef and onions in the freezer bags

Make up a batch of chili seasoning. Add this and all other ingredients into the freezer bags and freeze until ready to cook. Thaw and cook in a slow cooker.

Does Chili Go Bad?

Does Chili Go Bad

Yes. Chilis stored in a fridge should be discarded on day 4, while frozen ones should be discarded after six months. The shelf life depends on the method of storage and how the entire process was carried out.

How do you know that the chilis are spoiled? First, keep track of the dates. Secondly, observe the appearance, smell, and flavor. Prepared chili will let off an awful odor when spoiled. Similarly, you can notice a change in color and mold growing on it. Such chilis should never be used in any recipe or eaten raw.

How Long Does Chili Last?

How Long Does Chili Last

Frozen chili can last for up to6 months in a freezer. Whole chilis can be dried to preserve them, but the prepared chili can only last longer when frozen. It can probably last 3 days in a fridge, which may lead to waste when there are many leftovers.

Frozen chilis degrade with time. We have stated that it can last up to six months, but that is the theoretical value. It is best used before 4 months. However, they are still usable for two more months but don’t be surprised when it is not the quality you expected. Discard any chilis that have been in your freezer for more than 6 months.

Can You Freeze Chili?

Can You Freeze Chili

Yes. Frozen chilis are the go-to dinners if you are out of options. You can freeze leftover chili or simply prepare one to keep. With it, you can get a delicious meal for you or your entire family at any time. If you have tight schedules, you can prepare as much chili as possible all at once and freeze the excess.

Some people also have lots of chilis left after a night-long party or celebrations. That should not go to waste because freezing is possible. You can keep it fresh for up to 6 months. So, you always have a quick meal in between.

How To Freeze Chili?

How To Freeze Chili

After answering the question of “can you freeze chili,” the next question will be how to do it. That is what we will answer here.

The method used for freezing chili depends on whether it is cooked, fresh, or ice-cubed. Let us get into the details of each.

How Can You Freeze Prepared Chilis?

How Can You Freeze Prepared Chilis

Recipes for preparing chilis differ from city to city. In the previous section, we looked at how to prepare chili. So, we will not repeat the process here. Instead, we will go straight to how to freeze it.

You need to divide the chilis into smaller portions, depending on the quantity that you have. Put them into individual polythene bags and put them in the freezer bag after cooling. Remove air from the bags before sealing them, and then label them with the current date and put them in the freezer. The sequence should be washed, initial freeze, put in a freezer bag, and final freeze.

How to Freeze Whole Chilis

How to Freeze Whole Chilis

You can also freeze chilis as a whole. All you need to do is clean them and let them dry before freezing. That reduces the chances of icing since moisture shall have been removed.

Put the moisture-free whole chilis in an airtight plastic container or sealable freezer bags and label it. Put it in the freezer, and you are ready to go.

How Do You Freeze Ice Cubed Chilis?

How Do You Freeze Ice Cubed Chilis

Some people like ice-cubed chilis. You can freeze them as well, and the method is straightforward. Chop the chilis into small pieces and put them in ice cube trays. Fill the trays with water until the chopped pieces just submerge. Wrap the trays in cling film and then place them in a freezer for about 12 hours or overnight. The last step is removing the iced chili and bagging them or putting in a container and store in a freezer.

You can thaw the frozen ice cube chilis any time you want to use them in your recipe. Just take the quantity you need out of the freezer and defrost. More information about this later.

Freezing Chili Tips

Freezing Chili Tips

Anything can go wrong when freezing chili. You need to take as much care as possible, especially when working with leftover chilis. The following are the tips to consider:

Cool Leftover Chilis Before Freezing

This applies to freezing all cooked foods. The cooling process should be done as quickly as possible, usually in a fridge. That is to ensure that the cooked chili does not take too long at the food safety danger zone. Bacteria are more active at that point and can multiply very fast, causing food spoilage.

Position chili potions in the freezer properly.

The individual containers should be evenly spread throughout the freezer instead of stacking them on top of each other. Otherwise, the cooling process will be compromised as air circulation is obstructed. It is a worthy thing to do to get the maximum shelf life of chili, which is 6 months.

Use Appropriate Freezer Bags or Containers

Appropriate freezer bags should not have any holes and should be sealable. In other words, they have to be airtight. And before sealing them, you need to remove the air inside. You may not get them vacuumed, but you need to achieve everything possible.

Use Latex Glove When Chopping Chilis

Hot chilis can potentially burn your fingers. Wearing hand gloves will protect you, and you should avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. But if done accidentally, use milk or yogurt to ease the sting. Do not use water as it will not neutralize the sting.

Label the bags

Always label the freezer bags or containers with the current date. That allows you to keep track of the date. Frozen chilis are best used within six months of preservation.

How To Defrost Chili?

Once you are ready to use your cheese, you need to thaw or defrost it properly. There are many ways of doing that if your recipe does not allow the use of frozen chilis. In some cases, you don’t need to go through this time-consuming process of defrosting chili.

Take them out of the freezer bags and place them in the fridge overnight. The time it takes depends on the sizes of the chili portions.

The second option is using cold water. Wrap the chilis with watertight bags and immerse them in a bowl of cold water. You might consider changing the water every 30 minutes for faster thawing.

Regardless of the method used, you can still enjoy your chilis if frozen and thawed on time. Any noticeable quality discrepancies can be due to poor freezing or expiry.


Signs That Chili Has Gone Bad?

Like any other prepared food, chilis have a definite shelf life. Once spoiled, they should be discarded. But what signs indicate spoilage? Most growth, change in taste, awful smell, and adverse quality degradation are all signs of chilis spoilage.

How To Eat Chili?

Chili is best used on cooked dishes. There are many recipes out there that describe how to use thawed chilis. You can prepare chili con carne, taco soup, paleo chili, and many others. You just have to choose your favorite recipe to try out.


Can you freeze chili? Yes, you can. It is the only preservation method that will give you up to 6 months of shelf life. We provided all the information you need to freeze and thaw chilis. Never let any leftovers go to waste. Also, you can confidently batch-cook chilis and freeze for quick meals within the week when preoccupied with other activities. You will still enjoy the delicacy many months later.