The Fresh And Flavorful Way To Add More Heat To Bland Canned Chili

Canned chili works great in a pinch — especially for all those cold winter days when you're in need of something warming. The problem with the canned meal, however, is that its flavor often pales in comparison to the homemade version. Oftentimes, canned chili runs the risk of tasting bland, thanks in no small part to its lack of fresh ingredients. Luckily, you can counteract canned chili's reduced flavor by incorporating fresh and spicy chilis of your choosing. 

To enhance the canned stuff, simply add some zing in the form of peppers. You can best incorporate your choice of chilis by roasting and pureeing them. Then, you'll want to stir them into a pot of canned chili over the stove. This extra step not only adds more heat but also deepens the flavor of your chili, bringing complexity to your can. 

As for what variety to use, you can choose from an assortment of chili peppers that range in appearance, flavor, and, of course, heat level. You have quite a few options when it comes to picking a pepper, so let your own tastes guide you. 

Fresh chilis range in spiciness, so choose carefully

Jalapeño, ancho, habanero, chipotle ... there are no shortage of fresh chilis ready and available for your next can. Choosing the best pepper for your dish, therefore, is a matter of personal preference — and individual spice tolerance. You may want to try ancho chilis if you're looking for something with a milder heat, but chipotle if you want a little more oomph and smokiness. For those who love all things spicy, however, go ahead and add some fiery habanero peppers. No matter which pepper you use, remember that a little tends to go a long way. You can always bring more flavor — and heat — to your canned chili, but it's far more challenging to take the heat out. You can also mix and match your fresh chilis for a blend of flavors that balances varying spice levels. Adding a combination of your favorite peppers further deepens the flavor. So long, bland cans. 

Of course, adding your own chilis is just one of many ways to pack more of a punch into store-bought chili. If you're still looking for flavor, consider adding even more fresh ingredients to the pot. Think chopped onions, cheese, sour cream, and cilantro as a final garnish. With just a little finesse, your chili certainly won't taste like it came from a can.