Leftover Chili Will Seriously Upgrade Your Pasta Sauce

Whom amongst us hasn't made more chili than we can eat in one go, and wound up with leftovers the next day? You'll be happy to know that this dish actually tastes even better when it's days-old. With more time to intermingle, the spices and aromatics become more potent and well-rounded. This flavor intensity is spectacular enough with a quick reheat, but even more so when transformed into a pasta sauce. Don't feel like eating the same thing again or just want to try something new? This is the perfect solution.

If you think about it, incorporating chili into your pasta isn't that strange of an idea. Robustly savory with a complex blend of spices and aromatics, it lays a gorgeous base for the dish. Underneath the initial richness is a subtly spicy kick, giving the overall profile a tantalizing heat. If you happen to use smoked paprika, cumin, or chili powder, there's also a smoky hint layered in that sets the dish apart from regular pasta.

We can hardly forget about the textural boost, either. As leftovers, chili becomes even richer and more luscious than it already is. Whether your chili includes ground meat, beans, vegetables, or all of the above, it's sure to add a satisfying thickness that makes every forkful incredibly enjoyable.

Skip the hassle and get straight to customizing your pasta sauce

Since the chili is already prepared, you can skip the hassle of making pasta sauce from scratch. Instead, just reheat the chili with a quick stir on the stove. If it's gotten too clumpy, there's nothing a splash of broth or cooking wine won't fix. A thin, soupy consistency, however, can easily be remedied with cornstarch slurry or extra beans and veggies.

This could also be your chance to spruce up the chili for an even more enticing pasta dish. Go with ingredients that you normally use to make pasta sauce, such as tomato sauce or tomato paste. If your chili already has ground beef, this combination could make for a flavorsome reminiscence of the classic bolognese. Other than that, chili powder, hot sauce, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce are some ingredients that can also help bump up the intensity.

It would be remiss to not get a little cheesy when you're having chili. When it's cooking, gradually add some cheddar cheese (or others of your choosing) and let it simmer for a few minutes. Needless to say, this is an exceptional spin on the familiar mac and cheese. You may also enjoy a pasta bake or stuffed shell pasta with this chili spin, especially when the meal calls for something comforting and filling.