Why You Should Always Have Canned Chili In Your Pantry

Whether you like it in a bowl with cheese and chopped onion, over a baked potato, or over French fries, chili's warmth and rich flavor are enough to elevate any weeknight meal. While making it from scratch has a certain satisfaction to it, there are ways to hack canned chili and make it just as good as homemade. If you don't have hours to prepare it, grab your favorite brand of canned and get cookin'!

The great thing about canned chili is that it's shelf-stable and can act as a great base so you can add your own flavor. If the idea of canned meat freaks you out, you can buy a vegetarian brand and add your own meat, or your own favorite plant-based meat substitute. You can also spruce it up by adding additional canned beans, favorite seasonings, chopped tomatoes, jalapeño, or cilantro per Greatist.

But you'll want to start with a quality foundation to build off of; not all canned chilis are created equal so there are a few things to consider.

Watch the salt, flavor with seasonings and then get creative

If you don't have a brand that you already love, here are the best-canned chilis ranked. There are vegetarian, vegan, and no-bean options, and you may want to consider buying a low sodium brand while you're at it. The average serving of canned chili has 1,336 milligrams of sodium, which is more than half your daily intake according to Healthline. A good workaround to add flavor while not overdoing it on the salt is by adding a good homemade chili seasoning, per Bake It With Love.

Keeping your preferred brand of low-sodium canned chili in the pantry, with some spices you enjoy, means that you're just a few steps away from creating a delicious, simple meal that tastes homemade. The possibilities are truly endless. Once the canned chili has been fancied up the way you like it you can easily incorporate it into any chili-based recipe like these yummy-looking chili dogs. Bon appétit!