Raid the Fridge - Chili Cheese Nachos

Lunchtime around here often becomes a back and forth of, "What do you want to eat?" "I don't know, What do you want to eat?" almost daily. While I do still plan our menus, lunches are kinda free-form. There's usually the makings of a few types of sandwiches, bean burritos, tuna salad with noodles, and the like on hand. I'm usually up for running out and picking something up too. And, then, there's the leftovers. Most of the time, we eat them as they come. Every once in a while, I'll transform them (think cold rice turned fried rice.)

Yesterday was a transformation day. I started to heat up leftover dirty rice but then remembered Pat's interest when I had mentioned nachos to him over the weekend. The chili (that was on the verge of being tossed) suddenly had my attention.

These directions are stove-top and oven-centric as we do not currently have a microwave. I think this also helps keeps the chips crunchy. If you're pressed for time, you could always zap yours.

Leftover Chili Cheese Nachos 

Leftover Chili
Tortilla chips
Shredded Cheese (I used cheddar and monterey jack with peppers)
Optional Toppings (tomatoes, onions, avocado, leftover corn, salsa, jalapenos, lettuce, sour cream/plain greek yogurt, etc.)

1. Heat your chili and preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Gather and prep toppings (shred cheese, chop veggies)
3. Lay parchment paper over oven safe plate(s) and spread chips over the paper.
4. Top chips with warm chili, leftover corn, and shredded cheese(s)
5. Heat in oven for 5-7 minutes (or until cheese is melted)
6. Grab corners of parchment paper and transfer nachos to a room-temperature plate.
7. Top nachos with your favorite ingredients.

These went over smashingly well and helped shake up the lunchtime blahs. I think transforming the chili definitely made our lunch more interesting and got us out of a same-old same-old rut. I hope my stroke of inspiration inspires you to raid the fridge and transform your leftovers.

Please let me know other ways you make leftovers more interesting!

This post was linked up on The SITS Girls Recipe and DIY Linky and on Friday Frenzy Blog Hop on Little House Big Alaska. 


  1. Using leftovers like this is a creative skill! Looks delicious!

    1. Leslie Anne,
      My mom is the QUEEN of using leftovers creatively. This is what's in my wheelhouse. They were SO GOOD. I'm kinda upset we don't have any more chili left.
      Thanks for popping in


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