A cozy, vegan Chili Pie with a creamy cauliflower mashed potato crust is the perfect way to use up a whole bunch of leftover chili.
When life hands you too much chili, bake it into a Chili Pie!
Don’t you just love chili? When it starts to get cold outside, I immediately start craving big, comforting bowls of bean-and-corn goodness. I also often end up overestimating how much chili my family can eat in one sitting.
And as much as we love chili, my family isn’t keen on eating the exact same meal two nights in a row.
Table of Contents
- Chili Pie to the rescue!
- Making the Chili
- Making the Mashed Potatoes
- Assembling the Chili Pie
- How to Store and Reheat It
- Chili Pie Recipe
Chili Pie to the rescue!
There are lots of ways to make Chili Pie. You can do a Frito crust, a cornbread crust, or even a traditional pie crust. For my recipe, I’m taking a cue from another family favorite: shepherd’s pie.
This version of the classic dish uses leftover chili as the filling and mashed potatoes as the crust. It’s a comforting and incredibly easy way to use up a whole mess of leftover chili.
You are seriously going to love it.
To make it:
- Pile leftover chili into a 9″ cake pan.
- Spread on plenty of Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes (or your favorite mashed potatoes).
- Bake to bubbly perfection!
Let’s get into it!
Making the Chili
For my chili pie, I’m using a variation on my Instant Pot Tofu Chili. As much as I love tofu, I’ve been extra loving this recipe with an extra can of beans instead of the block of tofu. I’ve also been adding carrots for a little bit of extra veggie goodness.
It’s even easier to make than the original, and it’s one of the few ways my child actually eats beans. You can use any beans you like, so have fun with it!
Of course, maybe you didn’t make my chili last night, and that’s totally fine.
Whatever type you’re using, spoon it into the bottom of a 9″ pie pan, then use a spoon to flatten the chili, so it’s ready to receive those creamy, dreamy mashed potatoes.
Making the Mashed Potatoes
The recipe below calls for my Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes. I love using these because they sneak extra veggies into the mix and they are freaking delicious.
Of course, if you have a mashed potato recipe that you prefer, feel free to use that instead. You just want around 3 cups of mashed potatoes, because a nice, thick crust is best.
If you’re using leftover mashed potatoes to make your pie, warm them up in the microwave before you add them on top of the chili. Cold mashed potatoes will not spread properly.
Assembling the Chili Pie
Layer your chili into your 9″ cake pan, draining off as much excess liquid as you can as you scoop. Too much liquid will give you a runny pie, so just do your best here. No need to get a colander involved or anything extreme like this.
Then, spread the cauliflower mashed potatoes over the top, like in the photo above.
Your pie will work best if you get a nice, even layer of mashed potatoes, but don’t get bogged down trying to get things perfect. Just make sure that the potatoes cover everything, and you’re in good shape!
Now, it’s time to pop that pie in the oven for a half hour to bake through.
When you pull the pie out, it’s going to be browned on top and possibly a bit bubbly, depending on how liquidy your chili was when you started. Let the pie rest for around 15 minutes before serving, if you can.
If you absolutely can’t wait, it is OK to serve the pie right away. Just know that it will be a bit soupier than if you’d waited. Soupy isn’t necessarily a bad thing!
How to Store and Reheat It
If you end up with leftovers, first enjoy the irony around why you made this dish in the first place. Then, use foil to cover the top of the pie pan, and stick it in the fridge.
You can also transfer the leftovers to an airtight container, if you want to bring it to lunch the next day.
Either way, your leftovers will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge, depending on when you made the chili. If the chili sat for a couple of days, then the Chili Pie will last around 2 days. If you made this the day after making the chili, 3 days is safe.
To reheat leftovers that stored in the pie pan, pull it out of the fridge and let it sit for about half an hour, then bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes, until it’s warmed through. You can also dish the leftovers onto a microwave safe plate and heat for 60-90 seconds on high.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Pour the chili into the bottom of a 9" cake pan, making an effort to leave most of the liquid behind (see note).
- Spread the cauliflower mashed potatoes over the top of the chili, and bake for 30 minutes. Let the chili pie sit for 10-15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle on the green onions just before serving.
- The prep time is the time it takes to make the Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes.
- About the chili: Use leftover chili, your favorite homemade chili, or (I’ll never tell!) 3 15-ounce cans of premade vegan chili. You’ll have the best results if your chili isn’t too liquidy, so drain off any excess liquid as you measure by scooping the chili with a 1 cup measuring spoon and tilting it against the side of the bowl before you transfer to the cake pan. Most of the liquid will run off, but the beans and other goods will stay in the spoon.