Can You Refreeze Chili? A How to Guide

Can You Refreeze Chili

Freezing Chili is an excellent option if you want to extend its shelf-life. But, if you have thawed the frozen Chili and could not finish it all up, you might find yourself guilty of wasting it all at once. In this instance, why not pick another option of how the refreezing process could handle already thawed Chili?

You can refreeze Chili. Carefully refrozen Chili will stay safe for consumption for 4-6 months. But, you will notice a significant degradation in the quality, taste, and texture after refreezing. You can refreeze Chili more than once, but doing so should be avoided.

Different types of Chili refreeze differently. Before you go ahead and refreeze it, make sure the type you are working with is safe for refreezing. So, check out this guide to learn more about what types can be refrozen. Plus, all the dos and don’ts of refreezing Chili.

Is it Safe to Refreeze Chili?

Chili is widely enjoyed in many parts of the world. It is safe to refreeze homemade/store-bought Chili thawed in a refrigerator. However, this statement is not correct for all types.

Chili thawed in a microwave or at room temperature is not considered safe for refreezing. So, it would be better if you eat it immediately after reheating.

It would be best if you avoid refreezing Chili that has been sitting out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Chili is made of several ingredients and some of those ingredients might start spoiling on extended exposure to air.

How well the Chili refreezes depends on several factors. These factors include:

  • How well you store Chili in the freezer
  • The type of Chili you are using
  • How long it was exposed to air before refreezing

It is also important to remember that the quality will suffer no matter how well you prepare the Chili for refreezing.

Sometimes, the Chili might rot despite refreezing it carefully. In that case, it is better to discard it. And eating spoiled food can cause severe health risks.

Can You Refreeze Meat Chili?

You can safely refreeze tomato-based meat chili if you store it well. Meat chili will last you for 4-6 months after refreezing. However, you should avoid refreezing it more than once, as continuous refreezing will significantly diminish the taste and texture.

It is allowed to refreeze the Chili only if it thawed in a refrigerator and wasn’t left to sit out for more than two hours. Moreover, to ensure safe refreezing, you should try to refreeze the Chili within 2 hours of preparing.

Cream-based meat chili does not refreeze well, and refreezing them is strictly advised against. It is because the cheese starts separating when it is frozen and thawed.

Instead, you can refreeze the Chili in portions. Doing so grants you more control over how many chilies you thaw. And ensures you thaw the required amount only.

Can You Refreeze Vegetable Chili?

Vegetable chili should not be refrozen as it does not tolerate refreezing well. It is so because the previously frozen and thawed vegetable chili faces a considerable moisture loss. Sometimes, the vegetables might even spoil and become unsafe for consumption.

So, if you want to safely enjoy your vegan/vegetable Chili for a long time, you can freeze it in meal-size portions. This way, you can freeze vegetable chili for up to 3 months. Once this limit is crossed, it is better to discard the Chili as the vegetables will turn mushy and sometimes unsafe for eating.

Best Way to Refreeze Chili?

Refreezing chili is safe only if you follow the refreezing instructions correctly. You can follow the steps mentioned below to ensure the safe refreezing of Chili.

  • Start by reheating the Chili at a low flame until it starts simmering.
  • Let it cool down thoroughly before you move on to the next step. It is because refreezing the food while it’s hot might cause bacterial growth.
  • Once the Chili is no longer hot/warm, take an airtight bag and start filling it. Try to fill the bag/container to the top and remove as much excess air as you can before sealing the bag close, as it will minimize the risks of food burns.
  • Place the sealed bag in another freezer-safe bag/container. Double-wrapping will ensure maximum protection from air exposure.
  • Label the bag/container with the refreezing date and place it into the freezer.

How Long Can You Refreeze Chili?

You can refreeze homemade tomato-based meat chili for almost 4-6 months. However, to enjoy the Chili in its best flavor, you should try to consume it as soon as you can. The longer you let the Chili stay in the freezer after refreezing, the greater the deterioration in the overall quality.

Store-bought Chili can also be refrozen after thawing. It will stay safe for use until the best before date crosses. However, once the recommended time limit crosses, it is advised to toss out the Chili. The taste and texture of the Chili kept for longer than suggested might disappoint you a lot.

Sometimes, the Chili might go rancid before the recommended time limit. So, it is only wise to rely on your gut instincts and throw the Chili out if you think it has spoiled.

How Many Times Can You Refreeze Chili?

It is safe to refreeze tomato-based meat-chili more than once. But to ensure safe refreezing, make sure to pay close attention to how you thaw and store it. As for whether or not the Chili is safe for freezing again depends on how well you handled it before refreezing.

Refreezing cream-based chili/vegetable chili is not recommended because, after the second thaw, the overall quality suffers a lot. If you refreeze it twice, the taste becomes bland, and the texture becomes watery.

Moreover, if you refreeze cream-based Chili, again and again, it might lead to the bacterial formation, which will result in food contamination. As eating contaminated food is dangerous and can make you fall sick, it is better to avoid the risk.


Homemade and store-bought Chili are safe for refreezing and you can refreeze them twice. Though refreezing more than once might not make the Chili unsafe, it might cause the flavor, texture, and quality to suffer greatly.

You can store homemade refrozen Chili for almost 6 months and store-bought Chili until the expiration date crosses. However, you should avoid refreezing cream-based and vegetable chili, as these types are not freezer-friendly.

The more times you refreeze the Chili, the greater the quality loss. So, if you want to enjoy Chili in the best state, you should try to refreeze it in portions.

How nicely the Chili holds up in the freezer depends on how well you prepare it for refreezing. So, to make sure the Chili refreezes well, you can follow the refreezing instruction we mentioned earlier.


Tauseeq is the principal creator of He loves cooking and wants to help others overcome kitchen challenges through practical advice and solutions.

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