My favorite freezer chili: Wendy’s Copycat Chili {crock pot freezer meal}

wendys chili

Brace yourself for some wonderful chili that tastes just like Wendy’s restaurant. This recipe brings back my college days. My husband and I were married my senior year in college and we lived in Boone, North Carolina (one cold mountain). We would rake and scrape up .99 cents to buy our favorite chili for date night. Sometimes on free ski lift night, we would use our own skis and make it shebang date with chili AND skiing. So this chili has fond memories. Now I’m even more fond of it since I’ve discovered a super easy way to prep and freeze this scrumptious spicy, yummy, hearty, aromatic, need I say more, chili.

I’ve done a little tweaking to make this recipe work for two batches, one to crock and one to freeze or freeze both batches like I do. You can also freeze cooked, cooled chili for future meals. I love, love the simplicity of freezing raw meat and breaking it apart at the end with my potato masher below. The meat cooks perfectly tender in the crock pot reaching the appropriate safety temperature when I crock it on low for eight hours.

masher

If you’re a vegetarian you could sub a butternut or acorn squash for the meat. It’s really delicious either way. I’ve added extra squash when I have on hand to this original recipe to pump up the vitamins. The raw diced squash freezes well in this recipe.

The recipe posted takes a little math and/or concentration with equivalents. I like to halve the spices and then halve the meat, vegetables and water last before sealing. It’s just easier that way.

Wendy’s copycat Chili {Crock pot freezer meal}

adapted from Life with 4 boys

{Divide or halve ALL ingredients between two gallon size freezer bags}

  • 4 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Sugar (I use raw)
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 lb 93% raw lean ground turkey or beef (I use turkey because it’s so tender at the end)
  • 2 -28 oz Diced Tomatoes, not drained (divided between two bags)
  • 2-15 oz Kidney Beans drained, rinsed
  • 2- 15 oz Pinto Beans drained, rinsed
  • 2-small Onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup Celery diced (4 stalks)
  • 1/2 cup Bell Pepper diced (1 extra large pepper or 2 medium)
  • 2 cups Water

Directions:

1. Label two gallon size freezer bags: Wendy’s Chili, thaw 24 hours. Crock on low for 8 hours. Mash meat the last thirty minutes.

2. Divide or halve all seasonings between the two bags. Place 1 lb. uncooked meat in each bag. Divide or halve all beans and vegetables. Add 1 cup water to each bag.

3. Squeeze air out. Seal.Freeze.

Yes, you read it correctly. I DO NOT cook the meat in advance like most recipes says. Purchase the extra lean meat so there is no grease cooking in your food. This saves ample time and helps me prep two meals in 10 minutes. YES, that’s why it my favorite freezer chili. The taste is phenomenal. Add cheese crackers on the side or serve with tortilla chips, cheese and sour cream which is my kiddos favorite way to enjoy this chili.

Do you love Wendy’s chili?

 

 

 

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