flaxbread chili-cheese bake

I’m not sure I really understand the people who hate on leftovers. I love leftovers. Maybe it’s because I cook all the time, but anytime I get to eat a meal without putting in any more effort that pressing “start” on the microwave is a good thing to me. I not only embrace leftovers, but I actually plan on them. Every Thursday night is leftover night in our house. It’s quite possibly my favorite night of the week. I love cooking (obviously, or I wouldn’t have this blog!) but we all need a break, amirite?

I guess most folks’ beef with leftovers is that they are repetitive, which makes them boring. To me, that ain’t no thing. I can eat on the same set of deliciousness for days, but I guess I can maybe sorta kinda see where the leftover haters are coming from. I guess I sympathize. And out of that sympathy is where this recipe comes from.

I guess for some of you, a giant pot of chili that you have to eat on for days and days is torture (to me, it’s freedom!). To help you bust through that leftover monotony, I’ve created this remix for leftover chili. Instead of zapping a bowlful of leftovers next time, reenergize your chili by making a whole new dish without a whole lot more effort. This was so incredibly delicious that I might even start hating on leftovers.

Okay, not likely, but I will be making this every time I have some leftover chili!

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been using a lot of flax seed lately in my baked goods (like here and here) and that’s because ground flax seed works as a flour substitute in baking (with some adjustments) but unlike flour, has almost no net carbohydrates. Which basically means that flaxseed is a super high-quality, high-fiber carbohydrate to eat. You’ve heard of empty calories, right? Well, think of white flours as empty carbs. Sure it provides the basic carbohydrate structure your body needs for energy, but not much in the way of other nutrition along with those carbs. Flaxseed is a nutritionally-packed carb! It’s good stuff!

You can use whatever chili makes you all warm and gooey on the inside for this dish. I used my beloved beer chili (found buried deep in this Freezer Cooking 101 post). That chili has definitely become our go-to! It’s so sweet and flavorful and is delicious when covered in cheese and fluffy, doughy flaxbread. Although, admittedly, I think anything would be delicious covered in warm bread and cheese, amirite?

Flaxbread Chili-Cheese Bake

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Makes: 6-8 servings


For the flaxbread
  • 2 cups finely-ground flaxseed (look for “meal” “milled” or “flour”)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup plain lowfat Greek yogurt
For the bake
  • 4 cups leftover chili (your favorite recipe)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • To make flaxbread: In a medium mixing bowl, combine flax, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter, eggs, milk, honey and Greek yogurt until well combined. Pour liquid into flax mixture and stir until just moistened. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  • To assemble bake: Spoon leftover chili in an 8×8 baking dish. Cover with shredded cheddar cheese. When flaxbread is done resting, spread gently over top of cheese. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until flaxbread is browned and chili is bubbly.
Powered by Recipage

Are you a leftover fan or not? What’s your favorite way to remix leftovers?


  1. says

    I am a fan of leftovers but not all leftovers. There are definitely things I won’t eat as leftovers at all or I’ll only eat as ermixed leftovers.

    I actually similarly remixed some chili a while ago with cornbread mix on top. Unfortunately all the moisture from the chilli seemed to mean the cornbread STILL wasn’t cooked through after more than an hour or baking. Did you have any issues with that on this dish?

    • Cassie says

      I did! That’s why I had it in the oven for 45 minutes. :) But the flaxbread is a bit drier than cornbread, so it eventually cooked up just fine.

  2. says

    The timing for this post is incredible. I have half a batch of leftover chili sitting in my fridge right now — and a family that doesn’t want to have anything to do with it.
    I love the flaxseed bread crust. Re-inventing the chilli. I think this is brillant.

  3. says

    Omg. I’ve made some chilis with cornbread toppings, but this one looks even better. It looks. So good. I have everything I need! Except the chili!! But it’s raining today! Perfect!

  4. Athena R says

    Totally love leftovers. I usually have them for lunch the next day. I had leftover chicken that I used to make chicken noodle soup the other night. I will be making your recipe on Saturday night since I’m going to make a pot of chili tomorrow. Perfect timing. Thanks so much!

    • Cassie says

      I have leftovers for lunch the next day, too! So much tastier (and easier) than whipping together a sandwich or something.

  5. says

    Hooray for leftovers! Especially things like soups, lasagna and casseroles that actually taste BETTER the second day. My husband and I were just talking about breaking out the crockpot soon, and chili is probably one of the first things we’ll make. I would have never, in a million years, thought of making a chili “bake,” but this looks SO hearty and filling and delicious. Perfect comfort food.
    I’m a big fan of using ground flaxseed too, but for some reason, I prefer to buy the seeds (in bulk) and grind them myself. It’s probably cheaper, too.

    • Cassie says

      YES! I love it when foods taste better the next day.

      I like to buy the seeds and grind them too (much fresher), but the GIANT bag of organic milled flaxseed at Costco for $9 was just too cheap to turn down!

  6. says

    I loooove leftovers! My favorite way to use them is dump whatever I find leftover in the fridge on top of lettuce. BAM, salad. Love this idea for jazzing up old chili, though!

    • Cassie says

      Oooh! Let me know when you do. I actually thought twice about adding the eggs to the bread (because flax works so well as an egg-substitute on its own) so it might work just fine sans eggs.

  7. says

    Hey there Cassie! I just discovered your blog through Lauren (Oatmeal After Spinning) and just HAD to comment on this since I JUST took out some ground beef from the freezer this afternoon so that I can whip up a batch of chili this weekend! And I’m not even WAITING for the leftovers to try this…you had me at warm cheesy bread! YUM!

  8. Heather says

    Thank you for saying “eat on it”! My boyfriend makes fun of me for using that phrase.

    I have trouble with leftovers. Not entirely sure why.

  9. says

    I made this last night and it was delicious! My crust was not as appealing looking since I used brown flaxseed meal instead of the golden, but it still tasted good! Thanks for the recipe!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>