Chili Stacks

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Chili Stacks, a taste of my childhood, are an easy and economical dish to pull together. You can assemble it and cook it in less than 30 minutes.

Chili Stacks Good Cheap Eats

My parents have always been frugal people. They’re from the era before credit cards when you had no choice but to save up to buy something. As such our meals were always pretty simple. I remember eating dinner out one night a week, but the rest of the week meals were simple but filling.

We didn’t mind that the menu sometimes repeated itself; these were meals that we loved, albeit circa 1978. Things like Sauerkraut and Spareribs, Pork Chops and Curry Potatoes, Chicken Curry, and some odd enchilada concoction made of processed cheese and canned chili. Some was real food; some, like those enchiladas that I requested for more than one birthday dinner, were decidedly not real food.

One thing that was? Chili Stacks! My sister and I both have found memories of this dish, so I dug up Mom’s old recipe, made a few tweaks to it. And voila! An easy and filling meal that comes together super quickly. I’m wondering if that’s one of the reasons Mom served it so often. I set a timer. It really took me less than 30 minutes from start to serve.

Dish up some Chili Stacks

The kids and I enjoyed this for lunch one day. It would do well with a salad on the side. I was feeling lazy and  craving carb-loaded comfort food. You go with it however it works for you.

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About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Cathie says

    So obviously this recipe will not serve your whole family, mine either 🙂 several pie pans won’t fit well in my oven. How do you adjust or work it to feed all your troops? Multiplying the recipe itself is no biggie, just wondering about how to cook it.

    • Carla says

      You can use a 9×13 pan and cut several of the shells into quarters to cover the ends after placing 2 slightly overlapping in the center (so 3 shells for each layer). Then just cut in pieces instead of wedges? Maybe Jessica can give advice as to if you would need to increase sauce amount.

    • Jessica says

      I would make two stacks in a 9×13 inch pan, doubling the recipe. You can also do it the way Carla suggested.

  2. Kristin says

    We do similar dish that we lays called Enchilada Pie. We put retried beans and black beans in though and enchilada sauce instead of the spices and tomato sauce. We also make it camping in a dutch oven set right on hot coals. Delicious no matter how you make it!

    • Jessica says

      Yep. There are plenty of different combinations. This one is obviously heavy on the tomatoes which is essentially how my mom made it. She used stewed tomatoes.

  3. annie says

    i have leftover chili that no one wants to finish off i;’m going to prepare this idea and freeze it before baking as an experiment. septmember is such a busy month, and i hope this will become a tasty quick main meal from the freezer.

    • Jessica says

      Sounds like a great plan!

  4. Belinda says

    This sounds delicious!! On my list to try this holiday. Thank you 🙂

  5. Dena says

    Seriously one of the best things I’ve had in a while and I’m a vegan so made it with rehydrated TVP and vegan cheese and it was still great. The flavors in the sauce are a culinary symphony. Thanks so much for your work. There’s just as much art and creativity in good food as there is in creating a painting or great piece of music.

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