Wondering what to serve with chili? You’ve come to the right place! Chili is a hearty meal that will warm you up on cold, winter nights.
You can serve it up with a few complimentary side dishes or all by itself. It’s great either way!
Best Sides for Chili
Our family loves chili with a side of cornbread or a bowl of chips.
But there are lots of incredible side dishes that will transform this tasty bowl of goodness into an unforgettable meal.
You can go with the classics like cornbread and tortilla chips. Or change it up with some soft pretzels and cheesy potato skins.
Here are my top chili side dishes for game nights, get-togethers, or simply a fun family dinner.
You can never go wrong with a classic!
Go the traditional route by pairing your chili with a soft, sweet piece of buttery cornbread.
It’s classic comfort food the whole family can agree on.
Plus, there are lots of variations you can try as well.
Try some maple butter cornbread to add a bit of sweetness to your meal.
Or if you want a smoky flavor, bacon cheddar cornbread is a side dish your family will never forget.
Cheesy breadsticks taste great on their own, but dunk them in a bowl of chili and you have got a definite crowd-pleaser.
They’re the ultimate yummy side dish!
A great way to add even more Mexican flair to your chili! It has everything from peppers, cheese, and tortilla bread, to chicken.
You might want to leave the chicken out though if you’re already serving it with meaty chili. It’s totally up to you.
Add some crunch to your chili with a side of nachos.
Just prepare some melted cheese, salsa for the perfect finger food.
You can even use your chili as a filling for tacos. Spicy, meaty chili goodness embraced by soft and crisp tortilla bread?
Just the thought of it makes me hungry. This is also a great way to use up your leftovers.
6. Baked Potatoes
Spuds are perfect when you need to feed a group of hungry kids.
Warm baked potatoes are topped with sour cream, melted cheese, and bacon. Not even the pickiest eater can say no to this!
7. Cheesy Potato Skins
Pair your savory bowl of chili with some baked potato skins.
Top them with melted cheese, sour cream, bacon, and green onions. It doesn’t get much better than that!
8. Sweet Potatoes
Add something sweet to your meal. Baked sweet potatoes are super easy to make.
Plus, you can top them off with butter, salt, pepper, brown sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup, and toasted pecans.
In fact, they’re almost like dessert but are still loaded with nutrients.
9. Onion Rings
These tasty onion rings are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
This classic appetizer goes perfectly with chili. It’s like the perfect bar food without having to go to the pub.
10. Soft Pretzels
Another one of my favorite bar foods is soft pretzels.
This soft and salty side is a wonderful alternative to cornbread or biscuits.
They’re just one more way that you can turn a classic bowl of chili into an unforgettable meal.
11. Fresh Salad
A fresh salad goes with just about anything.
Fresh, leafy greens are topped with carrots, tomatoes, crispy radishes, cucumbers, and croutons.
It’s a great way to balance out the savory chili and add some veggies to your meal.
12. Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries allow me to eat one of my favorite “cheat” foods but without the extra calories.
They’re crispy on the outside and sweet on the inside. Plus, they’re super simple to make while your chili is cooking.
To make them, start by preheating your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.
Scrub 4 medium sweet potatoes and then cut them into fries (about 1/2 inch wide).
Coat the fries in olive oil. Season them with sea salt and pepper to taste.
Bake them for 15 to 25 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.
13. Chips & Guacamole
Chips and guac make an excellent side dish, especially for those extra hectic days!
Just open a bag of your favorite tortilla chips and you’re all set. Serve them with creamy guacamole, salsa, or melted cheese.
14. Grilled Cheese
I love a good sandwich with my chili, and grilled cheese is the perfect match.
Crunchy, cheesy bites of goodness are dipped into a bowl of chili. Yum!
With this combo, I’m happy to relive my childhood a hundred times over.
Add a refreshing side to your meal with creamy coleslaw.
The fresh, crunchy texture pairs perfectly with a hearty bowl of chili.
Plus, coleslaw is super simple to put together. You can even use a bag of pre-shredded veggies. Yes. I’m guilty 🙂
But when you’re busy, anything that helps me get dinner on the table quickly is a win.
Another great use for chili is as a topping for rice.
You can use white, brown, or whatever kind you prefer.
Spanish rice is a nice variation with peppers, tomatoes, and onions.
It’s a good way to incorporate carbs and vegetables into your chili.
If you’re in the mood for some alcohol, chili is best paired with wine.
Red wine, sangria, and margaritas are all excellent options.
The key is to partner it with a fruity wine, which compliments chili well.
And of course, you can never go wrong with a cold glass of beer. Bottoms up!
18. Wingstop Fries
While sweet potato fries are perfect to pair with chili, this copycat version of Wingstop’s regular French fries is also a winner.
The salty-sweet seasoning can’t be topped, and you’ll go nuts for the crispy exterior.
Everyone loves Wingstop French fries!
19. Gourmet Hot Dogs
Make your meal as American as possible by serving up some gourmet hot dogs alongside your chili.
You can top them with anything your heart desires.
As a bonus, you can even add a bit of your chili to the top as well to turn them into chili dogs.
20. Easy Mexican Rice
Give your chili a Tex-Mex flair with this easy Mexican rice!
It’s hearty, filling, and so delicious.
Not to mention, the rice will help balance out the heat from the chili to keep your mouth from being on fire.
21. Garlic Bread
Is there anything that garlic bread doesn’t pair well with?
Chili is no exception, as the dunk-ability factor is just so on-point.
Garlic bread is another great way to counteract the spices and heat from your chili.
22. Spaghetti (Cincinnati-Style Chili)
For a fun twist on two classics, serve your chili on top of spaghetti and turn your side dish into a main dish!
This method of serving chili is popular in Cincinnati, as you know if you’ve ever visited a Skyline restaurant!
A word of warning, however, you’ll want to wear pants with an elastic waist before digging into this bowl of goodness.
23. Jalapeno Poppers
If you like heat, heat, and more heat, you can’t go wrong with these jalapeno poppers!
Stuffed with cream cheese and panko bread crumbs, you can serve these as an appetizer or a side dish to chili.
They’re pretty addicting, so you might want to make a double batch to snack on later.
24. Fruit Salad
Lighten up the meal a bit with this simple, fruit salad. It’s the perfect accompaniment to chili.
Plus, it’s low in calories and full of a good dose of nutrition.
This meal is the perfect blend of savory and sweet!
25. Hellmann’s Potato Salad
If you want a super easy side for chili, whip up this classic recipe for Hellmann’s potato salad!
It’s perfect for feeding a crowd, plus, the chilled salad is an ideal match for the hot and spicy chili.
This potato salad is a winner at potlucks, but it’s also an easy side dish to have at home any night of the week.
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