20+ Ideas For What To Serve With Chili
Chili is one of those easy meals that can be made pretty quickly and seems to get even better as it sits in the fridge for a day or two. Chili is a no brainer meal to serve my family because it’s meaty and I can hide vegetables in it so I know my family is getting a healthy meal. Yet sometimes, I’m at a loss for what to serve with chili. Cornbread is a popular choice but chili tastes good with so many things and the leftovers have so many possibilities.
After making a batch of my favorite Instant Pot Paleo Chili I was brainstorming ways to serve it and I put together this list of what goes with chili. I rounded up some delicious sides for chili along with a few serving ideas for chili because the leftovers may even better than the original dish!
Basic Ways to Serve Chili
Whether you have a full-on chili bar or plan to keep things pretty simple with just a chili dog, here are some of the most popular toppings and pairings for chili:
- shredded cheese (cheddar cheese or parmesan cheese)
- sour cream
- bread, cornbread, rolls – some sort of bread
- hot dog
- Frito chili pie (I had never heard of this until I lived in Oklahoma!)
- a green salad
- Spanish rice
- green onions or scallions
No matter how you serve it, chili is just a great way to warm your tummy on a cold day. Dig up your favorite chili recipes (or use mine that I linked above) and add some new chili sides to your meal plan for the week!
Side Dishes and Serving Ideas for Chili
Honey Jalapeno Mexican Cornbread Recipe
This Honey Jalapeno Mexican Cornbread Recipe recipe will have you asking for seconds in no time! It's a quick and simple one, so it'll be done before you know it. The best part? You probably already have all the ingredients on hand - just grab them from your pantry or fridge now to get started!
Quick and Easy Guacamole Recipe
Did you know that guacamole is one of the best sides for chili? This delicious creamy, zesty, slightly chunky guacamole dip is super quick and easy to prepare. With just 5 key ingredients, you can throw it together in under 10 minutes.
Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
You can't go wrong with juicy corn on the cob and it's easy to make in the Instant Pot.
Sweet Potato Cakes
You can never go wrong with sweet potatoes! Simple and quick to make, these delicious sweet potato cakes - similar to sweet potato fries - make for a wonderful addition to any meal. Pan fried for a crispy outside and soft and fluffy in the middle.
Crispy Potato Wedges with Lemon Aioli Recipe
Serve these crispy potato wedges beside a big bowl of chili or pile the chili right on top of them! It's like chili cheese fries, but a little classier.
Easy Pico de Gallo Recipe
Make this simple and fresh Pico de Gallo recipe to serve on top of chili or as a side dish with corn chips or tortilla chips.
Crunchy Cornmeal Vegan Savory Waffles
These crunchy cornmeal waffles are the perfect base for your favorite chili recipe. Add a scoop of chili and top with your favorite chili toppings (don't forget the green onions!). Perfect for those cold winter nights.
Corn Dog Nuggets
Chili and hot dogs go hand in hand and these corn dog nuggets are a tasty way to enjoy this popular side dish for chili. Add a pan of tater tots for a super comforting way to enjoy chili night!
Fresh Mexican Avocado Salad
This light and fresh avocado salad is easy to make with only 5 ingredients. Enjoy it along side (or scooped on top) of a steaming bowl of chili.
Creamy Apple Jicama Slaw
If you are looking for something a little sweet to cut the heat of your spicy chili, this creamy apple jicama slaw will hit the spot.
Easy Ham And Cheese Sliders
Looking for something other than hot dogs to serve with your chili? These ham and cheddar cheese sliders are easy to make and kid friendly too!
Easy Tomato Salad Recipe with Homemade Vinaigrette
This easy Tomato Salad Recipe is made with vine-ripened tomatoes and drizzled with a tasty homemade vinaigrette. Ready in less than 10 minutes, enjoy this healthy, delicious, and side dish with chili.
Easy Broccoli Slaw Salad with Craisins, Candied Nuts, & Vidalia Dressing
This colorful salad is sweet and crunchy and goes perfectly with a big ol' bowl of chili.
Chili Cheese Cups -- A Leftover Chili Recipe!
Doesn't a big pot of chili always taste even better the next day? Chili meets tacos in this flavorful recipe that uses leftover chili.
Easy Cincinnati Chili Recipe
Have you ever served chili over spaghetti noodles? If you haven't you are missing out as this is such a fun and tasty way to serve chili.
Smoked Hot Dogs
Hot dogs are such a classic side dish to serve with chili and smoking them takes them to the next level.
Crispy Air Fryer Baked Potatoes
Chili on a baked potato is the best comfort food! Air Fryer Baked Potatoes turn out so light and fluffy inside and perfectly crispy on the outside. Top them with a scoop of chili, cheese and a bit of sour cream for an amazing dinner.
Mandarin Orange and Blueberry Salad
This mildly sweet Mandarin orange salad gives a pleasing flavor compliment to the savory warmth of your favorite chili.
Taylor Farms Dill Pickle Salad Recipe
This flavorful and fresh salad is a zippy side dish that goes well with meaty dishes like chili.
Crispy French Fries
Crispy French Fries are the perfect addition to chili or just about any dinner you have planned.
Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad
My Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad recipe borrows the incredible flavors of elote, complete with the creamy sauce, fresh lime, cilantro, and crumbly cotija cheese ~ it’s perfect for serving with chili.
Mango Avocado Salsa
This beautiful chopped mango avocado salad recipe is healthy and incredibly satisfying. It's a perfect lunch option on its own, or serve it with chips alongside tacos or a bowl of chili.
After finding all of these great ideas, I’m adding chili to the menu again next week just so I can make a few items from this list. Which idea will you try first?
Amanda is a mom of 4 living a mostly crunchy lifestyle outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband, 2 dogs, and a cat. As a former special education teacher who also has her personal training certification — Amanda really enjoys teaching others how to do things!
When she’s not working, Amanda enjoys DIY projects, exercising, photography, hiking, and long walks through Target.