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Here are my top 25+ ideas for What To Serve With Chili! Plus I’ve added 10 bonus chili toppings ideas! When it comes to hearty and comforting meals, chili undoubtedly reigns supreme. Its rich, spicy, and savory flavors make it a go-to dish for gatherings, game days, or cozy nights in, especially during football season. But what else do you eat with chili?
While chili can certainly shine solo, the real touchdown is scored when you pair it with the perfect accompaniments. So, whether you’re a fan of Chili con Carne, Classic Ground Beef Chili, a White Chicken Chili, No Bean Chili or a unique twist on this beloved dish (like my Cheesy Turkey Chili Mac), I have some ideas for the best side dishes for chili all season long. From tried-and-true favorites to innovative and unexpected pairings, get ready to elevate your chili game while you cheer on your team – because let’s be real, the real MVP is what’s on your plate.
First of all, let’s talk about Chili Toppings
Here’s a list of 20 common chili toppings you can use to enhance the flavor and texture of your favorite chili recipe:
- Shredded Cheese (Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Pepper Jack)
- Sour Cream
- Mexican Street Corn Guacamole
- Chopped Fresh Cilantro, Fresh Parsley or Basil
- Sliced Fresh Tomatoes
- Diced Avocado or Avocado Slices
- Diced Red or Green Bell Peppers
- Sliced Jalapeños
- Sliced Green Onions
- Chopped Red Onions
- Lime Wedges
- Sliced Black Olives
- Shredded Lettuce
- Hot Sauce
- Pico de Gallo
- Crumbled Bacon
- Crushed Tortilla Chips
- Cornbread Croutons
- Saltine Crackers
Feel free to mix and match these toppings to create your own unique chili masterpiece! And always be sure to add more chili powder as needed!
What to Serve with Chili (Over 25 Chili Side Dish Ideas!)
Chili pairs wonderfully with a variety of side dishes. Here’s a list of over 25 different side dishes you can serve with a big bowl of chili:
Cornbread: A classic choice, cornbread is a perfect match for soaking up the chili juices. You can make this from a store-bought mix, but I hope you try my homemade cornbread recipe.
Corn Casserole: Cornbread’s buttery, creamier cousin…corn casserole is another fantastic side dish for chili.
Onion Rings: Contrast your thick and creamy chili with crispy onion rings.
Homemade Kettle Chips: Serve a bowl of crispy kettle chips for dipping or crumbling over the chili.
Baked Potato: A baked potato topped with sour cream, chives, and cheese can be a hearty side.
Sweet Potato Fries: My air fryer version still delivers that sweet and savory flavor combo we love in sweet potatoes.
Corn on the Cob: Grilled or boiled corn on the cob adds a sweet contrast to the spicy chili. Many people actually include corn IN their chili, so it’s definitely the perfect side dish.
Coleslaw: Creamy coleslaw is a cool, refreshing side dish that provides contrast to the heat of the chili.
Garlic Bread: Toasted garlic bread or garlic knots are a tasty accompaniment.
Green Salad: A simple salad with fresh greens, fruit, and a light vinaigrette can balance the richness of chili.
Macaroni and Cheese: Creamy mac and cheese is a comforting and indulgent side.
Homemade Crescent Rolls – This no-knead recipe with knock the socks off your guests, especially when served with your famous chili!
Cucumber Salad: A cucumber salad with dill and vinegar is a great way to provide a refreshing contrast.
Quesadillas: Cheesy quesadillas with a side of salsa and guacamole are a hit with chili.
Chips and Salsa: A selection of tortilla chips and various salsas can be a great appetizer or delicious side dish.
Potato Salad: A classic potato salad with a creamy dressing can be a satisfying side.
Pretzel Dogs: Chili and hot dogs are basically a married couple. Add in the salty pretzel and you’ve got a match made in heaven.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with roasted garlic are a comforting choice.
Pickles: These can add a zesty and tangy element to your chili meal.
Broccoli Salad: Crunchy and cold broccoli salad compliments chili by providing a contrast in texture and offering a cooling effect.
Fruit Salad: A refreshing fruit salad can be a light and fruity side option.
Rice: White rice or brown rice is a great side dish that compliments chili nicely.
Homemade Bread Bowls: Give your chili a creative presentation by serving it a homemade bread bowl! It can make a boring bowl of chili feel special and can be a great option for parties.
Choose a combination of these side dishes based on your preferences and the occasion, and you’ll have a delicious and satisfying chili meal. Want to have a real crowd pleaser? Set up a chili bar for you next chili night and offer a variety of different toppings and side dishes to compliment your main dish – CHILI!