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What to serve with chili – 19 hearty sides for chili

Has your Google search on “what to serve with chili” led you to this webpage? Well, my friend, you’re in for a treat! Read on for a list of the ultimate side dishes for chili!

Chili is inarguably the best, if not the heartiest comfort food of all time. It’s also the perfect dish to serve to guests on game night.

What’s amazing about chili is just how versatile it is; there are many different ways to prepare it.

There’s also a wide range of toppings that taste wonderful with chili!

And if you’re looking for side dishes that will go well with chili, you’d be happy to know that the possibilities are endless! There are so many unique and fun side dishes that taste truly magical with chili.

Let’s take a look at some of the best side dishes for chili!

1. Green chili cornbread

There’s just something extraordinary about the delicious combination of chili and cornbread. 

However, adding some cheddar cheese and green chili to a classic cornbread recipe will truly take this side dish to the next level.

2. Chicken fajita quesadillas

If you’re wondering what goes with chili, I urge you to try a chicken fajita quesadilla! 

The divine blend of chopped peppers, charred tortillas, shredded chicken, and melted cheese is quite mouthwatering. 

Serve it with a meatless chili dish for a well-rounded meal. If your chili has meat in it, then skip the chicken.

3. Basil and corn salad

For a light side dish that will compliment your hearty chili, you can make a basil and corn salad. This flavorful salad is prepared with fresh basil, roasted sweet corn, and chopped tomatoes

Opt for a simple vinaigrette to go with the salad for a simple yet classy side dish that will balance chili’s richness.

4. Smoky jalapeños

If you’re still wondering what to eat with chili, how about some fantastic bacon-wrapped baked jalapenos! I love the spiciness of jalapenos, which makes this dish work for me.

However, if you’re not big on spicy food, you can prepare this dish with yellow chili peppers or even mild banana peppers.

Just fill the seeded peppers with cream cheese and mini smoked sausages and wrap them with partially cooked bacon strips for a flavorful and crispy side dish.

5. Skillet nachos

Skillet nachos are another incredible side dish for chili. This dish has everything going for it; it’s spicy, cheesy, savory, and crunchy. The chopped peppers and black olives add a nice burst of flavor to this delectable dish.

However, the crispiness of the nachos is what complements the Texan-style chili so well.

6. Cheesy potato skins

This is hands down one of my favorite sides for chili! Potato skins are just so irresistible thanks to the crispy exterior and the creamy, rich toppings.

The sour cream, bacon, melted cheese, and green onions in this side dish are a true crowd pleaser!

7. Spanish rice

Prepare some Spanish rice with veggies of your choice for a hearty chili side dish. The rice, along with veggies such as tomatoes, onions, and pepper, adds some nice textures and flavors to the chili.

This combination is truly a complete family meal.

8. Chipotle twice-baked sweet potatoes

Another winning side for chili is this spicy and creamy sweet potato dish. The secret to its creaminess lies in the twice-baked technique and the helping of sour cream.

This dish is perfect for anyone looking for a sweet yet fiery side for their chili.

9. Taco spiced sweet potato fries

If you want more delicious ideas on what to serve with chili, you must try sweet potato fries. This dish is quite easy to make and will hardly take 10 minutes.

Just season your freshly prepared sweet potato fries with your favorite taco seasoning and have them with a steaming bowl of chili!

10. Taco-stuffed mini sweet peppers

Stuff some mini sweet peppers with your favorite taco ingredients to round out your hearty chili meal. Make sure to add lots of olives, chili beans, cheese, and taco seasoning for an irresistible flavor.

The crunchiness of the peppers is just the right degree to go with the texture of chili.

11. Tangy slaws

If you’re looking for a simple yet colorful side dish to go with your chili, prepare a tangy coleslaw bowl. You can buy a pre-cut and prepared bag of mixed coleslaw and dress it with your favorite salad dressing.

My go-to dressing has to be spicy, garlicky mayo mired with a dollop of cream cheese. The tanginess of the mayo goes so well with the crunchiness of the veggies.

This easy-to-prepare dish is just the right fit for chili.

12. Red Lobster biscuits

These cheddar biscuits are my go-to sides for my meal, especially with chili. They’re made from all-purpose flour, milk, butter, and cheddar cheese, resulting in cheesy and fluffy bites.

Quick tip: If you want those melt-in-your-mouth, flaky, fluffy biscuits, invest in high-quality ingredients, mainly with your butter and cheddar cheese.

Get the recipe here.

13. No-mayo Carolina coleslaw

What goes well with chili? A bowl of coleslaw!

This dish isn’t the typical coleslaw you’d usually consume. It’s mayo-free! It also features a flavor punch coming from celery seeds, cabbage, kale leaves, carrots, onions, cider vinegar, and mustard.

Apart from chili, this recipe goes along with your sirloin steak or any of your BBQ favorites.

Here’s the recipe.

14. Apple carrot slaw

If you’re still wondering what goes well with chili, then this next recipe might be the one you’re gunning for!

This carrot slaw is all versatile, offering a wonderful flavor, thanks to the combination of sour cream, mayonnaise, and sugar, and scallion. The inclusion of cider vinegar also creates a nice tang that harmonizes along with apple and carrot.

Here’s the recipe.

15. Zucchini fries

Coated with breadcrumbs and baked until they reach crispy and golden perfection, zucchini fries are made from eggs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. You can also partner  parmesan cheese with your breadcrumbs to create an extra kick to your zucchinis.

Zucchini fries are also extra appetizing when partnered with chili, ketchup, or any sauce of your choice.

Here’s the recipe.

16. Caesar salad

This salad pairs up quite nicely with a bunch of dishes, including your favorite chili. It offers a creamy flavor profile and crunchy texture that matches the taste of your entrée.

The key to this recipe is to refrigerate it before serving as this process changes its flavor. Add crispy bacon, hard-boiled eggs, and grilled chicken chunks for recipe customization.

More details about this recipe here.

17. Onion rings

Zucchini fries aren’t the only finger food that pairs up well with your favorite chili. The entrée goes well with onion rings too!

These onion rings are soaked in buttermilk then coated with flour and cornmeal with pepper. After that, they’re fried in hot oil until golden brown and crispy.

Unlock this recipe here.

18. Garlic butter breadsticks

These breadsticks have butter, garlic, dried herbs, and grated parmesan cheese, resulting in a burst of nice flavor and texture. It’s one of the reasons why I love serving them with my chili.

Ultimately, they’re also simple to make. Combine the ingredients to create a mixture, brush the breadstick strips with the butter mix, then bake!

More details here.

19. Potato chips

Potato chips and chili is a classic combo you shouldn’t miss. The crispiness of the chips makes your chili heartier and extraordinary.

You don’t need to limit yourself to salt and pepper. Experiment with the flavor and include those spices that suit your taste buds. You can season the chips with ground cumin, minced herbs, or ancho chili powder.

Get the recipe here.

The bottom line

I hope you enjoyed reading this guide on what to serve with chili! Do try all the side dishes that I’ve mentioned above, as each one has its unique texture and flavors that will go seamlessly with chili.

What to serve with chili (19 side dish ideas)

What to serve with chili (19 side dish ideas)

Check out these 19 divine-looking side dishes for chili that will complete your meal. Head to the article to read more. 


  • Green chili cornbread
  • Chicken fajita quesadillas
  • Basil and corn salad
  • Smoky jalapeños
  • Skillet nachos
  • Cheesy potato skins
  • Spanish rice
  • Chipotle twice-baked sweet potatoes
  • Taco spiced sweet potato fries
  • Taco-stuffed mini sweet peppers
  • Tangy slaws
  • Red Lobster biscuits
  • No-mayo Carolina coleslaw
  • Apple carrot slaw
  • Zucchini fries
  • Caesar salad
  • Onion rings
  • Garlic butter breadsticks
  • Potato chips


  • Choose a few side dishes to try.
  • Tell us your favorites below.
Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

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