If you’re wondering what to serve with your chili, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I list 45 of the most popular side dishes for chili.
In a rush? Here’s the short answer.
The best dishes to serve with chili are cornbread, baked potatoes, tortilla chips, mac and cheese, and coleslaw. For more veggie sides, serve grilled corn, pico de gallo, fried green tomatoes, or a shaved brussel sprout salad. For an odd but tasty side, try cinnamon rolls.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
Cornbread is THE side dish for a chili.
Its soft, moist crumb and delightful subtle sweetness pairs so well with a warm, comforting chili.
Make sure to save a bite of the bread to wipe your bowl clean at the end. YUM.
Why we love this recipe: it calls for pre-heating your pan to ensure crispy, caramelized edges.
Got some leftover chili?
Scoop a spoonful of it over a baked potato for a filling lunch.
The light, fluffy potato will soak up all of your chili’s goodness – so every bite is filled with flavor.
Psst… microwaving baked potatoes is quick, but nothing beats the oven.
Why we love this recipe: your oven does most of the work.
Shaved brussels sprouts salad
Take a break from your leafy greens and whip up this shaved brussel sprout salad instead.
And don’t sweat about the sprouts’ bitterness – it’s offset by the umami-packed parmesan and a zesty mustard vinaigrette.
This salad is just what you need when you’re looking for something light to pair with your chili.
Why we love this recipe: you only need six ingredients to whip up this salad (dressing included!)
Grilled cheese sandwich
This might sound a little strange… but just imagine dipping a gooey melted cheese sandwich into your hearty chili.
It definitely beats ketchup!
And it’s super easy to make – you probably already have all the ingredients you need.
Why we like this recipe: it features three kinds of cheeses – cheddar, gouda, and Havarti for maximum cheesy goodness.
Greek yogurt coleslaw
Coleslaw is my favorite veggie side to serve with chili.
Its cooling, crunchy texture is a nice contrast to the heat of your chili.
And it’s great if you’re cooking for a crowd.
Why we love this recipe: it uses Greek yogurt instead of mayo which shaves a few carbs off this slaw.
Grilled corn on the cob
Serving chili at your cookout?
Toss some corn on the cob on your grill for a great tasty side.
Fresh-off-the-grill corn on the cob is simply delightful, and it will add a fun element to your meal.
Why we love this recipe: you can pick from herb butter, garlic parmesan, or chili lime butter.
Pico de gallo
Add a fresh bite to your chili with a topping of classic pico de gallo.
There’s no cooking involved with this, just a lot of chopping!
Pro-Tip: allow your salsa to rest for a day to let the flavors meld and develop better.
Why we love this recipe: this fresh salsa is easily customizable – if you want it sweeter, add more tomatoes. For a spicier bite, add more jalapeno peppers.
Flour tortilla chips
Setting up a chili bar for your game day party?
Whip up some flour tortilla chips for it – they’re an excellent crispy vessel to scoop up your tasty chili.
And don’t forget the guacamole!
Why we love this recipe: baked chips are so much healthier than store-bought chips.
Cilantro lime rice
Looking for a traditional side for your chili?
Rice is the way to go.
But it doesn’t have to be boring.
This zesty cilantro lime rice will add some brightness to your meal and keep everything from getting too rich.
Why we love this recipe: this one-pot rice dish is made with easily accessible ingredients.
Instant pot collard greens
It usually takes hours to get these greens silky soft – but you can reduce the cooking time to 45 minutes with the help of an instant pot.
Serve this and the chili with a slice of cornbread for the ultimate southern meal.
Why we love this recipe: you can make it vegan by swapping the bacon and chicken broth for smoked paprika and vegetable broth.
Fried green tomatoes
These crispy treats are a staple in Southern cuisine.
Underneath the crunchy panko crust is a juicy, tangy center that will cut right through the rich flavors of your chili.
There’s no need for a dipping sauce when you have chili, but if you want one, ranch is a great choice.
Why we love this recipe: these.
Don’t knock it ’till you try it definitely applies here.
Chili and cinnamon rolls are a classic pairing popular in some regions of the Midwest.
It’s sweet and savory, but taken to the extreme.
Why we love this recipe: you’re house is going to smell AMAZING.
Stovetop mac and cheese
This combination is the ultimate comfort meal.
It will be an indulgent meal, but everyone needs to treat themselves sometimes, right?
Psst… I like to mix the chili into the mac and cheese… it’s amazing with a side of garlic bread.
Why we love this recipe: everything comes together in one pot – you don’t even need to boil your pasta separately.
If you want something fun, then this side dish is for you.
Creamy, cheesy, and crunchy – these jalapeno poppers will provide great depth of flavor and a little fiery heat to your meal.
Why we love this recipe: you can prepare these the day before, so it’s perfect for people who are short on time.
Southwest chopped salad
Give your regular chopped salad a major flavor boost with the addition of classic Southwestern flavors.
Aside from the romaine lettuce, It’s packed with sweet corn kernels, black beans, chopped tomatoes, and crunchy tortilla chips.
Then everything is tossed with a finger-licking good ranch dressing.
Why we love this recipe: it’s gluten-free, and the vibrant colors make this dish a feast for your eyes.
What vegetables go with chili?
Mashed sweet potatoes, coleslaw, and grilled corn are my go-to vegetable side dishes for chili. For something super healthy, try steamed broccoli. And for something more indulgent, try cauliflower cheese.
Best vegetables to serve with chili
- Baked potato
- Grilled corn on the cob
- Roasted bell peppers
- Garlicky steamed broccoli
- Air fryer sweet potato fries
- Cacio e pepe zucchini noodles
- Mashed cauliflower
What desserts go with chili?
Cinnamon rolls are the perfect dessert for a chili meal (if you’re not serving them as a side like in the Midwest!). But you can also have brownies, frozen fruit salad, or peach cobbler for dessert.
Best desserts to serve with chili
- Frozen fruit salad
- Cinnamon rolls
- Raspberry cream cheese jello salad
- Peach cobbler
- Apple pie
- Chocolate mousse
Web Story: What To Serve With Chili
What To Serve With Chili
- 1 portion chili
- Prepare your chili according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside them.
- Side dishes include: cornbread, baked potatoes, shaved brussels sprouts salad, grilled cheese sandwich, greek yogurt coleslaw, grilled corn on the cob, pico de gallo, flour tortilla chips, cilantro lime rice, instant pot collard greens, fried green tomatoes, cinnamon rolls, stovetop mac and cheese, jalapeno poppers, and southwest chopped salad.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!