What To Serve With Chili: 27 Best Side Dishes

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Few things are better than a hearty, warm, comforting bowl of chili on a cold night. Many think of a bowl of chili as a meal by itself. However, many delicious side dishes will make a bowl of chili feel more like a complete meal. 

Piece of cornbread, grilled cheese, stuffed peppers, and french fries.


You may be wondering what to serve with chili, and we’ve got the answers. There are classics like cornbread, tortilla chips, and breadsticks. Then there are other options to enhance that bowl full of goodness, such as fries, salad, or potato skins. 

Whichever you choose, you can’t go wrong. So, transform your favorite chili recipe with some of the best side dishes for an unforgettable meal.  

Piece of cornbread topped with pat of butter.

1. Cornbread

Cornbread is the ultimate sidekick to a big bowl of chili. Using a Jiffy cornbread mix with a handful of ingredients, the result is a soft, sweet, and buttery cornbread.  You can never go wrong with this delicious classic. 

Casserole dish with corn casserole.

2. Corn Pudding

Corn pudding is a delectable chili side dish. It is a unique and flavorful blend of whole-kernel corn, creamed corn, and cornbread. This wondrous combination is a must-try when you need a side dish to serve with chili. 

Cooked fries on a plate.

3. Sweet Potato Fries

When thinking about what to serve with chili, try these crispy sweet potato fries. They are the perfect blend of sweet and salty. Using an air fryer, they are ready in 10 minutes, making them a quick chili side dish.

Baked potato with cheese and sour cream

4. Baked Potatoes

Hot baked potatoes with crispy skin on the outside and a light and fluffy middle make a fabulous chili side dish. You can never go wrong with a baked potato.

Whether you enjoy them plain, or with all the fixings, there is always room for one on the plate. 

Soft pretzels on plate.

5. Soft Pretzels

Soft pretzels are a wonderful alternative to cornbread or breadsticks. It is a favorite snack that makes a great side dish. The softness and saltiness of the pretzel make it the perfect dipper into a bowl full of warm chili. 

Two grilled cheese sandwiches on a plate.

6. Grilled Cheese

The comfort and deliciousness of a grilled cheese sandwich is unparalleled. When deciding what to serve with chili, don’t overlook this beloved sandwich; it’s not just for tomato soup.

The cheesy, crunchy bites of yumminess from a grilled cheese dipped into a bowl of chili is divine.

Rice on a plate.

7. Rice

Rice is a delightful chili side dish, especially if you want to add carbs to your meal. If you are enjoying a no-beans chili, then this rice will hit the spot.

You can serve white rice, brown, Mexican rice, or even a seasoned rice like this Texas Roadhouse copycat recipe.

Plate of loaded potato skins make in the air fryer.

8. Potato Skins

Complement your savory bowl of chili with these incredibly tasty, cheesy potato skins. Use your air fryer to make this fun side dish with all the fixings.

You could even top them with spoonfuls of chili and enjoy them that way. Either way, this is a flavorful combination not to be missed. 

Plate of beef nachos.

9. Nachos

Want to add some crunch to go with your chili? Serve a platter of inviting nachos. Everyone loves nachos, and they are always a hit. Use this recipe for air fryer nachos that are ready in under 15 minutes.

The tasty crunch of the nacho between spoonfuls of warm chili is a palate-pleasing combination. 

Plate of quesadillas cut into triangles.

10. Quesadillas

The amazing thing about quesadillas is that they pair well with a variety of foods. They are easy to make and customizable, so the culinary creations are endless.

When thinking about what to serve with chili, try this flavorful, fun Mexican favorite. 

Onion rings on plate

11. Onion Rings

Crispy onion rings aren’t just an appetizer or side for burgers or sandwiches. This favorite bar food also makes a superb chili side dish.

This easy recipe makes it a cinch to whip up a fresh batch of homemade onion rings in just 20 minutes. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, these are oh-so-good.

Baked sweet potatoes topped with butter.

12. Sweet Potatoes

Baked sweet potatoes are an amazing side dish to a bowl full of meaty chili. While a treat by themselves, these nutritious powerhouses add a flavorsome sweetness to your meal.

This recipe ensures you get the perfect baked sweet potato every time.  

Plate of tortilla roll ups with cheese.

13. Cheesy Roll-Ups

Need a quick chili side dish and not sure what to serve with your chili? They aren’t quite a quesadilla and not a cheesy breadstick; they are their own tasty treat. A flour tortilla is rolled up with a mixture of ooey-gooey melted cheeses. They are just right to dip into that delicious bowl of chili and are kid-approved.

Bread with garlic on cutting board.

14. Garlic Bread

Garlic bread goes with pretty much every meal, in my opinion. Especially a hearty bowl of warm goodness. Chili, soup, stews; you name it, garlic bread enhances it.

This simple recipe makes the most delicious, buttery, and garlicky bread in minutes. It’s a delectable must-have and great to enjoy with your chili, especially if you aren’t a fan of cornbread. 

Bowl of egg noodles.

15. Egg Noodles

If you are short on time or in a pinch on what to serve with chili, make these buttery, luscious egg noodles. Ready in under 15 minutes, they are a welcome addition to any meal. It’s a simple recipe using a handful of ingredients, so you aren’t stuck in the kitchen cooking all day.

Hot dogs in a bun with mustard.

16. Hot Dogs

Hot dogs and chili are a delightful indulgence.  Serving hot dogs as a side dish to your chili will please everyone, kids and adults. Kids love a good hot dog, so any picky eaters will be satisfied, and those who prefer a chili cheese dog can make their own. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Stuffed mini peppers on a plate

17. Cream Cheese Mini Peppers

Cream cheese stuffed mini bell peppers are a beautiful blend of enticing flavors. Cream cheese is mixed with ranch seasonings, shredded cheese, and bacon, then stuffed into mini peppers.

It is an appetizing treat that complements any meal, especially a bowl of chili. I bet you can’t eat just one. 

Seasoned fries.

18. French Fries

French fries go with pretty much everything. The salty, crispy outside and fluffy middle of each French fry is a sublime culinary creation. They make a great chili side dish, and everyone loves them. Just be sure to make enough because they will be gone in a flash. 

black beans in a bowl

19. Black Beans

If you are in the camp of no beans in chili, then these Mexican black beans are just what you need to serve with your chili. They have delicious flavors of cumin, diced green chilis, onion, garlic, and cilantro mixed in. They are a flavorsome side dish that is easy to make, and they whip up in only 15 minutes. 

20. Salad

Chili can be spicy and hearty so serving a fresh green salad is always a good idea. This healthy side has a refreshing crispness that is an appetizing balance to the hearty chili. This recipe for a zesty Italian salad is full of fresh ingredients and flavors. It’s a must-try. 

21. Fruit Salad

Another chili side dish that is cool and fresh is a fruit salad. The crisp, sweet flavors from the fruit can be a welcome relief from a spicy chili. It’s healthy, tasty, and can double as a dessert. What more can you ask for? 

22. Biscuits

Chili is classic comfort food that feeds your soul and your body. Why not enjoy an equally comforting food with your chili like these homemade buttermilk biscuits?

They are light, flaky, buttery, and oh-so-good. These breathtaking beauties are ready in under an hour. There is no need to be a seasoned baker to make incredible homemade biscuits. 

23. Guacamole

Don’t overlook guacamole when deciding what to serve with chili. This beloved dip goes with almost everything, especially spicy chili. Grab some tortilla chips and savor the cool, tasty relief of chips and guac between bites of delicious, warm chili.

24. Breadsticks

Warm, fresh breadsticks go with pretty much every meal. This copycat recipe for Olive Garden’s breadsticks is a heavenly combination with a bowl of chili. These breadsticks are made for dipping, so they are a definite must-have chili side dish. 

25. Slaw

Another refreshing chili side dish is coleslaw. The cool slaw, fresh crunch, and tangy flavors pair well with a hearty, warm bowl of chili. The balance of hot and cold is a palatable culinary win. This recipe only takes 5 minutes to make, so it is a simple, easy recipe to serve. 

26. Tortilla Chips And Queso

Chips and queso are a beloved appetizer and snack.  Homemade queso dip is incredibly cheesy, bursting with flavor, and is always a delight to eat. This recipe is restaurant quality, yet simple to make in just 15 minutes. It makes a sublime chili side dish so good you may want to add the queso to your chili.


27. Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Add more savory and spicy flavors to your meal by enjoying bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers. Jalapeno peppers are stuffed with a creamy, spicy, cheesy mixture, then wrapped with bacon.

This easy recipe is simple to make and a crowd favorite. Whether you’re enjoying chili on game day or family night, these poppers will please everyone.

More easy side dishes

Piece of cornbread, grilled cheese, stuffed peppers, and french fries.
4 from 1 vote

What To Serve With Chili

By Heather
Want to know what side dish to serve with your big bowl of chili? Try one of these delicious 27 chili side dishes to round out your chili dinner. From classics like cornbread to others like cheesy roll-ups, quesadillas or this simple Caesar salad.
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 2 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup croutons
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup Caesar dressing


  • Toss ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Serve as a delicious side dish.


Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 443mg | Potassium: 412mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 13734IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 212mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
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Recipe Rating


  1. 4 stars
    Why does everyone forget a nice peanut butter sandwich to go with chili? That is how I got it back in grade school and I still eat chili that way. Dip that sandwich in the chili juice, heck yea now you are talking. Try it and thank me later…

  2. In Nebraska &some parts of Kansas, we serve it with cinnamon rolls. Regular occurrence in schools & the RUNZA restaurant has it as a combo on their menu.

    Some dip, some bite then bite. Don’t pour chili over the roll.

    It’s similar to Wendy’s frosty with frys.