Chili’s Best Buddies: 16 Sidekicks to Spice Up Your Meal

Here are my top 30 suggestions for serving chili, along with an additional 20 ideas for toppings! Chili is definitely the best option for filling, cozy meals. Especially during football season, its savory, spicy, and rich flavors make it a favorite dish for get-togethers, game days, or cozy nights in. But what else do you eat with chili?.

Although chili is a great dish on its own, it really shines when paired with the right side dishes. I therefore have some suggestions for the best side dishes for chili throughout the season, regardless of your preference for Chili con Carne, Classic Ground Beef Chili, White Chicken Chili, No Bean Chili, or a special variation on this well-loved dish (like my Cheesy Turkey Chili Mac). Prepare to up your chili game while you support your team with everything from tried-and-true favorites to creative and surprising pairings. After all, let’s face it, the real MVP is what’s on your plate.

Chili, the hearty, soul-warming dish, reigns supreme when it comes to comfort food. But what elevates this champion to MVP status? The perfect sidekicks, of course! From classic cornbread to unexpected twists, we’ve got 16 ideas to make your chili night a touchdown.

First, the All-Star Toppings:

  • Cheese: Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack – the melty magic!
  • Sour Cream: Cool and creamy, the perfect counterpoint to chili’s heat.
  • Guacamole: Avocado’s richness adds another dimension of flavor.
  • Chopped Fresh Herbs: Cilantro, parsley, basil – a burst of freshness.
  • Sliced Tomatoes & Avocados: Freshness and texture in every bite.
  • Diced Peppers & Jalapeños: For those who like it hot!
  • Sliced Green Onions & Red Onions: A pop of color and a bit of bite.
  • Lime Wedges: A squeeze of citrus brightens the whole dish.
  • Black Olives & Shredded Lettuce: Unexpected additions for a unique twist.
  • Hot Sauce & Pico de Gallo: For those who like to turn up the heat.
  • Crumbled Bacon & Crushed Tortilla Chips: Crunchy, salty goodness.
  • Cornbread Croutons & Saltine Crackers: Perfect for soaking up chili’s deliciousness.

Now, the Side Dish Squad:

  • Cornbread: The classic, a must-have for sopping up chili’s goodness. Try MamaGourmand’s recipe for an extra-special treat!
  • Corn Casserole: Cornbread’s creamy cousin, equally delicious.
  • Onion Rings: Crispy contrast to chili’s thick texture.
  • Homemade Kettle Chips: Dip or crumble them into your chili for added crunch.
  • Baked Potato: A hearty, customizable side. Air Fryer Baked Potatoes are a breeze!
  • Sweet Potato Fries: Air fryer version delivers that sweet-savory combo we love.
  • French Fries: Doctored-up frozen fries with garlic butter are a crowd-pleaser.
  • Corn on the Cob: Grilled or boiled, a sweet counterpoint to chili’s spice.
  • Coleslaw: Cool and refreshing, a nice contrast to the heat.
  • Garlic Bread: Toasted and buttery, a comforting accompaniment.
  • Green Salad: A light, fresh option to balance the richness of chili.
  • Macaroni and Cheese: Creamy indulgence, perfect for kids and adults alike.
  • Homemade Crescent Rolls: No-knead recipe, sure to impress your guests.
  • Cucumber Salad: Zesty and tangy, a refreshing side.
  • Quesadillas: Cheesy goodness with salsa and guacamole, a fun twist.
  • Chips and Salsa: A classic appetizer or side dish, perfect for sharing.
  • Biscuits: Flaky and comforting, a great alternative to cornbread.
  • Potato Salad: Creamy and satisfying, a classic side dish.
  • Pretzel Dogs: Chili and hot dogs, a match made in heaven.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Healthy and colorful, a nice addition to your meal.
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy and comforting, a perfect match for chili.
  • Pickles: Zesty and tangy, a fun contrast to the chili’s flavors.
  • Broccoli Salad: Crunchy and cold, a refreshing side option.
  • Fruit Salad: Light and fruity, a nice way to end the meal.
  • Rice: White or brown, a simple and satisfying side dish.
  • Homemade Bread Bowls: Creative presentation, perfect for parties.

The Game Plan:

Mix and match these side dishes based on your preferences and the occasion. For a chili bar, offer a variety of toppings and sides for guests to customize their bowls. Remember, the key is to create a satisfying and delicious meal that complements your chili’s unique flavors.

Bonus Tip: Don’t forget dessert! Frozen fruit salad or jello salad are light and refreshing options. For something decadent, try brownies, sheet cake, apple cheesecake bars, or scotcheroos.

With these ideas, you’re sure to score a touchdown with your next chili night!

First of all, let’s talk about Chili Toppings

The following list of 20 typical chili toppings can be used to improve the taste and consistency of your preferred chili recipe:

  • Shredded Cheese (Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Pepper Jack)
  • Sour Cream
  • Guacamole
  • 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

You can experiment with different toppings to make your own special chili masterpiece! Don’t forget to add extra chili powder as needed!

what to serve with turkey chili

TURKEY CHILI | healthy, comforting, and wildly flavorful!


What side dish goes with chili?

Baked potatoes and chili is a classic combination that everyone loves. Chili also pairs well with baked sweet potatoes, roasted potatoes, potato wedges, fries, and more. Here’s how to make an absolutely perfect baked potato every time, from choosing the right type of potato to how long to bake it for.

What can I serve with chili instead of rice?

Some of the best choices for what to serve with chilli con carne instead of rice include sweet potato wedges, couscous, cauliflower and broccoli rice, tortilla wraps, fries, cornbread, mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, pitta breads, and quinoa.

How do you serve chili for dinner?

Set Up the Table. Buffet is the way to go with chili, allowing everyone to top their bowls as they wish. On one end, stack up the bowls for the chili; put the pot of chili next to the bowls. The toppings should follow the chili, and then be sure to have space for a couple of side dishes.

What side dishes go with chili?

Our family loves chili with a side of cornbread or a bowl of chips. But there are lots of incredible side dishes that will transform this tasty bowl of goodness into an unforgettable meal. You can go with the classics like cornbread and tortilla chips. Or change it up with some soft pretzels and cheesy potato skins.

What can I substitute for chili pepper?

There are many varieties of chili peppers that have varying levels of heat. Typically, the larger the pepper, the milder the heat. If you don’t have chili peppers for the spicy kick needed in a dish you can substitute cayenne pepper or hot paprika. Start with small amounts to taste, then add more if the dish is not spicy enough. For individuals who don’t like spicy food, a mild sweet paprika works as a replacement, or simply use less chili pepper than the recipe calls for. You can also try bell peppers if you are looking to replace nutrients lost by removing chili pepper. For those who are allergic to peppers in general, the appropriate substitution will depend on the specific recipe. Many times chili pepper can be left out of a recipe. Experimentation is best way to find out what works.

What goes well with a turkey sandwich?

Lean turkey paired with the mild flavor of Swiss cheese is a delightful light option. This sandwich, with its simple and savory profile, contrasts nicely with a rich, smoky beef chili. For an added layer of flavor, consider spreading a touch of cranberry sauce or mustard, which can highlight the spicy notes in your chili. 6. Veggie Sub

What goes well with hot chili?

With my HOT chili, it went hand in hand,” says reviewer CAT in the HAT. Sweet cornbread is a classic pairing for hot chili, but the fresh jalapeno peppers in this recipe bring something new to chili night. “I made this for a family gathering once and everyone loved it. And it’s so easy to make.

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