Chili is a super popular dish to serve up at dinner but sometimes, a bowl of chili is just not enough to fill our stomachs.
So, here are 20 amazing side dishes that go perfectly with chili on your dinner table!
This is the go-to side dish for any chili-based meal: cornbread.
Cornbread is a classic side dish (see also ‘24 Tasty Side Dishes That Are Perfect For Burgers‘) that is best enjoyed alongside spicy meals. It’s light, fluffy texture is the perfect sweet contrast against your chili and it’s also great for cooling down your mouth after a spicy dinner.
So, try out this easy recipe to make your very own cornbread (or try putting the mixture into muffin cups to make smaller cornbread muffins!).
Salad is an obvious choice for a side to any meal but for chili, one of the best kinds of salad you can serve is cauliflower salad.
Not only is cauliflower very nutritious and helps make a balanced meal, it’s also great for cooling down your mouth after eating a lot of spicy foods.
This recipe for cauliflower salad is great because it also adds celery and hazelnuts for more texture, and there’s a subtle spiciness to the sauce that helps tie it in beautifully with the chili.
3. Avocado Rice
Another popular side dish for chili is rice (see also ‘23 Super Easy Rice Side Dish Recipes‘) but there are so many different types of rice out there that it’s easy to serve the wrong kind.
The best kind of rice to serve with chili is avocado rice. Not only is it healthy and nutritious, but avocado also helps combat the heat of the spices used in the chili itself.
Potatoes come in all shapes and sizes, plus you can cook them in tons of different ways to serve up as side dishes.
One of the best ways to serve potatoes as a side dish (see also ‘Easy Potato Side Dishes’) for chili is by making mashed potatoes.
Some people use the mashed potatoes to soak up some of the leftover juice at the bottom of the chili bowl, so try out this recipe for some creamy mashed potatoes that will go great with your chili!
Break up your chili by snacking on some classic loaded nachos.
Nachos are a great choice because you can eat them in tons of different ways – plain, loaded, and with different dips such as sour cream and guacamole.
This recipe for loaded nachos includes everything you would want with your nachos including jalapenos, cheese, tomatoes, beef, and more – but you can always make adjustments to suit your tastes.
6. Onion Rings
A great side to serve alongside vegetarian chili are onion rings. They are crispy, tasty, and super easy to make.
So, just follow this super simple recipe to make your very own homemade onion rings to serve alongside your chili dinner!
Classic chili is a very meat-heavy dish so a great side to serve to combat this is something that contains plenty of fruit and vegetables.
As a result, we think that some vegetarian stuffed peppers make for a great side dish to serve with chili.
They’re easy to make, super tasty thanks to all the different flavors, plus they’re easy to eat. Just pick one up and tuck in while enjoying your chili.
Bread is a great side dish that can be served alongside any meal, but the best one that goes with chili is cheesy garlic monkey bread.
Monkey bread is easy to make and share. All you have to do is reach out and tear off the piece you want.
Warm, buttery, and rich in flavor, this recipe for parmesan and garlic monkey bread will show you the perfect way to make this amazing side dish.
Sweet potatoes (see also our article on freezing sweet potatoes) are great to serve as a side and they’re at their best when cooked into fries.
So, follow this recipe here to make some amazing sweet potato fries that are crispy and fluffy – perfect for dipping into your chili!
Another great way to get your veggies in with your chili is to make vegetable skewers as a side dish (see also ‘27 Simple And Delicious Vegetable Side Dishes‘).
They are super easy to make, and you can pick and choose which vegetables you want to serve. Red onion, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes – mix and match to make your very own vegetable skewers!
11. Cheesy Bites
Sometimes, you just can’t beat some cheesy bites. This recipe will guide you through how to make these amazing tiny bites of melted cheese, fried in a crispy breadcrumb batter.
They’re quick and easy to make, and taste amazing when dunked in chili.
A classic side dish from the southern USA, biscuits are a great choice for a chili side dish because they can help soak up all the juices left behind.
Use them to round off your chili dinner with a taste of something light and fluffy.
13. Corn On The Cob
While you often see this side dish served at barbecues, corn on the cob is also a great sweet side to serve alongside your savory and spicy chili!
Luckily, it’s super easy to prepare corn on the cob so check out the recipe for the perfect amount of smokiness and butteriness.
14. Baked Potatoes
Now we go back to the faithful potato to see how you can serve them when cooked as baked potatoes.
Crispy and golden, baked potatoes work as a great side dish as you can scoop some of the chili and serve nestled within your baked potato.
Avocado makes a triumphant return in the form of guacamole. Although this side is traditionally served as a dip for nachos and chips, it’s also a great side dish on its own for chili.
It’s cool and soothing, which is great to combat any burnt taste buds – so check out this easy recipe and give it a try!
16. Spanish Rice
Spanish rice is a deliciously rich and creamy side dish that perfectly complements the strong flavors of classic chili.
It’s a great alternative to the cool avocado rice we picked earlier and has all the classic flavors of garlic, cilantro, and cumin that helps make a rice side dish with a kick.
So, if you want a bit of extra spice to your meal, spanish rice is a great side to serve.
17. Cheesy Broccoli
Broccoli is a delicious vegetable that goes great alongside some spicy chili, but you know what would make it even better?
Adding lots of cheese.
This recipe for cheesy broccoli shows you the perfect way to make cheesy broccoli so you can have the best possible version to serve to your family and guests.
It’s super easy to make, so give it a try!
18. Cabbage Coleslaw
A classic side dish is coleslaw and it goes amazingly well with chili.
It’s cool and soothing for burnt lips and tongues, and this version utilizes plenty of cabbage to ensure that you are getting your greens during dinner time.
Breadsticks go with anything, so it’s no surprise they’ve made it onto our list. They’re a great way to soak up your chili juices and serve as a nice soft bed to pile your chili on for a big tasty bite.
Check out this recipe to make the perfect breadsticks!
20. Cashew Salad
Finally, our last side dish is cashew salad. Although nuts may not be to everyone’s tastes, this version of cashew salad brings plenty of crunch and earthy goodness to your chili dinner.
Light and delicious, it’s the perfect side to serve to really shake up dinner time!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Dessert Goes Well With Chili?
Chili can be pretty spicy, so many people like to enjoy a creamy dessert afterwards to help cool down their mouths.
As a result, some of the most popular desserts eaten after chili include key lime pie, lemon bars, cinnamon bread, yogurt parfait, ice cream, flan, and tiramisu.
Ultimately, any dessert can be eaten after chili but those that are cool and made to combat spicy food can really help return your palette to an equilibrium.
What Can You Put On Top Of Chili?
If you want to add something on top of your chili rather than by its side, then most people add dips such as guacamole or tomato salsa (see also our article on freezing salsa). Sour cream is also another popular choice, as is the classic grated cheese.
If you want to really shake things up, then crumbled tortilla chips can help bring a bit of crunch to your chili’s texture.
Is Chili The Same As Chili Con Carne?
The only difference between chili and chili con carne is that chili can be made from any kind of meats or vegetable substitutes, while chili con carne is specifically a meat dish.
This means that chili con carne is not suitable for vegetarians but all the above side dishes still work great with chili con carne as they do with chili.
As you can see, there are tons of different options for side dishes to serve alongside your chili dinner.
Pick out two or three of your favorites and give them a try next time you serve chili for dinner!