Do you find yourself in a bit of a rut when it comes to sides for chili?
Serving up the same tired side dishes every time doesn’t have to be your go-to.
With just a little creative thinking, you can make remarkably delicious chili side dishes that will dazzle and delight your family or dinner guests!
Keep reading to discover 16 unique and amazing ideas for what to serve with chili– recipes so good they’ll make you question why on earth you ever served anything else before!
What to Serve with Chili? These 16 Side Dishes Will Blow Your Mind
1. Sweet Potato Fries
These oven-baked fries are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, and they pair perfectly with chili.
Not only are sweet potato fries a great way to round out your meal, but they’re also packed with nutrients.
Sweet potatoes are loaded with fiber, vitamins A and C, potassium, and more.
So not only do they taste great, but they’re good for you too.
To make sweet potato fries that are both crispy and flavorful, be sure to coat them in oil before baking.
This will help them to crisp up nicely in the oven.
You can also season your fries with salt, pepper, or any other spices you like.
2. Mexican Rice
If you’re looking for a delicious side dish to accompany your chili, look no further than Mexican rice.
This dish is packed with flavor, and it’s easy to make.
Plus, it’s a great way to use up leftover rice.
Mexican rice is a great choice for a few reasons.
- First, it’s budget-friendly.
- Second, it’s relatively easy to make.
- And third, it’s absolutely delicious.
The rice is cooked in a flavorful tomato sauce, and it’s typically seasoned with cumin, garlic, and onion.
It’s also often topped with shredded cheese and chopped green onions.
If you’ve never made Mexican rice before, don’t worry – it’s easy.
Just follow the instructions on the recipe.
Be sure to use long-grain rice for this dish, as it will yield the best results.
And if you want to add a little bit of spice, consider adding some chopped jalapeño peppers to the recipe.
3. Garlic Bread
Looking for a delicious side dish to serve with your chili? Look no further than garlic bread.
This classic dish is the perfect complement to any bowl of chili, and it’s so easy to make.
Garlic bread is the perfect way to add a little extra flavor to your meal.
The bread is usually topped with a mixture of butter and garlic, which gives it a delicious taste that pairs well with chili.
If you’re looking for an extra cheesy option, you can also add some shredded cheese to the top of your garlic bread. Making garlic bread is simple.
- Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Then, take a loaf of bread and slice it into pieces that are about one inch thick.
- Spread a generous amount of butter on each slice, then sprinkle on some garlic powder or minced garlic.
- You can also add other seasonings like Italian herbs or Parmesan cheese.
- Place the slices on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the bread is crispy and golden brown.
Whether you’re serving chili for a weeknight dinner or hosting a game-day party, garlic bread is always a good idea.
It’s tasty, easy to make, and sure to please everyone at the table.
4. Fried Pickles
Have you ever had a fried pickle? If not, you’re missing out.
Fried pickles are a delicious and easy-to-make dish that is perfect for any occasion.
Fried pickles are a great option if you’re looking for something with a little bit of flavor.
The pickles are coated in a batter and then fried until they’re crispy.
This gives them a great taste that is perfect for any event.
If you’re looking for tips on making this dish, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Be sure to use fresh pickles for the best flavor.
- Don’t overcook the pickles, or they will become mushy.
- Once you are done frying, serve them hot with your favorite dipping sauce.
5. Air-fryer Potato Skins
If you’re in the mood for a delicious and hearty appetizer, look no further than these air-fryer potato skins.
This dish is loaded with flavor and texture, and it’s sure to be a hit with your guests.
The great thing about this recipe is that it’s relatively simple to make.
All you need is a few potatoes, some cheese, and your favorite toppings.
I like to top mine with bacon and sour cream, but you can really use any toppings you like.
Another plus is that this dish can be made ahead of time.
Simply bake the potatoes, then stuff and top them with your desired toppings.
When you’re ready to serve, just pop them in the air fryer for a few minutes to heat everything up.
6. Sheet Pan Nachos
Looking for something fun and delicious to make for your next party or get-together? Look no further than these amazing sheet pan nachos.
This dish is always a hit with everyone, and it’s so easy to make.
Just throw all of the ingredients onto a baking sheet and let the oven do its magic.
These nachos are loaded with flavor and taste great.
The best part is that you can customize them however you like.
Add your favorite toppings, such as cheese, sour cream, or salsa.
You can even make them ahead of time and reheat them when you’re ready to serve.
Here are some tips for making the perfect sheet pan nachos:
- Don’t overcrowd the baking sheet. Spread the ingredients out so that they cook evenly.
- Preheat the oven before adding the nachos. This will help them cook faster and more evenly.
- Serve immediately after cooking for the best results.
7. Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread
If you’re looking for a delicious and easy side dish to serve with your chili, look no further than cheddar jalapeno cornbread.
This recipe is simple to make and only requires a few ingredients, so it’s perfect for those busy weeknights.
Plus, the combination of sweet cornbread with sharp cheddar cheese and spicy jalapenos is sure to please everyone at the table.
One of the best things about this recipe is that it can be easily customized to your liking.
If you don’t like jalapenos, you can leave them out or substitute another type of pepper.
And if you want a little more sweetness in your cornbread, feel free to add an extra tablespoon or two of sugar.
Here are a few tips for making the perfect cheddar jalapeno cornbread:
- Be sure to use fresh corn kernels for the best flavor. If you can’t find fresh corn, frozen will work as well. Just be sure to thaw it before adding it to the batter.
- If you want a really cheesy cornbread, use grated cheddar cheese instead of shredded. The grated cheese will melt better and give you a nice cheesy crust on top of the bread.
- For an extra spicy kick, add a teaspoon or two of diced jalapenos to the batter before baking.
8. Garlic Bread Cheese Sticks
Looking for something different to serve with your chili? Why not try garlic bread cheese sticks? They are easy to make and are sure to be a hit with your family and friends.
Garlic bread cheese sticks are a great way to add some extra flavor to your chili.
The cheese in the sticks will help to offset the spice of the chili, while the garlic will give it a nice kick.
If you’re looking for a little bit of extra flavor, you can also add some Parmesan cheese to the recipe.
Here are some tips to make the perfect garlic bread cheese sticks:
- Be sure to use crusty bread for the best results.
- If you want a cheesy crust on top of your bread, be sure to use grated cheese instead of shredded. The grated cheese will melt better and give you a nice cheesy crust on top of the bread.
- If you want to jazz up your garlic breadsticks, try adding some herbs to the cheese before baking. Basil, oregano, and thyme all go well with garlic. You could also add a little bit of crushed red pepper for a bit of heat.
9. Chips and White Queso
If you’re looking for a delicious and easy recipe to try, chips and white queso is a great option.
This dish is packed with flavor and can be made in just a few minutes.
Plus, it’s perfect for any occasion – whether you’re hosting a party or just want a tasty snack.
One of the best things about this recipe is that it’s so versatile.
You can customize the flavors to suit your taste, and there are endless possibilities for toppings.
For example, if you like things spicy, you could add some diced jalapeños or crushed red pepper flakes.
Or, if you’re a fan of fresh herbs, try adding some chopped cilantro or green onions.
No matter what toppings you choose, this dish is sure to be a hit.
Here are a few tips to make sure your chips and queso are perfect:
- Use high-quality chips. This will make a big difference in the taste and texture of the dish.
- Be careful not to overcook the queso. It should be smooth and creamy, not rubbery or dry.
- If you’re using pre-shredded cheese, make sure to give it a quick pulse in the food processor before adding it to the pot. This will help prevent it from clumping.
10. Chips & Guacamole
One of the best things about chips and guacamole is that it’s a dish that everyone can enjoy.
Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or meat-eater, this dish is sure to please.
Guacamole is packed with nutrients and flavor, and chips provide the perfect crunchy contrast.
If you’re looking for a delicious and healthy recipe to try, chips and guacamole are great options.
The avocado in guacamole is packed with nutrients like vitamins C, E, and K.
It’s also a good source of fiber and heart-healthy fats.
Plus, the lime juice and cilantro give it a fresh and flavorful taste.
To make the perfect chips and guacamole, start by making your own guacamole.
This way, you can control the ingredients and ensure that it’s as healthy as possible.
Then, choose your favorite type of chips.
We recommend opting for a whole grain option like brown rice or quinoa chips.
Finally, add any extras you like, such as diced tomatoes, onions, or jalapeños.
11. Southern Coleslaw
This Southern coleslaw recipe is a must-try.
The perfect balance of sweet and tangy, this coleslaw is sure to be a hit at your next cookout or potluck.
Made with a simple dressing of mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and seasonings, it comes together in just minutes.
One of the best things about this coleslaw recipe is that it’s so versatile.
You can serve it as a side dish or use it as a topping for burgers or pulled pork sandwiches.
And because it’s made with pantry staples, it’s an easy recipe to keep on hand for last-minute get-togethers.
To give the coleslaw its signature sweetness, be sure to use white sugar.
Brown sugar will work in a pinch, but it will give the coleslaw a slightly different flavor.
For the best flavor, make the dressing at least an hour before you plan to serve the coleslaw.
This will give the flavors time to meld and develop.
12. Mexican Street Corn Chicken Tacos
Street corn chicken tacos are a delicious and easy way to bring the flavors of Mexico to your kitchen.
The tender chicken is cooked in a rich, flavorful corn salsa, then topped with fresh cilantro and lime.
The result is a taco that is both flavorful and juicy.
The best part about these tacos is that they can be made in advance, so you can enjoy them any time of day.
Simply cook the chicken and salsa ahead of time, then assemble the tacos when you’re ready to eat.
Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight meal or a fun weekend lunch, street corn chicken tacos are sure to please.
13. Chicken Quesadillas
Chicken quesadillas are a delicious and easy recipe to try.
They are perfect for a quick lunch or dinner and can be customized to your liking.
The best part about chicken quesadillas is that they are packed with flavor.
The combination of chicken, cheese, and spices is truly irresistible.
When making chicken quesadillas, it is important to use quality ingredients.
Start by cooking the chicken in a skillet with some olive oil.
Then add your favorite spices. I like to use cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder.
Once the chicken is cooked through, add it to a flour tortilla with shredded cheese.
I prefer cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, but you can use whatever you like.
To make the quesadilla, simply fold the tortilla in half and cook in a skillet over medium heat until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is golden brown.
Serve with sour cream and salsa on the side.
14. Crispy Onion Rings
One of the best things about summer is all of the delicious BBQ food that you can enjoy.
If you’re looking for a new recipe to try out at your next cookout, we highly recommend these crispy onion rings.
They are the perfect side dish to accompany any main course, and they’re bound to be a hit with your guests.
These onion rings are coated in a light batter and then fried to perfection.
They are crispy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside.
The onions themselves have a lovely sweetness to them that makes this dish even more enjoyable.
To make this dish, simply slice up some onions and then coat them in a mixture of flour, eggs, and bread crumbs.
Then, all you need to do is fry them until they are golden brown.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce, and enjoy.
15. Avocado Salad
Chili is a great dish to have during the colder months.
It’s hearty, filling, and can be made with a variety of different ingredients.
But what do you serve with chili? If you’re looking for something new to try, why not avocado salad?
Avocado salad is a great side dish for chili because it is light and refreshing.
The flavors of the avocado pair well with the spices in the chili, and the creaminess of the avocado contrasts nicely with the texture of the chili.
Simply chop up some avocado, add some diced tomatoes and red onions, and dress with olive oil and lemon juice.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
So next time you’re making chili, don’t forget about avocado salad.
It’s the perfect side dish to balance out the flavors and textures of your meal.
16. Honey Glazed Carrots
If you’re looking for a delicious side dish to serve with chili, you’ve got to try these honey-glazed carrots.
They’re sweet, savory, and full of flavor. Plus, they’re super easy to make.
The key to making these carrots taste amazing is to use fresh, quality ingredients.
I always recommend using organic carrots if possible.
You’ll also want to use real honey, not processed stuff.
The natural sweetness of the honey really makes these carrots shine.
To make this dish, simply toss the carrots in some olive oil and honey, then roast them in the oven until they’re tender and caramelized.
I like to add a little bit of freshly chopped thyme right before serving.
These carrots are the perfect side dish for any winter meal.
These 16 side dishes are the perfect complement to your chili.
They are all easy to make and will blow your mind with their flavor and variety.
Choose from options like cornbread, cheddar jalapeno cornbread, sweet potato fries, garlic bread, fried pickles, chips and queso, and more.
With these side dishes, your chili will be the hit of the party.
So don’t wait; make your chili today and serve it with one of these delicious side dishes.
What to Serve with Chili? These 16 Side Dishes Will Blow Your Mind
- 1. Sweet Potato Fries
- 2. Mexican Rice
- 3. Garlic Bread
- 4. Fried Pickles
- 5. Air-fryer Potato Skins
- 6. Sheet Pan Nachos
- 7. Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread
- 8. Garlic Bread Cheese Sticks
- 9. Chips and White Queso
- 10. Chips u0026 Guacamole
- 11. Southern Coleslaw
- 12. Mexican Street Corn Chicken Tacos
- 13. Chicken Quesadillas
- 14. Crispy Onion Rings
- 15. Avocado Salad
- 16. Honey Glazed Carrots
- Select your favorite sides from the list above.
- Prepare the side dish according to the recipe instructions.
- If you’re short on time, some of these can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving.
- Serve and enjoy!
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!