What to Serve with Chili (75+ Ideas From Toppings to Sides)

The ultimate guide to what to serve with chili. From the best toppings to the perfect side dish all the way to dessert, here’s everything you need for the perfect pairings to make an amazing chili menu.

Dutch oven with chili con carne and a bowl by side

Read on for unique and classic sides like rice, casual finger foods, appetizing starters, sweet desserts, healthy options, veggie options, sandwiches to pair, and refreshing drinks.

Best Toppings for Chili

Chili is a heartwarming dish that stands out on its own, but the right topping ingredients can take the texture and taste to the next level. Here are some of the most beloved toppings that pair perfectly with a hot bowl of chili:

  1. Cheese: A generous sprinkle of shredded cheese, like cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack, or pepper jack, melts beautifully over a hot bowl, adding a creamy richness.
  2. Sour Cream: A dollop cools down the heat and adds a creamy tang. For a lighter version, you can use Greek yogurt.
  3. Pickled Onion: Pickled red onions are a perfect fresh, tangy counterpoint and make a gorgeous fuschia topping.
  4. Green Onions or Chives: These give a fresh, crisp bite and a pop of color.
  5. Jalapeños: Fresh or pickled, they add an extra kick for those who love their chili spicy.
  6. Avocado or Guacamole: Creamy avocado slices or a scoop of guacamole can provide a cooling contrast to the chili’s spice.
  7. Fresh Cilantro: This herb offers a burst of freshness and pairs wonderfully with Southwestern and Tex-Mex chilis.
  8. Tortilla Chips or Strips: Adding a crunchy texture, they can be crumbled over the top or simply dipped.
  9. Lime Wedges: A squeeze of lime can brighten up the flavors.
  10. Diced Tomatoes or Pico de Gallo: These add a fresh touch and can help temper the chili’s heat.
  11. Chili Flakes or Hot Sauce: For those who like their chili extra fiery, a sprinkle of chili flakes or a few dashes of hot sauce can turn up the heat.
  12. Red or White Onions: Finely diced, they add a punch of flavor and a crunchy texture.
  13. Bacon Bits: These add a smoky flavor and crispy texture that’s especially great with meaty chilis.
  14. Cornbread Crumbles: A southern favorite, crumbled cornbread soaks up the flavors and offers a sweet contrast.
Topping Category Ideas
Cheese Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack
Creamy Sour Cream, Greek Yogurt, Avocado, Guacamole
Fresh Produce Pickled Onion, Green Onions, Chives, Diced Tomatoes, Red/White Onions, Lime Wedges
Spice Boosters Jalapeños, Chili Flakes, Hot Sauce
Herbs Fresh Cilantro
Crunchy Tortilla Chips/Strips, Bacon Bits
Sweet & Savory Cornbread Crumbles
Sliced onions on a wooden cutting board

Here’s a handy cheat sheet to guide you on the best toppings for each of my chili recipes:

Chili Recipe Top Toppings
Chili Con Carne Shredded Cheese, Jalapeños, Tortilla Chips, Bacon Bits
Instant Pot Chicken Chili Avocado, Diced Tomatoes, Lime Wedges, Tortilla Strips
Cream Cheese Chicken Chili Sour Cream, Green Onions, Fresh Cilantro, Bacon Bits
White Chicken Chili Monterey Jack Cheese, Fresh Cilantro, Tortilla Chips, Lime Wedges
Green Chicken Chili Avocado, Tortilla Strips, Fresh Cilantro, Lime Wedges
Chili Verde Pickled Onion, Tortilla Chips, Diced Tomatoes, Fresh Cilantro

Finger Foods That Go with Chili

Perfect for gatherings or casual dinners, finger foods like nachos, sliders, and quesadillas make for a delightful pairing with chili. Here are some of the top finger foods that complement chili perfectly:

1. Cornbread Muffins

Cornbread and chili are a classic combination. The slightly sweet and crumbly texture of cornbread muffins contrasts beautifully with the spicy and savory flavor of chili. Serve them fresh out of the oven for the perfect warm treat.

2. Tortilla Chips

Crispy tortilla chips are a great choice for scooping up chili. They add a crunchy texture to each mouthful. Lay them around the bowl or sprinkle crushed chips on top of your chili for an added crunch.

3. Cheese Straws

Cheese straws, crispy, cheesy, and with a slight kick, make an ideal snack alongside a bowl of chili. Place them in a tall glass or lay them on a platter for guests to grab.

4. Cheese Quesadilla Triangles

Filled with melted cheese and perhaps some sautéed veggies, mini quesadillas provide a cheesy counterpart to chili. Serve with guacamole or salsa for added flavor.

5. Garlic Knots

Soft, garlicky, and buttery, garlic knots can be used to mop up the delicious remnants of chili in your bowl. Warm them slightly before serving for the best experience.

6. Vegetable Sticks:

Fresh, crunchy vegetable sticks like celery, carrots, and bell peppers provide a refreshing contrast to a hot and hearty chili. Accompany them with a creamy dip or hummus.

7. Slider Buns

Soft, mini buns can be used to make chili sliders. Just spoon some chili between the buns, top with cheese, and you have a delicious bite-sized treat. Toast the buns slightly for added texture.

8. Pretzel Bites

Salty, chewy pretzel bites balance the flavors of chili wonderfully. Serve these bites with a cheese dip for an extra treat.

Cheese quesadillas cut into triangles

Appetizers that Pair Well with Chili

Kick off your chili feast with some appetizing starters. Dips, mini tacos, or stuffed peppers can set the right tone for the main dish

1. Dips

Dips are a versatile appetizer choice that pairs exceptionally well with chili. Consider serving a chunky guacamole, zesty salsa, or even a creamy queso dip. Pair them with tortilla chips, fresh vegetable sticks, or crispy bread for a match made in food heaven.

Chunky guacamole served in a small bowl with sliced lime wedges and crispy tortilla chips

2. Baked Tacos

Shrink down the baked taco into a bite-sized treat. Fill mini tortilla shells with seasoned meat, beans, cheese, and a dollop of sour cream. These small bites pack big flavors and are a crowd favorite.

3. Mozzarella Sticks

The gooey melted cheese inside a crispy exterior makes mozzarella sticks a crowd-pleaser, and their richness complements the flavors of chili well. Offer marinara sauce or ranch dressing as a dip.

Mozzarella sticks in a baking sheet, served with a sour cream di[

4. Potato Skins

Think of golden-brown potato halves, generously loaded with melted cheese, a sprinkle of green onions, and the occasional bacon bit. These yummy bites have a perfect balance of crispy and creamy textures and would be a great way to start off a meal before having some hearty chili.

5. Stuffed Jalapeños

Bite into a jalapeño filled with creamy cheese and seasoned meat, wrapped in a crispy breadcrumb coating. These spicy delights are the perfect appetizer before diving into a chili main course. Pair with a cool ranch or cilantro-lime dip to complement the heat.

Best Side Dishes for Chili

Chili, with its rich flavors and comforting warmth, is often hearty enough to stand alone, but the right sides can make it truly shine.

1. Rice

A scoop of steamed rice alongside your chili can work wonders. The neutral taste of rice offers a balance to the spices of the chili, soaking up the sauce and providing a delightful texture contrast. For a healthier twist, brown rice or quinoa are great alternatives.

2. Cornbread Casserole

It’s hard to mention chili without thinking of cornbread. That hint of sweetness in cornbread is the perfect foil to chili’s heat, be it vegetable chili or meat-heavy version. Pair it with whipped honey butter or a drizzle of maple syrup.

Slice of cornbread casserole in a plate

3. Baked Potato or Sweet Potato

Baked potatoes provide a comforting base to chili, be it a traditional beef chili or a spicy chicken chili. Their mildness balances chili’s intensity. For an ideal serving, lay chili atop a split open baked potato or keep them side by side. Enhance with shredded cheese, green onions, or sour cream.

4. Fresh bread

Opt for no-knead artisan bread or soft dinner rolls, both of which effectively absorb the flavors while providing added texture. It’s a straightforward, yet satisfying addition to any chili meal.

5. Garlic Bread

Classic garlic bread (homemade or store-bought) or level up with these cheesy garlic fingers. It’s best served warm, either beneath the chili or on the side. For an added touch, sprinkle with parsley or parmesan.

Sliced cheesy garlic fingers

6. Salads

To cut through the heaviness of chili, a fresh salad can be the ideal companion.

  • A simple green salad with a tangy vinaigrette, or a zesty slaw can provide a refreshing contrast.
  • A Southwestern salad, featuring black beans, corn, avocado, and zesty lime dressing, keeps with the chili theme.
  • Don’t overlook the flavors of a Mexican Slaw or a Mexican Street Corn Salad – both bring unique tastes that complement chili beautifully.
bowl of mexican street corn salad

7. French Fries, Sweet Potato Fries or Onion Rings

Ideal for dunking, especially if you have a thicker beef or pork chili. The crispy exterior and soft insides make for a perfect bite.

8. Biscuits

While maybe not the first thing that pops to mind, I love to serve a bowl of chili with fresh, warm, buttermilk drop biscuits.

Buttermilk Drop Biscuits on a baking sheet

Vegetables that Go with Chili

Chili, with its warm and spicy flavors, pairs beautifully with a variety of vegetables. Whether you want to mix them into your chili or serve them on the side, the right veggies can add texture, color, and additional layers of flavor to your meal. Here are some standout choices:

1. Bell Peppers

Their varied colors, from green to red to yellow, not only brighten the dish but also add a hint of sweetness and crunch. They can be diced and sautéed into the chili or sliced and served raw for an added crunch.

2. Onions

Whether it’s white, yellow, or red onions, they contribute depth and a touch of sweetness, especially when sautéed. They can be cooked into the chili’s base or, for a fresher take, green onions can be sprinkled on top.

Vegetables like bell peppers, onion, chilis on a kitchen countertop

3. Corn

The kernels of corn introduce a sweet burst, offering a textural contrast. You can incorporate them directly into the chili or relish roasted corn on the cob as a distinct side.

Grilled corn on the cob served in a plate

4. Zucchini and Summer Squash

With their mild flavors, these vegetables absorb the rich tones of chili. They can be diced into the chili or presented as grilled slices on the side.

5. Kale or Spinach

Adding these leafy greens introduces a nutrient-rich dimension to the chili. Simply stir them in during the final cooking minutes, ensuring they wilt perfectly without being overcooked.

Fresh kale in a glass of water

6. Avocado

Its creamy texture offers a soothing counter to chili’s heat. It can be layered on top of the chili or served as a complementary side, perhaps in the form of guacamole.

7. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes can be an unconventional yet tasty addition. Dice and cook them into the chili, or enjoy them as roasted wedges on the side.

Two large sweet potatoes

Chili is a versatile dish that can be adapted to any season. To make the most of fresh, seasonal produce and infuse your chili with vibrant flavors, check out the table below for ingredients that shine in each season.

Summer Fall Winter Spring
Bell Peppers Sweet Potatoes Onions Zucchini
Corn Kale Spinach Summer Squash
Zucchini Brussels Sprouts Kale Bell Peppers
Summer Squash   Sweet Potatoes Spinach
Avocado     Corn
The exact seasonal availability might differ based on the region or country.

Sandwiches to Serve with Chili

Choosing the right sandwich to serve with your chili can transform your meal from great to exceptional. Whether you’re in the mood for something light and fresh or rich and hearty, there’s a sandwich out there that’s the perfect match for your bowl of chili.

1. Classic Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese sandwiches go as well with chili as they do a bowl of tomato soup. Dip a corner of the sandwich into the chili for a combined bite of crunchy, creamy, and spicy.

grilled cheese served with tomato soup

2. BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato)

The salty bacon combined with fresh lettuce and juicy tomatoes offers a refreshing counterpoint to hearty chili. Serve with a spicy chili to contrast the cool crispness of the BLT.

3. Avocado Toasted Sandwich

Ripe avocado slices on toasted bread provide a creamy texture that can help tame the heat from a spicy chili. Add a sprinkle of chili flakes on the avocado for extra heat if desired.

4. Meatball Sub

Juicy meatballs with marinara sauce in a sub roll can be a meat lover’s delight alongside chili. Since this is a richer sandwich option, pair with a lighter, broth-based chili.

5. Turkey and Swiss

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

Loaded with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers, this sandwich offers a crunchy, fresh counter to spicy or meat-heavy chili.

7. Tuna Salad Sandwich

The cool, creamy tuna salad, with its mild taste, can mellow out a particularly fiery chili’s kick.

8. Chicken Caesar Wrap

Grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, and Caesar dressing wrapped in a tortilla creates a combination that’s both hearty and fresh. A white bean chicken chili, with its lighter profile and similar poultry base, would be a harmonious match, with the Caesar dressing adding a creamy dimension to the mix.

9. Egg Salad Sandwich

The soft and creamy egg salad offers a mellow taste, a delicate counterpoint to a chili’s robust flavors. A vegetarian chili, perhaps one with a tomato base and a variety of beans, would let both the sandwich and chili shine without one overshadowing the other.

Here’s a cheat sheet to perfectly pair your sandwich with the right chili:

Sandwich Name Best Paired With
Classic Grilled Cheese Any chili type
BLT Spicy chili
Avocado Toasted Sandwich Spicy chili
Meatball Sub Lighter, broth-based chili
Turkey and Swiss Rich, smoky beef chili
Veggie Sub Spicy or meat-heavy chili
Tuna Salad Sandwich Fiery chili
Chicken Caesar Wrap White bean chicken chili
Egg Salad Sandwich Vegetarian chili

What to Eat With Chili That’s Healthy

Pairing your chili with these healthy sides ensures a balanced, flavorful, and nutrient-rich meal. By making a few smart choices, you can enjoy the comfort of chili without compromising your health goals. Here are some ideas:

1. Green Salads with a Zesty Vinaigrette

A fresh green salad, filled with leafy greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, and maybe even some avocado slices, can be a refreshing counterpoint to chili’s heartiness. Opt for a zesty vinaigrette made with olive oil, lime, or lemon juice, and a touch of honey or agave.

Green salad with chopped strawberries

2. Quinoa or Brown Rice

Switch out the usual white rice for quinoa or brown rice. Both grains are rich in fiber, protein, and essential minerals. They provide a wholesome base that complements the robust flavors of the chili.

3. Steamed, Roasted or Air Fryer Veggies

Vegetables like broccoli, green beans, Brussels sprouts, or zucchini can be simply steamed or roasted as a hot alternative to the soup-and-salad combo. Their natural flavors pair well with chili, offering a nutrient-packed side.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts:

These crispy maple-roasted brussels sprouts are almost candied, they get so sweet with the roasting and a drizzle of maple syrup. The sweetness is a really nice counterpoint to the spicy chili.

Crispy Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Maple and Bacon on a baking sheet with parchment paper.

4. Avocado

Avocado, with its healthy fats and creamy texture, can be a delicious and nutritious addition to chili. You can either slice the avocado and serve it as a topping or whip up one of these perfect avocado-based recipes.

Easy Authentic Guacamole

A blend of avocados, lime juice, garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, green onions, and tomatoes creates this refreshing dip. Adding a dollop to your chili introduces a fresh, cooling element, complementing especially well with rich, meaty chilis.

a bowl of homemade guacamole

Avocado Crema

This creamy sauce combines avocados, sour cream or yogurt, lime juice, salt, pepper, and cilantro. Drizzling it on top or mixing into spicier versions of chili provides both a smooth contrast and a gentle cooling sensation.

Glass jar of avocado crema

5. Baked Tortilla Chips

If you love the crunch of chips with your chili but want a healthier alternative to the fried version, opt for baked tortilla chips. Even better, make your own by baking whole wheat tortillas until crispy.

6. Kale Chips

For a crunchy, nutritious snack, toss some kale leaves with a bit of olive oil and your favorite seasonings, then bake until crisp. They’re a delightful, nutrient-dense alternative to traditional chips.

7. Greek Yogurt

Instead of sour cream, consider topping your chili with a dollop of Greek yogurt. It offers the same creaminess but with added protein and fewer fats.

8. Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

Grate cauliflower to form “rice,” then sauté it lightly with a bit of lime zest and fresh cilantro. It’s a low-carb, grain-free alternative that pairs beautifully with chili.

9. Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles)

If you enjoy chili over pasta, try using zucchini noodles as a low-carb, healthy alternative. They add a fresh, slightly crunchy element to the dish.

Here’s a quick glance at various accompaniment types and their healthier alternatives to pair with your chili:

Accompaniment Type Healthy Options
Salads & Fresh Additions Green Salads, Avocado
Grain & Low-Carb Bases Quinoa, Brown Rice, Cauliflower Rice, Zoodles
Vegetable Sides Steamed/Roasted Veggies, Brussels Sprouts
Toppings & Dips Guacamole, Avocado Crema, Greek Yogurt
Crunchy Alternatives Baked Tortilla Chips, Kale Chips

Non-Alcoholic Drinks to Pair with Chili

While a cold beer might be the traditional go-to for many when enjoying a bowl of chili, there are plenty of non-alcoholic beverages that can enhance the flavors of your dish. Here are some refreshing and palate-cleansing options:

1. Iced Tea

The tannins in iced tea can complement the spices in chili and refresh your palate between bites. Opt for a slightly sweetened version or add a slice of lemon for an added twist.

Quick and Easy Iced Tea in glasses with Mint.

2. Lemon or Lime Sparkling Water

The zesty citrus notes can cut through the richness of the chili, offering a refreshing palate cleanser. Serve chilled with a wedge of lemon or lime for an extra burst of flavor.

3. Root Beer or Cream Soda

The sweet and creamy flavors in these sodas balance out the spicy and savory elements of chili. Opt for a high-quality brand with natural sweeteners to prevent overpowering the chili.

4. Horchata

This creamy, rice-based drink with hints of vanilla and cinnamon can mellow out the heat of a spicy chili. Homemade horchata with a sprinkle of extra cinnamon on top can elevate the pairing.

5. Chilled Coconut Water

The natural sweetness and electrolytes in coconut water can refresh your taste buds. Serve cold straight from the fridge for maximum refreshment.

6. Cucumber-Mint Cooler

The combo of cucumber and mint offers a cooling effect, great for offsetting a spicy chili. Muddle fresh mint leaves and cucumber slices, then top with sparkling water.

Two glasses of cucumber mint cooler

7. Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer

The ginger’s spicy kick can mirror the chili’s heat, while the sweetness balances it out. Look for brands with a strong ginger flavor for the best pairing.

8. Milk or Almond Milk

Dairy or dairy alternatives can counteract the heat from chili peppers, soothing the mouth. A cold glass of milk can be especially effective for kids and those sensitive to spice.

Desserts That Go With Chili

When pairing desserts with chili, the goal is balance. You want something that contrasts the heat and spiciness, but also something that complements the rich and hearty flavors. Whether you choose a classic dessert or something unexpected, the right choice will make your chili meal truly unforgettable.

1. Homemade Banana Ice Cream

Homemade Banana Ice Cream is a cool treat that goes well after a warm chili dish. It’s sweet and smooth, giving a nice break from the spiciness of the chili.

Two servings of homemade banana ice cream with chopped strawberries

2. Apple Cake

The tartness and sweetness of apples in the Apple Caramel Cake, combined with the smooth caramel, can be a refreshing contrast to the heat and heartiness of chili. The warm spices in the cake go beautifully with chili’s robust flavors.

Sliced Caramel Apple Cake

3. Chocolate Cake

For chocolate lovers, a slice of Moist Chocolate Cake or perhaps a Flourless Chocolate Cake or Chocolate Orange Cake can be an indulgent treat. They’re rich, delectable, and are sure to satisfy your sweet cravings after a flavorful chili meal.

A slice of chocolate cake with whipped chocolate frosting on a plate with a fork.

4. No-Bake Chocolate Tart

Smooth, creamy, and with a velvety texture, no-bake chocolate tart is the perfect soothing finish after a spicy meal.

A slice of chocolate tart on a plate.

5. No-Bake Cheesecake

If your chili packs some serious heat, consider serving a refreshing fluffy no-bake cheesecake as dessert to cool things down a notch.

6. Cinnamon Raisin Rice Pudding

The creamy texture and mild flavors of Cinnamon Raisin Rice Pudding can be a comforting contrast to a spicy chili, while the cinnamon and raisins tie back to the warm spices often found in chili

Cinnamon rice pudding served in a small bowl

7. Chocolate Mousse

The richness of dark chocolate, contrasted by a hint of sea salt, complements the deep flavors of a hearty chili. The chocolate mousse‘s airy texture offers a light finish to the meal.

8. Icebox Cake

Icebox cakes can be great with chili because of their chilled nature. They offer a cool, layered sensation that can offset the chili’s warmth. My Strawberry Icebox Cake is a prime example: the graham crackers soften, evoking a tiramisu-like texture that pairs well with the deep flavors of chili.

A slice of strawberry cream cheese icebox cake.

What to Serve with Chili at a Party: 3 Sample Menus

Planning the perfect party spread around your chili centerpiece? Explore these three sample menus designed to complement your chili and delight your guests at any gathering.

A Classic and Delicious Menu

This menu is all about the favorite comfort foods we all love. It’s filled with classic recipes that’ll remind you of home.

Course Dish
Appetizer Mini baked tacos
Main Your signature beef chili with a variety of beans and spices
Side Cheese quesadilla triangles served with guacamole
Drink Root beer or cream soda
Dessert Caramel ripple apple cake

The Veggie-packed Healthy Menu

Here’s a menu that’s both tasty and good for you. It’s packed with vegetables, perfect for anyone wanting a healthy meal with lots of flavor.

Course Dish
Appetizer Guacamole and zesty salsa, accompanied by Vegetable Sticks: celery, carrots, and bell peppers
Main Vegetable-rich chili garnished with avocado crema
Side Cornbread Muffins
Drink Lemon or Lime Sparkling Water
Dessert Homemade Banana Ice Cream

The Gluten-Free Menu

For those avoiding gluten, this menu is just for you. You can enjoy a tasty meal without any gluten worries.

Course Dish
Appetizer Potato skins
Main Gluten-free chili topped with shredded cheese and green onions.
Side Tortilla Chips
Drink Horchata
Dessert No-Bake Chocolate Tart


Short on time or just want the highlights? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

What to serve with chili instead of rice?

A popular alternative to rice with chili is cornbread. It’s hearty, flavorful, and pairs wonderfully with the robust flavors of chili. Other options include tortilla chips, a fresh salad, baked potatoes, or pasta. For a sweet finish, consider a dessert like apple cake or banana ice cream.

What goes with chili for a potluck?

For a potluck, consider bringing along cornbread muffins, a big bowl of tortilla chips with guacamole or salsa, or a crisp coleslaw. Desserts like chocolate cake or strawberry icebox cake are sure to be crowd-pleasers.

What to serve with chili verde?

Chili verde pairs well with tortillas, either corn or flour, allowing you to scoop up every delicious bite. A side of refried beans, mexican rice, or a simple avocado salad can also complement the dish. Finish off with a cool no-bake cheesecake for dessert.

What to eat with green chili?

Green chili pairs wonderfully with tortilla chips, quesadillas, and roasted vegetables. A fresh cucumber salad or corn on the cob can also complement its flavors. A slice of apple cake can provide a sweet ending.

What to serve with turkey chili?

Turkey chili goes well with a side of crusty bread, quinoa, or roasted sweet potatoes. A light green salad with a tangy vinaigrette can also be a refreshing side. And for dessert, homemade banana ice cream is a delightful choice.

What to serve with white chili?

White chili pairs beautifully with garlic bread, tortilla chips, or a simple green salad. Roasted brussels sprouts or sautéed greens can also be great sides. And to satisfy your sweet tooth, a chocolate cake is a perfect choice.

What to serve with vegetarian chili?

Vegetarian chili can be paired with rice, garlic breadsticks, or a fresh kale salad. For those wanting a carb-free side, steamed broccoli or roasted cauliflower can be a good choice. And for a sweet finish, an apple cake is always a hit.

What wine to serve with chili?

When pairing wine with chili, a medium-bodied red wine like Zinfandel or Shiraz can complement the spicy flavors well. For a white wine option, consider a slightly sweet Riesling or Gewürztraminer to balance the heat.

What dessert to serve with chili?

After a hearty chili meal, desserts like chocolate cake, banana ice cream, or strawberry icebox cake are excellent choices. They provide a sweet contrast to the spicy and savory flavors of the chili.

What’s your favorite way to eat chili? Comment down below and don’t forget to share this post with friends and family who love chili as much as we do.

Best Chili Recipes

Before diving into what to serve with chili, let’s get the main event sorted. If you’re on the hunt for some top-notch chili recipes to warm your soul and delight your taste buds, I’ve got you covered. Below, I’ve shared my all-time favorite chili creations that have been a hit time and time again.

Dutch oven with chili con carne and a bowl by side

Chili Con Carne

When you think of a classic chili, Chili Con Carne probably comes to mind. Made with ground beef, black beans, kidney beans, and a mix of spices, my Chili Con Carne recipe stands out for its authentic flavor.

It’s an ideal choice for family dinners on a chilly night or gatherings with friends. The medium spice level ensures it’s approachable, offering warmth without being too hot.

Make it with this homemade chili seasoning recipe, for extra credit.

Instant Pot Chicken Chili

One of the wonders of modern cooking, the Instant Pot, brings this chicken chili to life in record time without compromising on flavor. This recipe revolves around tender chunks of chicken infused with a harmonious blend of spices.

What sets this dish apart is its pressure-cooking method. It ensures the flavors meld beautifully, extracting every bit of goodness from the ingredients in a fraction of the usual time.

Perfect for those spontaneous weeknight dinners or when you need a comfort food without the long wait. While the spice level leans towards the milder side, there’s still enough kick to satisfy those chili cravings.

As for its texture, it finds the middle ground between brothy and thick, making it versatile for various toppings and sides.

Chicken Chili served in a small bowl with toppings

Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

Cream Cheese Chicken Chili stands out as a luxuriously rich variant of the traditional chili we all know. Swapping out the standard beef or pork, this dish features chicken, typically boneless and skinless breasts, as its star protein.

This chili may look pale, but it is packed with flavor and generously seasoned. Its creamy texture and tangy undertones are unique, and the addition of tomatoes sets it apart from other white chili recipes. This is sure to become a regular in your home.

The cream cheese chicken chili is in a bowl and is topped with corn kernels, chilies, and cream cheese.

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili is a also delightful twist from the standard beef or pork chili. In this rich stew, tender chunks of chicken breast are paired harmoniously with white beans.

In my white chicken chili recipe, the usual tomatoes are replaced by canned green chilies, imparting a tangy punch, while the heavy cream lends an indulgent touch. Effortlessly made in one pot, the harmonious mix of spicy, tangy, and rich flavors is guaranteed to win over the whole family.

creamy white chicken chili in a dutch oven

Green Chicken Chili

Green Chicken Chili breaks the mold with its tangy and slightly spicy character. The standout ingredient in my green chicken chili recipe is salsa verde. It effortlessly infuses the dish with the robust flavors of tomatillos, garlic, and green chilies like the poblano.

Though the spice level is moderate, it can be tweaked depending on the chosen salsa verde, making this chili adaptable and a sure crowd-pleaser.

Bowl of green chicken chili

Chili Verde

Chile Verde is a cherished staple in Mexican cuisine, offering a unique green-hued take on the more common red chili. This dish swaps out the traditional beef or chicken for chunks of pork, which get beautifully tender and succulent as they simmer.

The heart of its vibrant color and taste lies in the sauce, a masterful combination of green chilies, including the likes of hatch chile peppers, anaheim peppers, and more, married with tangy tomatillos, aromatic onions, and a blend of spices. It’s savory and slightly spicy, pleasing to all.

 Chile verde in a bowl with a spoon.

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