A warm bowl of chili is one of the most comforting dishes, but you may be wondering what you can serve with it. The flavors of chili can be very versatile, so there are many different kinds of dishes you can use for sides.
Most people will serve cornbread or some kind of soaking up agent for the chili. But there are so many different choices you can have for side dishes that will add flavors and textures to your dinner.
There are even recipes that you can use to spice up that staple cornbread recipe! Read on to learn about the perfect 17 side dishes for chili.
17 Side Dishes to Serve With Chili
There are so many different choices you have when finding a side dish to eat with chili. Each one brings out different flavors in the chili and complements the richness of the chili.
Most people immediately think of cornbread to make as a side dish to go with chili. But there are so many different kinds of cornbread that can add to the flavors of your dish.
Jalapeno cornbread and skillet cornbread are two that will add nice flavors to your chili while also adding to the spice level. Chili typically contains Mexican spices, and the sweetness of the cornbread with the savory elements is perfect with chili.
2. Grilled Peppers
Grilling vegetables can be a great addition to chili. You can even go as far as adding the grilled vegetables into your chili. But as a side dish, grilled peppers add a smokiness and sharp flavor to your dinner.
These peppers can even be stuffed. You can add cheese or rice or even more vegetables to the peppers and place them on the grill; they will be an excellent side dish.
3. Roasted Vegetables
Roasted vegetables can be a nice compliment to any dinner. But they are a great side dish for chili. Root vegetables, in particular, provide the meaty and earthy taste that complements the spicy zing of chili.
On a baking sheet, you can place the cut-up vegetables, and as they are roasting in the oven, the sugars will caramelize. This will add sweetness to the dish.
Bread is a perfect side dish for chili. The bread acts as a sponge and soaks up the flavors of the chili. You could even use it as a spoon for your chili.
Just like cornbread, you don’t have just to have traditional artisan bread. You can use cheese bread or herb-filled bread. These two are perfect combinations for the side dish because they add to the toppings’ flavors on the chili.
5. Baked Potatoes
Baked potatoes are one of the most common things that people have with chili. The potato adds an earthy flavor, and then the added ingredients complement the chili well.
You can make a great baked potato in the oven and then load it up with cheese, sour cream, chives, or even other vegetables. Adding these ingredients, you bring out the same flavors found in the chili, making it a great combination.
6. Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts can be a great addition to chili. Being a cold-weather vegetable, they grow at the perfect time for warm-weather dishes like chili.
You can roast these sprouts and add bacon and various seasonings. These can add to the bacon’s saltiness and the sweetness of the sugars’ caramelization in the Brussel sprouts.
7. Mashed Potatoes
Just like a baked potato, mashed potatoes are a great addition to chili. The potatoes’ creaminess contrasts nicely with the chili because the chili usually has many different types of meat and beans textures.
Mashed potatoes can add earthy flavors to your dinner while also allowing you to add sour cream and cheese to the potatoes that mimic the usual chili toppings.
8. Loaded Tater Tots
Another potato dish makes this list because of the crunchy fried potato in tater tots. Chili is a portion of comfort food, and these are too!
The fried crunchiness of the potatoes mixed with cream cheese and salted bacon are perfect compliments. You can even combine the two dishes and make loaded chili tots adding the spice to them.
The creamy fresh sharpness is an excellent combination with the chili’s warmness brightening it up for the summer months!
Coleslaw is easy to make, and added spices can make it zingy. This makes it a versatile dish and can complement the chili well.
Another vegetable dish but a nice bright one to go with the chili is a salad. Salad is such a versatile dish because you can add many different ingredients to the lettuce and make a new dish.
You can use different proteins and fats to make uniques combinations. Because chili is typically a Mexican flavored dish, you can always get off plenty of corn and avocado to the word.
Tacos are a great combination dish to add to chili. The flavors of the tortillas and the inside ingredients balance out the flavors in the chili.
The best thing about tacos is how versatile they are. You can add so many different ingredients and brighten up the heaviness of the chili. Cheese, sour cream, salsa, and meat are essential things in tacos, but they add to chili’s flavor.
Tortilla chips are some of the best additions to chili. They add the salty flavor and cut through the spice of the nachos. Nachos are delicious and add the crunchiness needed when eating chili.
Adding cheese or any other toppings can add a smooth and a good flavor combination to the chili. The Mexican flavors will carry over in both dishes.
Corn is an excellent addition to chili, but it can also be used as a side dish. Whether it is corn on the cob, street corn, or even loose kernel corn, it can be great for chili.
Corn adds sweetness to the side dish. You can add seasoning to the corn and make it spicy and contrast nicely with the corn.
Sandwiches can be a great side dish. The bread can help soak up the chili’s flavors, and the ingredients in the sandwich can complement the flavors.
One of the best sandwiches to have is grilled cheese. The smoky creaminess of the cheese adds a contrast to the sharpness of the chili.
15. Macaroni and Cheese
Even though both chili and macaroni and cheese are hot dishes, they are nice compliments. The saltiness and creaminess complement each other with the spices of the chili.
Macaroni and cheese can even have ingredients added to them to make them more flavorful and complementary. Adding spices and other proteins to the pasta will help to make it an excellent warm dish.
Biscuits, like bread and cornbread, are an excellent side for chili. The best thing about biscuits is that they can soak up the chili’s flavor and combine it with various flavors.
Cheese, spices, and herbs can enhance the chili’s flavor while adding the biscuit’s smoothness.
17. Fried Chicken
Fried chicken is the perfect side dish for chili. The crispy outside of the chicken contrasts nicely with the smoothness of the chili.
The chicken’s flavors and juiciness are an excellent combination of the chili’s spices and allow you to have a well-rounded flavor in your mouth.
Any of these dishes will be a great addition to your table. They will enhance the flavors of the chili, specifically the spiciness of the chili.
Make your guests impressed by adding a combination of these dishes to your table and keep everyone full.