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31 Finger-Licking Chili Side Dishes

Some of the best Sides for Chili include noodles, rice, with cornbread or biscuits and sour cream. Some meatballs, pasta shells, cheese and crackers, oyster crackers, hotdogs or hamburgers, and baked beans.

Chili is a great recipe to have on hand because you can serve it at any time.

Whether you are hosting a party, planning for a potluck, or looking for something easy to make from scratch, here is a table of suggestions that might help.

Chili Side Dishes: Quick Table

RecipeCalories Per ServingPreparation Time
Homemade Cornbread18340 minutes
Fresh Vegetables8930 minutes
Fritos44128 minutes
Tortilla Chips13520 minutes
Fritos Stuffed with Cheese20615 minutes
Cornbread Muffins24428 minutes
Garlic Bread30018 minutes
Cucumbers6610 minutes
Chips2112 hours
Plain Rice20020 minutes
Slow Cooker Cornbread1681 hour 40 minutes
Baked Sweet Potatoes14650 minutes
Pecans19630 minutes
Hamburger Buns21840 minutes
Baked Potato Wedges1811 hour 5 minutes
Hummus and Pita Bread28330 minutes
Pretzels2661 hour 50 minutes
Sweet Potato Fries1301 hour 17 minutes
Tortilla Chips and Salsa2625 minutes
Melted Cheese and Macaroni53850 minutes
Steak54220 minutes
Nacho Cheese Doritos14225 minutes
Corn Chips2322 hour 5 minutes
Hot Dogs29910 minutes 
Ravioli732 hour 5 minutes
Sour Cream451 day 5 minutes
Croutons12520 minutes
Sliced Green Onions325 minutes
Fried Egg1223 minutes
Jalapeños2840 minutes
Banana Peppers5730 minutes

As something different every time, chili holds a special place in our hearts and bellies. But let’s be real here: we’re all looking for something to round out the meal.

Side dishes are perfect when enjoying chili because they complement and give flavor and texture contrast to the rich dish. Think of them as the garnish on your plate.

Chili is a hearty meat and bean stew that’s perfect for the winter season, but sometimes you have to have something more than just chili when it’s cold outside.

Here are some ideas for side dishes to add on top of your next batch of chili

1. Homemade Cornbread 

Nothing beats the soft, deliciousness of fresh cornbread. Cornbread is so versatile as it pairs well with everything, from fried chicken to pulled pork to chili and, of course, a large variety of soups and stews.

Calories Per Serving: 183

Total Preparation Time: 40 minutes

2. Fresh Vegetables 

If you’re not adding fresh vegetables to your chili, you should be! If you’re adding meat to your chili, add some healthy veggies there, too. 

This way, everyone gets a little bit of both good things. Chopped broccoli or butternut squash would be delicious additions.

Calories Per Serving: 89

Total Preparation Time: 30 minutes

3. Fritos 

We’re going to assume you know how to make cheese and fluffy chili, but if you want to kick up the spice and get some crunch in your meal, then Fritos are for you. 

Fritos are good for topping chili with or adding some additional spice without adding too many calories.

Calories Per Serving: 441

Total Preparation Time: 28 minutes

4. Tortilla Chips 

Tortilla chips are good for serving as snacks or served with a side of chili. If you don’t want to use a whole bag, then make sure you toast them in the oven. 

The more crunch and snap there is, the more your meal will be fun and lively. Tortilla chips also taste delicious on a salad or scooped up with chili when they’re still warm.

Calories Per Serving: 135

Total Preparation Time: 20 minutes

5. Fritos Stuffed With Cheese (Aka Burritos) 

The only thing we can eat more than Fritos are burritos! They’re great for adding flavor and texture to chili, but you can also munch on them as snacks if you don’t want to use them for serving out of the bowl. 

It’s your life, and you’re allowed to be greedy; just don’t complain when your stomach is making noises.

Calories Per Serving: 206

Total Preparation Time: 15 minutes

6. Cornbread Muffins 

Cornbread muffins are a little more fun for eating than regular cornbread because they have some yummy dents in them or can be cut into fun shapes. 

Plus, they make the chili look pretty. You could even fill up the holes with shredded cheese, jalapenos, or sour cream if you want to add even more flavor to it!

Calories Per Serving: 244

Total Preparation Time: 28 minutes

7. Garlic Bread 

Topping your chili with garlic bread makes it even more delicious by adding tender croutons that are covered in a light garlic butter sauce. 

You can add some melted butter to the garlic bread for a bonus or serve them with some dipping sauce if you want extra flavor with every bite.

Calories Per Serving: 300

Total Preparation Time: 18 minutes

8. Cucumbers 

These little guys are low in calories, perfect when there isn’t enough meat on your plate, and they can be served as a side dish or even eaten on their own. 

They go perfectly with spicy chili because they help cool the meal down a bit, adding more flavor to the dish overall.

Calories Per Serving: 66

Total Preparation Time: 10 minutes

9. Chips 

Chips are a great way to round out the meal, but they’re not typically something you would eat if you’re eating chili because they go well with spicy food

To make things easier, try using salsa and sour cream as dipping sauces; they’re delicious and pretty much go with all foods.

Calories Per Serving: 211

Total Preparation Time: 2 hours

10. Plain Rice 

If you love chili but want to keep your calories in check, then plain rice works well instead of beans or potatoes because it takes up less room on the table and doesn’t add any additional flavor or nutrients to the meal

Plus, plain rice is the way to go if you want to fill up more because it’s an easy grain and fluffy starch.

Calories Per Serving: 200

Total Preparation Time: 20 minutes                                                                       

RELATED: How Long Will A Chili Last In The Fridge?

11. Slow Cooker Cornbread (A.k.a. Quesadillas) 

This is awesome for making an entire meal in the crock pot!

Just cook up some meat, veggies, or beans, add them to a flour tortilla with cheese, and place them in the slow cooker on low heat until they are warm enough to melt all of the cheese on top of them. 

Then, let your family eat it immediately or eat it cold at lunchtime in a couple of days when you don’t want to use your oven again.

Calories Per Serving: 168

Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

12. Baked Sweet Potatoes 

Baked sweet potatoes are great to eat with chili because they are delicious on their own, but they also add a little sweetness that can be enjoyed with the spicy flavors

Plus, they make your meal look aesthetically pleasing and are good for a filling side dish! Top it with some of your favorite chili ingredients, and dig in!

Calories Per Serving: 146

Total Preparation Time: 50 minutes

13. Pecans 

Pecans are great to add to your bowl of chili for a nutty flavor, but they also make the meal healthier and filling. Pecans are high in protein and natural fats and can be used as toppings or sprinkled into warm chili until they melt. 

You can also add pecans to cookies or into your chocolate. Pecans are also an excellent tool for making pralines at Christmas time!

Calories Per Serving: 196

Total Preparation Time: 30 minutes

14. Hamburger Buns 

Add some hamburger buns to the chili if you want to use some bread without having to make your own. 

The barbecue sauce in the hamburger buns makes them taste great with spicy meals. Now that’s delicious!

Calories Per Serving: 218

Total Preparation Time: 40 minutes

15. Baked Potato Wedges 

Want to make your meal a little more filling? Then, serve it with a side of baked potato wedges! 

Add some chili and cheese to the cooked potatoes and dig in. The baked potato wedges make the meal lighter, so you can dig into a full bowl without getting way too full. Plus, they’re delicious!

Calories Per Serving: 181

Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

16. Hummus And Pita Bread 

Hummus is a Middle Eastern spread made from chickpeas and tahini, a sesame-based sauce used in making Cocktail Meatballs

It’s thin, smooth, and delicious, spread on toast with pita bread and topped with cucumber or radishes for extra flavor. These go great with chili as well as sandwiches.

Calories Per Serving: 283

Total Preparation Time: 30 minutes

17. Pretzels 

Pretzels are great for a light meal right before bed or when you’re trying to wake up in the morning after eating a big meal during dinner. They are high in protein, low in calories, and can be chewed through like gum! 

They can also be dipped into any of your favorite dip sauces, like chili or Picante sauce. I would recommend eating chili with pretzels!

Calories Per Serving: 266

Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

18. Sweet Potato Fries 

Sweet Potato Fries are a great way to add a little extra spice and zest to your meal when you are feeling tired. 

If you want to add some sweetness to your chili without adding sugar, then these fries are for you! They’re crunchy, delicious, and spicy, so they’re a perfect combo of flavors that can make any meal more enjoyable.

Calories Per Serving: 130

Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 17 minutes

19. Tortilla Chips And Salsa 

If you want to make your chili more palatable for people who are not spicy food lovers, then tortilla chips with salsa are the perfect way to go! 

The sweet flavor of the salsa mixed with the savory taste of the chili is impressive. It’s also just amazing to dip tortilla chips into salsa because that is one of my favorite things ever. Yum!

Calories Per Serving: 262

Total Preparation Time: 5 minutes

20. Melted Cheese And Macaroni (A.k.a. Baked Cheese) 

If you want to make your chili and cheese just a little bit faster, then throw some shredded cheese into the microwave for about a minute until it is fully melted and edible. 

This makes it a perfect topping for macaroni and cheese or even meats like hamburgers. You can also add this to your bowl of chili if you want to!

Calories Per Serving: 538

Total Preparation Time: 50 minutes

RELATED: 10 Great Green Chili Substitutes

21. Steak 

Steak is an excellent addition to your chili because it adds a savory taste to the meal while making it less spicy. 

Plus, if you’re having steak for dinner anyway, then why not top it with some chili on the side? Just keep piling in the toppings and let your stomach do all the work!

Calories Per Serving: 542

Total Preparation Time: 20 minutes

22. Nacho Cheese Doritos 

Who doesn’t love Doritos? I mean, they are delicious! But sometimes, you just want to eat something crunchy and salty to go with your chili. 

Eat your favorite kind of Doritos on the side of your bowl, or even put them into the chili and eat them along with your dinner; they add a little spice to the meal.

Calories Per Serving: 145

Total Preparation Time: 25 minutes

23. Corn Chips 

Corn chips are crunchy and light, making them a great addition to your chili. They can be used to make tacos or dip into some guacamole or sauce. 

You can add corn chips to your bowl or even stick them on the side of the chili, so they don’t get soggy. If you want a little more crunch, add these tasty treats to your bowl of bubbling chili!

Calories Per Serving: 232

Total Preparation Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

24. Hot Dogs 

If you’re eating chili, then grab some hot dogs and place them into the pot together. You can use your hot dogs or even buy some of the more convenient hot dogs that come in tubes. 

The chili and cheese melted onto your hot dog are delicious. It’s also a great way to get rid of the leftovers from a party or barbecue, so no one will ever know that you ate all of their food!

Calories Per Serving: 299

Total Preparation Time: 10 minutes      

25. Ravioli 

Ravioli is a great side dish to go with your chili. It’s not just for dinner, but it’s also suitable for lunches and dinner parties

Ravioli works well with chili because it adds more flavor and gives it a chewy texture to make your meal even tastier.

Calories Per Serving: 73

Total Preparation Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

26. Sour Cream 

Sour cream is an excellent addition to your chili because it adds some more fat and flavor to the meal

Just pour some sour cream into your bowl and stir it with your spoon. Don’t add too much, or you’ll end up with more of a soup than a bowl of chili!

Calories Per Serving: 45

Total Preparation Time: 1 day 5 minutes

27. Croutons 

Croutons are not only used for salads but also great to add to soups, including chili! They make your meal crunchier and help give texture while adding more flavor to the mix. 

Plus, if you’re making soup or stew and have some extra bread, it’s a perfect way to add delicious flavor to the meal.

Calories Per Serving: 125

Total Preparation Time: 20 minutes

28. Sliced Green Onions 

This is an excellent topping for chili because they add spicy flavor while cooling salsa and adding more of a crunchy texture to your food. 

Plus, green onions are edible all year round, so you can find them pretty much anywhere! One more thing; they’re super cheap.

Calories Per Serving: 32

Total Preparation Time: 5 minutes

29. Fried Egg 

Fried eggs are one of those things that you only eat when you want to get the leftovers out of the fridge or if you’re eating breakfast for dinner

However, they’re really good to add to your chili if you’re eating breakfast for dinner (or lunch or dinner).

Calories Per Serving: 1122

Total Preparation Time: 3 minutes

30. Jalapenos 

Chili without jalapeño is like salsa without salt; it just doesn’t work! Jalapenos are spicy, crunchy, and super delicious. 

If you’re eating nachos, just chop up some jalapeños and add them to the whole bowl. You can taste a little bit of the spicy, but it doesn’t give you too much spiciness that it burns your mouth.

Calories Per Serving: 28

Total Preparation Time: 40 minutes

RELATED: 25 Chili Toppings For Your Chili Bar

31. Banana Peppers 

If you’re eating chili and feeling a bit adventurous, then go ahead and add banana peppers into the mix. They are spicy but not too spicy, and they are crunchy, just like jalapeño peppers.

If you want to feel extra adventurous, then you can even turn the peppers into a sauce and add it to your chili!

Calories Per Serving: 57

Total Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Types Of Chili-Side Dishes Are There?

There are many different types of chili sides; for example, you can have dips like queso, guacamole, or salsa. You can also have vegetables and salads like cornbread, mashed potatoes, or a salad with tomato on top.

Crusty bread on the side will also work. The options are pretty much unlimited, and you get to choose which ones best go together with your dish.

Which Ways Do I Serve My Chili Side Dish?

There are several ways to serve your chili side dish. You could serve the dish after the chili. You could also serve it before you start eating your chili. Another way is to serve it in between different types of chilies and a dessert or a drink.

It is an excellent way to switch between a spicy side dish and something sweet.

What Veggies Goes With Chili?

There are plenty of options which go extremely well with chili however there are few which are pretty popular. Chili can be paired with baked beans, onion rings, lettuce leaves, potatoes, bell peppers, etc.

31 Finger-Licking Chili Side Dishes

5 from 1 vote

The Delicious Sides For Chili Are The Best Side Dishes For Chili And Are So Easy To Make.

Directions

  • Pick a recipe from the list above
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  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
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Recipe Video

Jess Smith