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What to Serve With Chili

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Wondering what to serve with chili? You’ve come to the right place! Whether you’re craving something starchy, cheesy, or fresh, I’ve got a lineup of sides that are guaranteed to wow your taste buds.

A picture of various side dishes with title of "What to serve with Chili".

A big, simmering Instant Pot Chili is like a hug in a bowl. It’s hearty, flavor-packed, and a hit at cook-offs, tailgates, and campouts. It’s wonderful when served on its own, but even better when paired with an equally delicious side dish. 

Best Side Dishes for Chili

Each side dish on this list ticks all the boxes—they’re flavorful, offer a fantastic contrast in texture, and are super easy to make! 

Bread Side Dishes to Serve with Chili

Whether it’s dunking or scooping, these bread sides are perfect for soaking up all that chili goodness. 

1. Instant Pot Cornbread

Instant Pot Cornbread
When you're talking about chili sides, cornbread is king. It's got this sweetish flavor profile that just nails it with the spicy and hearty kick of chili. It's crumbly, tasty, and just right for scooping up all that rich chili flavor.
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2. Homemade Flour Tortillas

A person grabbing a stack of flatbreads on a plate.
Flour Tortilla Recipe
One of the best sides for a big bowl of chili. They’re not like other breads that try to steal the show. Nope, tortillas just get the job done right, letting the bold, spicy flavors of your chili shine through.
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3. Garlic Toast

A piece of toast on a blue plate.
Air Fryer Garlic Toast
Running short on time? Whip up some killer Garlic Toast. It's a three-ingredient wonder that's perfect for busy folks. Just toast, garlic, butter, and bam—you've got yourself a side that's easy and oh-so-tasty.
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4. Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls in a baking pan with icing.
Cinnamon Rolls
Out in Iowa, Cinnamon Rolls are a popular side with chili. Sounds odd, but believe me, the sweet and savory combo works!
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5. Peanut Butter Sandwich

A stack of strawberry and peanut butter grilled cheese on a plate.
Peanut Butter Sandwich
Yep, Peanut Butter Sandwich with chili is a thing. Over in Indiana, this unique combo is a staple at casual gatherings and school lunches.
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6. Grilled Cheese Sandwich

A grilled cheese sandwich with strawberries on top.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
The combination of chili and melted cheese? So comforting. If you love cheese, go wild and add some more!
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Snacks and Finger Foods That Go with Chili

These snacks and finger foods are so good they’ll turn your ordinary chili meal into a full-on feast.

7. Frito Pie

A fork is being used to take a bite of a casserole dish.
Frito Pie
Frito Pie mixes chili, cheese, and Fritos for a delicious treat that’s a hit with everyone. If you don’t have Fritos, don't worry. You can use any crunchy corn chips or make your own.
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8. Easy Homemade Crackers

Rosemary crackers in a blue dish with sprigs of rosemary.
Easy Homemade Crackers
You'll be amazed at how easy it is to make your own crackers—they take like 5 minutes to make, but the taste? So much better than store-bought.
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9. Ranch Oyster Crackers

A bowl full of crackers in a wooden bowl.
Ranch Oyster Crackers
Warning: These crackers are super addictive. They have that delicious ranch flavor that goes amazingly well with chili.
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10. Chips and Guacamole with Sour Cream

A bowl of guacamole with tortilla chips.
Chips & Guacamole with Sour Cream
Chips and Guac is another great side dish for chili. Perfect for when you have friends or family over. It’s familiar, easy to eat, and always a crowd favorite.
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11. Spiral Grilled Hot Dogs

Spiral Grilled Hot Dogs
Spiral Grilled Hot Dogs
Wanna impress the kiddos? Whip up these Spiral Grilled Hot Dogs. This tasty side dish is so easy to make and just plain fun.
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12. Jalapeno Poppers with Cream Cheese

Jalapeno Poppers with Cream Cheese
Jalapeno Poppers with Cream Cheese
For those who enjoy a bit of heat, these Jalapeno Poppers won’t disappoint. The heat from the jalapenos and the creaminess of the cheese balance out the chili's flavors perfectly.
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Potato Sides for Chili

These potato sides are more than just something extra on your plate. They add a whole lot of flavor and make your chili even more comforting.

13. Loaded Baked Potatoes

Loaded Baked Potatoes
Take your chili to the next level with this yummy potato side dish. The fluffy potato, spicy chili, cheese, and sour cream is a combo that'll make everyone at the table happy.
Get the Recipe

14. Crispy French Fries

French fries on a baking sheet with ketchup.
Crispy French Fries
Chili over French fries? So good. Skip the ketchup and spoon some hearty chili over your hot, crispy fries.
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15. Air Fryer Potato Skins

Air Fryer Potato Skins
Crispy Potato Skins are great with lots of things, like green beans, coleslaw, and dips. And yes, they're awesome with chili too. Don't have an air fryer? No problem. You can get them just as crispy in the oven.
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16. Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet Potato Fries
The natural sweetness of Sweet Potato Fries is the perfect match for rich, savory chili. Whether you bake or fry them, they’re a hit.
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Best Chili Side Dishes Made with Grains, Noodles, or Pasta

If potatoes are not hearty enough, check out these recipes using grains, noodles, or pasta.

17. Quick and Easy Polenta

A plate of spinach and onion omelet with a fork.
Quick and Easy Polenta
If you like cornbread, you should try Polenta. It’s got that good corn flavor with smooth, creamy texture that goes great with chili.
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18. Cincinnati Spaghetti

A bowl of spaghetti with meat, cheese and crackers.
Cincinnati Spaghetti
This unique spaghetti recipe from Ohio uses chili instead of tomato sauce. It looks fantastic, tastes amazing, and is super easy to make. Got leftover chili? Throw it in for a quick and tasty meal.
Get the Recipe

19. Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese
For a classic side, you can't go wrong with Mac and Cheese. It’s unapologetically cheesy, filling, and just plain comforting.
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20. White Rice

A spoon is being used to scoop rice out of a bowl.
White Rice
Chili on rice might sound too simple, but it's seriously good! Sometimes, the best side dishes are the simplest ones, and this dish proves it.
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21. Mexican Rice

Mexican rice in a bowl with tomatoes and limes.
Mexican Rice
Got some leftover white rice? Spice it up into a Mexican-style masterpiece. Just add a few ingredients and let your rice cooker do the rest.
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Healthy Side Salads for Your Favorite Chili Recipe

Need something fresh to balance out your chili? These salad recipes are just the ticket.

22. Cilantro Lime Cole Slaw

Coleslaw in a white bowl with gold spoons.
Cilantro Lime Cole Slaw
If you're after something light and zesty, you've got to try this Cilantro Lime Coleslaw. Serve it fresh or chilled—either way, your guests are going to love it.
Get the Recipe

23. Easy to Make Greek Salad

A bowl of salad with tomatoes, olives and feta cheese.
Greek Salad
This Greek Salad is a total flavor bomb. Your guests will be asking for seconds before you know it!
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24. Collard Greens

A bowl of collard greens with ham and bacon.
Collard Greens
Collard Greens are a staple in many Southern homes. They're hearty, slightly bitter, and a fantastic match for the rich taste of chili.
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25. Easy Green Salad

A bowl of salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and croutons.
Easy Green Salad
This healthy side dish is a fresh, crisp contrast to the spicy flavors of chili. It lightens up the meal and helps cleanse the palate between bites.
Get the Recipe

❓ FAQs

A collage of pictures featuring food in a bowl, including ideas on what to serve with chili.

What to Serve With Chili

Corinne Schmitt
Check out this lineup of sides guaranteed to wow your taste buds.
5 from 1 vote
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American


Bread Side Dishes

  • Instant Pot Cornbread
  • Flour Tortilla
  • Garlic Toast
  • Cinnamon Rolls
  • Peanut Butter Sandwich
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Snacks and Finger Foods

  • Frito Pie
  • Easy Homemade Crackers
  • Ranch Oyster Crackers
  • Chips & Guacamole with Sour Cream
  • Spiral Grilled Hot Dogs
  • Jalapeno Poppers with Cream Cheese

Potato Sides

  • Loaded Baked Potatoes
  • Crispy French Fries
  • Air Fryer Potato Skins
  • Sweet Potato Fries

Grains, Noodles, or Pasta

  • Quick and Easy Polenta
  • Cincinnati Spaghetti
  • Mac and Cheese
  • White Rice
  • Mexican Rice


  • Cilantro Lime Cole Slaw
  • Greek Salad
  • Collard Greens
  • Easy Green Salad


  • Select your favorite side.
  • Gather all of the ingredients you need.
  • Prepare the recipe and enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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