What to Serve With Chili (30 Tasty Ideas)

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Hi peeps! If you’re wondering what to serve with chili, I have 30 delicious ideas, including a few desserts, a few classics (like cornbread and baked potatoes) and some fun, exciting and simple recipes.

And if you need a great chili recipe, this Ground Chicken Chili, this vegan 3 Bean Chili, this Wendy’s Copycat Chili and this Ground Turkey Chili are reader favorites and you’re sure to love them too.

A collage of images of side dishes to serve with chili

Hi Peeps! If you’re wondering what to serve with chili, I have 30 delicious ideas, including a few desserts, a few classics (like cornbread and baked potatoes) and some fun, exciting and simple recipes. 

And if you need a great chili recipe, this Ground Chicken Chili, this vegan 3 Bean Chili, this Wendy’s Copycat Chili and this Ground Turkey Chili are reader favorites and you’re sure to love them too!

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Chili can be a whole meal in itself as it usually includes veggies and protein and is quite filling. But if you’re feeding a crowd, or want to offer a variety, adding a side dish or serving a dessert after can be a great option. 

Tips For Great Chili

  • Using a ground meat makes the chili come together fast. I have tips for cooking ground turkey and ground chicken to make sure you get the best flavor. 
  • Most of my chili recipes include a crockpot or cooking on the stovetop, but you can use your Instant Pot to make chili even faster. If you’re new to the Instant pot, check out our Instant Pot Settings guide. Chili is prone to burning if it’s a little thicker. Here’s what to do if you get a burn message on your Instant Pot. 
  • If you don’t want to use canned beans in your chili, you can make your own black beans from dried beans.
  • Toppings can really elevate a chili. Here are a few toppings to add to your favorite chili recipe to make it extra special:
    • Sour cream
    • Cheddar cheese or your favorite shredded cheese
    • Lime juice
    • Fresh Pico de Gallo
    • Fresh greens like green onions or cilantro
    • Jalapenos – either fresh or pickled
    • Guacamole
    • Fresh or pickled red onions
    • If you like a spicy chili, hot sauce or hot chili sauce

Handy Tip: Use Good Kitchen Tools!

For the best tools to help make your recipe even easier and more successful, check out my collection of the Best Kitchen Tools on Amazon.

30 Delicious Recipes to Serve With Chili

Click on the links in blue to be taken to the recipes.

1. Cornbread Casserole

Cornbread casserole scooped into a wooden spoon.

This cornbread casserole is a fun upgrade to the classic choice of cornbread. With a mix of fresh or canned corn, butter and sour cream, it’s the best comfort food and the perfect pairing with a hearty bowl of chili.

This family friendly side dish is so full of flavor and comes together with just 5 minutes of prep time. You can make this dish ahead of time as it reheats beautifully. 

Get The Recipe Here.

2. Canned Refried Beans

top down view of the finished version of the how to make canned refried beans better recipe

Have you ever wondered why canned refried beans aren’t as good as the ones from a restaurant? Well, I found the solution.

This recipe adds a few simple ingredients to a can of refried beans to make the perfect refried beans flavor. These beans are an easy side dish that will impress your family and any dinner guests. 

Get The Recipe Here.

3. Pretzels

top down view of the completed frozen pretzels in air fryer recipe

This recipe takes frozen soft pretzels and bakes them in the air fryer so you have a perfect side dish in 5 minutes.

You don’t even need to thaw your pretzels ahead of time. Pretzels are the ultimate game day snack and are perfect for a chili dinner served to a crowd. They’re delicious on their own, or you can add a little flavor to make them even more fun.

Brush with melted butter and cinnamon sugar for a sweet treat or serve them with a dip (I love quick honey mustard sauce) or hot sauce. 

Get The Recipe Here.

4. Grilled Baked Potatoes

top down view of baked potato on the grill in foil and split open

Baked potatoes on the grill are a game changer. They have the perfect crispy outside, but are creamy and fluffy on the inside. Just as it should be.

And these potatoes are one of the best side dishes to a great chili. 

Get The Recipe Here.

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5. Air Fryer Baked Potatoes

air fryer baked potato

If you don’t have a grill, or just don’t want to use it, these air fryer baked potatoes will also give you perfectly crispy on the outside potatoes with fluffy and creamy inside.

The perfectly crispy and salty skins on these potatoes will make the skin your favorite part. Cut the potatoes up and add them to the chili, pour your chili right inside the potato or serve it next to your big bowl of chili as a stand alone side.

All options are great options with this delicious potato recipe. 

Get The Recipe Here.

6. Air Fryer Potato Skins


I love the TGI Friday’s potato skins for this recipe, but you can use your favorite brand. These potatoes go from frozen to delicious ready to eat snacks in less than ten minutes with the air fryer.

You can dip them right in your chili, scoop a little chili on top of them, or eat them as they are. 

Get The Recipe Here.

7. Tossed Salad

the finished salad in a white plate with a cup of dressing on the side

If you’re looking for a lighter dish to serve with chili, this tossed salad is a great way to satisfy your taste buds and add more nutrients to your chili night.

The red onions and sunflower seeds add a tasty crunch to the mixed greens. And the quick and easy dressing recipe is easy to throw together and gives the salad a nice zing. 

Get The Recipe Here.

8. Broccoli Salad

top down view of the completed broccoli cranberry salad

You’ll love all the flavors of this delicious salad. Adding a protein to this one can make it a main dish on its own, but it also makes a great side dish. The bacon and gouda cheese give this salad a complimenting flavor to a nice bowl of chili. 

Get The Recipe Here.

9. Onion Rings


There’s nothing like finger food with some hearty chili and these onion rings don’t disappoint. Made from frozen onion rings in just 10 minutes in the air fryer, they’re air fried to crispy perfection. You can layer them on top of your chili or eat them as a side.

Get The Recipe Here. 

10. Grilled Cheese


Who doesn’t love a great grilled cheese? This one has the perfect melted cheese to bread ratio and a nice crispy outside, thanks to cooking in the air fryer.

It’s such an easy, hands-off recipe that comes out perfect every time. 

Get The Recipe Here.

11. Air Fryer Garlic Bread

the completed version of this frozen garlic bread in air fryer recipe

Perhaps the perfect side for chili dipping is this garlic bread. Pick your favorite ready made frozen garlic bread baguette and use this recipe to cook to perfection.

Then dip that crispy buttery garlic bread right into your bowl of chili. Your taste buds will thank you. 

Get The Recipe Here.

12. Boiled Corn on the Cob

top down view of the completed boiled corn on the cob recipe

Boiled corn on the cob is not just a summer food. Corn and chili are a match made in heaven. Many chilis even have corn right inside. This boiled corn is so easy and it’s delicious every time. 

Get The Recipe Here.

13. Tater Tot Casserole 

a spoon removing a serving of tater tot casserole from the dish

This casserole recipe is mouthwatering good!! It’s definitely a must try. And it’s especially great if you’re feeding a crowd.

The ground beef in the casserole makes this a super hearty dish so you can stretch your chili even further. 

Get The Recipe Here.

14. Homemade Tortillas

corn tortillas on counter wrapped in cloth napkin.

These homemade tortillas are great for rolling up and dipping into the chili or scooping a little chili on one, adding a little sour cream and cheese, rolling it up, and eating it like a mini chili burrito.

These five-star rated tortillas are a great addition to any chili but are especially great with this White Chicken Chili

Get The Recipe Here.

15. Air Fryer Tortilla Chips

close up view of the completed air fryer tortillas chips

I don’t know about you, but I love to dip salty tortilla chips in my chili. There’s just something about dipping through that melted cheese layer and into the chili, then taking a nice crunchy bite.

And these tortilla chips are so delicious and simple to make. They crisp up beautifully in the air fryer in a matter of minutes. 

Get The Recipe Here.

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16. Instant Pot Brown Rice 

Here is how to make the perfect Instant Pot Brown Rice with only 3 ingredients and less than 30 mins. It is easy, aromatic and fail-safe. #instantpotbrownrice #instantpotrice #pressurecookerbrownrice #howtocookbrownbasmatirice #howtocookbrownrice #glutenfree #vegan #veganrice #rice

I’ve been known to scoop chili right into a bowl of rice. This brown rice recipe is simple, quick, and makes the perfect rice to layer chili on top of.

And if you aren’t a fan of combining the two, add a little butter to the rice and serve separately. 

Get The Recipe Here.

17. Crockpot Sweet Potatoes

top down view of one sweet potato split open and topped wtith butter

Sweet potatoes go great with chili – either on the side or underneath a big scoop.

These sweet potatoes cook up in the crockpot while you do other things for a hands-off cooking experience. 

Get The Recipe Here.

18. White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

side view of a serving bowl filled with white cheddar mac and cheese

This homemade macaroni and cheese is so much better than the boxed version and is only a bit more work.

Mac and cheese is a true comfort meal that everyone will love. The cheesy-ness of this pasta pairs so well with the hearty and spicy chili flavors. 

Get The Recipe Here.

19. Instant Pot Cornbread

close up of sliced instant pot corn bread

This savory cheesy cornbread is so good!! You’ll love eating this full-flavored tasty bread – especially with a bowl of chili.

It will be the best cornbread you’ve ever had and can be made in the Instant Pot or in a skillet. 

Get The Recipe Here.

20. Southern Slaw 

close up view of the completed southern coleslaw recipe

Even though it’s typically paired with BBQ food, there’s no reason why a delicious slaw can’t be paired with a smoky, spicy dish like chili. The slaw’s creaminess is just the accent chili needs.

This slaw is made with only a few ingredients and after you add them to a bowl, it flavors itself in the fridge. 

Get The Recipe Here.

21. Mango Pineapple Salsa 

close up view of as bowl filled with mango pineapple salsa

A little sweet, a little savory and a bit of zest make this the perfect salsa to serve alongside your chili. Make a big batch of tortilla chips and serve both alongside a big bowl of your favorite chili. 

Get The Recipe Here.

22. Cornbread Salad

the completed cornbread salad recipe served on a ceramic bowl

If you love cornbread, but want to take it up a notch, you’ll love this cornbread salad.

It’s a little bit Tex-Mex and a little bit Southern and the blend is surprisingly delicious and an impressive side dish. It pairs perfectly with chili. 

Get The Recipe Here.

23. Red Potato Salad

Bowl of Red Potato Salad served with a silver spoon

This potato salad has all you need in a side dish. It’s creamy, salty, and hearty enough to feed a large crowd. The creaminess of this salad is a great match next to a bowl of spicy chili. 

Get The Recipe Here.

24. Pinto Beans 

If your chili is bean free, pinto beans are a great side dish. This recipe makes pinto beans from scratch, which allows much more room to add flavor and gives you more control of cooking so they aren’t too mushy.

It’s the perfect little bean dish that couldn’t be more simple to make!

Get The Recipe Here.

25. Corn Pudding Casserole

corn pudding casserole in glass baking dish.

This savory corn pudding is so tasty, can be enjoyed hot or cold, and is especially delicious on a plate next to a big bowl of chili.

The cheese, butter, and half and half in this casserole give it the most rich flavor. The perfect accompaniment for your favorite zesty chili recipe.

Get The Recipe Here.

26. Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries

Completed Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries on white parchment paper and ready to be served

These sweet and savory sweet potato fries are made in the air fryer and only include a little salt to season.

They get perfectly crispy and make a delicious orange fry. Chili cheese fries anyone??

Get The Recipe Here.

27. Mexican Dip 

the completed air fryer mexican cheese dip surrounded by tortilla chips

This slightly spicy, very creamy and so cheesy dip is a must when you’re making chili.

Whether you’re dipping your chips in it, drizzling it on top of your chili, or a little bit of everything, you’ll want to serve this dip with your next batch of chili. 

Get The Recipe Here.

28. Air Fryer Cinnamon Rolls with Bacon

4 of the completed air fryer cinnamon rolls with bacon topped with frosting

There’s something about the sweetness and cinnamon of cinnamon rolls that pairs so well with chili.

And these rolls have a sneaky dose of bacon inside to give a little smoky salty flavor to the sweet cinnamon rolls. Seriously next level, peeps!!

Get The Recipe Here.

29. Fruit Salad

the completed christmas fruit salad served with a spoon and cloth napkin

Not only is this salad beautiful, but it’s flavor-packed and adds a nice refreshing piece to your plate.

Made with a simple dressing to tie all the flavors together, this fruit salad can be served as a side or dessert. Then have the leftovers for breakfast. 

Get The Recipe Here.

30. Air Fryer Beignets

a plate of air fryer beignets ready to be served

Beignets don’t have to be difficult to make, friends. These are so simple and only require about 20 minutes of hands-on time. They taste so delicious and crisp up just right in the air fryer.

They’re a healthier version of the deep fried New Orleans style beignets.

It’s the perfect sweet dessert to follow a nice big bowl of delicious chili.

Get The Recipe Here.

More Side Dishes

More Recipes You May Like

Try some of these dessert recipes that will be spectacular after a nice bowl of chili. 

Handy Tip: Use Good Kitchen Tools!

For the best tools to help make your recipe even easier and more successful, check out my collection of the Best Kitchen Tools on Amazon.

Thank you for reading my chili side dishes recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue to slice, dice, and dream up affordable Air Fryer recipes, Instant Pot recipes, Southern Recipes, and more. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog.

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Cornbread casserole scooped into a wooden spoon.
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What to Serve With Chili (30 Tasty Ideas)

If you're wondering what to serve with chili, you've come to the right place. From desserts to classics, it's all here and all delicious.
Author: Bintu Hardy


  • Choose which side you would like.
  • Make sure you have the ingredients or plan your grocery list.
  • Make one of these easy sides to make your chili meal even more fun.
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