15 Delicious Chili Side Dishes (Aside from Cornbread)

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Chili and cornbread are a popular combination for a reason: the fiery, earthy taste of the chili complements the delicate sweetness and fluffiness of the cornbread. Don’t get me started on the crunchy cornbread crust, which soaks up the chili so wonderfully!

Food, on the other hand, is all about experimenting, which is always a good choice on any menu. So here are some alternatives to cornbread to offer with chili.

15 Side Dishes to Serve Alongside Chili Other Than Cornbread

Here are some of my favorite chili recipes. There may be a few traditional side dishes among them, but others may be intriguing ways to repurpose leftovers or try chili with new ingredients.

Without further ado, here are my recommendations for chili sides that you’ll love:

1 – Nachos

This is a tried-and-true combination, combining all the richness of chili with the crunchy, cheesy goodness of nachos. Make a buffet-style, choose-your-own-adventure station with several nacho toppings.

sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, and whatever nacho toppings you like.Place a couple bowls of tortilla chips, shredded cheese (I use Colby jack), and salsa on the table.

Many people prefer to make a Frito pie, which is just a bag of Fritos split open, then piled high with chili, sliced onions, and shredded cheese. It’s so easy to make and yet so tasty!

2 – Coleslaw

I prefer a refreshing slaw with my chili because it balances out the rich, fiery tastes. It also cuts the richness, allowing you to consume more chili, and who doesn’t want more chili?

Try a fast red cabbage and onion slaw with an acidic vinaigrette, the traditional cabbage and carrots with mayo, or an intriguing cabbage slaw with shredded apple and lime crema for a dressing. All of these alternatives will make your chili night lighter and more satisfying!

3 – Spaghetti

Anyone from the Midwest will understand what I mean. The Skyline chili spaghetti is a regional Cincinnati tradition that gets folks scratching their heads, but it’s very wonderful.

I’m not going to attempt to persuade you that a beanless chili is nothing more than a beef sauce for spaghetti. It’s unusual, yet this combo made the Smithsonian Institution’s list of the 20 Most Iconic Food Destinations in America, and I can’t disagree with that!

or legumes. You may use any or all of these toppings, but I really suggest the cheese.The traditional Cincinnati chili spaghetti is topped with shredded cheddar cheese, chopped onions, and cilantro.

4 – Rice

Rice is a fundamental carbohydrate with one major advantage: you can flavor it to complement whatever food you serve it with!

Chili with Mexican rice is a warming, soothing blend of spices. With a sprinkling of chopped chives or onions, you get an oniony taste that takes it to the next level.

I also prefer to serve my chili with Chipotle-style cilantro and lime rice, which lends a fragrant, herbaceous note to the fiery, savory chili. You may add cheese to the mix, but I find that a squeeze of lime is enough to liven it up.

5 – Fries

Three words: Chili. Cheese. Fries.

This classic has all the ingredients for wonderful fair cuisine that will lead to a lovely afternoon sleep. Texas, New York, Missouri, Chicago, and Philadelphia are all vying for the title of this concoction’s creator since it transformed the globe.

This combo may now be found on innumerable fast food and local restaurant menus. It’s quite easy to prepare and always excellent.

You may use ordinary or sweet potato fries, and whatever cut you choose. Waffle fries are my favorite cut because they can be used as small scoops for the chili.

6 – Mac and Cheese

Chili Mac is a comfortable combo that can make any day better. This is also a crowd-pleaser, particularly for finicky eaters like youngsters.

For a fast and simple evening supper, add packaged mac & cheese as a side to the chili. If you have more time, though, don’t be afraid to prepare it from scratch.

In your mac and cheese sauce, try various cheese blends, add-ons like sour cream and green onions, or other seasonings. Paprika, onion and garlic powder, and a pinch of cayenne pepper are always welcome additions to the mix.

7 – Fried Eggs and Toast

Who doesn’t like eating breakfast for dinner? I haven’t encountered someone like that yet, but I’m sure even the toughest opponent would fall for this combination!

Consider the following: a bowl of chili with an over-easy fried egg on top and crispy bread on the side. The egg yolk will mingle with the chile, making it more luscious and creamy while also reducing the spiciness.

If you’re hesitant, try it once with leftover chili and you’ll never look back.

8 – Baked Potatoes

Baked potatoes are an excellent set-and-forget side dish. Simply place them in the oven while preparing supper, and your carbohydrates will be ready by the time you finish!

When the potatoes are done, split them open, fluff the insides with a fork, and immediately add a tablespoon of butter and a good dusting of salt. For added taste, stir in with sour cream.

Chili pairs well with the baked potatoes’ light, fluffy, mashed potato-like texture. It’s also a filling and inexpensive method to serve a crowd. Win-win!

9 – Biscuits

This is authentic Southern comfort food. The buttery, flaky biscuits combine with the spicy, warming chili to provide a meal that will cling to your ribs and fill your soul.

There’s nothing wrong with purchasing pre-made biscuit dough, unrolling it, and baking it. If you have the time, though, prepare a batch of buttermilk biscuits. I guarantee they will not let you down.

The greatest part is that you’ll have extra biscuits to dunk in gravy or use to create a biscuit breakfast sandwich the following day!

10 – Crackers

This is a quick and easy snack or light supper. One of life’s basic pleasures is a bowl of chili with a few Saltines or oyster crackers softly smashed on top.

You may dress it up or make it fancy, but the barebones version is just as good and gratifying as any highbrow dinner. I know I’ve loved this combination while binge-watching reality television, and I have no regrets.

11 – Leftover Dumplings

This may seem strange, but it works for me. Chili pairs well with dumplings of any kind: steamed, fried, or boiling!

The thin, doughy wrapper will complement the spicy tastes of the chili well. Whatever the dumpling is packed with is probably also compatible.

Pierogi, potstickers, gyoza, and even soup dumplings that have lost their liquid! Simply combine them in a dish and enjoy this wonderful treat.

12 – Grilled Cheese

I had to mention this since so many people reported doing it. However, it seems to be correct. A bowl of chili with toasted, buttery grilled cheese is a winning combination.

You may also jazz up the grilled cheese! Add tomatoes, pickled jalapenos, and a choice of cheeses for a tasty and filling lunch!

13 – Tamales

If your South American Abuelita prepared tamales for Christmas, you’ve already tried this and don’t need me to tell you about it. Try this if you have the opportunity, for the rest of us who aren’t as fortunate!

Tamales are filling, cozy, and time-consuming to prepare. Those small packages from paradise, on the other hand, are well worth it.

If you have some free time, get a few buddies and try your hand at creating them from scratch. They are time-consuming, but you can taste the love that goes into them.

14 – Polenta or Grits

If you desire the corny deliciousness of tamales but don’t have access to corn husks or the 5+ hours it takes to cook them, polenta or grits are the next best thing.

They’ll just take 30-40 minutes to create and may be eaten fresh as creamy, silky polenta or the following day as polenta fritters.

Just make sure to boil them long enough and season them with salt. Nobody likes boring, grainy grits.

15 – Salad

Last but not least, for a lighter, healthier supper, pair a salad with chili. But you don’t have to eat the same boring lettuce salad every day!

There are several alternatives for greens, toppings, and dressings. Simply choose something to complement the chili and cut through the heaviness.

Salad with mixed greens, croutons, and a buttermilk ranch dressing is my favorite salad to serve with chili. YUM!

Final Thoughts

Chili night is usually entertaining and interesting. Who doesn’t want a nice cup of chili in front of the TV every now and then?

I hope you now have some ideas for what to serve with chili other than cornbread. There are a plethora of sides that go nicely with this hearty, cozy classic, so experiment!


What can I eat with chili besides cornbread?

Side dishes and finger snacks that go well with chili cornbread.
Skins on potatoes.
Potatoes baked.
Cinnamon buns are delicious.
Sandwiches with grilled cheese.

What side can you have with chili?

27 Best Side Dishes to Serve with Chili
Cornbread. Cornbread is the perfect accompaniment to a hearty bowl of chili.
Pudding made from corn. A tasty chili side dish is corn pudding.
Potatoes baked.
Bread with Garlic.
Dogs on a stick.
Mini Cream Cheese Peppers.
Fries in French.
Beans in black.

What is traditionally served with chilli?

Toppings and accompaniments include grated cheese, sliced onions, and sour cream, as well as saltine crackers, tortilla chips or corn chips, cornbread, rolled-up corn or flour tortillas, and pork tamales. Chili may also be served over rice or pasta, as in chili mac.

What is the best vegetable to eat with chili?

Chili Air Fryer Green Beans are a healthy side dish. What vegetable pairs well with chili, you may wonder? …
Salad with broccoli. This broccoli salad will lend a refreshing touch to your chili supper.
Potatoes baked.
Salad with corn, black beans, and avocado.
Butter with Garlic Brussels sprouts are a kind of sprout.
Spanish rice with cauliflower.

What does Ina Garten serve with chili?

In the meanwhile, Ina recommends roasting skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts in the oven. Once the bones and skin have been removed, chop the meat into large pieces and add to your chili. Serve with sour cream, tortilla chips, chopped onions, and shredded cheese.

What sandwiches go best with chili?

Sandwich with Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese with chili is a favorite among children. It’s a family-friendly traditional dish that everyone will enjoy. A traditional Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe is both soothing and tasty. Each mouthful is drenched in delicious melting cheese.

What is a good dessert to serve with chili?

What Dessert Pairs Well With Chili? (12 Delectable Suggestions)
Strudel with apples.
Bread with Cinnamon and Sugar.
Cookies with Lemon Crinkle.
Lemon bars are delicious.
Shortcake with peaches.
Lemon Yogurt Pudding.
Tiramisu with raspberries.
Pie with key limes.

What is the best way to serve chili?

on a hot dog.
On a biscuit, no less.
Served with corn tortillas.Top 9 Chili Recipes, Ranked
Like they do in Cincinnati, over spaghetti.
Over rice, just like the White House.
Without the beans, in a dish.
In a loaf of bread.
On a greasy joe

What can I garnish chili with?

Toppings to taste
Tomatoes, diced.
Avocado, chopped.
Red onion, diced.
Scallions, sliced.
Cheddar cheese, shredded.
Queso fresco crumbled.
Sliced jalapeño peppers.
Fresh cilantro, chopped.

What can I have with chilli instead of rice?

Sweet potato wedges, couscous, cauliflower and broccoli rice, tortilla wraps, fries, cornbread, mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, pita breads, and quinoa are some of the greatest alternatives to rice for chilli con carne.

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