58 Side Dishes That Go Great with Chili

updated Feb 20, 2024
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Overhead shot of chili in a white bowl, topped with sour cream, cheddar cheese and green onions.
Credit: Photo: Vicky Wasik ; Food Stylist: Rachel Perlmutter

There are some dinners that you just know are going to be automatic wins. Chili is absolutely one them. When chili night falls into your meal plan, you can expect a dinner that’s warming, hearty, and filling. Sure, a Dutch oven loaded with chili is certainly meal-worthy all on its own, especially when it’s packed with beans, meat, or a combination, but I always think having one simple side is the ticket to rounding out dinner.

Serving chili with a side dish balances the table. It’s also a great way to stretch your steaming pot so you have leftover chili the next day, since we all know it’s a dish that’s often even more delicious on day two. You have lots of options when it comes to what side to choose. Whether you want something ultra-comforting and made for dipping, a side that’s bursting with freshness, or something tangy to keep your taste buds balanced, here are 58 side dishes to serve with chili.

Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes

Baked potatoes and chili is a classic combination that everyone loves. Chili also pairs well with baked sweet potatoes, roasted potatoes, potato wedges, fries, and more.

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Baked Potatoes
Here’s how to make an absolutely perfect baked potato every time, from choosing the right type of potato to how long to bake it for.
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Baked Sweet Potatoes
The easiest, simplest way to make the best baked sweet potatoes every time.
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Roasted Baby Potatoes
Everyone needs a simple, versatile side that’s easy to partner with whatever they're cooking for dinner.
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Roasted Sweet Potatoes
These caramelized cubes crackle when you bite through the crisp surface and into the creamy center.
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Crispy Air Fryer Baked Potatoes
The high fan speed and concentrated heat of the air fryer makes baked potatoes that are fluffy and tender on the inside and shatteringly crisp on the outside.
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Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes
When you cook sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot, they become irresistibly tender in about half as much time as baking them in the oven.
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Potato Wedges

Potato wedges are the best of both worlds: their crispy, salty exteriors are reminiscent of french fries, but their irresistibly creamy, soft and tender centers might just remind you of a baked potato.

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Baked Sweet Potato Fries
For the crispiest oven-baked sweet potato fries, you need to walk over to the pantry and take out the cornstarch because that ingredient is the secret.
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Baked Potatoes in the Microwave
If you need dinner on the table with zero delays, then a microwaved baked potato is pretty much an ideal solution. Here's the best way to do it.
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Butter-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Tthis technique for butter-roasted sweet potatoes roasts the potatoes until they are a dark amber on the outside, creating a layer of deeply caramelized sweet potato that just barely holds the soft, buttery insides together.

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Baked Potatoes in an Instant Pot
Forget the oven! Instant Pot baked potatoes cook in a fraction of the time and have the same crave-worthy tender, ultra-creamy center.
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Smashed Sweet Potatoes
Thick rounds of sweet potato are seasoned, smashed, and roasted, creating crispy-edged medallions with creamy, tender centers.
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English Jacket Potatoes
The secret to the best ever baked potatoes? Cook them like the British do.
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Air Fryer Roasted Potatoes
Turn to your air fryer for this impossibly crispy and easy side dish.
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Hasselback Potatoes
Hasselback potatoes are thinly sliced but left joined at the bottom, then baked until the layers fan out into crispy rounds.
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Oven-Roasted Potatoes

Extra-crispy oven-roasted potatoes is the perfect side for a bowl of chili.

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Grilled Potatoes
they're lightly charred and crispy on the outside, tender and creamy on the inside, and perfectly seasoned all over.
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Easy Grilled Sweet Potatoes
Simple grilled sweet potatoes pair deliciously with a spicy honey-lime vinaigrette.
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Baked Potatoes on the Grill
In the same amount of time it takes to bake a potato in the oven, you can bake a potato on the grill for savory, smoky, impossibly fluffy spuds.
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Crispy Skillet-Fried Potatoes
The secret to these impossibly crispy potatoes? Not baking or boiling. All you need is a skillet and a lid (yes, really) to pull off these perfect spuds.
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Baked Potatoes in the Slow Cooker

Baking potatoes in the slow cooker is one of those things that is so easy, it feel like there must be some kind of catch. Except…there isn’t.

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Air Fryer French Fries
An easy way to make crispy-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside fries, no deep-frying required.
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Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries
Crispy-on-the-outside, soft-and-creamy-on-the-inside air fryer sweet potato fries.
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Cornbread and Biscuits

I can’t think of a more cozy and comforting way to make chili complete than with a side of tender cornbread or a warm, buttery biscuit. You can even get a head start by adding this to your weekend meal prep and then heat it in the oven just before getting dinner on the table.

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Classic Cornbread
This easy cornbread has crispy edges and a moist and fluffy center, and is packed with rich, buttery flavor.
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Southern-Style Buttermilk Biscuits
Thanks to a few smart tricks, you'll get a high rise and a few flaky layers with this Southern biscuit recipe.
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Mexican Cornbread
A tender and delicious square of this cornbread alongside a warm bowl of chili is a match made in mealtime heaven.
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Butter Biscuits
A simple homemade biscuit dough is baked atop a stick of melted butter, creating light, tender, and extra-buttery biscuits.
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Cornbread Muffins
These cornbread muffins have just a touch of sweetness, and are perfect alongside a bowl of chili.
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Accordion Biscuits
These biscuits, from Vallery Lomas' new cookbook Life Is What You Bake It, are stunningly tall and flaky.
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Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Muffins
Don’t be afraid to really fill your muffin tin with the batter. These will puff nicely, but not to the extent of cupcakes; you don’t need to worry about them overflowing.
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Cheddar Biscuits
These easy, flaky buttermilk biscuits are studded with sharp cheddar, smoky bacon and fragrant green onion.
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Easy Skillet Cornbread
This recipe can easily be adapted for those who prefer a truly corny cornbread — just use a full three cups cornmeal. For those who prefer a sweeter corn bread, add a tablespoon of sugar to the dry ingredients.
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Sourdough Biscuits
Perfectly calibrated to use up the discard from one sourdough starter feeding, these biscuits are incredibly easy and delicious — worthy of making a sourdough starter for in their own right.
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Hot Water Cornbread
This recipe takes under 30 minutes to make.
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Herbed Yogurt Biscuits
Every cook needs a foolproof biscuit recipe. This version is just that, along with a welcome addition of yogurt, fresh herbs and black pepper.
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Sweet Potato Cornbread
To make sweet potato cornbread even more irresistible, pair it with homemade maple butter.
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Copycat Red Lobster Biscuits
You can make these iconic biscuits at home with pantry staples, without picking up a store-bought box mix or stepping foot in the restaurant.
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Tomato Skillet Cornbread

Corn and tomato are a well-loved pair. Here, they join forces in a playful skillet cornbread that’s guaranteed to not only elicit oohs and aahs but become a new family favorite.

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Veggie Fries

When the goal is getting an extra helping of vegetables on the table to round out your pot of chili, a side of oven-baked veggie fries is always a good idea. Just don’t forget the dipping sauce.

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Carrot Fries

These extra-crispy oven-baked carrot fries are sweet, crunchy, and fun to eat with chili.

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Jicama Fries
This crisp-but-tender snack is a satisfying alternative to potato french fries.
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Baked Zucchini Fries
Slice zucchinis into thin batons or spin them in your spiralizer, snipping the spirals with kitchen shears into bite-sized pieces. Cutting the zucchinis down to a smaller size means the inside of the fry maintains a tender bite without becoming soggy.
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Baked Eggplant Fries
Surprisingly, eggplant is much easier to turn into fries than the legendary potato. Eggplant takes on a simple breading easily and quickly softens in the oven — the results are a fry with a crisp outside and creamy, tender interior.
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Oven-Baked Green Bean Fries
If you can bread a chicken breast cutlet, you can make super-crunchy green bean fries in your oven.
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Air Fryer Zucchini Fries

Coated in a garlicky, herby, Parmesan panko coating, the air fryer crisps these veggie fries to perfection.

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Panisse (Chickpea Fries)
Panisse, aka chickpea flour fries, are a popular street snack from the south of France. They have lightly crisp exteriors with custardy centers and pair well with a creamy sauce.
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Crispy Baked Avocado Fries

Avocados have had their time to shine on toast, but now it’s time to turn these bright-green beauties into dreamy veggie fries.

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Fried Zucchini
An impossibly crispy, crunchy exterior without deep-frying? Yes please.
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Oven-Baked Asparagus Fries
The crispiest, crunchiest, tastiest asparagus I've made to date — and folks, it's all done in the oven.
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Tangy Slaws

Slaws are my favorite simple side to pair with any and all types of chili. The freshness, crunchy texture, and tangy bite are an ideal balance to hearty chili, plus slaws are a breeze to pull together. To cut down on prep time I often start with a bag of pre-shredded veggies.

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Broccoli Slaw
As a salad base, julienned broccoli stems and other crunchy vegetables stand up to creamy dressings like a dream and stay firm for days.
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Cabbage and Apple Slaw with Honey-Lime Dressing
Great slaw can upstage salad whenever it gets a chance. This one, full of sweet and crisp apples and dressed with honey and lime, is familiar yet not run-of-the-mill.
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Kale Slaw
This easy slaw starts with a bag of shredded cruciferous vegetables and almonds, and dried cherries in a tangy honey-mustard dressing.
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Tangy Cabbage and Jalapeño Slaw
Thanks to the crunchy textures and bold tangy and spicy flavors, no one will ever be the wiser that you pulled this together in just five minutes.
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Creamy 3-Ingredient Cilantro-Lime Slaw

This creamy cilantro slaw can be made at a moment's notice, and does not skimp on flavor.

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Shredded Cabbage and Sweet Potato Slaw
This slaw is dotted with juicy oranges, a burst of pomegranate arils, and toasty walnuts. Parsley adds fresh color and flavor, while a sweet-acidic dressing pulls it all together.
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Easy Taco Slaw

This simple red cabbage and carrot coleslaw is tossed in a spicy and creamy dressing — perfect for serving alongside chili.

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Swiss Chard Slaw with Creamy Avocado Dressing
Making the dressing for this slaw is as easy as throwing things in a blender. A buttery ripe avocado turns into a creamy, tangy dressing that coats the sturdy Swiss chard, carrots, and onion beautifully.
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Tangy Carrot Slaw
This carrot slaw is sweet and tangy, due to a healthy amount of Dijon mustard in the dressing, and bright and fragrant, thanks to a heap of sliced scallions.
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Apple-Bacon Slaw
Welcome fall with this easy slaw of crispy bacon, crunchy cabbage, and sweet apples.
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