Chili is the perfect fall food. It is warm in both temperature and spice, which provides a nice refuge from the cold weather. When you think about how little effort it takes to make chili is, not to mention its versatility, it seems like a great dish to serve your family after a long day. And while just eating chili by the spoonful is great, with a side dish, it can be even better. We went through some of our favorite food blogs to see what the experts were serving with their delicious pots of chili.
Below, we rounded up the best easy side dish recipes for chili for a complete meal.
Pomegranate Orange Salad
This light pomegranate orange salad from Chelsea's Messy Apron makes a great side dish. All of its ingredients come together with an easy orange vinaigrette dressing.
Sweet Vegan Cornbread
Of course, we had to include a version of the Southern staple, and you can’t get much better than this fresh vegan cornbread from Faith Food Fitness. The key is replacing eggs with applesauce—who knew?
Chili and Cornbread Waffles
While most of the recipes here can be made independent from chili, Steph at I Am A Food Blog centered her brunch around the dish. Can you really go wrong serving chili on a base of cornbread fried in the waffle maker?
This wedge salad from Carlsbad Cravings has expertly executed flavors and textures. This side dish with leave you satisfied, and it's the perfect contrast to a bowl of spicy chili.
Given the simplicity of this bread from Half Baked Harvest (it needs only five ingredients), you may very well opt to bake it over and over again. It's a bread recipe you can't mess up.
To make this easy vegan coleslaw from Minimalist Baker, simply replace your typical dairy-laden sauce with cashews. The nuts are blended with maple syrup, vinegar, celery salt, mustard, and onion for a classic coleslaw dressing that’s mayo- and oil-free.
Apple Chili Biscuits
You can incorporate more heat into your side with these apple chili biscuits from Hola Jalapeno. They contain a spoonful of chili powder which plays nicely with the sweet apples.
Winter Fruit Salad
Balance your meal with a heaping helping of fruit. This winter fruit salad recipe from Carlsbad Cravings is a crowd-pleaser. The variety of fruit is wonderful by itself, but the sweet and tangy honey-lime poppyseed vinaigrette really brings it home.
If your chili is packed with meat and topped with cheese and sour cream, lighten up your side with these roasted vegetables by A Couple Cooks. Make extra and you'll have leftover vegetables to eat for lunch the next day!
Slow Cooker Creamed Corn
This five-ingredient recipe from Foodie Crush can be made in a slow-cooker, making your side dish prep effortless. Consider skipping corn in your chili and making it into a side instead.
A Couple Cooks' kale salad recipe makes getting in your daily dose of greens easy. Tuscan kale is topped with Parmesan, olive oil, lemon, and a variety of seasons for the least boring green salad you'll ever eat.
Caesar Salad With Garlic Croutons
When in doubt, go with a Caesar salad. The side dish never fails, and this Foodie Crush recipe is insanely delicious. The homemade Caesar dressing is even better than storebought!
Boiled Corn on the Cob
You can never go wrong with corn on the cob. We love this recipe from A Couple Cooks because you don't need a grill—simply boil it in a pot of water for five minutes and you're good to go!
Once you've boiled your corn, get creative with toppings. Paprika, Parmesan cheese, Old Bay seasoning, Greek seasoning, or ranch make flavorful additions.
Chopped Mexican Kale Salad
Zest it up with this Mexican kale salad by Foodie Crush. The salad combines kale, vegetables, and pepitas with cotija cheese and fire-roasted poblano ranch dressing. It's a perfect pairing for a Tex-Mex take on chili.
Creamy Yogurt Cucumber Salad
This recipe from Foodie Crush is the perfect complement to a spicy chili. The cool, creamy cucumbers tossed in yogurt will help balance the bold flavors in chili.
Pull-Apart Garlic Butter Bread
Switch it up from cornbread with garlic butter bread from Half Baked Harvest. It's soft, buttery, and would taste amazing dipped in chili. Though it looks complex, it's actually super simple to make, so don't be intimidated.
Browned Butter Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins
If you're just craving cornbread, a good way to switch it up is with these cornbread muffins from Half Baked Harvest. They're a little spicy thanks to jalapeño, and have a rich depth of flavor from the browned butter. But the best part is you'll have leftover muffins for the week!
Citrus Avocado Salad
This citrus avocado salad by Half Baked Harvest is a great pairing for chili. Citrus provides some tang, while avocado gives a cool contrast to chili. The salad is fresh and light, so it won't be too heavy with chili.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Skillet Cornbread
Give your cornbread a fall makeover thanks to this skillet cornbread recipe from Melanie Makes. The addition of pumpkin is unexpected but totally wow-worthy. Cinnamon makes it a little bit sweet, so you can enjoy the leftovers for breakfast with honey or maple syrup.
Glazed Pearl Onions
Onions and chili were practically made for each other, but instead of putting them in your chili, opt for making them into a side dish. These pearl onions from Melanie Makes are easy to make, light, and insanely flavorful.