Chili is one of those great dishes that can be served in tons of different ways and goes good with many delicious side dishes. But if you're thinking about serving chili the next time you have friends over for dinner or to watch the big game or when the weather starts getting cooler, here are some great ideas you might want to use.
Making Your Chili Even Better
Even if you already make the best chili on your block or at your tailgate parties, you could spice it up with some toppings. Of course, you'll find some of the traditional items on the list: shredded cheeses, sour cream, oyster crackers or crumbled tortilla shells (choose the ones with a hint of lime for an nice touch), saltine crackers, or even hot sauce.
But those are a little bit basic. If you're talking about advanced chili topping for the chili connoisseur, then you'll want to shop around in your produce department or farmer's market. Adding scallions, green onions, cilantro, or avocado can give your chili a little color and extra taste. A dollop of guacamole instead of sour cream (or with sour cream) can also be scrumptious, especially if you make it homemade. Jalapenos are also nice for a kick and should be added by the individual consumers of the chili - not everyone likes the spice. Red onion or salsa can be nice additions, too.
Not Just for Bowls
Chili isn't soup so it doesn't have to be served alone in a bowl with a spoon. Instead, get creative with how you serve this dish. You can use Fritos for dipping or pour the chili on top of a baked potato, French fries, pasta (some people even add spaghetti or macaroni pasta to their chili), rice, taco shells, hamburgers or hot dogs, cornbread, or even scrambled eggs.
Chili goes good with almost any food but make sure to account for the potential messiness. Always have extra napkins.
Great Side Dishes
When you're serving chili, it's definitely hearty enough to be a main dish. And while some people like to eat their chili by itself, having some complementary side dishes can enhance the dish's flavor immensely. Cornbread is a delicious and traditional addition to chili. If you're trying to give your meal a Tex-Mex flavor, you could make Mexican cornbread with peppers, some shredded Colby/Jack cheese, and some kernel corn or if you want to make it spicier you can cut up pieces of jalapeno to add into the cornbread mix.
Black bean and corn salad is another choice. The salad, which is served cold or at room temperature, includes black beans, cubed cheeses, roasted corn, green onions, bell peppers, picante sauce, herbs, olive oil, and a few other tasty items. You can also toss in other items you love, such as avocados.
Another idea is a Southwest Vegetable salad that includes lettuce, colorful red peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and some toasted pumpkin seeds. This dish has just as much color as flavor and has a very delicious flavor especially when enjoyed along with a bowl of chili.
Want more interesting side dishes for chili? Chili Everyway takes the mundane out of chili and presents fresh new ideas for spicing up this delicious comfort food that everyone will love.