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What to serve with chili?

I tried searching the thread, but "chili" brings up every other post, so apologies in advance if this has already been discussed.

We're (BF and I) hosting a Super Bowl party and a good friend has asked if he could bring his chili. It's delicious and a tradition whenever he hosts a football-watching party. We're planning on supplementing the chili with other dishes and sides. However, I'm drawing an absolute blank as to dishes that would compliment chili. He'll also bring cornbread, so that's covered.

Any suggestions? Bring 'em on, easy or difficult. Thank you!

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  1. If he is not planning to bring toppings, I'd make those up for him. The list can go on,but a few favorites are:
    sour cream
    scallions
    chopped red onion
    tomatoes
    cheese(s)
    cilantro
    And one year I made chili and had the crunchy skin hot dogs (Kasper) with buns.
    Served international beers (actually asked everyone to bring a six pack with intentions to share and try different beers.
    or your could have at the ready pre- baked potatoes ready for serving chili in...

    1. I'm making chili Fri night and plan to make corn bread. I use my grandmother's recipe and it is more like a corn cake because it uses a lot of eggs, sour cream and creamed corn. Not a traditional southern corn bread but it gets rave reviews. Goes great with chili. For other side dishes think along the lines of a southwestern theme.

      1. Quesadillas are a great, if heavy, accompaniment.
        On the lighter side, I always like to offer raw veggies for something crunchy and cool alongside - we've always traditionally served carrots, celery, and sweet pickles. I have no idea why the sweet pickles - my family has just always served cold little sweet gherkins with chili. Seems to go pretty well.
        I always also like crackers or tortilla chips. It's nice to have something crunchy.
        Fresh pineapple tossed with chopped cilantro is also a nice side.

        For dessert - mexican brownies!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Andiereid

          Sometimes I make chili and serve it over thin spaghetti with toppings. People love it!

          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            Funny you should mention rice... every time he made it, I always said I wanted it with a bowl of rice. Everyone looked at me like I was insane, but I grew up with rice. To me, it goes with everything, especially a hearty and meaty dish like chili.

            1. re: geekyfoodie

              Exactly. The only time this is embarassing for me is the few times a year I eat a steak I have to have rice with it. I have fixed potatoes for my friends and rice for myself.

              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                I was anemic as a child and my mother, believing in the higher iron contents of red meat, made me eat steak often. I had it with rice and steamed broccoli. Whenever I eat steak nowadays, rice is almost always the accompaniment. My BF is a steak conoisseur and is slightly aghast at the idea, but I love it.

                1. re: geekyfoodie

                  Now that I think about it, my yankee mother always served rice with her chili, and she put beans in it, too. I had forgotten that. If I served rice with our chili here in Houston, my family would bolt! And they would howl if there were beans, too.

                  1. re: danhole

                    Beans, beans, they're good for the heart... :)

                    My friend's version has red kidney beans in it and I think the soft beans give a nice contrast to the meat. How do you make your chili, Danhole? Meat only or other non-bean ingredients?

                    1. re: geekyfoodie

                      Yup, meat only with lots of seasonings, black coffee, unsweetened choc and some masa at the end. It's a very Texas version. When you go to a Chili cookoff around here you don't see many with beans.

                      Now, don't think I am anti beans. I think they are my favorite comfort foods. Lima beans, butter beans, navy beans, red beans, bean soup, etc. Just not in my chili.

                      1. re: danhole

                        Oooh, unsweetened chocolate and black coffee are interesting touches. It would be fun to go to a chili cookoff and sample.

                        Well, I'm kind of anti-bean. Can't stand them served straight-up. Love them in stew-ish items like chili or pasta e fagioli, but not as a side. I grew up with red bean soup served as dessert and I can tell you that, for the life of me, I've never developed a taste for the stuff.

                        1. re: geekyfoodie

                          And don't forget the masa at the end. It thickens it a bit and gives it a very good mexican type flavor.

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