The 21 Best Appetizers to Serve with Chili Recipes

The Best Appetizers to serve with chili are the family favorites everyone loves! They’ll start your Big Game Day party off with a tasty hit!

Best Appetizers to Serve with Chili

If you love hosting Super Bowl parties, or a Spicy Chili night then this post is for you!

You will love this post if you’re on the hunt for the perfect appetizer for your meaty chili.

​All of these recipes will have your taste buds racing to try the next, and will have your next party going absolutely wild on a winter night!

Whether you’re laying out a big plate of sweet potato fries, skillet queso, Hormel chili dip, and the like this post will help you decide what appetizers you should serve at your party.

The Best Appetizers for Chili

​First, let’s chat about great ideas for recipes that are both appetizers and the best chili toppings! Yep! They can be both!

mama leah dip appetizer for chili

Mama Leah Dip — this amazingly simple dip recipe is both great for the appetizer AND the main dish! You can dip crispy tortilla chips in this sour cream-based dip, and top your chili bowl with it. This is a dipping sauce that is great for everyone! You can dip fresh veggies into it, tortilla chips, or your crispy french fries! People are shocked that this is three ingredients: sour cream, Rotel tomatoes, and ranch powder! That’s it. 

black bean and corn dip recipe

Black Bean and Corn Dip – this is the game day favorite everyone loves! Black beans and corn are combined with lots of flavorful ingredients to create a dip and a topping for your homemade chili! This recipe is mixed with mayonnaise, chicken base, and some lime juice for an amazing dip any time of the year! 

pineapple pico de gallo

Pineapple Pico de Gallo – This sweet and savory recipe is one of the great appetizers you might not think of! The sweet addition of fresh pineapple in this classic recipe is sensational! I love a good sweet and savory pairing. This salsa pairs well with chili con carne, where you have big hunks of beef! Use this recipe for topping your chili and enjoying it with your tortilla chips!

homemade pico de gallo

Homemade Pico de Gallo – Fresh tomatoes, red onion, jalapenos, and lime juice create the quintessential topping to both chips and the main course! When you’re serving a bowl of chili, why not top it with this fresh salsa?? Perk up the flavors of your chili with the best of the best!

quick and easy white queso

Quick and Easy White Queso Dip – Did you know you only need a few ingredients to make the white queso you know and love from your local Mexican restaurant?? There’s no Velveeta, no flour… Just plain, white American cheese, evaporated milk, and if you’re feeling fancy, a can of chopped green chilis. I make this all the time, and people go nuts for it! But, it’s really, really simple, and definitely one you can make in the slow cooker, too.

Other Chili Topping Ideas:

  • Sour Cream
  • Green Onions
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Green Chilis
  • Hot Sauce

Great Appetizers to Serve with Chili

crack dip appetizer for chili

Crack Dip – If you’re looking for a dippable, deliciously cheesy, and bacon-filled snack, this is the recipe! Cheese, sour cream, bacon, and green onions create this viral recipe. And it’s viral for a reason! It’s so good!!

homemade guacamole recipe

Homemade Guacamole – you can’t have a Chili Dinner without a BIG giant bowl of homemade guacamole! This recipe adds the smoky addition of adobo. Super yummy and filled with flavor! Avocados are mashed together with all the other usual suspects, but the adobo takes this recipe over the top. I don’t think I’ll make guacamole without it anymore!

smoked queso recipe

Smoked Queso – You’ve got to have a cheesy queso of some kind! This one enlists the trusty smoker for a smoked queso that is sheer perfection! Filled with ground beef, chili, and tomatoes, and the iconic Velveeta cheese this is one of those chili appetizers you have to have on your menu! The party isn’t complete without it! Or course, if you don’t have a smoker you can bake this delicious dip recipe in the oven or the slow cooker.

crock pot chili cheese dip recipe

Crock Pot Chili Cheese Dip – this cheesy dip recipe is the perfect appetizer for any game-day party! This is an easy “open it all up” and plop it in the crock pot recipe. It’s the one you want to make when you’re short on time, but definitely want a recipe that packs a YUM factor! A can of Hormel chili is slow-cooked with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, and green chilis, plus Velveeta for that extra creamy cheesy goodness! This would make an amazing topper for your chili bowl, too!

black bean dip recipe

Black Bean Dip – this easy recipe is a family favorite! Black beans are mashed with fresh jalapenos, onions, cheddar cheese, salsa, and sour cream. Mash all of these ingredients together, and plop them into a baking dish. If you wanted to make this a few days ahead of time, let this hang out in the fridge, covered. Then, when you’re ready to bake it up, you’ll follow the instructions on the recipe card! Serve with salty tortilla chips, veggies, pretzels, or crackers. Yum!

Great Side Dish Ideas

These can also be served before the meal! 

One of my biggest tips for serving a Chili Party is to have everything out and ready. Let people help themselves to whatever they want, whenever they want.

This party idea is perfect for if you’re hosting Saturday game day, and watching all the football games, all day long.

Enlist the help of your slow cooker! Pour your chili recipe into the slow cooker, set it to low, and let it hang out while people snack and eat all day long.

These recipes below are great to make during the game and set out when they’re ready. 

fried cheese curds recipe

Fried Cheese Curds – it’s a good idea to have golden brown, melty cheese curds on your menu items! Who doesn’t love the simple ingredients of cheese curds and batter?!

air fryer sweet potato chips

Air Fryer Sweet Potato Chips – If you’re looking for an added crunchy something for your chili party, these air-fried sweet potatoes are just delicious! These are great for anyone who wants a crunchy snack but is leaning on the healthier side of life. 

blistered shishito peppers

Blistered Shishito Peppers – These are the green peppers that one in every 10 is a spicy pepper! Shishito peppers only need a few minutes under the broiler, and they’re ready! This is one of those side dishes or appetizers you can make after everyone is at your party, and ready to eat. 

air fryer onion rings

Air Fryer Onion Rings – Onion rings are delicious with almost anything. And, adding them to your chili bowl is just so so good! Using your air fryer for these is great because you don’t end up with that stinky, greasy smell in your home! Yay. Just crispy onion rings that weren’t deep-fried. Winning all around!

air fryer tortilla chips

Air Fryer Tortilla Chips – crispy, fresh tortilla chips without the guilt. Made right in the air fryer, these chips are a homerun for your big bowl of chili! Did you know you can slice up your corn tortillas, toss them into the air fryer, and have fresh tortilla chips in minutes?! If you’re feeling excited, sprinkle a little chili powder on top with some kosher salt! Definitely delicious! I use flour tortillas for this recipe, too!

jiffy cornbread recipe for chili

Jiffy Cornbread Recipe – For me, cornbread and chili just go together. I love having a little bit of cornbread with every bite of my favorite chili recipe. I love the taste of Jiffy Cornbread, it’s a Southerner’s “on the sweeter side” cornbread. Best served with butter, honey, and friends around the table.

garlic knots recipe with marinara sauce

Garlic Knots – Since we’re doing the whole game day menu, garlic knots are a great addition! Serving them with warm marinara sauce is a way to really get the party started! If you’re a fan of garlic bread with your chili, you will love this popular recipe! While this isn’t a traditional chili side dish, it’s definitely game-day ready! And, maybe you enjoy that garlic and herb-seasoned bread in your chili. You do you, boo!

homemade pretzel bites

Homemade Pretzel Bites – some people like to dip soft pretzels into their bowl of chili, and this recipe walks you through how to make these from scratch! Now this sounds incredible! Dipping a pretzel bite into a steaming bowl of chili with a little cheese and sour cream?! Yes, please!

air fryer mini peppers

Air Fryer Mini Peppers – Pop a package of yellow, orange, and red peppers into your air fryer, and you have one of the best side dishes and easiest appetizers for your party. 

grilled potato skins

Cheesy Potato Skins – Fire up the grill for these delicious grilled potato skins!! It’s a delicious way to start your chili party! Little baby potatoes are parboiled, scooped out, and filled with cheese. Roasted over the grill until crispy, melted, and absolutely perfect! 

​Other Items to Serve with Your Chili

Growing up, when we had chili my mom would serve it with cornbread. My grandmother would serve it with white rice and cole slaw! Whatever you choose, I’m sure it will be perfect!

Baked Potato – If you’re looking to make your chili party extra hearty, serve a bunch of baked potatoes with extra crispy skin. 

If you’re hosting a tailgate at home, serve up a big platter of boneless wings or chicken nuggets to make sure everyone has something to eat. Even a big platter of hot dogs would be fun!

best broccoli salad

Broccoli Salad is a great option for a make-ahead salad, but also something green, healthy, and ready for your people!

In closing, if you’ve got leftover chili, just store it in an airtight container, in the fridge for up to seven days. 

Reheat the chili over medium heat on the stove, or fill up bread bowls and bake in the oven until piping hot. 

Save this to your favorite Chili Board on Pinterest!

21 Best Appetizers to Serve with Chili

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