February is almost here. Do you know what that means?
That’s right – Super Bowl Sunday. 🙂
And, according to my husband and a bunch of his friends, there’s no better way to spend the Super Bowl Sunday than watching football and eating chili.
So, if you’re planning to spend February 4th the same way as them, you’re going to have to learn what goes with chili so that you can surprise everyone with the greatest chili menu they ever had.
What Goes With Chili?
My husband and a couple of his friends and coworkers have this years-long tradition of hosting a Super Bowl Sunday party every year – and each year, it’s held at someone else’s place.
We’re in charge of planning it this year, which is how I got the inspiration to write this essay in the first place.
I’m going to stick to straightforward menu recommendations in the interest of keeping things casual; the most of these may be served on large plates grouped around a bowl of chili.
There are many different things you might try, but crackers and tortilla chips are a mainstay when you want something crunchy to go with your chili:
I figured there’s no point in avoiding the most obvious suggestion of all – if you want to stay true to the Super Bowl Sunday vibe, then fried chicken should undoubtedly be a part of your chili menu.
So, if you already have some frozen chicken wings laying around in your freezer, you should check out my tips on how to cook them.
Since we’re continuing down the path of keeping it informal, another side dish that pairs with chili is grilled cheese.
Read further: What Goes with Grilled Cheese? 8+Tasty Side Dishes
To be exact, what I have in mind are some delicious grilled cheese and chili sandwiches – they’re easy to make, and they’re an excellent casual meal choice for a group of guys watching football.
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to surprise my husband and his friends with this tasty combo.
Just start by making standard grilled cheese sandwiches, but before you put the two slices of bread together, add half a cup of chili on top of one of them.
And in case you want to make them extra cheesy, here’s how to do it:
- Put a couple more slices of your favorite cheese over the chili, then press the slices together and let them cook a bit longer until the cheese melts properly.
Related: Quality Cheese Slicers – Reviews
Another way to serve chili is to add it as a topping to homemade French fries.
In case you’re wondering how many potatoes you’ll need, a good rule of thumb is at least one large potato per person.
So, for example, if I’m making French fries for a group of six people, I would normally use at least six to eight large potatoes.
Of course, you can make as much (or as little) as you want, especially when you’re combining them with chili, which is filling enough as it is.
How do a bowl of chili and a portion of onion rings sound to you? I have to be honest – I’m not the biggest fan of the combo, just because I don’t like how messy it looks presentation-wise, but as far as flavor goes, I must admit it’s delicious.
And since I’m not going for an elegant vibe here – it’s just a couple of guys watching football at our place – I didn’t want to exclude onion rings from the list.
My older son likes to dip onion rings into chili, so things are bound to get messy, anyway.
If you’re looking to add a true southwestern vibe to your chili dinner menu, there’s no better way to do it than by serving cornbread alongside a bowl of chili.
To spice it up a notch (as if chili isn’t spicy enough on its own), you could add jalapenos to the batter. Alternatively, if you want your cornbread to be extra sweet, consider adding honey to the mix.
Some may argue that cornbread and chili aren’t such a great pair unless you want to feel like you ate a brick afterward. However, I think the secret is in getting the recipe right. After all, it wouldn’t become somewhat of a traditional combo if there was something wrong with it, right?
Hot Dog Tot
Yes, hot dogs inside tater tots are a thing, and they go exceptionally well with chili, especially when your goal is to keep things casual – and since I’m talking about Super Bowl Sunday menu ideas, it’s safe to say that’s what we’re looking for today.
All you need to do is make the standard mixture (potatoes, flour, parmesan, and a dash of oregano), but instead of forming tater tots on their own, you do it around previously cut hot dog pieces. It’s a quick bite-size side dish to make for your chili, and it adds a little twist to the plain, ol’ hot dogs and chili recipe.
The Healthy Option: Veggies
Including one of my favorite chili side dishes, fresh vegetables, may not be the best option for a group of guys watching football, but I still felt it would be lovely to do so.
The vegetables I prefer to cut up for chili are carrots, celery, cauliflower, and sweet pickles. These may not be your first choices, but I promise you’ll be amazed by how well they complement chili.
Therefore, fresh veggies are definitely the way to go if you’re searching for a little healthier, crunchy choice to nibble on with your chili.
Don’t Forget About Drinks
As far as drinks go, you’re going to have to serve something that can stand up to the chili’s bold taste – that’s why richly flavored beverages are always an excellent choice.
You can never go wrong with ice-cold beer, especially if you’re planning an informal gathering of some sort – like the one that’s going to be held at my house on February 4th, for example.
Full-bodied red wines are also a good choice, but if you want to make things more interesting, a fruity wine punch like sangria is the best.
Don’t forget about the youngest members of the crowd – they can’t have alcohol. For them, lemony iced tea is an ideal refreshment after a bowl of chili.
Wrapping It Up
I don’t know about you, but all this food talk is making my mouth water.
As you can see, there are plenty of side dishes that pair well with chili, but since my goal was to give you some Super Bowl Sunday menu ideas, I wanted to stick to those that have a simple and informal vibe to them.
What’s your opinion on what goes with chili?
I’d like to know some other ways to make my chili menu stand out, so leave your suggestions below.
Bonus tip: Five Quick And Easy Ways To Thicken Chili