Chili is a classic hot dish that can be served in friendly gatherings especially in the cold winter season.
It is made even appealing when you choose just the right appetizer or side dish and we all know a fulfilling meal is a way to a happy heart.
As hard as this may sound, it should not really be served all the time because let’s be honest, people tend to eat too much when it comes to chili.
When choosing the appetizer keep in mind that it isn’t there to fill your guests up or yourself if you are cooking for yourself.
When planning appetizer items to go with your chili, try to create a mixture of small and large bites.
What we mean is, prepare some light appetizers and some heavy ones. The following are some of the appetizers you could choose from:
For this choice, it is not only an appetizing but it is also a healthy one. A combination that rarely goes hand in hand.
Chili as we know is a heavy dish so this will be quite a light choice for an appetizer. You could add frosting but not as much since it is an appetizer and you aren’t trying to get full yet.
These are not only a good source of protein but a great compliment for chili.
It may seem as a strange pick since many are used to it as a breakfast item but not to worry. This may actually be the best since people rarely eat too many eggs at once.
It may be quite heavy so a side would probably be a good serving of vegetables.
A crunchy bite from grilled corn combined with zesty chili is all you need on a winter night.
On winter nights, grilled corn served with some good butter or margarine is always a family favorite.
Grilled corn would be really good as a chili appetizer. In fact, it works great as a side dish too.
However, when you are using it as an appetizer, it’s better to dip them in some BBQ butter. You can also add garlic and mayo dips to enjoy grilled corn to the fullest.
You could also serve it with a spicy seasoning. After grilling it till the kernels are soft and some are even lightly blackened cut into sizeable pieces. Put in a medium-sized paper bad squeeze lime in it then sprinkle some chili powder and coarse salt. Close bag and shake. Serve immediately from the bag.
Cheese puffs are light and few bites of it will still keep plenty of space for the main course and desserts.
You could choose to use cheddar or Gruyere cheese but you can also use cottage cheese if you want to add some Asian flavors to your meal.
You could also decide to change the recipe a little bit and use masa instead of flour which is mostly used for making homemade corn tortillas.
This European dish is easy to bake and keeps the guests entertained for hours.
Pretzels are a common appetizer and a favorite among teens. If you are arranging a party with some good chili on the menu, we would recommend offering a bowl of pretzel to the guests as they arrive.
Chicken Fajita Quesadillas
We are talking about melted cheese, charred tortillas, chopped peppers and other fixings fill this one up with all sorts of goodness. Also put in mind since you are serving this alongside a meaty chili, leave out the chicken but if the chili is meatless, leave it in.
This would be a really good choice for those watching their weight and do not want to fill themselves up like there’s no tomorrow.
It will keep chili night light with its flavors featuring roasted sweet corn, chopped tomatoes and fresh basil. Toss these simple ingredients together with a vinaigrette and you’ve got a sensational side to round out the meal.
Slaws are a favorite simple side to pair with any and all types of chili. The freshness, crunchy texture, and tangy bite are an ideal balance to hearty chili, plus slaws are a breeze to pull together. To cut down on prep time, people often start with a bag of pre-shredded veggies.
When the goal is getting an extra helping of vegetables on the table to round out your pot of chili, a side of oven-baked veggie fries is always a good idea. Just don’t forget the dipping sauce. You could choose to do sweet potato fries, baked zucchini fries or baked green beans fries.
OTHER THINGS THAT GO WELL WITH CHILI
These are quite a handful of meals you could try with chili but need I say there are also many ways of preparing your chili that will suit the occasion and your taste.
Let us look at two of our favorite chili recipes. One that consists of meat and one that is veggie-based.
Slow-Cooker Three-Bean Chili
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15.5 ounces) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15.5 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup dried lentils (8 ounces), sorted and rinsed
1 large vegetarian vegetable or chicken bouillon cube, crumbled
1 envelope (1.25 ounces) chili seasoning mix
3 cups water
1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and mild green chilies, undrained
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
- Mix all ingredients except tomatoes and tomato sauce in 3- to 4-quart slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low heat setting 8 to 10 hours.
- Stir in tomatoes and tomato sauce. Increase heat setting to high. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until heated through.
- Serve with a side dish of your choice.
Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Chili
2 Â½ lb. boneless pork shoulder roast, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 4-inch chunks
1 package (0.85 oz) Old El Pasoâ„¢ chicken taco seasoning mix
1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, drained, rinsed
1 can (28 oz) Muir Glenâ„¢ organic fire roasted crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 cup Progressoâ„¢ chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)
1 can (4.5 oz) Old El Pasoâ„¢ chopped green chiles
1 medium onion, diced
1 to 2 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Toppings, as desired
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Thinly sliced green onions
- Spray 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place pork in slow cooker; sprinkle taco seasoning mix over top. Toss to coat. Add remaining Chili ingredients to slow cooker; stir to combine. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 8 to 9 hours or until pork is tender and easily pulled apart.
- Transfer pork to cutting board and shred, using two forks. Add shredded pork back into slow cooker; stir to combine, and continue to cook about 15 minutes or until hot. Serve with Toppings.
You may have your go-to chili recipe and that is okay but if you would like to try something new they would be really great!