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45+ Chili Toppings for Your Chili Bar

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Pot of Chili with Chili Toppings and Utensils

If you are looking for new and exciting chili toppings for your chili bar, you are in the right place. We’re providing a variety of different toppings that will take your chili to the next level. From savory to sweet, there is something for everyone here. So, get cooking and gather these delicious toppings for your next chili bar.

Try our homemade chili recipe with wheat berries.

Bowl of Chili with Cheese and Green Onions and Spoon

Classic Chili Toppings

There are a few traditional chili toppings we consider must-haves when serving chili. Shredded cheddar cheese and diced onions, a dollop of sour cream, crushed tortilla chips or strips, and green onions to garnish.

  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Diced onions
  • Sour cream
  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Green onions

45+ Delicious Chili Toppings for Your Chili Bar

Now here is a more extensive list with our favorite chili toppings and a few adventurous ones as well. These pair really well with a classic chili with a tomato base, ground beef, and beans.

Bowl of Shredded Cheese and Blocks of Cheese

Cheeses

  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Applewood smoked cheddar
  • Monterey jack
  • Pepper jack cheese
  • American cheese
  • Queso fresco
  • Nacho cheese or queso

You can never have too much cheese, in our opinion. Your guests will love to choose from varieties of grated cheese including cheddar (mild, medium, or sharp), smoked cheddar, Monterey jack, pepper jack, and American. In addition to shredded cheese, you can also drizzle on nacho cheese or queso.

Bowl of Tortilla Chips

Chips or Crackers

  • Tortilla chips
  • Tortilla strips
  • Saltine crackers
  • Oyster crackers
  • Ritz crackers

There is something about the crunch of chips or crackers that takes chili to another level. We love using tortilla chips, but you could also use strips or even saltine, oyster, Ritz, or buttery crackers.

Diced Green Peppers on a Wooden Cutting Board with a Knife

Peppers

  • Chili peppers
  • Dried ancho peppers
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Green peppers

Chili peppers, dried ancho peppers, jalapeno peppers, and green peppers are all delicious additions to chili. The heat from the jalapeno or chili peppers will add a nice kick, while the ancho will add some smokiness. The green peppers will provide a slight sweetness and crunch.

Lime Wedges in a Bowl

Fruit

  • Lime wedges
  • Lime juice
  • Dried cranberries

Fruit makes for a unique chili topping. There are a few that work well. Lime wedges are perfect as a garnish and to add fresh lime juice, which pairs well with tortilla chips, sour cream, and cilantro. Dried cranberries are delicious and our favorite is to use them with crumbles of cornbread and honey (or maple syrup).

Chopped White Onion on a Cutting Board with a Knife

Diced onions

  • Diced onion
  • Green onion
  • Red onions
  • Scallions
  • Fried onions

Onions are a classic chili topping because they add flavor, crunch, and texture. There are several types of onions you can use, including white or yellow onion, green onion, red onions, and scallions. One of our favorites is to use fried onions for a crispy and savory topping.

Crumbled Bacon in a Bowl

Meats

  • Bacon crumbles
  • Mexican chorizo
  • Hot dog, chopped

Chili is delicious on its own, but it’s even better when you top it with meat—even if it’s chili con carne (already with meat like ground beef). Bacon crumbles add a smoky flavor that enhances the richness of the chili, while Mexican chorizo adds a touch of spice. Chopped hot dogs are a fun way to make a reverse chili cheese dog with a bowl of chili, shredded cheese, hot dogs, and diced onion.

Corn in a White Bowl

Veggies

  • Corn
  • Corn salsa
  • Beans
  • Avocado
  • Fries or tater tots

Sneak in some extra veggies and provide some delicious vegetable options. We like to top ours with corn, corn salsa, avocado, and sometimes even fries or tater tots. Including beans as a topping is a perfect way for guests to add their own if the chili is beanless.

Fresh Salsa in a Bowl

Salsas

  • Tomato salsa
  • Corn salsa
  • Avocado salsa
  • Pico de gallo

Salsas are a great way to add fresh vegetables, acidity, and spice to chili. We love using corn salsa, tomato salsa, avocado salsa, and fresh pico de gallo. You can use store-bought salsa or make your own.

Guacamole in a White Bowl

Dips and Creams

  • Sour cream
  • Greek yogurt
  • Guacamole
  • Ranch

Sour cream or one of its variations is a must for chili. It helps to cut the spiciness and richness of chili. You can also use plain yogurt or Greek yogurt for a nice tangy flavor. Guacamole and ranch dips are also delicious options.

Hot Sauce in a Bowl with Fresh Peppers Surrounding

Sauces

  • Hot sauce
  • Sriracha
  • Wasabi sauce
  • Horseradish
  • Chili garlic sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Barbecue sauces
  • Maple syrup
  • Honey

Sauces are a great way to add a little kick to your bowl of chili. Hot sauce, sriracha, and wasabi sauce will do the trick. For milder but flavorful options, use barbecue or chili garlic sauce. Maple syrup and honey can add a touch of sweet flavor.

Chopped Fresh Cilantro on a Wooden Spoon

Herbs

  • Cilantro
  • Chives
  • Parsley

For the final touch, use fresh chopped herbs to garnish. Cilantro pairs well with Tex-Mex flavors like salsas and tortilla chips. While chives and parsley will go well with more traditional toppings.

There you have it! 45+ delicious chili toppings for your next chili bar. With so many options, your guests are sure to find their new favorite topping.

Bowl of Hearty Chili with Toppings

White chicken chili toppings

White chicken chili is a delicious, lighter option compared to classic chili. Our favorite toppings for white chicken chili are tortilla strips, sour cream, avocado slices, Monterey jack or mozzarella cheese, corn, and cilantro.

Turkey chili toppings

The best turkey chili toppings depend on the style of turkey chili. If you are making a tomato-based turkey chili soup, many traditional chili toppings will work wonderfully. If the chili is a white sauce-based chili, then we prefer toppings similar to our favorites for white chicken chili. (see above)

Texas chili toppings

Traditional Texas chili toppings start with a big Texas-sized bowl of chili and include shredded cheddar cheese, diced onions, tortilla strips, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, and avocado slices.


Bowl of Chili with Cheddar Cheese and Green Onions

Tips for the Best Chili Bar

Anyone who has ever thrown a party knows that the Chili Bar is always a big hit. Here are some tips for putting together the best Chili Bar ever.

  1. Serve homemade chili using a slow cooker to cook the chili warm. You can use the stovetop, but a crockpot is a great option. There is no need to worry about burning the chili. You can find double or triple slow cookers like this one if you plan to make more than one type of chili.
  2. Provide paper bowls, napkins, and plastic silverware for easy clean-up.
  3. Set out all the toppings in small bowls or ramekins, including a variety of toppings from the 45+ topping options above.
  4. Organize all the options into toppings, sauces, and garnishes. Make sure the sauces are in easy-to-pour bottles.
  5. Make sure everything is in order in which your guests will need them: 1) bowls, napkins, utensils, 2) chili, 3) toppings, 4) sauces, 5) garnishes, 6) side dishes, and 7) beverages.
  6. Include menu cards for topping combinations guests can use to make their own bowl of chili. For example—Tex-Mex, chili cheese dog, or the ultimate spicy chili.

To really take your chili bar over the top, include additional foods to top with chili and condiments:

  • Baked potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Butternut squash
  • Spaghetti noodles (Cincinnati chili)
  • Hot dogs and buns to make chili cheese dogs
  • Fries for chili cheese fries
Bowls of Chili with Shredded Cheddar and Toppings

Printable List of Toppings for Chili

Here you’ll find a printable ‘recipe’ for all the chili toppings we’ve gathered. Plus, tips on how to prepare a chili bar for your next party or big game.

Print
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Pot of Chili with Chili Toppings and Utensils

Chili Bar Toppings + Chili Bar Tips


  • Author: Northern Yum

Description

The best chili bar fixin’s, both classic and adventurous. Perfect for your next dinner party or Super Bowl spread.


Ingredients

  • Shredded cheddar cheese (mild, medium, or sharp)
  • Applewood smoked cheddar
  • Monterey jack
  • Pepper jack cheese
  • American cheese
  • Queso fresco
  • Nacho cheese or queso
  • Tortilla chips
  • Tortilla strips
  • Saltine crackers
  • Oyster crackers
  • Ritz crackers
  • Chili peppers
  • Dried ancho peppers
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Green peppers
  • Lime wedges
  • Lime juice
  • Dried cranberries
  • Diced onion
  • Green onion
  • Red onions
  • Fried onions
  • Scallions
  • Bacon crumbles
  • Mexican chorizo
  • Hot dog, chopped
  • Corn
  • Corn salsa
  • Beans
  • Avocado
  • Fries
  • Tater tots
  • Tomato salsa
  • Corn salsa
  • Avocado salsa
  • Pico de gallo
  • Sour cream
  • Greek yogurt
  • Guacamole
  • Ranch
  • Hot sauce
  • Sriracha
  • Wasabi sauce
  • Horseradish
  • Chili garlic sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Barbecue sauces
  • Maple syrup
  • Honey
  • Cilantro
  • Chives
  • Parsley

Instructions

  1. Serve homemade chili using a slow cooker to cook the chili warm. You can use the stovetop, but a crockpot is a great option. There is no need to worry about burning the chili. You can find double or triple slow cookers like this one if you plan to make more than one type of chili.
  2. Provide paper bowls, napkins, and plastic silverware for easy clean-up.
  3. Set out all the toppings in small bowls or ramekins, including a variety of toppings from the 45+ topping options above.
  4. Organize all the options into toppings, sauces, and garnishes. Make sure the sauces are in easy-to-pour bottles.
  5. Make sure everything is in order in which your guests will need them: 1) bowls, napkins, utensils, 2) chili, 3) toppings, 4) sauces, 5) garnishes, 6) side dishes, and 7) beverages.
  6. Include menu cards for topping combinations guests can use to make their own bowl of chili. For exampleTex-Mex, chili cheese dog, or the ultimate spicy chili.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: party, super bowl, chili bar

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

Final Thoughts

With so many chili toppings to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a fan of spicy foods or prefer your chili on the mild side, we’ve got you covered. So get in the kitchen and start whipping up your best chili yet. Tell us about your favorite chili toppings in the comments!

Pin for later:

Chili Toppings for Chili Bar Pin 2

More Topping Ideas

45+ Chili Toppings for Your Chili Bar

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