Chili is a classic dish that is easy to make and even easier to eat.
But what about the side salad?
What salad do you pair with chili to make your meal complete?
The best salad to serve with chili is a hearty, leafy green salad. A salad like this can help balance out the bold flavors of chili by providing a contrasting flavor profile and texture that will leave your mouth feeling cool and refreshed.
Keep reading for more delicious options!
What Salad to Serve with Chili? (22 Best Salads)
Here are some of our favorite salads that go well with chili:
1. Greek salad
This salad can be made with any combination of vegetables, but it’s especially good with tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta cheese and garbanzo beans.
The classic dressing is olive oil and lemon juice, but you can also use tzatziki sauce or hummus instead.
2. Caesar Salad
Caesar salads are made with romaine lettuce, croutons and Caesar dressing (which usually has anchovies in it!).
This is another acidic option that goes great with spicy foods like chili because it balances out the heat by adding a tangy taste.
3. Cobb Salad
Cobb salads are made up of iceberg lettuce, bacon bits, chicken breast, hard-boiled egg slices and tomato wedges topped with blue cheese dressing.
The bacon gives this salad a smoky flavor while the blue cheese accentuates its creaminess—both of which balance out any heat from your chili!
4. Chef Salad
In this salad, all the ingredients are mixed together in a large bowl so that each bite has everything from lettuce to bacon bits in it!
It’s great for parties because everyone can make their own individual serving.
You could even add green onions or croutons to the mix if you want—whatever makes your taste buds happy!
5. Taco Salad
This salad is great if you’re looking for something spicy and Tex-Mex-inspired—it’s got all your favorite taco ingredients like lettuce, tomatoes, corn chips (or tortilla chips), cheese and sour cream or guacamole on top!
Add some black beans or rice for extra protein if desired.
Antipasto salad combines all of the yummy goodness of Italian antipasti (antipastos) into one delicious dish.
It’s perfect for a large group because it’s easy to make in advance and will keep for up to three days in the fridge if covered tightly with plastic wrap and stored in an airtight container or plastic baggie.
You can also freeze leftovers up to two months if tightly wrapped in plastic wrap then foil before storing in freezer bags or containers (be sure not to crush/squash them when frozen!).
This salad has all the makings of a great chef’s salad: peppery arugula topped with chicken breast and ham cubes plus crispy bacon bits and crumbled bleu cheese or Swiss cheese on top.
This is a great choice when you’re looking for something light but filling.
Couscous is a great grain for making salads because it absorbs flavors well and pairs well with almost any kind of meat or vegetable.
It also makes an excellent base for a vegetarian meal when combined with chickpeas or beans like kidney or pinto beans.
You can try adding parsley or mint leaves for extra flavor!
This salad pairs well with all kinds of chili because it’s sweet, crunchy and spicy at the same time!
It’s made with grilled corn kernels mixed with onions, bell pepper and lime juice; the lime juice adds a bright tangy flavor while the onions add some heat and saltiness to counterbalance the sweetness of the corn.
This one goes great alongside any kind of bean-based chili because it has so many different flavors going on at once!
This is an easy salad to make at home because you don’t need any special equipment or ingredients—just spinach leaves topped with crumbled blue cheese and cherry tomatoes on top for color!
You could also add nuts or dried cranberries if you want something crunchy (and delicious) in your salad!
Another great option is chopped kale salad.
This salad has been gaining popularity in recent years because it’s so easy to make and so delicious!
All you need are some fresh greens like kale or spinach, a variety of nuts and seeds like cashews or sunflower seeds, dried fruit like dates or cranberries, olive oil or vinegar (or both), salt and pepper to taste.
The best part about this recipe is that it doesn’t require any cooking at all—just toss everything into a bowl and enjoy!
This salad is great because it combines two popular Mexican dishes in one—chicken fajitas and salad greens!
It’s easy to put together if you have leftover chicken breast or any other proteins on hand (bacon works too!).
Just toss together romaine lettuce leaves with bell peppers and onions; top with salsa and sour cream; then add chicken breast strips or bacon crumbles for an extra protein boost!
13. Caprese Salad
This salad features fresh mozzarella and tomatoes dressed in olive oil and topped with basil leaves for an Italian twist on a classic dish!
You can also add grilled chicken breast if you want to bump up the protein content and make this more of a full meal rather than just an appetizer or snack.
This recipe is all about layering flavors and textures for one delicious meal!
Start by adding black beans, corn kernels, red onion slices and avocado onto a bed of lettuce leaves; top with shredded chicken breast (browned in butter until crispy) and sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese before serving.
These bowls are made with quinoa as the base instead of rice, which makes them healthier than traditional takeout options.
Add some chicken breast and buffalo sauce for an extra kick of flavor!
In this salad, thinly sliced cucumbers are tossed with thinly sliced radishes (or thinly sliced celery) and a simple dressing made from mayonnaise or sour cream mixed with vinegar or lemon juice.
This salad pairs well with both spicy and mild chili recipes!
17. Green Bean Salad
Green beans are a great way to add some crunch to your salad without adding too much bulk or calories.
The green bean salad is usually made with green beans, onions, bell peppers and whatever else sounds good when you’re making it up (we like raisins).
The dressing for this one is usually just olive oil and vinegar—though if you’re feeling fancy, you could go all out with a homemade vinaigrette!
This simple salad uses two ingredients—zucchini and carrots—and can be served warm or cold.
You can mix up the seasonings for this one by adding cumin seeds or parsley for extra flavor!
This salad is a great alternative to the traditional spinach salad for those who don’t like spinach as much as they used to (or at all).
It’s a delicious combination of beets roasted until tender and then mixed with goat cheese, walnuts, red onions and arugula tossed in apple cider vinegar dressing.
The tangy dressing contrasts nicely with the sweet beets while packing plenty of flavor itself!
This salad is fresh and light—perfect for summertime! It features tomatoes, cucumbers and avocado tossed in an olive oil vinaigrette dressing with salt and pepper to taste.
21. Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Crispy Breadcrumbs, Olives, and Capers
This salad uses cauliflower as its base, but it’s so much more than just cauliflower!
This salad has a delicious mix of textures and flavors—crisp breadcrumbs, tender roasted cauliflower florets, salty olives, capers for an acidic kick.
Beets are super healthy—not to mention they’re delicious when paired with oranges!
This salad is pretty simple: just boil some beets until tender (about 20 minutes), then cut them into cubes or slices and add them to your favorite orange dressing.
22 Best Salads to Serve with Chili
- Greek salad
- Caesar Salad
- Cobb Salad
- Chef Salad
- Taco Salad
- Antipasto Salad
- Chef's Salad with Chicken, Ham, and Cheese
- Couscous Salad
- Grilled Corn Salad
- Spinach and Blue Cheese Salad
- Chopped Kale Salad
- Chicken Fajita Salad
- Caprese Salad
- Chicken & Avocado Taco Bowls
- Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bowls
- Cucumber and Radish Salad
- Green Bean Salad
- Zucchini and Carrot Salad
- Beet and Goat Cheese Salad
- Tomato, Cucumber, and Avocado Salad
- Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Crispy Breadcrumbs, Olives, and Capers
- Beetroot Salad with Orange Dressing
- Pick your favorite salad from this list to serve with your chili dinner.
- Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
- Enjoy your meal in less than 25 minutes!