11 Things To Serve With Chilli Con Carne

Updated on 
7 April, 2023

Our Top 11 Side Dishes To Serve With Chilli Con Carne

Chilli con carne is a loved family meal for many of us, it's spicy and savoury flavours compliment nearly any side dish like rice or potatoes, plus, it is super easy to make in batches for easy weeknight freezer meals. 

But if you are fed up with the usual rice and chilli con carne and want to try a different side, you might be stuck on ideas of what to serve with your chilli. 

We've put together a great list of quick ideas below for some cooking inspiration. 

Is Chilli Con Carne Healthy For Weight Loss? 

Before we get into some of the best side dishes to pair with your chilli con carne, let's first discuss if chilli con carne is a healthy choice of meal for weight loss.

Chilli con carne is typically considered to be a pretty healthy dish, due to it being high in protein and packed with lots of different veggies.

To make chilli con carne healthier we suggest serving it with options like wholegrain rice and using lean cuts of meat like chicken, turkey or lean beef mince to keep the fat low.

5 Things To Serve With Chilli Con Carne

The Best Side Dish Ideas For Chilli Con Carne 

Chilli con carne is a very versatile dish and can practically be served with any kind of side, we've listed some great ideas below.


Couscous is an excellent side dish idea for chilli con carne with flavor and a fluffy texture, it goes with this spicy dish well without bulking it out too much. 

This side dish is also super easy to make and ready in a couple of minutes if your chilli con carne is already cooking! To keep it healthy, avoid adding oil and butter to your couscous when preparing.

Cauliflower Rice 

Cauliflower rice is a very popular and healthy rice alternative to your traditional rice and is a great pairing for chilli con carne since it's light.

This cauli rice is low in calories and carbs making it an ideal side for weight loss and is nutritious too, to make you simply blend up your cauliflower and fry it in the pan to take off the bitterness of the raw cauliflower.

Slimming World Chips

If you haven't heard of slimming world chips, you are missing out, whether you are on the plan or not, these chips are crispy and super healthy since they are practically made without any oil!

Simply cut your potatoes into your desired chips size then pop them into your air fryers.


Tortilla wraps are a great Mexican-type side to indulge in with your chilli, you could fill the wraps with chilli con carne or use them flatbread style to scoop up your chilli and enjoy.

You can choose lower calorie options like weight watchers wraps if you are trying to be healthy!


Pasta is quite an underrated side for chilli con carne, this spicy sauce goes well with spaghetti and can even be topped with cheese for a Mexican bolognese-style kind of meal.

For a healthier alternative, you could also try zoodles (courgette noodles) if you are watching your carbs.

Sweet Potato Wedges 

Sweet potato is a great side to have with chilli con carne, you could have them as baked potatoes or enjoy them as wedges. Simply cut into wedge-style chips, coat in spray cooking oil or olive oil then coat with spices such as paprika.

These could also be air fried as a healthier alternative.


There's nothing wrong with having a simple salad as a side to your chilli con carne, this could be made with sweetcorn, lime juice and chillies for a Mexican kick and allows you to get even more veggies into your meal, making it great lighter lunch choice.


Chilli with rice is a go-to side, however, it doesn't just have to be your boring plain white rice, you could make Mexican rice with chillies, sweetcorn and chicken stock or spiced rice as rice alternatives. 

Be aware that rice packs often contain oil, which gives them a syn value on plans like the slimming world.

Mashed Potatoes 

Mashed potatoes have an excellent creamy texture to compliment the chunky texture of a chilli con carne. This kind of side is also easy and quick to make if you are short on time.


The sweet nutty taste of cornbread is a good side for Mexican chilli, the soft texture also helps soak up the juices instead of rice for chilli. Tasty cornbread is also simple to make with minimal ingredients.


Quinoa is considered to be a very healthy and filling wholegrain-type side. It's also a great alternative to rice and can be made with veggies for even more fibre and protein.

Be cautious of packet quinoa with brown rice since they often contain oil.

Our Favourite Chilli Con Carne & Rice Recipe (Slimming World Friendly!)

Chilli con carne is one of those easy non-fail meals you can have on a weeknight, paired with rice or our sides above for the ultimate comfort meal. 

If you're looking for a tasty chilli con carne recipe, we have a great one below which serves four people.


  • Low cal cooking spray.
  • One onion.
  • Two red peppers.
  • Three garlic cloves.
  • Tomato paste.
  • Oregano, paprika, cumin, chilli powder.
  • 500g of lean beef mince.
  • Can of kidney beans.
  • 350g of rice.
  • Two cans of chopped tomatoes.
  • Beef stock.


  1. Begin by frying off your beef in a pan with low cal cooking spray for around five minutes. Add in your veggies and spices, frying for a further 5 minutes.
  2. Now add in your beans, tomatoes, stock cube and around 300ml of boiling water. Simmer for 30 minutes, serve with rice and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions About Chilli Con Carne 

What is chilli con carne often served with? 

Most of the time, chilli con carne is made with white rice, then traditional toppings are; cheese, sour cream, diced onions, lime wedges and tortilla chips.

What vegetables are suited with chilli con carne?

Some suited veggies for chilli con carne are mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, cauliflower and broccoli.

What is the healthiest meat to put in chilli?

Some healthy meat options to put in your chilli are; lean beef, ground turkey or ground chicken.

What kind of bread should I have with chilli?

The best bread and most authentic choice to serve with chilli con carne is cornbread, you can make cheesy cornbread or plain.

What cuisine is chilli con carne?

Chilli con carne is a Tex-Mex dish, meaning it came from Texas but was inspired by Mexican cuisine. 

Final Words 

To conclude, Chilli Con Carne can be served with a variety of sides, some popular options include; tortilla wraps, rice, cornbread, cauli rice, homemade chips and couscous. 

We recommend making your chilli con carne with lean beef to keep it healthier and lower in fat, topped with authentic foods like lime wedges and cheddar cheese!

Jennifer is a certified nutritionist and weight loss coach with a Master's in Nutrition from Cambridge. With over 10 years experience, she shares healthy recipes and science-backed slimming tips on SheCooksSheEats to help people reach their wellness goals. Jennifer stays up-to-date by regularly attending conferences and continuing her nutrition education. She aims to provide research-backed advice to inspire balanced, happy living.
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