Best tips and ideas to set up an awesome chili bar party with all the fixings! Use this slow cooker chili recipe as a topping for french fries, hot dogs, nachos and more. Then top it with more flavors like cheese, onions and jalapenos.
If you like this idea, you’re going to LOVE my Soup Bar with even more ideas for hosting and entertaining.
This is how it usually goes when I make a big pot of chili. First round is chili & tortilla chips, next day we serve it over pasta, and if there’s any left over we put chili on a baked potato, or make chili cheese fries.
I thought, why not put all those ideas into one single chili party? This makes a great adult party theme or family gathering. I’m sharing tips, chili bar toppings, plus the delicious all purpose chili recipe that goes with everything!
When to Set Up a Chili Bar at Home
I didn’t want to do a chili tasting or cook-off because I think most people have seen that already. Instead I thought about the many ways you can serve chili using one all-purpose recipe.
- This chili bar is one of our most popular party themes for fall and winter gatherings.
- It’s a great idea for a themed dinner party.
- This is a fun idea for a game day party.
- It’s a MUST for a super bowl party for a crowd.
- It’s convenient for family get-togethers and overnight guests.
- This works well for kids parties too!
Why You’ll Love This Idea
- It provides a hearty meal for guests.
- This food bar is so versatile making it an easy way to entertain.
- This is a delicious food buffet for adult friends, and families with kids.
- People love making their own variations.
How to Set Up
Before we get to what goes on a chili bar, let’s talk about how to set it up. *affiliate links included
- I find that a large table or counter works best for this party buffet. A sideboard would probably be too small or narrow to hold all the fixings.
- Set up on the dining table or on the kitchen island. If you need to push the table against the wall in order to use an outlet, that’s perfectly fine.
- Serve the chili right from the slow cooker. Wrap a piece of burlap around the crock pot to make it more attractive in a party set up.
- If you need to keep pasta warm or hot dogs hot, use chafing dishes for best results. They are a party hostess’ best friend. I love this stylish model, but if you don’t entertain much you can get away with using disposable ones (ah! did I just say that?).
PARTY TIP: Use corrugated disposable coffee cups for an easy-carry option. They’re easier to hold than bowls.
Best Ideas for a Chili Party
- Place mini bags of Fritos corn chips in a wire basket for a cute display. You fill the bag with the chili and toppings and eat right out of the bag! HOSTESS TIP: Get mini bags here for the BEST price.
- Use printable tags to label all the chili toppers and drinks, especially if you’re serving both beer and root beer.
- You can make a diy sign like I did here using paint, muslin fabric, letter stencils, and a frame.
- Serve beer or root beer from a large urn filled with ice.
This chili bar is a huge hit with the entire family, making it a great idea for parents. Serve this at kids birthday parties where you’ll also have adults.
PARTY TIP: This party idea is great for a man’s birthday or a teen’s birthday party buffet.
More Chili Recipes
If you’re in the mood for a simple chili tasting party, try one or more of these tasty variations.
- Feel free to add a southwestern touch with this slow cooker fiesta chili recipe.
- Or go in another direction with this slow cooker chili with chicken & sausage.
- For those times when you just want to make something totally indulgent and rich, try this cheesy Halloween chili recipe.
- Here’s a fabulous slow cooker white chicken chili made with chicken thighs and served in a bread bowl.
What’s your favorite chili bar combination? One of my personal favorites is the Fritos bags that you can just grab and go.
Now here is the tasty all purpose chili recipe that goes with everything on the chili bar. See more chili bar ideas on Pinterest.
If you like this post, PIN, Share, or sign up for our Newsletter at the top of the page. And don’t forget to follow CAH on Instagram or Facebook. Cheers!
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, browned
- 1 packet (1.25-ounce) Chili Seasoning, Original flavor
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 15-ounces of water
- Cooked Pasta
- Tortilla Chips
- Hot Dogs & Buns
- Crinkle Cut french fries
- Small bags of Fritos corn chips
- Baked Potatoes
- Shredded cheese
- Sour Cream
- Diced Onion
- Sliced Jalapenos
- Diced Tomatoes
- Condiments like ketchup & mustard for the hot dogs
- Prepare the chili by combining all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.
- Place all the toppings in individual bowls or serving dishes along with serving utensils for guests to help themselves to.
- Layer the base items with the chili.
- Add selected toppings to top the chili and you have a great meal.
I suggest small servings so you can have more than one combo. You may even want to cut the hot dogs in half.