What Desserts Go with Chili?

When it comes to enjoying a hearty bowl of chili, finding the perfect dessert to accompany this comfort food classic might be the last thing on your mind. However, pairing your chili meal with the right sweet treat can truly elevate your culinary experience, creating a harmonious blend of flavors that leaves you feeling both satisfied and impressed by your own creative choice. So, let’s explore some dessert options that bring out the best in your chili feast.

Popular Desserts Paired With Chili

Chili is a delicious and hearty comfort food that many people enjoy. But what about dessert? After indulging in a spicy and savory bowl of chili, you might find yourself craving something sweet to cleanse your palate and round out your meal. In this section, we’ll discuss a couple of popular dessert options that pair wonderfully with chili: Brownies and Ice Cream.



One of the most popular desserts to serve with chili is a batch of warm, gooey brownies. The sweetness and indulgent texture of brownies offer the perfect contrast to a spicy chili dish. There are plenty of brownie varieties to choose from, and you can customize them to your liking:

  • Chocolate: Classic chocolate brownies made with cocoa powder are always a hit. The rich chocolate flavor complements the depth of spices in a chili dish.
  • Dark Chocolate Brownies: If you prefer a more intense chocolate flavor, opt for dark chocolate brownies. The bittersweet notes pair well with the heat and richness of chili.
  • Mexican Brownies: For a fun twist, prepare Mexican brownies flavored with a hint of cinnamon and spicy chili powder. These ingredients play off of the spices in your chili and create a unique, harmonious dessert experience.


Ice Cream

A scoop of ice cream can be incredibly refreshing after a filling bowl of chili. This frosty dessert provides a cooling sensation that balances out the warming spices and heat of your main course. Here are a few ice cream-related options to consider when serving chili:

  • Plain Ice Cream: A simple scoop of vanilla or chocolate ice cream is always a crowd-pleaser. Serve it in a bowl alongside your chili, or spoon some onto a warm brownie for extra indulgence.
  • Frozen Yogurt Pie: Want to offer something a little fancier? Make a frozen yogurt pie with a chocolate cookie crust and a swirl of chocolate and vanilla frozen yogurt. Your guests will appreciate the combination of flavors and textures.
  • Fried Ice Cream: Another exciting option is fried ice cream. This creamy, cold treat is encased in a warm, crispy shell. It’s an impressive dessert that brings a satisfying contrast of temperatures to your chili meal.


Spicy Sweet Combinations

Chili and desserts might not seem like the most obvious pairing, but when done right, they can be a delightful duo. In this section, we will explore two spicy and sweet combinations that you won’t want to miss.

Cinnamon Delights

Cinnamon is a spice that complements both savory and sweet dishes, so it’s no surprise that cinnamon-based desserts would make brilliant chili companions. Here are three desserts infused with the warming flavor of cinnamon:

  1. Cinnamon Rolls: Soft, fluffy cinnamon rolls drizzled with a sweet glaze enhance the flavors of your chili by adding a touch of spiciness to each bite. The contrast between the rich, hearty chili and the sweet, buttery dough creates a balanced and satisfying meal.
  2. Apple Cider Bread: A moist, cinnamon-spiced apple cider bread is a great way to balance the spiciness of the chili peppers in your dish. Its fruity notes will help to cool down your palate while still indulging in a dessert that’s perfectly in tune with your spicy food cravings.
  3. Angry Apple Pie: One might wonder why the name is so, but with a kick of chili peppers alongside the sweet, tart apples and cinnamon, this flavorful twist on a classic dessert will perfectly complement your spicy chili.


Cakes with a Kick

Sometimes, all you need is a slice of cake to finish off a hearty chili meal. Here are a few cake options with a spicy twist:

  1. Chocolate Cake: A rich, dense chocolate cake can be a delicious way to end a meal, but adding a pinch of cayenne or chili powder to the batter gives it an unexpected heat. The combination of chocolate and chili peppers creates a powerful flavor duo that’s both indulgent and exciting.
  2. Brandy Old Fashioned Cake: This boozy cake, inspired by the classic cocktail, has a surprising addition of chili powder in both the cake and the glaze. The warmth of the brandy, the heat of the chili, and the sweetness of the sugar work in harmony to create a unique dessert experience that pairs beautifully with your spicy bowl of chili.


Cheesy Choices

When you think of the perfect dessert to complement a spicy chili dish, cheese may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, there are some excellent choices out there that blend sweet and savory flavors seamlessly, enhancing the overall experience. In this section, we’ll explore some cheesy options that pair perfectly with chili.

  • Apple Pie with Cheddar Cheese: You might be skeptical, but combining apple pie with cheddar cheese is a pairing made in heaven. The tang of the cheese balances out the sweetness of the pie, creating a beautiful blend of flavors in your mouth. A classic American dessert, simply place a thin slice of cheddar cheese on top of a warm apple pie slice and let it melt slightly before indulging.
  • Cheesecakes: The creamy texture and tangy taste of cheesecakes make them a fantastic partner for a bowl of chili. A simple vanilla cheesecake will enhance the flavors of your dish, while fruit-topped versions, like the key lime pie flavored cheesecake, provide a refreshing contrast.
  • Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting: This mouthwatering dessert adds a touch of fruity goodness to your chili meal. The sweet caramelized pineapple and the rich cream cheese frosting make for an unforgettable combination.
  • Pumpkin Pie with Sour Cream Topping: Another autumn favorite, pumpkin pie, is a fantastic option for those who enjoy earthy flavors. Adding a dollop of sour cream to your slice will create a delightful tanginess that perfectly complements the chili-spiced pumpkin filling.

Written by Laurie Graves

Laurie is a 50-something wife and boy mom, who loves to share easy recipes, DIY home ideas, and food hacks. She truly believes that with a little inspiration, anyone can make their home and meals feel special.