Skip Nav
Food News
The First Pumpkin Spice Product Has Just Hit Store Shelves — Heaven Help Us
Fast and Easy
The Perfect Pasta Solution If You Don't Want to Fully Commit to Veggie Noodles
Summer
The 1 Thing I Always Put on Ice Cream to Make It Better (No, Not Sprinkles)

How to Create Your Own Chili Bar Buffet

Entertain at Home With a Chili Bar

Chili is one of my favorite foods to entertain with; not only can it be prepared ahead, but it's incredibly adaptable. So for my last dinner party, I chose to take things to the next level with a dress-it-yourself chili buffet. After all, if one can create a bangin' bloody mary or hot dog bar, why not a DIY chili version, too? To learn more about creating one yourself, read more.

  • Mix it up with two types of chili. I offered both a meat and a vegetarian version; both were made ahead, and kept warm in slow cookers at the table.
  • Vary the base as well as the toppings. Serve cornbread on the side, or cilantro-lime rice. Offer Fritos for make-your-own Frito pies, and pasta for those who go the route of Cincinnati-style chili. Oyster crackers would be great, too.
  • Go crazy on top! I laid out everything from chopped red onions and scallions to sour cream and shredded cheese to pickled jalapeños and lime wedges. Or try something ridiculously over the top — like bacon!
  • Be sure beverages are apropos for the occasion. To start off, I passed around tumblers of pineapple margarita. Once guests sat down at the table, they were greeted by an ice bucket full of California beers.
  • Don't forget ambiance. Set the spread on top of a red checkered tablecloth, or scatter tea candle votive holders around the table for a little extra flair.

Ever created a make-your-own bar at home while entertaining? If so, do share your tips below!

Around The Web
Join The Conversation
lauren lauren 5 years
What a great idea! I want to do a burger bar at some point this summer!
dclsweetspot dclsweetspot 5 years
You could also have baked potatoes, spaghetti, hot dogs and/or taco shells available to make it a more substantial meal. Offer beans on the side so that people have a choice. A chili bar is perfect for a Super Bowl party or any get together where you need to feed many and varying tastes.
Valentine's Day Brunch Ideas
Super Bowl Party Decor
Thanksgiving Decor and Menu Planning
Rustic Chic Thanksgiving Table Decor
Restoration Hardware Lighting at David Stark-Decorated Gala
Elle Women in Hollywood Tribute Event Design
Budget Halloween Party Ideas

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

From Our Partners
Latest Food
X