Celebrate winter with a festive, colorful party idea that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser—a self-serve chili or soup bar featuring all your favorite fixin’s.

Best of all, since guests will be serving themselves, you’ll be free to chat and catch up with friends!


How to set up a self-serve chili bar

Looking for a fun and low maintenance dinner idea? Try this self-serve chili bar at your next get-together.


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  • hearty chili recipe
  • toppings, (diced tomatoes, red onions and avocados, shredded cheese, chopped parsley leaves, tortilla strips, spices, etc.)
  • serving bowls, and silverware
  • bowls


  • Cook your favorite chili.
  • Prepare a variety of colorful, flavorful toppings.
  • Arrange toppings in bowls (for fun, we used washed, clean soup cans with the labels removed and a food-safe liner added).
  • Set out serving bowls and utensils for your guests near the food-serving station.
  • Set out non-perishable toppings (keep any perishable ingredients refrigerated until right before your guests arrive).
  • Put chili in enamel cast-iron pot to help keep it hot (you can also use a slow cooker or electric plate warmer).
  • Set it on the table right before you are ready to eat.
Tried this recipe?Mention @EverydayDishes or tag #everydaydishes!