The first Chili’s opened in 1975 in Dallas, TX. The original concept of Chili’s menu was to offer affordable burgers and other main dishes people could enjoy in a sit-down environment.
Essentially, they wanted to offer prices that could compete with fast-food while giving patrons a better dining experience.
For years, Chili’s has been known for their baby back ribs (and you probably have that song in your head now!). But, there’s so much more the menu has to offer.
The best food at Chili’s ranges from their famous ribs to appetizers, burgers, chicken sandwiches, sides, and more.
There is something on the menu for everyone. Whether you like spicy foods, healthy salads, or big burgers, you can find something to satisfy what you are looking for.
With that, let’s take a look at some of the best Chili’s menu items, so you’ll know exactly what to go for the next time you visit the famed restaurant.
Cajun Chicken Pasta
If you are looking for a little extra kick, this is the dish to order!
Cajun Chicken Pasta is delicious and filling! The Cajun Chicken Pasta contains grilled chicken, penne in Alfredo sauce, and it gets topped with chili spices, parmesan tomatoes, and green onions.
A crispy piece of garlic toast is served on the side.
If you don’t want a dish with an extra kick, you can order it without the spice. It is truly a delicious dish that will leave you wanting more.
There are several different kinds of fajitas at Chili’s, but one of the best is the Carnitas Fajitas.
This Mexican-style dish has a tortilla filled with braised or roasted shredded pork in tiny pieces. It can be ordered by people who have food allergies, are vegetarian, or are gluten-free.
The fajitas at Chili’s are served with Chipotle butter, cilantro, bell peppers, and onions.
Mexican rice, black beans, and flour tortillas are served on the side. I sometimes substitute the flour tortilla with a corn one – that’s a great option for those who need to avoid gluten!
Sour cream, pico, salsa, and shredded cheese are included in the order as sides, but you can also ask for guacamole!
Chili’s is known for having great meat dishes, but one of my personal favorites is the Classic Ribeye Steak.
It is a marbled, thick-cut steak topped with garlic butter and served with loaded mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli on the side.
You can customize your order to get the meat cooked to your desired doneness. It is also safe for people with allergies or dietary restrictions to order. Make sure to tell your waiter or waitress!
The juicy steak is definitely worth eating at least once. But, once you eat it, you may never look back!
Southwest Egg Rolls
Egg rolls at Chili’s? It may sound crazy, but they are delicious!
But, these aren’t your average egg rolls. They are made with crispy flour tortillas, chicken, black beans, corn, jalapeno Jack cheese, red peppers, and spinach. What a yummy combo, right?
They are served with avocado-ranch dressing on the side, making for the perfect appetizer. If you tend to steer clear of adventurous foods, do not be nervous about ordering these egg rolls.
The delicious combination is unique and yummy, fusing two cultures in one. It is one of my favorites.
Bacon Ranch Chicken Quesadillas
One of my favorite things about Chili’s is its variety.
Another delicious option for an appetizer is the Bacon Ranch Chicken Quesadillas. I’ve never seen anything quite like it on any other casual dining menu.
Each tortilla has chicken, shredded cheese, chili spices, and bacon. You can dip the quesadillas inside a house-made ranch, but they’re also great on their own.
They are also served with pico and sour cream. The quesadillas are so yummy you will want to order another plate after yours is cleared.
The quesadillas are a perfect size that will satisfy your hunger but will not spoil your dinner. Plus, because there are multiple pieces, it’s the perfect app to share with friends or family.
Big Mouth Bites
If you are looking for something a little heartier, the Big Mouth Bites are one of my favorite options! They will help tide you over until your meal arrives.
The bites are filling, but not too filling if you share the other three. The appetizer is served with four miniature burgers with bacon, American cheese, and sauteed onions.
The mini burgers come with a house-made ranch. You can get the meat cooked to your liking – rare, medium-rare, medium, or well-down. Getting your “burger fix” has never been easier.
You can also inquire about gluten-free and dietary restrictive options by asking a waiter or looking on the Chili’s website. These are also great for parties, and can be ordered in large quantities if you have a crowd to feed!
Buffalo Chicken Ranch Sandwich
I love a good chicken sandwich, but Chili’s hasn’t always been the first place I think of when I get a craving for one.
At least, it wasn’t until I saw the Buffalo Chicken Ranch Sandwich on the menu.
It’s a delicious hand-breaded crispy chicken breast with spicy Buffalo sauce. Tomato and lettuce are also inside the brioche buns. The sandwich is served with a classic house-made ranch.
Forget Chick-fil-A vs. Popeyes, Chili’s takes the number one spot for the best chicken sandwich in our book!
Cajun Shrimp Pasta
I love carbs! If you do too, the Cajun Shrimp Pasta is delicious and will make your taste buds dance.
The dish has shrimp and penne in Alfredo sauce. It is topped with chile spices, Parmesan, tomatoes, and green onions. A tasty slice of garlic toast comes as a side dish so you can mop up your leftover sauce.
If you dislike the spice that comes with the Cajun Shrimp Pasta, you can order it without the chile spices.
This is one of the most filling dishes on Chili’s menu, but you certainly won’t complain about taking some home and enjoying your leftovers the next day.
California Turkey Club
If you are looking for something a little lighter than pasta or a burger, check out the sandwich menu.
The California Turkey Club is a tasty choice that won’t weigh you down. The sandwich is stuffed with bacon, avocado, tomato, red onion, swiss cheese, and lettuce.
Cilantro pesto mayo is dropped inside the toasted buttery roll. The sandwich is cut into two pieces so you can eat one portion now and the other later (or, all in one sitting. We don’t judge!).
It’s a perfect lunch option when you want something better than fast food.
Caribbean Salad With Seared Shrimp
If you are looking for a healthier option that has a delicious twist, check out the Caribbean Salad with Seared Shrimp.
Every time I order this, I am never disappointed and I always leave feeling satisfied.
The salad is topped with pineapple, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, red bell peppers, green onions, and cilantro. It features a honey-lime dressing that pairs perfectly with the tropical feel of the dish.
Plus, don’t forget the plump shrimp scattered all over the top.
Molten Chocolate Cake
Do you love dessert? It is my favorite part of any meal.
You can’t go wrong with a yummy, sweet treat at the end of a meal. The best option at Chili’s is the Molten Chocolate Cake, especially if you’re a chocoholic.
The chocolate cake has a molten center and vanilla ice cream in a chocolate shell. If you do not have enough room after dinner, the Molten Chocolate Cake is big enough to share!
However, watch out – once you take a bite, you won’t want to share. It is just that good! If you do not like chocolate, this dessert is not for you.
Mushroom Swiss Burger
I agree with Chili’s statement about this burger: “There is so mushroom in our hearts for this one.”
Get it? There is “much room” in my heart for this burger.
The yummy Mushroom Swiss Burger has sauteed onions, mushrooms, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, and garlic aioli on the burger. It goes so far beyond a basic burger and will keep you full for hours.
If you’ve never had a mushroom burger, you’ll love how much it elevates the natural “beef” flavor.
Quesadilla Explosion Salad
A lot is going on with this salad – in the best way possible.
It truly is an explosion of flavor, especially if you love quesadillas.
The greens are topped with grilled chicken, cheese, tomatoes, corn, and black bean salsa. Tortilla strips are dropped on top of the salad, along with a citrus-balsamic dressing.
To top it off, the salad is served with cheese quesadillas cut into smaller triangles. If you are gluten-free, you can order the salad without the tortilla chips and the quesadillas.
Spicy Shrimp Tacos
If you love spicy food as much as I do, you need to order the spicy shrimp tacos. They are truly delicious and one of the healthier items on Chili’s menu.
An order comes with three spicy shrimp tacos, served in flour tortillas with pico, avocado, cilantro, and coleslaw queso fresco. The shrimp is dipped in spicy chili-lime sauce. Is your mouth watering yet?
The three tacos are served with Mexican rice and black beans. While the tacos have a bit of a kick to them, they aren’t so spicy that it’s not an enjoyable experience.
Texas Cheese Fries
If you love loaded fries, this is most definitely the appetizer for you.
There is so much on this plate, starting with a generous layer of crispy, hot fries. On top of the fries, you will find melted cheese, bacon, jalapenos, and green onions. To top it off, it is served with a house-made ranch.
There’s no denying that this is a heavier appetizer, and it’s perfect for sharing. But, when you want to indulge and treat yourself, the Texas Cheese Fries at Chili’s will cure every craving.
Texas Dry Rub Ribs
Who doesn’t love a delicious rack of ribs?
Instead of getting a rack of ribs, that’s covered in sauce, try Chili’s Texas Dry Rub Ribs. They are covered in a yummy spread and can be served with fries.
There are a variety of other steak and rib options that you can order from Chili’s, but the dry rub is the best option because of its seasoning. It’s mouth-watering!
In this order, you will get two racks and sides of your choosing. Even though these ribs aren’t as saucy as most, you’ll still be licking your fingers to get every bit of that delicious flavor!
Crispy Chicken Crispers
If you love chicken strips, the Crispy Chicken Crispers are the perfect meal choice for you.
You can get the original Chicken Crispers, but the crispy ones are ideal for anyone who loves a little extra crunch.
The Crispy Chicken Crispers are served with fries and corn on the cob. There are several sauces to dip the strips in that you can choose from, including honey-mustard, BBQ sauce, or house-made ranch.
These are a great item for kids and adults alike, so don’t feel bad about snatching one or two from your child’s plate when they’re done!
Whether you are looking for a healthy salad or a big burger, there is something for everyone at Chili’s! These tasty meals are delicious when paired with extra yummy appetizers and desserts.
You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but these 17 items are the best of the best! I hope you enjoy some of my favorites and try them out for yourself. If you’re still hungry and looking for more, check out some of our other favorite casual dining spots, including Applebee’s.