Place a pot of chili on the sideboard, surround it with simple make-ahead accompaniments, and this no-fuss buffet practically serves itself.
Credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner

If a gathering of friends and family looms on your horizon, we've created a mix-and-match chili buffet menu designed for easy entertaining. This simple serve-yourself buffet is perfect for casual gatherings.

Rustle up a stew pot or two of chili, and surround it with some deliciously simple accompaniments. Chili serves a gang, is informal, and can be made ahead and reheated before serving. Many chilies are even better the next day.

This menu allows you to tailor either chili to the group you're entertaining. Planning a game-day bash? Try the Southwestern Chili, filled with smoky chipotle chile pepper and Cajun sausage. Want something more traditional? The Chunky Two-Bean and Beef Chili marries the robust flavors of beef stew meat and red wine.

For a bread accompaniment, choose between Savory Two-Cheese Biscotti and Sour Cream, Cheddar, and Green Onion Drop Biscuits. Serve on a buffet spread with assorted chili toppings: sour cream, chopped green onions, chopped tomato, and shredded cheese. Round out the menus with trustworthy sidekicks like coleslaw, cheesy breads, creamy spinach dip, and brownies.