Does Parmesan Go with Chili? (Find Out!)

Well, this sounds like an unusual combination, but many people add parmesan cheese to their chili.

So, I need to find out if they really do go well together, and if so, why. 

As you know, parmesan is a hard Italian cheese with a salty, nutty flavor and is typically used in pasta and soups.

Whereas chili is a spicy dish, usually made with meat, chili peppers, and beans.

Does the taste of parmesan complement chili?

How does the texture of the cheese affect the recipe?

How can parmesan and chili be used together for the best results?  

Let’s solve this nutty, spicy mystery! 

Parmesan and chili are an unusual combination, but their extreme flavors do complement each other. The heat and spice of the chili are balanced by the saltiness of the parmesan. The creamy, nutty texture of the cheese enhances the intense taste of the chili, adding to the satisfaction and comfort of the rich dish. A small amount of parmesan can be grated on top of the chili rather than adding it to the recipe. More cheese can be added, according to personal preference.  

How Does the Saltiness of Parmesan Affect the Heat of Chili?

If you’re a fan of chili, then you know it can be overwhelmingly spicy at times. 

Although, it’s up to you to control that if you’re making it yourself!

But if you are perhaps catering to a crowd, it is difficult to please everybody.

If somebody finds the spiciness too unpalatable, suggest that they add some parmesan cheese to it.

It might seem a strange idea, but the saltiness of the parmesan does balance out the heat of the chili. 

It also helps in bringing out other flavors, such as the richness of the meat sauce.

And the parmesan can enhance the sweetness of the tomatoes.

Overall, the parmesan’s salty edge can make the chili more enjoyable and more satisfying.

Take it slowly at first, and simply grate a small amount of the cheese over the chili.

You might wish to check the parmesan label first to look at the amount of sodium in it, as some brands have quite a lot, and it will overpower the dish.

Also, bear in mind that parmesan may not be suitable for somebody who needs to restrict their sodium intake.

Although it is possible to find lower sodium versions.

Or you could simply try a different cheese.

Always check with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.

What is the Best Way to Incorporate Parmesan Into Chili?

Although there are a couple of different ways to add parmesan to chili, start, as I mentioned above, by sprinkling a small amount on top of the dish.

You get the hit of the salty, nutty flavor without it overpowering the chili.

If you are happy with that method and want to up the salt element, try shaving the parmesan instead.  

You can also try melting the cheese into the sauce, making it creamier and more decadent.

Add it towards the end of the cooking period.

It should melt quickly and be fully incorporated into the sauce.

As a final suggestion, how about adding parmesan to chili fries?

Pile up the fries in a bowl and top with chili and parmesan. 

A satisfying dinner with a twist!

Does Parmesan Cheese Go Bad?

My Thoughts

  • The salty flavor of parmesan can help to balance the intensity of chili
  • Parmesan cheese can add a creamy texture and slightly nutty flavor to the chili
  • Try adding parmesan to chili fries for an unusual twist
  • Adding parmesan to chili can be done by grating it on top before serving or melting it into the sauce while cooking
  • Always consider the sodium content in parmesan for health reasons

So, that answers the question then; parmesan and chili make a great combination, with the nutty and salty flavor of the cheese balancing the heat and spiciness of the chili. 

Have you tried parmesan cheese with your chili? 

 If you like unusual food combinations, find out why cream cheese is often found in sushi.

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