Side Dishes for Chicken: Ideas

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Grace
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If you’re looking for a side dish for chicken then you’re in the right place. In this article, I make a heap of suggestions for things that will work with chicken and also some recipes for how to make them as well.

Chicken is one of the most universal meats and will go with virtually anything. That said, there are some things that work better than others and it’s wise to pick something that’s going to be really good.

The good news is that the number of sides that go well with chicken is pretty big. You’ll probably have a few of the dishes suggested here ready at home already and, if not, you might find have the ingredients that you need to make them.

Chicken will go well with bread, salad, potatoes, vegetables, rice, pasta, noodles, and even soup. This article has some really good suggestions for each category.

Remember to make gravy or provide a sauce

When you’re serving chicken, normally it’s best to serve it with gravy or a sauce as well as a side.

Usually, if you serve chicken with bread, potatoes, or vegetables as a side, it will go best with some gravy. It’s pretty easy to make gravy from the juices after you’ve cooked the chicken. Don’t forget to do this.

Sauces are also a really good idea as well. They can go alongside gravy or just by themselves and are useful when chicken is served with just about anything.

Good classic sauces for chicken are:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Garlic sauce
  • Cheese sauce
  • Chili sauce
  • Mustard
  • Chutneys
  • Tomato sauce
Sauces

There are hundreds of sauces that go well with chicken. Just take your pick. Be careful that whatever you choose ties in with the rest of your recipe.

Bread

Bread is one of the staple side dishes for chicken. There aren’t many people who make a chicken dinner which doesn’t have bread available at least. Sweeter-tasting bread is usually the best choice.

Most people have some bread ready at home and on top of that, it goes well with other side dishes, in particular with salad.

Cornbread

Cornbread is nice and crunchy, and sweeter than regular bread. Both of these things make it most people’s favorite bread to serve with chicken.

Garlic bread

Garlic bread is pretty easy and anything garlic-flavored goes well with chicken. If you haven’t got any garlic bread spare and you want it, then why not make some yourself? All you need is garlic butter and bread.

1/2 a cup of butter mixed with 2 crushed garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of parsley, and a pinch of salt is all you need.

Plain Bread

If you haven’t got cornbread or garlic bread, or you don’t fancy making your own garlic bread, then just go with plain bread. White and brown loaves are fine, although white bread is usually a better choice for chicken.

Salad

Fresh salad is one of the best side dishes to serve with chicken. It goes particularly well with grilled chicken, although it will go virtually any chicken recipe.

Caesar salad

Caesar salad is a classic summer recipe that goes really well with chicken. It’s made with romaine lettuce, croutons, lemon juice, oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper. It’s a classic dish that most people know and all of the ingredients it contains are things that go perfectly with any chicken recipe.

Potato salad

Potato salad is easy to make and it’s great next to a piece of grilled chicken. The standard ingredients are mayonnaise or sour cream, herbs, and spring onions.

Coleslaw

A lot of people think coleslaw is the best side dish for grilled chicken and it does have a lot going for it. Coleslaw is easy to get hold of and it’s not too difficult to make it yourself.

Traditional coleslaw is made by thinly slicing cabbage, carrots, and green onions, mixing them, and then seasoning everything with mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar. By itself it’s delicious and it’s even better with chicken.

Caprese salad

Caprese salad is a classic Italian dish with a lot of Italian-style flavors, and it’s great with chicken. Another good summer salad, Caprese is made with sliced tomatoes, sliced mozzarella, oil, and basil. Put it out with some bread and try to make it fresh, just before you serve it.

Orzo pasta salad

Orzo pasta salad made with grape tomatoes, feta, and basil and then dressed in a lemon vinaigrette goes really well with chicken. Instead of feta and lemon vinaigrette, you could try adding mozzarella balls and a different dressing or olive oil.

If you want to make your salad more healthy you could add more vegetables and use less orzo pasta.

Avocado salad

Avocado is really popular nowadays and a lot of people have discovered how well it goes with chicken. There are a lot of recipes to choose from.

A basic and delicious avocado salad can be made by cutting up avocado, tomato, and cucumber, mixing them, and then adding salt, pepper, and red wine vinegar. Leave it to sit for a bit after you’ve finished making it and it should taste delicious.

Grilled romaine lettuce

Grilled Romaine lettuce has a nice crunchiness that works really well with chicken, and it also has a good flavor by itself. Cut a heart of romaine lettuce in half and add some vegetable oil or clarified butter to the center before you grill it. Grill it in a heated pan with ridges to help toast it nicely and give it an earthiness that should work well.

Alcoholic watermelon salad

If you’re throwing a party or if you just want something alcoholic then why not make yourself an alcoholic watermelon salad? Not only is it fun, but you might be pleasantly surprised to find out how well watermelon and other fruits go with chicken.

To do this, cut a watermelon in half, hollow out the seedy center and fill it with fruits of your choice. Strawberries, grapes, apples, starfruit, and raisins all work well. When that’s done pour in as much rum or another drink of your choice as you want.

Cucumber and red onion salad

Cucumber and red onion often work well with chicken. The sharpness of the onion should cut through quite nicely and make the whole meal quite refreshing.

Diced cucumber and red onion with a little olive oil will work fine, but if you want to add something extra then try adding dill, feta cheese, and yogurt. This will make it more like tzatziki or raita and the dish should be quite tasty and slightly more wholesome.

Potatoes

Potatoes are a classic accompaniment to a roast chicken dinner. Potatoes go really well with cheese and when there’s chicken involved as well, all the flavors combine even better.

Baked potatoes are a lot of people’s go-to potato recipe. However, it’s probably best to choose a suggestion from below instead if you want something to pair with a chicken dinner.

Roasted potatoes with rosemary and garlic

Roasted potatoes are pretty simple and always go well with chicken, particularly with rosemary and garlic. Everyone knows the score with roasted potatoes. Why not try adding some grated cheese to them after you’ve roasted them.

Check out my baked potato in a toaster oven recipe.

Mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes are often a perfect side dish for chicken if you’re cooking for children. If you make mashed potatoes for kids, make sure that you make them nice and creamy and add some grated cheese to them while you’re mashing them. They’ll love them if you get them really creamy and cheesy. Gravy works pretty well with mashed potatoes as well.

French fries

Fried, grilled, or baked chicken with French fries is a classic that most people love. This might not be the healthiest choice and is what most people associate with fast food. However, there are some fresh and healthy ideas and good modern recipes for cooking French fries with chicken.

Red potatoes

Red potatoes make a nice swap if you’re tired of normal potatoes and a lot of people love them with chicken. They have less starch and more sugar than white potatoes. The sweetness and lightness make them pair up nicely with chicken. Red potatoes work well fried or even mashed into a nice creamy consistency with some garlic and sour cream.

Sweet potatoes

There are loads of sweet potato recipes that go with chicken. The best ones tend to be grilled recipes and ones with seasoning.

A good idea is to sprinkle a tiny bit of cinnamon and some cayenne pepper on sweet potatoes and then grill them. As with other potato recipes, cheese also works nicely with virtually any sweet potato recipe.

Vegetables

There are heaps of vegetables that go with chicken. You can almost steam or sautée any vegetable and it should work.

Vegetables are usually best if they’re seasoned properly. Here are the best vegetable side dishes to try.

Check out my mixed veggies in a toaster oven recipe.

Collard greens

Collard greens are one of the all-time classic sides for chicken. Healthy and easy to cook, these are a favorite for people who want something quick and fresh to pair up with some chicken.

A quick and easy way to cook collard greens is with salt, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Slice your collard greens nice and thin, and then pan fry them in a little oil until they start to brown slightly and soften in the middle. When this happens add garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt to taste, and then… voila!

Green beans with ham or bacon

Green beans are another one of the all-time favorite sides of chicken for a lot of people. Green beans are perfect with butter and garlic, which are both things that also go well with chicken. You can steam, boil or oven roast your beans and then add a little butter and garlic to them and they’ll be delicious.

If you’re using green beans as a side, you will probably want something else to go with everything as well. Most potato sides also work well with green beans.

Stuffed tomatoes with feta and oregano

This is a pretty simple recipe and works nicely with the tomato flavor cutting through the chicken. To make this dish, you just stuff tomatoes with feta and oregano and then grill them and that’s it. Simple.

Asparagus

Baked, grilled, and barbecued asparagus are chicken side dish classics and everyone should give them a try.

A simple method to bake asparagus for chicken is to drizzle olive oil across it, sprinkle on some seasoning and throw everything in the oven at 350F for about 8 minutes. They should come out crispy on the outside, tender in the middle, and sweet tasting.

Adding parmesan or chopped walnuts really compliments asparagus. It also works really well if it’s cooked with garlic and onion.

Zucchini

Zucchini is a lot of people’s favorite vegetable to have with chicken. It’s quite a versatile vegetable and can be cooked in a lot of ways.

A good idea is to make zucchini and yellow squash French fries. To do this, cut zucchini and yellow squash into French fry shapes and then saute them until they start to brown. Sprinkle on some salt and serve.

Another way to cook zucchini to go as a side dish to serve with chicken is to slice it into rounds, drizzle a little olive oil over it and then add some garlic, seasoning, and parmesan. After that, grill it until the cheese is melty and delicious, and then serve.

Spiralized zucchini noodles blanched, drained, then quickly fried in olive oil are also one of the best side dishes for chicken. You can add seasoning to taste and should aim for them to have a little crunch when you eat them.

Brussels sprouts

Chicken and Brussels sprouts go really well together and Brussels sprouts make some of the best side dishes to serve with chicken.

Pan-fried Brussels sprouts with bacon are an absolute classic. To do this, pan-fry halved sprouts in butter, with salt and pepper. Fry them until they just start to brown and crisp on the edges. After they are cooked, finish them with a little bit of balsamic vinegar. To avoid burning them and to get them cooked all the way through, cook them on medium heat.

Roasted brussels sprouts with bacon

Caramelized sprouts with parmesan and garlic couscous is another great recipe. To cook this, cook your Brussels sprouts according to the recipe above, but finish them with parmesan instead of balsamic vinegar and mix them with some couscous.

Most roasted Brussels sprout recipes would also make perfect sides to a chicken meal.

Roasted Brussels sprouts and carrots

Rather than having sprouts by themselves, you can have roasted Brussels sprouts with carrots. They go well together and they also go well with chicken.

To do this, chop some sprouts and some carrots put them in a baking tray, and sprinkle some oil and seasoning over everything. Then roast it all at 400 Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes. It’s a good idea to melt some garlic butter over it all before you serve it.

Carrots roasted in butter and brown sugar

If you’re having carrots by themselves, one of the great recipes for them to go with chicken is roasted in butter and brown sugar. It’s pretty easy to do and you’ll love it. To make the dish, just slice some carrots and put them in an oven roasting tin with some butter, and then sprinkle some brown sugar on top. It should take about 20 minutes in the oven to cook everything properly.

Broccoli

Broccoli often makes a nice and simple side dish to serve with chicken. A delicious and straightforward way to cook it is to steam it and then add some freshly squeezed lemon, a little bit of butter, and some freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Corn on the cob

Grilled corn on the cob is one of the classic side dishes for grilled chicken at a barbecue. It’s easy to cook as well. Usually, people coat it in tin foil and then heat it on the grill, although you can do it without tin foil. That’s about all there is to it. Remember to add some plain butter or some garlic butter before you serve it.

While sweetcorn is usually served as a side dish for grilled chicken, you can use it for baked chicken, roast chicken, or with virtually any other chicken dish.

Grilled mixed vegetables

Oven grilled mixed vegetables such as eggplant, squash, red onion, asparagus, and bell peppers would be a good side to pair up with a roasted chicken meal. Usually, all you need to add is a little butter and some salt and pepper.

Check out my peppers roasted in a toaster oven recipe.

Rice, Pasta, and noodles

Rice, pasta, and noodles can all be served with chicken and often are.

Rice

Rice is a staple food ingredient across the world and it is used in countless chicken recipes. There are too many ways to serve it with chicken to mention, but here’s one good suggestion.

Steamed rice and wilted greens

Steamed rice with wilted greens and sesame oil works really well with chicken and gives an Asian twist to traditional greens and chicken meals. To make it you, just steam rice with some shredded wilted greens and then drizzle a little bit of light sesame oil over it all at the end. Give it a try, it works really nicely.

Pasta

Pasta is a bit like rice, in that there are too many pasta-based side dishes for the chicken to really go into much detail. You can try experimenting yourself as there are thousands of ways that it will work.

If you need a suggestion, lemon butter penne pasta topped off with basil or pesto sauce goes very well with chicken.

Noodles

Noodles can also be served with chicken in millions of ways. Here is one unusual suggestion.

Noodles with marinara sauce

Noodles with marinara sauce pairs really nicely with well seasoned baked chicken with parmesan cheese. Cook your noodles separately, place the chicken on top of the noodles then coat everything in marinara sauce.

Soup

You might not have thought of it, but why not use soup as a side dish for chicken. Soup side dishes for chicken will work with grilled chicken, roast chicken, or baked chicken.

Possibly the best soup side dish for chicken is mushroom soup. That said, a lot of vegetable soups will go well with chicken.

Mushroom soup

Mushroom soup is pretty simple. It’s usually easier to just buy it than make it yourself and store-bought mushroom soups are usually pretty good. Mushroom soup will accompany chicken will with any flatbread or other artisan-style bread like walnut or sourdough.


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