30 Best Side Dishes for Chicken, No Matter How You Cook It
In a contest for the most versatile meat, chicken would win. But what's a chicken dinner without sides? And what makes chicken ultra-versatile if not the number of sides it pairs with? Read on for some of our favorite side dishes to serve with chicken, based on five basic methods of cooking this beloved bird. And remember, you can always pair baked chicken with a side for fried chicken, roasted chicken with a side for grilled chicken, and so on. You'll have a winner-winner chicken dinner no matter the combo.
Baked Chicken: Mushroom Rice
"This was an easy, tasty side dish," says reviewer docswife. "I used cremini mushrooms and upped the garlic and onion."
Baked Chicken: Buttery Garlic Green Beans
"This is one of my most favorite ways to make green beans," says Sarah Jo. "I like to add a little finely minced onion to the skillet with the garlic as well. I usually double this recipe because my family inhales it."
Baked Chicken: Lemon-Glazed Carrots
"You need the sugar and butter to make a glaze, but the lemon cuts through the sweetness." — jsiracusejr
Baked Chicken: Creamy Mushroom Peas
"These peas are great," Cindy Johnson says. "I have made them several times and I get tons of compliments and no leftovers! Everyone loves them kids and grown-ups alike!"
Baked Chicken: Basic Mashed Potatoes
"This is the kind of easy side dish recipe that goes with almost any chicken recipe. "Perfect mashed potatoes," says Navy_Mommy. "Heating the milk and butter is a must. I didn't realize what a difference it would make; my potatoes were not gummy and they stayed hot longer."
Barbeque Chicken: Red Potato Salad
"Goes well with a summer barbeque, or anytime! For a tangy twist, try using plain fat-free yogurt in place of some or all of the sour cream," says recipe creator Michelle Ramey.
Barbeque Chicken: Microwave Corn on the Cob
Consider microwaving corn an effective, no-nonsense method that lets you devote more time to your main dish. Plus, corn on the cob will forever be a classic side dish for barbeque chicken.
Barbeque Chicken: Perfect BBQ Baked Beans
"Everyone always loves these beans, and they are a sweet, filling, and yummy addition to a plate of potato salad and the smoky barbeque we all love," says recipe creator aleasa.
Barbeque Chicken: Buttermilk Coleslaw
"This is an easy, no fuss way to have a side dish for picnics or barbeque entrees," says reviewer FoodieGal. "I like the tangy-twist that the buttermilk provides — a lot like the tangy flavor that one would get from cider vinegar. I like my coleslaw creamy, and this is a great method."
Barbeque Chicken: Roasted Garlic Bread
The best barbeque chicken would totally come with a generous slice of buttery garlic bread, right?
Braised Chicken: Egg Noodles with Spinach
"Easy to make, very tasty. I doubled the batch and made as a side for a chicken dish I was dropping off to a friend," says reviewer knightzag.
Braised Chicken: Braised Leeks and Mustard Greens
"The earthy, mild onion flavor of leeks combined with the spicy kick of mustard greens braised in a buttered broth makes for a simple and tasty side dish," says recipe creator Gardener98.
Braised Chicken: Roasted New Red Potatoes
Be sure to use tiny new red potatoes for this recipe to get the best results. If your potatoes are larger, cut them into bite-size pieces. "Excellent recipe," says reviewer Cristi. "This is my new favorite way to eat red potatoes. By only using the olive oil, salt, and pepper, we were able to taste and appreciate the true flavor of these delightful little potatoes."
Braised Chicken: Savory Roasted Root Vegetables
"Wow! I know it's just a bunch of root vegetables, but this was really good. I am not a big fan of beets but the veggies just go so sweet, even the beets weren't, well, beet-y," says reviewer Stephanie Morissette.
Braised Chicken: Perfect Polenta
"Polenta is nothing more than coarsely ground cornmeal," says recipe creator Chef John. "The classic ratio is one part polenta to four parts water, but I like to measure the polenta just a little scant of a full cup. I often use chicken broth instead of water. It's a perfect base for any kind of saucy meat or mushroom ragout."
Fried Chicken: Melody's Corn Maque Choux
Pronounced something close to "mock shoe," this colorful mix of corn, sweet peppers, celery, bacon, and onion is the Creole answer to succotash (minus the lima beans).
Fried Chicken: Fried Okra
"This recipe was a quick addition for our lunch today," says reviewer Naomi Gutierrez. "My husband loved it. It reminded me of the fried okra my great grandmother from Texas used to make when I was little."
Fried Chicken: Yellow Squash Casserole
"Made as written. Very yummy, loved the crispiness of cracker topping. Next time I will butter my baking dish to prevent sticking. Although we loved scraping it for seconds," says reviewer Eva.
Fried Chicken: Old School Mac n' Cheese
Potato chips crumbled over the top gives this comfort food classic a crunchy crust. "I've made this several times and everyone loves it, especially for potlucks and parties! I do however mix up the cheese- always using sharp cheddar and one other kind of melty goodness like Gruyère, or Gouda," says reviewer Summer Wheatley.
Fried Chicken: Slow-Cooked Green Beans
"Why take something that normally takes five minutes to cook and cook it for two hours? Because it produces one of the most delicious things you'll ever taste. There's going to be a lot of juice, and that's what you dip your corn bread into," says recipe creator Chef John.
Grilled Chicken: Grilled Hearts of Romaine
"The trick is to get the grill grates very hot. And the result? A lightly caramelized surface and a slightly smoky flavor. The insides stay cool and crisp. It's quite a contrast of tastes and textures," Chef John says.
Grilled Chicken: Sweet and Peppery Watermelon Salad
You wouldn't want to grill chicken during the summer without at least one light, refreshing side on the lineup. This salad of watermelon, strawberries, arugula, and basil fits the bill.
Grilled Chicken: Grilled Corn Salad
"A yummy and easy side for hot summer days! Goes great with your grilled dishes or just to munch on," writes recipe creator AMBERT77.
Grilled Chicken: Eggplant Mixed Grill
You might as well add marinated veggies to the grill, right? This recipe features eggplant, asparagus, crimini mushrooms, bell peppers, and red onion wedges.
Grilled Chicken: Green Quinoa Tabouleh
Chef John recommends pairing this herby quinoa with grilled meats — the more seasoned, the better.
Roasted Chicken: Simple Broccolini
"Full of garlicky, lemony flavor," says recipe creator JUMAHA. "The crunchy stems and the softer florets that soak up sauce are a great combination."
Roasted Chicken: Mom's Scalloped Potatoes
"I have made scalloped potatoes for over 40 years, but I thought I would try this recipe! They were the best scalloped potatoes that I have ever made!" — peeps470.
Roasted Chicken: Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
"I've tried many variations of mashed cauliflower, and while I've enjoyed them all, all were not as 'fluffy' as I would like... until now. Steaming the cauliflower, rather than cooking it in water, obviously is the solution." — naples34102
Roasted Chicken: Roasted Brussels Sprouts
"Amazing! I am no cook, but I made this dish and WOW! It was yummy. I never thought I could cook Brussels sprouts, and it was very easy," Evie says.
Roasted Chicken: Simple Roasted Butternut Squash
"Anything that is fast, easy, has easy clean up, and is delicious makes the top of my list!" — Kim Strain