Accompaniments: Best Side Dishes for Grilled Chicken

Geb's BBQ Chicken

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From juicy chicken breasts to smoky drumsticks, grilled chicken is a backyard staple and dinner favorite. But what are the most delicious, crowd-pleasing sides to serve alongside your perfectly charred chicken?

Pairing flavorful accompaniments with simple grilled chicken is key to creating a complete meal. The right sides can enhance the chicken, add color and nutrition, and give your plate variety and contrasting textures.

Read on for mouthwatering recipes and ideas for sides and salads that complement perfectly cooked grilled chicken.

Grilled Veggies

For a quick and healthy accompaniment, throw some veggie skewers right on the grill alongside the chicken. Grilling brings out their natural sweetness.

Zucchini

Slice zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch planks. Brush with oil and season. Grill 2-3 minutes per side.

Eggplant

Cut eggplant into 1-inch rounds, brush with oil, and season. Grill 5 minutes per side until tender.

Squash

Cut summer squash or winter squash like butternut into 1/2-inch slices. Toss in oil and grill until charred.

Corn on the Cob

Grill shucked corn in husks for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally. Silk stays on for added flavor.

Asparagus

Coat asparagus spears in oil and season with salt, pepper, and garlic. Grill for 8-10 minutes until charred.

Bell Peppers

Halve and seed peppers. Grill skin-side down 8-10 minutes. Charring the skins adds flavor.

Mushrooms

Toss halved mushrooms in oil, season with thyme and rosemary, and grill for 5-8 minutes until browned.

Onions

Peel and slice onion into 1/2-inch rounds, brush with oil, then grill about 5 minutes per side until softened.

Grilled Fruit

Fruit gets a delicious smoky char from the grill. Try these ideas:

Stone Fruit

Halve and pit peaches, nectarines, plums, etc. Brush with honey or oil and grill cut-side down until charred.

Pineapple

Slice pineapple into 1/2-inch rounds and grill 2-3 minutes per side. Brush with honey or coconut oil while cooking.

Mango

Slice mangoes into 1-inch spears and grill for 2-3 minutes until grill marks appear. Brush with lime juice.

Watermelon

Cut watermelon into 1-1/2 inch wedges, removing rind. Grill flesh side down for 2-3 minutes until charred.

Bananas

Leave unpeeled and grill bananas over medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side. The peel protects the soft flesh.

Pasta Salad

Chilled pasta salads pair nicely with hot chicken off the grill. Whip up flavorful options like:

Italian Pasta Salad

Toss dressing of olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and Italian herbs with cooked spiral pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.

Greek Pasta Salad

Mix penne pasta with feta cheese, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion. Toss in a Greek dressing.

Tortellini Salad

Combine chilled cheese tortellini, bell peppers, artichoke hearts, salami or pepperoni, and Italian dressing.

Macaroni Salad

Stir mayonnaise, mustard, celery, onion, and bell pepper into cooked macaroni noodles. Chill before serving.

Potato Salad

Creamy, tangy potato salads pair wonderfully with simply seasoned grilled meats like chicken. Try fun twists like:

Dill Potato Salad

Toss diced boiled potatoes with mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, chopped onion, celery, dill, and parsley.

German Potato Salad

Mix warm diced potatoes with bacon, onion, vinegar, and chicken broth. Garnish with parsley.

Sweet Potato Salad

Combine cooked sweet potato cubes, red onion, bell pepper, and dill in a creamy honey-mustard dressing.

Blue Cheese Potato Salad

Stir crumbled blue cheese, scallions, and bacon into creamy dressing and fold in diced potatoes.

Pasta Entrees

For heartier accompaniments, these pasta entrees pair perfectly with simply grilled chicken:

Chicken Parmesan

Top spaghetti with breaded chicken cutlets, melted mozzarella, and tomato sauce.

Chicken Carbonara

Sauté diced chicken in bacon fat, toss with fettuccine, Parmesan, eggs, and cream.

Chicken Alfredo

Toss fettuccine with a rich, creamy Parmesan sauce. Serve with grilled and sliced chicken breast.

Pesto Chicken Pasta

Sauté chicken with pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and mushrooms. Toss with penne pasta.

Grains and Legumes

Nutritious whole grains and legumes make satisfying accompaniments. Try these flavorful options:

Quinoa Pilaf

Cook quinoa in chicken broth with sauteed onions, garlic, and bell pepper.

Brown Rice Salad

Toss cooked brown rice with diced tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese, olives, and red wine vinegar.

Black Beans and Rice

Serve Cuban-style black beans over rice with avocado, salsa, cilantro, and lime wedges.

Tabbouleh

Combine bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, mint, and lemon juice.

Polenta

Top creamy soft polenta with grilled vegetables, marinara sauce, and Parmesan.

Coleslaw

Crunchy coleslaw is right at home next to simply seasoned grilled chicken. Try unique versions like:

Asian Coleslaw

Shred napa cabbage, carrots, bell pepper and toss with ginger sesame dressing.

Jalapeno Lime Coleslaw

Mix shredded cabbage, diced jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, cumin, and chili powder.

Creamy Broccoli Slaw

Combine bagged broccoli slaw mix with shredded carrot, dried cranberries, and creamy dressing.

Greek Yogurt Coleslaw

Stir plain Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and celery seed into shredded cabbage and carrots.

Leafy Salads

Fresh, crisp salads are the perfect way to round out a grilled chicken dinner. Whip up flavorful favorites like:

Caesar Salad

Toss romaine lettuce, croutons, and Parmesan with creamy Caesar dressing.

Greek Salad

Combine romaine, tomato, cucumber, olives, feta, and red onion. Toss in Greek dressing.

Spinach Salad

Layer baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, bacon, hard boiled eggs, mushrooms, and red onion.

Caprese Salad

Stack fresh mozzarella, tomato slices, and basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic.

Grilled Breads

Warm bread right off the grill is an appetizing accompaniment for chicken. Choices like:

Garlic Bread

Brush crusty bread slices with garlic butter before or after grilling.

Bruschetta

Top grilled bread slices with a mix of diced tomato, onion, basil, and olive oil.

Naan

Brush naan bread with olive oil or butter and grill briefly until warmed and lightly charred.

Flatbreads

Top grilled flatbreads like naan or pizza crust with basil pesto and mozzarella.

Dips and Sauces

Cool and creamy dips complement hot chicken right off the grill:

Tzatziki

Stir shredded cucumber, garlic, dill, lemon, and Greek yogurt for a zesty sauce.

Ranch

The classic pairing with chicken wings and tenders also goes great with breasts and legs.

Blue Cheese Dip

Mix crumbled blue cheese into Greek yogurt and mayo. Garnish with chives.

Hummus

Chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice blended into a perfect dip for chicken.

Desserts

End your cookout on a sweet note with summery desserts like:

Fruit Salad

Toss together fresh summer berries, melon, pineapple, grapes, citrus, and mint.

Pound Cake

Drizzle sliced, grilled pound cake with caramel sauce and top with ice cream.

S’mores

Sandwich toasted marshmallows and chocolate squares between graham crackers.

Peach Cobbler

Fill an oven-safe dish with sliced peaches, sugar, butter, and batter. Bake until golden.

With endless options for delicious sides and salads, you’ll never grow tired of serving grilled chicken. Complete the meal with these mouthwatering accompaniments.

FAQs

What are good low carb sides for grilled chicken?

Great low carb side options include grilled vegetables like zucchini or eggplant, fresh greens salads, cauliflower rice, roasted spaghetti squash, sautéed green beans, or a vegetable and hummus platter.

What goes with bbq grilled chicken?

Cornbread, coleslaw, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, fried okra, watermelon slices, collard greens, cornbread salad, potato salad, and corn on the cob are all fantastic sides for bbq grilled chicken.

What sides go with lemon chicken?

Bright citrus sides complement lemony grilled chicken well. Try lemon cous cous, lemon quinoa, green salad with citrus dressing, grilled lemon halves, asparagus tossed in lemon juice, or pasta with a lemon cream sauce.

What salad goes with grilled chicken breasts?

Tasty salad ideas include classic Caesar salad, Greek salad with feta, spinach salads with berries and nuts, broccoli and apple slaws, mixed greens with citrus vinaigrette, kale and quinoa salad, or caprese salad with mozzarella.

What goes with jerk chicken?

Good sides for spicy jerk chicken include pineapple salsa, mango avocado salad, rice and peas, grilled plantains, sautéed sweet potatoes, coconut rice, black bean and corn salad, and tropical fruit salad.

With this wide range of flavorful side dish ideas, you’ll look forward to cooking up juicy grilled chicken any night of the week knowing you have delicious accompaniments ready to serve.

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About the Author: Staff Reporter