What to Serve with Chicken: 10 Quick & Easy Side Dishes


By: , – Bryn Mooth
2/25/2013 12:00 PM   :  15 comments   :  420,389 Views

When it comes to the protein portion of a healthy diet, boneless, skinless chicken is a hero. It’s versatile, easy to prepare and naturally lower in fat and calories than many other meat options. But by itself, chicken can be, well, a little boring.
Baked, grilled or roasted chicken is probably a regular part of your dinner rotation. So you’ll need some great side dishes for chicken that add a little spark to the plate. We’ve gathered 10 side dish recipes to help you bring new life to that chicken dinner.
Green Beans with Miso and Almonds
If you haven’t tried miso, the flavorful, fermented Asian ingredient made from soy, then you should. Miso adds umami, or savory flavor, to any dish. Serve this recipe as a side dish for grilled chicken marinated in soy sauce, fresh ginger, garlic and lime.
Chef Meg’s Three-Cheese Macaroni
Chef Meg loves this healthy mac ‘n’ cheese as a side dish to grilled or baked chicken. Make a batch for dinner one night, and then serve the leftovers alongside your chicken.
Couscous with Roasted Vegetables
You can use a mix of your favorite vegetables in this easy-to-prepare side dish that’s perfect with simple roast chicken. Summer and winter squash and any root vegetables work well. Use whole-wheat couscous for added fiber. Photo courtesy of writes4food.com
Herbed Bulgur & Lentil Salad
Hearty, flavorful and packed with nutritious fiber and protein, this salad makes a terrific accompaniment to herbed chicken breasts. The recipe makes an ample quantity, and the salad is a terrific, easy-to-pack lunch option, too.
Garlic-Herb Potato Packs
Whether you prepare your chicken on the grill or in the oven, wrap up a batch of these herbed potatoes and cook them at the same time. Use baby redskin or fingerling potatoes, which cook up tender and sweet.
Arugula Salad with Cranberries & Pistachios
With a main dish as straightforward as chicken, you’ll want sides with bold flavor. This simple salad pairs peppery arugula with zingy cranberries and healthful pistachios. A little of the shallot dressing goes a long way. Photo courtesy of writes4food.com
Creamy Corn Pudding
This lighter take on the classic Southern side dish would be great with oven-baked crispy chicken cutlets. Chef Meg’s recipe is creamy without being heavy like traditional corn pudding.
Chimichurri Sauce
This Latin American sauce is traditionally served over steak (as seen above), but you can’t beat it as a condiment for grilled chicken breasts. Spiked with citrus zest and a splash of vinegar, this blend of herbs is beautifully green and vibrantly flavored. Use similar flavors to marinate your chicken before grilling: lime and orange juice, red pepper flakes, cilantro and garlic.
Tangy Summer Slaw
You’ll want a big bowl of this creamy and flavorful slaw to serve as a side dish for grilled chicken at your next barbecue. Tahini, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar make for an unexpected—and delicious—combination.
Easy Grilled Vegetables in Foil
This super-simple side dish for grilled chicken is endlessly flexible: Use whatever combination of fresh seasonal vegetables you like. Some ideas: tomato and zucchini; butternut squash and red onion; zucchini, corn and green beans. Photo courtesy of writes4food.com

What is your favorite side dish for chicken?


Bryn Mooth is extending her 20-year career in publishing as an independent journalist and copywriter. She shares seasonal recipes, kitchen techniques, healthy eating tips and food wisdom on her blog writes4food.com.

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  • 15
    green beans, grilled asparagus, rice and beans, mashed sweet potato, baked potato/sweet potato, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, sweet tarragon carrots, black eyed pea salsa, tortilla, refried beans - 12/9/2014   3:15:56 PM
  • 14
    I love sweet potatoes as my side with any dish! - 1/30/2014   10:05:54 PM
    I love couscous! - 3/7/2013   3:35:43 PM
  • 12
    that cranberry sauce side dish sounds great. I have not even thought of that in awhile (except holidays) and I love it - 3/3/2013   12:37:32 AM
  • 11
    Best thing ever: instead of roasting a chicken on a rack, set the bird on top of cauliflower florets, halved brussels sprouts, and cubed sweet potatoes. When the chicken is done, the veggies will be soft, carmelized, and full of delicious flavor from the chicken's juices. It is an absolute favorite and weekly tradition in my house. - 2/26/2013   8:19:05 PM
  • 10
    You can include me with the folks who enjoy roast chicken with a side of mac and cheese ! What I have with chicken really does depend on my mood. Some days it might be mac and cheese. Other days it might be a sweet potato and broccoli. - 2/26/2013   11:37:47 AM
  • 9
    Looks yummy - 2/26/2013   9:27:35 AM
  • 8
    Love couscous, quinoa and orzo alongside chicken, especially if it includes chopped fresh veggies and lemon zest. - 2/26/2013   9:06:56 AM
  • 7
    I love couscous, quinoa and whole wheat orzo, especially with lemon zest, alongside Chicken. - 2/26/2013   9:06:12 AM
  • 6
    sauerkraut. - 2/26/2013   12:31:05 AM
  • 5
    Rice with rice wine vinegar - 2/25/2013   10:15:57 PM
  • 4
    Baked Sweet Potato Or Broccoli, Cauliflower and Carrots Roasted. Thanks For Sharing These Delicious Looking Recipes! :) - 2/25/2013   10:12:41 PM
  • 3
    Great side dish ideas! Thank you!!! I'll be trying some of those real soon :) - 2/25/2013   5:29:19 PM
  • 2
    Couscus and quinoa are my usual stand-bys. I really want to try the bulgar & lentil salad and the mac and cheese. Yummy! - 2/25/2013   3:48:18 PM
    my favorite is still cranberry sauce but I like the lentil and wheat side except I would substitute quinoa or amaranth for the wheat - higher protein, better glycemic index, tastier, and gluten free. - 2/25/2013   2:31:14 PM

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