10 Easy Side Dishes to Make That Chicken Dinner a Winner

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By: , – Bryn Mooth
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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.
 
If baked, grilled or roasted chicken is a regular part of your dinner rotation, you’ll need some great side dishes to add a little spark to the plate. From lentils to slaw, these 10 side dish recipes that can help breathe 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 with 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 roasted chicken. Summer or winter squash and any root vegetables work well. Use whole-wheat couscous for added fiber.
 

Image 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.


Image 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 below), 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 combinations include: tomato and zucchini; butternut squash and red onion; or zucchini, corn and green beans.


Image courtesy of Writes4Food.com
 

What's 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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