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10 Easy Side Dishes to Make That Chicken Dinner a Winner

By , Bryn Mooth
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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GEORGE815 1/18/2021
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DEBBERNEBBER523 9/3/2020
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SPARKNB 7/17/2020
We are big rotisserie chicken eaters. I put mine on whatever salad we have (& we have one everyday, pretty much), but the fam likes a sauce. Some of the sauces we do are pre-packaged Indian dishes you can 'nuke' in 90 secs, in pouches. Also sometimes boston baked beans; also canned cranberry sauce; also potato salad; also rice and quinoa mixes. Mix and match any of these. Also sometimes asian veg stirfry, or zucchini and/ mushrooms and/ onions, sauteed. Report
WILDKAT781 5/18/2020
thanks Report
ARNETTELEE 4/25/2020
thanks Report
ARNETTELEE 4/25/2020
thanks Report
Such yummy side dishes to choose from! Thank you! Report
What a great selection of recipes. Thanks for sharing. Report
Great ideas! Report
Got to try some of those Report
some very good recipes... Report
I know it's not the most current article but when I clicked on a recipe, it just brought the article again. A little disappointed. Report
Yummy ideas! Report
I need to try a few of these! Report
Looks great! Report
going to use a few of these thanks Report
These recipes sound great! Report
Good recipes to try. Report
Good recipes, yummy! Report
Grilled zucchini and squash. Report
There is a couple recipes that I would like to try. Report
Great recipes! Report
I needed some ideas for new side dishes. Report
thanks useful ideas Report
great ideas Report
Good ideas. Thanks. Report
Thanks for the ideas! Report
Some looked pretty good Report
I'll try several of these. Report
Love all the great ideas. Report
Love all the great ideas. Report
Great assortment of recipes Report
This is great! Report
The veggies look good! I will try at least 2 or 3 of them. Thank you. Report
Great ideas. Report
I serve sliced chicken with sautéed bell pepper and onion over lettuce with a creamy fat free salad dressing Report
Good article is always looking for different side dish recipes Report
Thanks! So many of these look so yummy. I love the potato packs and have that garlic herb flavor. A favorite of the whole family!! Report
Vegetable fried rice from Spark Recipes! I always have a batch on hand. Report
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 Report
I love sweet potatoes as my side with any dish! Report
I love couscous! Report
that cranberry sauce side dish sounds great. I have not even thought of that in awhile (except holidays) and I love it Report
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. Report
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. Report
Looks yummy Report
Love couscous, quinoa and orzo alongside chicken, especially if it includes chopped fresh veggies and lemon zest. Report
I love couscous, quinoa and whole wheat orzo, especially with lemon zest, alongside Chicken. Report
sauerkraut. Report
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