The best BBQ chicken side dishes! These summer sides are perfect for grilled chicken breasts, barbecue chicken and pulled chicken sandwiches or sliders.
When it comes to summer cookouts, it’s the side dishes that really complete the meal. They’re the best part!
Delicious side dishes can turn simple BBQ chicken, hot dogs, or burgers into a savory feast that everyone will rave about.
What to serve with BBQ chicken?
When it comes to deciding what to eat with barbecue grilled chicken, creamy coleslaw, potato salad, or corn on the cob might come immediately to mind.
Those are fantastic options, but here are a ton more tasty recipes that will complete your summer BBQ menu.
So let’s turn your summer barbecue into a big hit!
35 Best Side Dishes That Go With Chicken
1. Potato salad
The creaminess of potato salad pairs so well with the tangy, smoky flavor of barbecue chicken.
Believe it or not, coleslaw can be used as a good side dish OR a topping for chicken sandwiches.
Its slightly sweet, crunchy nature complements it so well!
3. Baked beans
Baked beans are one of those super easy side dishes that come together with just a couple simple ingredients.
You can even buy them pre-made in a can, and keep them warm in your slow cooker.
4. Fresh sweet corn
Corn on the cob is a classic summer side that is easy to prepare and always a crowd favorite.
You can even cook it on the grill right alongside the chicken.
5. Macaroni and cheese
The creaminess of mac and cheese makes it the perfect complement to those tangy barbecue flavors.
If you don’t want to heat up your kitchen, you can even make it in your crockpot!
6. Sweet potatoes
Baked sweet potatoes are healthy AND delicious.
You can take them the sweet route with butter and brown sugar, or make them savory with sour cream or blue cheese.
7. Green beans
For a fresh, healthier side dish option, serve green beans at your BBQ.
You can make them more delicious by sauteing them with garlic and onion. Or add bacon to make it everyone’s new favorite side dish.
You can make cornbread the easy way with a packet of Jiffy mix, or use your favorite ‘from scratch’ recipe.
Cornbread is a staple on Southern menus, making the ideal BBQ side dish.
9. Fresh salad
Everyone appreciates a cold salad made with mixed greens and your favorite toppings and dressings.
Set out a variety and see what everyone picks!
Or keep it really simple with a bagged salad mix that everything you need.
Rice pilaf makes a surprisingly good summer side dish. It can even be served room temperature, so there’s no need to babysit it.
Broccoli cheese rice would also be a big hit!
11. Fried green tomatoes
Nothing says summer like fried green tomatoes.
They’re made with inexpensive ingredients, and the perfect use-up for those under ripe tomatoes in your garden.
12. Pasta salad
An easy pasta salad is so simple to throw together, and it can even be prepared the night before or morning of your barbeque.
You can toss together cooked pasta with some fresh veggies, Italian dressing, and maybe some feta cheese or olives.
Read Next: 85+ BEST Pasta Salad Recipes on the Planet
13. Fried okra
Another Southern side dish idea is fried okra.
(It’s actually far more delicious than it sounds!)
Some stores sell them in the freezer section, or you can make them homemade by tossing okra in a cornmeal batter and frying.
14. Potato wedges
Wedge fries are a really easy and cheap side dish.
Slice a Russet potato into wedges, sprinkle on your favorite seasoning, and bake in the air fryer or oven.
15. Corn salad
If you’ve never had corn salad, you’re in for a treat!
It’s the quintessential summer side dish because it uses ingredients that are at their most fresh in the summer, such as fresh corn, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion.
16. Vegetable tray
Many people appreciate it when you set out some extra veggies, and a vegetable platter is an easy make ahead option.
You could even a veggie tray pre-made, and set out some ranch for dipping.
And if you want a ‘barbecue twist’ on a veggie tray, roast the vegetables on the grill instead!
17. Corn pudding
Typically made with cornbread mix, corn, and a few other simple ingredients, your BBQ guests will love corn pudding casserole.
You can even make it ahead of time, and serve it at room temperature. Super easy!
Biscuits go surprisingly well with BBQ chicken.
You can make them from scratch (or with Bisquick) or buy them pre-made at the store.
They’re a crowd pleaser either way.
Feel free to set out some butter and honey or jam for people who like to top their biscuits.
19. Baked potato
It’s super easy to make baked potatoes in the oven, air fryer, or even your slow cooker.
You can easily make a lot at once, and they’re a really inexpensive side dish.
Sour cream, butter, shredded cheese, or salsa make great toppings!
20. Cucumber salad
Another great make ahead side dish is cucumber salad.
It’s so refreshing to eat on a hot summer day.
The recipe calls for just a handful of ingredients that you might already have on hand.
21. Creamy macaroni salad
Macaroni salad has been served at almost every barbecue and potluck I’ve attended, and it’s a fairly versatile recipe that can include your favorite ingredients.
22. Hush puppies
In case you’re unaware, hush puppies are tender little bite-sized morsels of deliciousness.
They’re basically a fried dough made out of some simple baking ingredients and seasoning.
Some grocery stores sell them pre-made in the freezer section too.
23. Collard greens
Another Southern staple that makes a great side dish for chicken are collard greens.
They’re a type of leafy green vegetable that typically sauteed with oil, butter, or bacon fat.
24. Sweet potato fries
A fun twist on a BBQ side dish are sweet potato fries.
You can make them more savory with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, or embrace their sweetness with a cinnamon and sugar coating.
25. Quinoa salad
A fresh side dish idea is a cold quinoa salad.
It usually contains cucumber, chickpeas, red onion, and a few other simple ingredients.
Your health conscious guests will love it!
It doesn’t get any simpler than serving sliced watermelon with your grilled chicken dinner.
Some people even like to sprinkle salt on it to complement its sweet flavor.
27. Roasted red potatoes
Red potatoes can be good in a foil packet right on the BBQ grill.
Just coat them with a bit of olive oil and seasoning, and maybe a little onion.
28. Brussels sprouts
If you’re thinking that brussels sprouts are the chewy microwaved nightmare from your childhood…
…embrace roasted brussels sprouts! They take on a whole new smoky flavor when cooked and seasoned properly.
Adding in a little bacon can’t hurt!
29. White bean salad
A cold bean salad is more delicious than you’d think.
You can make it ahead of time, and enjoy a light, refreshing side to offset other heavy foods.
30. French fries
A BBQ pulled chicken sandwich really calls for some french fries.
Make it easy on yourself and buy pre-made frozen fries and bake them up in the air fryer or oven.
31. Corn fritters
Corn kernels and a few other simple household staples come together to make a surprisingly good summer side dish called corn fritters.
You can even use thawed frozen corn if you don’t have fresh corn on hand.
32. Brown rice salad
Another light refreshing summer side dish is brown rice salad.
It often has a light lemon dressing, and includes cucumber, red onion, cherry tomatoes, and brown rice.
33. Potato chips and dip
Store french onion dip and potato chips are always a barbecue favorite.
A total no brainer!
Mexican street corn, also known as elote, is a must try.
Fresh corn, paired with lime juice, queso fresco cheese, and chile powder is such a fun twist on traditional corn on the cob.
35. Decadent dessert
To really finish off the meal, consider serving a fantastic dessert.
Some delicious summer dessert ideas include:
Toppings for BBQ chicken
Whether you’re serving grilled chicken breasts, thighs, or legs, or making smoky pulled chicken sandwiches, bring it up a notch with some fun toppings!
Try some of these barbecue chicken sandwich toppings:
- Fresh tomatoes
- Red onions
- Cheddar cheese
- Fried onions
- Sliced avocado
- Extra homemade BBQ sauce
- Fresh herbs
Ready to try some of these side dishes that go with chicken?
I hope these BBQ side dishes have given you lots of ideas of what to serve with BBQ chicken at your next summer party or family gathering.
Maybe some of them will become your new favorite sides!
Summer barbecues are fun in so many ways, and changing up the menu will make them even more memorable!
1. Choose 1-3 side dishes to serve with your BBQ chicken dinner
2. Gather the ingredients to prepare the sides
3. Serve a delicious barbecue chicken dinner
1. Choose 1-3 side dishes to serve with your BBQ chicken dinner