Whether it’s grilled, baked, or cooked on the stovetop, chicken smothered in BBQ sauce is delicious. The side dish is just as important, so if you’re not sure What Goes with BBQ Chicken, you’re in the right place!
Of course, I’m sure you already have a list of go-to side dishes for barbecue chicken such as cornbread and baked beans. However, it’s also okay if you want to break out of the rut and try a new spin on these classics or even an entire new side dish.
Cooking should be a wonderful adventure, which is why our list of summer sides for grilled chicken is as exciting as it gets!
🐔 Why You’ll Love These Recipes
Cookout Friendly | These recipes are going to be a huge hit at your cookout or block party. Whipping up a couple of options will leave your guests with a full and happy belly.
Mix of Grilled and Indoor Sides | Depending on timing, there are side options that are great for indoor cooking when the grill is packed with food. Everything will be ready at the same time. If you have a second grill (as some of us do) you can cook the sides at the same time as the chicken is getting ready to come off.
Pro Tip: Make sure to cook chicken within 1-2 days of it being in the refrigerator as it has a very short shelf life. Cooked chicken needs to be eaten within 3-4 days of storing in the refrigerator according to the USDA.
Chipotle Corn Salsa (Copycat)
Tortilla chips and a delicious homemade copycat of Chipotle’s corn salsa will make your next backyard barbecue a total success.
To make corn salsa, you only need to mix a handful of ingredients. This recipe doesn’t add any mayo or oil, which is excellent for a light summer meal.
Grilled Broccolini With A Homemade Vinaigrette
A side dish doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be effortless, tasty, and healthy like this grilled broccolini.
While your chicken and broccolini are grilling, it takes just a few minutes to whip up a batch of homemade vinaigrette. This one has the perfect balance of flavors and can be used for so many other recipes.
Classic Creamy Coleslaw
Coleslaw is a staple for summer barbecues and is so easy to put together. If you’re trying to avoid those versions that are full of mayo or another heavy dressing, I recommend you go for this recipe.
The dressing uses just half a cup of mayo and a little honey or maple syrup. Even so, it results in a creamy coleslaw everyone will love.
Pineapple Cucumber Salad
Red onions, bell peppers, cucumbers, and pineapple chunks topped with a fresh and slightly spicy dressing are such a brilliant combination.
Salads don’t have to be boring even if they have a limited number of ingredients and this one is definitely bursting with flavor.
Roasted Garlic Parmesan Baby Potatoes
Baby potatoes are such a treat! Garlic and parmesan add a magical touch to roasted potatoes, and optionally, you can add some rosemary.
Even if you have full-sized potatoes, you can cut them into cubes and use the same seasonings. Baby potatoes are creamier, but the regular ones are also yummy.
Sometimes you just have to work with what you have!
Grilled Jalapeño Cornbread
Cornbread and BBQ chicken are a match made in heaven. Get ready to take things to the next level by grilling your cornbread.
I am always looking for ways to upgrade classic recipes and this one is the kind I am usually after.
Jalapeños will add a bit of heat, although you can add more or less depending on your preferences.
Air Fryer Fried Pickles
The Air Fryer is your best friend if you want crispy foods without large amounts of fat. Because anything tastes better when fried, even pickles!
It will only take seven minutes in the Air Fryer for your pickles to become nice and golden. Make these while your chicken is finishing on the grill.
Add your favorite dip, grab a plate full of BBQ chicken and you’re done.
Bell Pepper Quinoa Pilaf
Pilaf is usually made with rice, and quinoa is certainly not that. Here’s proof how creative cooking can truly be.
The protein-rich whole grain will taste even better if you make it with chicken broth.
This dish can be served warm or cold. It’s nice to have this option, especially during picnic days. I like to make it ahead of time and stick it in the fridge. It is one last thing I have to worry about the day I want to serve it.
Simply Amazing Smoked Potato Salad
There will be no leftovers of this classic potato salad with a smoky twist. 100% guaranteed!
If you have a smoker, I wholeheartedly recommend you try smoking potatoes. You can use them for a lot more than this smoked potato salad and your guests will be raving.
We provided our own creamy recipe, but you can absolutely use your favorite family recipe and add in the smoked spuds. You’ll love the fun twist!
Sautéed Summer Squash & Zucchini Ribbons
It’s interesting how slicing veggies differently can make them more appealing.
Squash and zucchini ribbons with a touch of garlic, parsley, and lemon juice look as gorgeous as they taste. I bet the kids will love these as well.
They take just a few minutes to sauté, so you won’t need to invest a lot of time preparing them.
Italian Guacamole Salad
As much as I love guacamole, I am totally down to try it with an Italian twist.
Red onions, chopped tomatoes, and fresh basil turn the classic guac into an exciting salad!
Pair it with barbecue chicken, and you’ll have a healthy, balanced dinner that truly celebrates summer.
Grilled Mexican Street Corn
You don’t need to eat this Mexican street corn with grilled chicken, but if you do, you won’t regret it.
Pro tip: Make the sauce ahead so when guests arrive you will just need to grill the corn and have fun.
Four Cheese Caprese Mac & Cheese
Mac & cheese should be high on the list of sides that go with pretty much anything, just like french fries.
Don’t be afraid to try a Caprese version that will knock your socks off!
A well-thought blend of cheeses, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil turns a popular recipe into a fancy dish you can be proud to serve to your guests.
Roasted Green Beans With Caramelized Onions
Green beans are a classic Thanksgiving side dish, although who’s gonna stop us from eating it all year round?
This is a simpler option for a green bean casserole and also lighter. The caramelized onion topping is a must! I end up scooping more onions that green beans when no one is looking! 😊
Fresh Grilled Pineapple Slices
If you’re grilling your barbecue chicken might as well make your side dish the same way.
Fresh grilled pineapple slices are incredibly easy to make and they can make a wonderful side or a stand-alone dessert. You can also use them in salads and stir-fries.
Adding a bit of that earthy grilled flavor works so well with this fruit!
Crispy Roasted Balsamic Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts can be pretty bland if you’re just steaming them. Roasting them is an entirely different story.
Tossing the sprouts in balsamic vinegar helps the caramelization process and makes this dish irresistible. There will be a little bit of tanginess that works well with this dish.
You can even use frozen Brussel sprouts, although you will need to allow for a longer roasting time.
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad (L&L BBQ Copycat)
Hawaiian macaroni salad is a wonderful side dish. You can make it ahead so it’s perfect for picnics, and cookouts.
In fact, this salad will taste even better if you keep it in the fridge overnight and serve it the next day.
All those veggies, spices, and mayo will blend and you’ll find it’s one of the best side dishes for BBQ chicken.