What To Eat Chicken With


The problem of, “what to eat chicken with” has been around for years. Although you may take for granted the question itself, there are very specific reasons why someone might ask, “What should I eat chicken with?”

When you’re deciding what to eat chicken with, here are your options. (And no, I’m not talking about hot sauce and honey mustard. I’ve never understood that combination. Hot sauce on eggs; yes. Hot sauce and honey mustard; no.)

What to Eat With Chicken? Depends How You’re Cooking It


I’ve always enjoyed planning dinner. I’m usually mid-breakfast when I start dreaming up a menu, plotting my day around a grocery store trip (hey, when you work at home, you gotta get out of the house somehow). But since my daughter was born eight months ago, I’ve found that there’s never enough time for scheming, and after a rough night’s sleep, my mind is often a complete blank. “What goes with chicken?” seems like a silly question, but sometimes it’s one that I can’t manage to answer. Maybe you’ve been there.

So I decided to ask our culinary team for some advice. Turns out, while you can eat pretty much anything with chicken, the best options really depend on how you’re cooking the bird. As Kenji points out, roasting a chicken means your oven’s already on, so it’s easy and efficient to prepare side dishes in the oven as well. If you’re grilling, you may not want to run back and forth to the kitchen, so it’s ideal to prepare a good salad ahead of time. Once you know your chicken-cooking method, coming up with the rest of your menu is pretty straightforward. Now, let’s break it down a little.

Roast Chicken


Skin-on roast chicken is rich and filling; a crisp salad is the perfect counterpoint. Dress the best greens you can find with a simple vinaigrette, and you’re good to go. Got bitter greens like radicchio or endive on hand? Toss ’em with our bright tangerine and fennel vinaigrette, or make this creamy citrus version. We also love to top our salads with crunchy shaved beets and radishes. If you want a warm side dish to accompany your bird, though, we’ve got a few other recommendations for you.

Let’s start with oven-cooked options. Sometimes there’s a helpful all-in-one solution, as with these pan-roasted chicken pieces, which come with their own side dish: vegetables that are par-cooked before roasting, so they wind up perfectly tender by the time the chicken is done resting.


Want to cook the chicken whole? Our butterflied roast chicken cooks in a 500°F oven, and you can make use of the racks that aren’t holding your bird for roasting some sides. New potatoes are great candidates for roasting, especially if you boil them a bit first to soften, then stir ’em roughly to increase crispety-crunchety surface area. Prefer russets? Here’s our method for the crispiest roast russet potatoes you’ve ever had.

Looking for something less starchy? Since the chicken takes about 45 minutes in the oven, followed by a quick rest, you can pop these Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet and slide it in the oven in the last 20 minutes or so before the chicken finishes. Keep an eye on doneness—having the sprouts in the oven may increase the cooking time of both dishes a little.

But you probably didn’t need us to tell you that you can serve basic roasted vegetables with roast chicken. You’re looking for more exciting ideas. Try jazzing up your Brussels sprouts with sweet roasted shallots and tangy balsamic vinegar, or dress roasted cauliflower with a sweet and savory vinaigrette that includes capers, raisins, and pine nuts. Or cook some butternut squash alongside your chicken, then toss the squash with fregola, a toasted Sardinian pasta, plus fresh mint, parsley, and lemon zest for a little brightness.


If your favorite part of a chicken dinner is the luscious pan sauce, you’ll want to refer to Kenji’s tips for how to get restaurant-style richness at home. Then you can choose between roasted chicken breasts with a fancy (but easy) white wine–based sauce, this variation with morel mushrooms, or this bright and woodsy lemon and rosemary version. We also love roast chicken with soubise, a versatile creamy onion sauce that takes kindly to a little curry powder. If you’re making a killer sauce, you’ll want sides that can soak it up. I’m partial to thick, smooth polenta cooked on the stovetop, but sometimes you just need fluffy mashed potatoes. Feeling a little more adventurous? These tender homemade gnocchi are easier to make than you’d think.

Grilled Chicken


A menu featuring grilled chicken is really a physics problem: You cannot be in two places at once. If you’re outside monitoring your bird as it browns and picks up a whiff of smoke, you’ll hardly want to dash back to your stove every five minutes to prep fussy sides. Bold salads are your friends here; get them ready in advance and let the flavors mingle while you attend to the grill. With Northern Thai–style grilled chicken, try this spicy pomelo and green bean salad, and offer your guests some crunchy raw veggies and roasted chili dip to start. Peruvian-inspired grilled chicken is nice with a corn salad—this version has raw corn, grape tomatoes, feta, and shiso, or try this chorizo-laced salad with cilantro and lime. Chickpea salads, like this bacon and poblano number or this one with cumin and celery, take especially well to prepping ahead, absorbing flavor as they rest overnight.

Bean Salad With Radicchio, Radish, Pickled Onions, and Marcona Almonds

Our juicy, spicy jerk chicken needs something cooling, like buttermilk coleslaw or a bean salad with radicchio and pickled onions. If you want a little white rice on the side, this is the time to get out your rice cooker.

With smoky whole barbecue chicken or grilled butterflied chicken, stir up a traditional potato salad or this Yukon Gold potato salad with tarragon pesto. If tomatoes are in season, celebrate with Caprese (step away from the balsamic!) or this Tomato, Apricot, and Feta Salad With Mint.

Fried Chicken


Classic Southern fried chicken cries out for classic Southern sides. Call your oven into service to deliver flaky buttermilk biscuits or moist golden cornbread. (I’m partial to this remarkably tender version made with butter browned in your cast iron skillet, but you might prefer this old-school unsweetened cornbread recipe.) And, while you could put your fried bird on plain old waffles, it’s pretty tempting to choose mac and cheese waffles or green chili–corn waffles instead. Balance your plate with green bean salad and Creamy Coleslaw.


Looking for a DIY project for the days leading up to your fried chicken feast? Whip up an assortment of homemade pickles: asparagus with tarragon, snap peas with mint and fennel, spicy dilly beans, and tangy bread and butter pickles. Don’t forget the watermelon limeade.


Making an izakaya-style Japanese meal featuring crispy karaage? Stock your freezer with homemade gyoza, then cook them according to Kenji’s instructions. Add luscious miso-glazed eggplant and Japanese-inflected potato salad. Want some greens? Try dressing them in this mellow vinegar-free dashi “vinaigrette.”

Braised Chicken


Braised chicken gives you two gifts: the tender meat itself, plus the sauce that simmers around it. I tend to think of the sides primarily as vehicles for that sauce: with coq au vin or this bird braised with cabbage and bacon, for example, you really just want a good loaf of bread, or maybe buttered noodles or mashed potatoes. If you’re craving a texture contrast, you could roast your potatoes while the chicken cooks on the stovetop. Serve a simple green salad on the side.

asty Side Dishes for Chicken

Never hesitate about what to pair with your grilled chicken breast ever again with these recipes.

roast chicken with squash, gravy and broccoli

The holidays are approaching which indicates it’s time to dust off the Rolodex of recipe cards and get to cooking. If you’re planning on roasting or grilling chicken, you may be looking for some new side dish recipes, and Eat This, Not That! has got you covered. We compiled 10 of the best side dishes for chicken so you don’t have to go searching for them.

Just a warning: the following content will be almost too delicious to handle. You’re welcome.

Now, here are the best side dishes for chicken.


Green Bean Casserole

Vegetarian green bean casserole

Green bean casserole can be a hefty side dish. Typically served on Thanksgiving, green bean casserole can be chock-full of fat from cream and butter, however, this recipe swaps out the cream for 2 percent milk and the gobs of butter for just one tablespoon. This casserole will pair nicely with a grilled, seasoned chicken breast.


Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Vegan roasted garlic mashed potatoes

While mashed potatoes may not sound like the most healthy side dish for chicken, we can assure you this recipe is better than eating a basket of French fries. It’s also extremely easy to whip up and the garlic takes this otherwise bland side to the next level. Enjoy this savory, creamy dish alongside some strips of grilled chicken.


Roasted Carrots

Vegetarian honey roasted carrots

How sweet would it be to add a serving of roasted honey glazed carrots to your plate of sizzling chicken? The sweet and salty foods combination is an irresistible pair for good reason.


Curry with Cauliflower and Butternut Squash

Vegetarian curry cauliflower with butternut squash

Imagine dunking fresh butternut squash and cauliflower into a savory curry sauce. No need to dream about such a delicious dish, because you can make it yourself in just 25 minutes. This is one of the most unexpected great-tasting side dishes for chicken.


Pesto Gnocchi with Green Beans and Tomatoes

Vegetarian pesto gnocchi with green beans and tomatoes

Adding little carbs to complement a protein can make any meal that much more filling and satisfying. Also, who doesn’t love a side dish that’s dressed in freshly made pesto?

Ways to Eat Chicken Breast for Dinner

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Chicken breasts are truly a blank slate, which is kind of what makes them so amazing. It’s true they can be bland and boring on their own, but if you marinate them in some yogurt or sear them with spices, they become a meal to remember. The fact that they are so versatile and so quick to cook is why we love them for weeknight dinners. Whether you prefer the stovetop, oven, or slow cooker, these 13 recipes will show you how to turn chicken breast into dinner, and keep it interesting.

1. Feta-Brined Chicken Breast with Rosemary

Blend feta with water to use it a brine for chicken breast and the result is ridiculously moist meat that’s tangy and flavorful, thanks to the salty cheese.

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2. French Bread Pesto Chicken Pizza

Diced chicken breast adds protein and substance to this family-friendly dinner that comes together in under thirty minutes.

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3. How to Make Stuffed Chicken Breast with Spinach & Cheese

Perhaps the most fun way to jazz up plain old chicken breast is to stuff it with a flavorful, cheesy filling. Besides adding flavor to the meat, it also adds moisture and helps it cook more quickly and evenly.

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4. Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

Grab your slow cooker, and creating this takeout favorite in your own kitchen has never been easier. After a quick sear, chunks of chicken breast cook until tender and soak up the sweet orange flavor you expect from this dish.

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5. Jacques Pépin’s Garlic Chicken Breasts

This has become my favorite way to cook chicken breast on the stovetop. Gilded with an ultra-thin layer of flour, the chicken cooks up super crisp, then gets coated in buttery garlic goodness.

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6. Slow Cooker Lemon-Garlic Chicken Breast

This recipe will prove once and for all that lean chicken breast can be far from plain and boring. The bright scent of citrus and the rich, pungent aroma of garlic will waft from the slow cooker and will deliver a dinner with a taste to match.

7. Slow Cooker Salsa Pulled Chicken

A tub of salsa is our favorite trick for turning mild-mannered chicken breast into a shredded taco filling that’s packed with flavor.

8. Honey-Garlic Chicken Stir Fry

Stir-fries, by nature, are quick-cooking meals, and are my weeknight go-to when I want to turn a pack of chicken breasts into dinner in a hurry. It works with almost any veggies you have handy, and if you want a head start, add the sauce to your weekend meal prep.

9. Easy One-Pot Chicken Taco Soup

This weeknight soup really knows how to give you the most bang for your buck. The chicken breast simmers in the pot of soup, where it also soaks up a ton of savory-spiced flavor.

10. Drunken Chicken and Mushrooms

These chicken breasts are swimming in a fragrant shallot and tarragon wine sauce and are paired with earthy mushrooms for a winning dinner any night of the week.

11. Ranch Chicken Wraps

Need a dinner recipe that’s sure to get everyone to the table? We’re calling on a homemade ranch dressing to get the job done. In 15 minutes you’ll have a fresh home-cooked meal so good you might even call it a miracle.

12. Baked Parmesan-Crusted Chicken

If baked chicken is your thing, you’re going to want to add nutty Parmesan and crispy panko to the equation. It’s the power couple that gives basic baked chicken a savory twist and a textured coating with an irresistible crunch.Lauren Volo)

13. Honey Mustard Curry Chicken

Combine sweet honey with tangy Dijon mustard, fragrant curry powder, and a bit of rich melted butter, and you’ve got the making of the most flavorful, yet most ridiculously simple sauce that will totally transform plain chicken breast.

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