You've got a chicken roasting away in the oven, filling your kitchen with that delectable aroma that means something special's on its way to your table. But every hero needs a sidekick, as the saying goes.
Whether you like your chicken roasted, baked, or fried, it needs a side or two to turn it into a meal. Put a new spin on your family's favorite chicken recipes by plating them with these tasty, fuss-free sides. From oven-roasted veggies to the best-ever brown rice risotto to unboring dinner salads.
These awesome side dishes complement chicken perfectly for a well-rounded meal that will bring everyone running to the table. We've included both traditional side dishes and some fresh ideas for an unexpected take on the classic Sunday roast supper.
01 of 31
Homemade Mashed Potatoes
For a real stick-to-your-ribs meal, serve hearty mashed potatoes. This recipe includes the basic instructions for the perfect, fluffy taters, plus variations to put your own spin on them. Serve with sour cream and extra butter on the side.
02 of 31
Honey-Glazed Baby Carrots
Just grab a bag of baby carrots and you're on your way to these glazed baby carrots. Honey, brown sugar, butter, and a little lemon juice give them a delicious sweetness that even avowed vegetable-haters will gobble up.
03 of 31
Maple-Glazed Roast Parsnips
Roasting parsnips in the oven at high temperatures brings out the natural sweetness in this root vegetable and glazing them with maple syrup and butter only enhances their appeal. This recipe adds sesame seeds for a crunchy texture on the outside that beautifully complements their creamy, yielding interior.
04 of 31
Baked Corn Casserole
If you still have room in the oven, snuggle in this baked corn casserole that brings the starch and vegetable into one dish. A can of Mexican-style corn gives it extra pep, but if you can't find it, feel free to use regular canned corn instead.Continue to 5 of 31 below.
05 of 31
Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, and Cranberries
For a real fall feast, this mix of Brussels sprout, butternut squash, pecans, and cranberries brings all of the classic flavors. Switch things up by using raisins instead of cranberries, walnuts instead of pecans, or sweet potato instead of butternut squash.
06 of 31
Chinese Green Beans
While a side of green beans often appears with a chicken dinner, give it some Asian flair with this simple Chinese-style recipe. It employs the dry frying technique which uses less oil and results in crispy, somewhat charred beans. Soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and chili paste round out the flavor.
07 of 31
Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole
If you have leftover broccoli and cauliflower, this simple and hearty baked casserole can help use them up. You can also add carrots or other hardy vegetables for additional interest. A crispy breadcrumb and Parmesan topping gives it an interesting crunch.
08 of 31
Creamed Peas With Mushrooms and Onions
Make that bag of frozen peas more interesting by turning them into creamed peas, adding mushrooms and onions for contrast. Even though the recipe takes very little effort to put together, it looks and tastes elegant enough for a special occasion.Continue to 9 of 31 below.
09 of 31
Crab-Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Impress your dining companions with these crab-stuffed potatoes. They use the same technique as twice-baked potatoes, but with the addition of lump crabmeat for even more flare. They also taste great as an appetizer or snack for a potluck or the big game.
10 of 31
If you like Italian panzanella, give fattoush a try! The classic Middle Eastern bread salad is a delicious melange of sauteed fresh asparagus and tomatoes, with a little sumac seasoning and olive oil. The best part? The bite-sized morsels of toasted pita bread, which soak up the dressing, turning them into flavored croutons. Yum!
11 of 31
If you haven't tried roasting rutabagas, it brings out their natural sweetness that pairs beautifully with succulent chicken. They hardly need any extra flavor, but you can add some ground nutmeg and fresh-chopped parsley to round things out a bit.
12 of 31
Give steamed broccoli a little extra oomph by adding fresh-squeezed lemon juice and minced garlic for a healthy, super speedy side. Steam the broccoli florets just until they turn bright green so they keep that crunch and nutrition.Continue to 13 of 31 below.
13 of 31
Slow Cooker Roast Vegetables
Give yourself one less thing to worry about when putting dinner together and free up oven space by roasting vegetables in your slow cooker. Just about any root vegetable works, but we especially like potatoes, carrots, onion, parsnips, and rutabaga.
14 of 31
Three Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
When you need a creamy, comfortable side, this triple macaroni and cheese always hits the spot. Combine goat cheese, cheddar, and parmesan for a depth of flavor you won't get from any one alone. You can also serve it as a main dish with a side salad or some steamed veggies.
15 of 31
Get the same crispy ends and slightly caramelized flavor you love from grilled or oven-roasted asparagus but right on your stovetop. Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the top before serving for contrast.
16 of 31
Braised Belgian Endives
Endive usually appears as part of a salad, but braising baby endives gives the normally bitter little gems a lovely, slightly sweet taste. You can either cook them completely on the stove or start them on the stove and finish in the oven. They also look pretty on the plate for a holiday or special Sunday supper.Continue to 17 of 31 below.
17 of 31
Skillet Corn With Bacon and Sour Cream
Bacon and sour cream give this skillet corn a smoky flavor and silky texture that will add a little Southern hospitality to your chicken supper. Bell peppers add a little color, as does fresh chopped parsley over the top.
18 of 31
Butternut Squash With Mustard Seeds
Stir-fry sweet butternut squash with ginger, garlic, and mustard seeds for a sweet and sliced preparation that makes a nice change from the usual baked or roasted preparation. You can use either pre-cubed squash or buy one whole and cut it into cubes yourself. Sprinkle some chopped cilantro over the top before serving for extra interest.
19 of 31
Oven-Roasted Rosemary Potatoes
Fresh rosemary gives roasted potatoes a lovely floral element that will also make your kitchen smell amazing. Add garlic and olive oil to round out the flavor. Yukon gold, russet, or fingerling potatoes all work well.
20 of 31
Easy Cheddar Cauliflower Cakes
Easy, low-carb cheddar and cauliflower cakes need only a handful of ingredients and make a delicious alternative to plain veggies. You steam the cauliflower first before mashing and mixing it with cheese, beaten eggs, and simple seasonings. Then form into patties and bake until golden-brown and crispy.Continue to 21 of 31 below.
21 of 31
Green Beans With Sauteed Onions and Crunchy Za'atar Breadcrumbs
Amp up the flavor of crisp-tender green beans with this easy recipe inspired by Middle Eastern cuisine. Simply steam the beans, add some sweet caramelized onions, and toss with pan-toasted za'atar breadcrumbs. It makes a tasty complement to roasted and baked chicken entrees.
22 of 31
Butternut Squash With Pasta and Sage
Serve this rich, autumnal vegetarian pasta to complement a holiday roast chicken. Butternut squash, browned butter, and fried sage flavor tender pasta noodles, and make this rustic side dish taste special. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese for a salty finish.
23 of 31
Herb Roasted Red Potatoes
Rosemary baby potatoes are a classic side dish for roast chicken. Make them easily by tossing whole baby potatoes with garlic, olive oil, rosemary, oregano, salt, and pepper, before baking them on a sheet pan for 20 minutes, until tender and lightly browned.
24 of 31
Brown Rice Risotto With Mushrooms and Peas
Brown rice risotto is more intensely flavorful and firm-textured than its classic arborio cousin, with a naturally nutty flavor that pairs well with roasted or baked chicken. Earthy mushrooms and Parmesan cheese infuse this stunning side dish with extra umami flavor, with green peas adding brightness.Continue to 25 of 31 below.
25 of 31
Southern Macaroni and Pimiento Cheese
Fried chicken just doesn't taste as good without a heaping side of macaroni and cheese. This classic Southern mac and cheese recipe includes diced pimientos, plenty of sharp cheddar cheese, and a crunchy French fried onion topping for that down-home flavor you crave.
26 of 31
Roasted Broccoli With Ginger
For a quick and easy side dish with tons of flavor, roast fresh broccoli florets on a sheet pan in the oven dressed with a little olive oil and minced ginger. This tasty side dish takes only 15 minutes to make and is the perfect accompaniment for soy sauce chicken.
27 of 31
Strawberry Spinach Salad With Red Wine Vinaigrette
Plate roasted or rotisserie chicken with a pretty, lightly-dressed salad of tender spinach leaves and fresh, juicy strawberries, for an elegant meal you can serve for Mother's Day brunch or a light dinner anytime. Toasted walnuts or pecans would make a nice addition.
28 of 31
Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
Roasted sweet potato salad with Romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, and crumbled feta cheese makes a healthy, tasty companion to grilled chicken at cookout parties. For the most flavor, serve this salad at room temperature, adding cheese and dressing just before plating.Continue to 29 of 31 below.
29 of 31
Asparagus Ricotta Pasta
Fresh asparagus has a naturally green, grassy flavor that matches well with mild cooked chicken. Creamy ricotta cheese adds richness and elegance to this simple spring pasta. Serve it hot or at room temperature, adding a spritz of lemon juice as a zesty finishing touch.
30 of 31
Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower
Roasting cauliflower gives it a creamy texture and slightly sweet, smoky flavor that is intensified by Parmesan cheese and garlic. Even those who think they don't like the cruciferous veggie may enjoy it this way, and cooks will love how quickly it all comes together. This cauliflower recipe can also act as a substitute for potatoes or rice as a great low-carb side dish option.
31 of 31
Sour Cream and Chive Biscuits
You'll want to bake extras of these flaky sour cream and chive biscuits for your next holiday dinner since they are sure to disappear quickly. They are fabulous slathered with butter, but taste even better dipped into chicken gravy.