Summer Sensations: 27 BBQ Chicken Sides for Your Next Cookout

Putting Sauce on BBQ Chicken

With its smoky flavor and tangy sauce, BBQ chicken can easily command the spotlight at a summer cookout, but it's the side dishes that elevate any meal. Here are my favorite BBQ chicken sides that will elevate your next cookout from good to unforgettable.

The information provided on this site is based on my personal experience living with alpha-gal syndrome. I consistently cite and link to expert sources, but nothing published on this site should be perceived as medical advice.

Alpha-gal sensitivities vary by person. You should understand your dietary restrictions, making any adjustments needed, and directing any questions to your physician.

While alpha gals can no longer enjoy hotdogs, hamburgers, or steaks at backyard gatherings, barbeque chicken is still fair game. And if you’re like me, the sides are just as important as the main dish. In order to complement the smoky flavor and tangy sauce of the chicken, these delicious BBQ sides help create a well-rounded meal.


In This Article

What Sides Go with BBQ Chicken?

Sure, BBQ chicken might be the star of the show at your backyard gatherings. But every star needs a great supporting cast. Enter stage left a chorus of amazing BBQ chicken sides. These dishes not only accompany your barbequed bird but also enhance its smoky and tangy goodness. From classic side dishes to unique salad sensations, this list of BBQ chicken sides has an award-winning supporting actor for every palette.

NOTE: Because the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology reports that most people with alpha-gal can tolerate “moderate, lean dairy,” some of the recipes below may include butter, cheese, or another dairy product. If you are an alpha gal who avoids dairy, please make a dairy-free substitution. From vegan butter to plant milk cheeses, Miyoko’s is one of my favorite brands. And, even if you can tolerate dairy, I recommend that alpha gals stick with vegetarian cheese.

Potato Side Dishes for BBQ Chicken (And Other Starchy Sides)

While baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, and sweet potato fries are classic BBQ chicken sides, here are my top picks for some alternate potato side dishes that pair well with barbeque chicken.

A skillet of diced potatoes fried with onions.
Photo Credit: The Short Order Cook

1. Pan-Fried Potatoes and Onions

One pan, no fuss – that’s my kind of cooking! Prepare to fall head over heels for these crispy, pan-fried potatoes that star as the perfect side dish for BBQ chicken. 

A white plate of smashed potatoes ready to eat.
Photo Credit: The Picky Eater

2. Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes

Turn two pounds of baby potatoes into these delicious garlicky smashed potatoes in a snap using an air fryer.

A person dipping an oven baked French fry into ketchup.
Photo Credit: Begin with Balance

3. Oven-Baked Fries

Oven-baked fries that turn out crispy and delicious every time are the perfect side for sopping up extra BBQ sauce.

A white casserole dish of roasted sweet potatoes.
Photo Credit: The Inspiration Edit.

4. Roasted Sweet Potatoes

For a lower carb, more nutritious starchy side for your BBQ chicken, try these roasted sweet potatoes.

A slice of sweet potato cornbread topped with a pat of butter and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.
Photo Credit: Mary's Whole Life.

5. Sweet Potato Cornbread

This delicious sweet potato cornbread is everything you love in a classic BBQ chicken side dish, but with a fun fall twist. Take it to the next level by pouring a little pure maple syrup on top.

A white scalloped edge bowl filled with macaroni and cheese.
Photo Credit: Corrie Cooks.

6. Instant Pot Mac & Cheese

Not only can you make this excellent side dish in the Instant Pot in only 12 minutes, but it will delight even the pickiest eaters.

Other Vegetable Side Dishes for BBQ Chicken

While just about anyone can open a can of green beans to create a vegetable side, go one step further by adding a splash of color and fantastically fresh flavors to your BBQ chicken feast with these vegetable sides.

A white serving dish of Mexican street corn topped with fresh cilantro.
Photo Credit: Planted in Arkansas

7. Slow Cooker Mexican Street Corn Casserole

Follow this simple recipe that uses frozen corn and a Crockpot to make Mexican street corn as a scrumptious casserole dish.

A white casserole dish of corn casserole with green chiles.
Photo Credit: From a Chef's Kitchen

8. Corn Casserole with Green Chiles

For a creamy, Mexican-inspired corn casserole with a kick, try this flavorful side dish made with roasted Hatch green chiles.

A person "flexing" a corn rib.
Photo Credit: Dizzy Busy & Hungry

9. Air Fryer Corn Ribs

It only takes six ingredients and a few minutes to make these air fryer corn “ribs” that you might have seen on TikTok.

A skillet of Southern-style succotash ready to serve.
Photo Credit: The Urben Life

10. Southern-Style Succotash

This simple Southern succotash recipe is a veggie-filled, mouthwatering side dish for barbeque chicken.

A plate of crispy carrot fries sprinkled with fresh herbs and ready to eat.
Photo Credit: A Little and a Lot

11. Carrot Fries

Crispy panko and parmesan-covered carrot fries are a perfect match for a delicious chicken dinner!

A platter of roasted asparagus with lemon wedges.
Photo Credit: Nibble and Dine

12. Lemon Herb Roasted Asparagus

Requiring only a few simple ingredients, it’s easy to add the fresh flavors of lemon, herbs, and garlic to your plate with this vegetable side dish.

A wooden spoon stirring a skillet of honey corn.
Photo Credit: Fresh Coast Eats

13. Honey Butter Skillet Corn

Sautee frozen corn with butter, honey, cream cheese, and seasonings to make this quick and easy vegetable side dish.

A white bowl of vegan baked beans ready to eat with a silver spoon.
Photo Credit: An Edible Mosaic

14. Vegan Baked Beans

With the perfect balance of sweet, smoky, and salty flavors, these delicious beans are an ideal side dish for a BBQ chicken dinner.

Four ears of steamed corn ready to eat.
Photo Credit: An Edible Mosaic

15. Steamed Corn on the Cob

Fresh sweet corn is always a crowd pleaser! This corn on the cob recipe uses the microwave to steam it in the husk for an easy, flavorful BBQ side dish.

A bowl of pickled carrots flanked by a bunch of fresh carrots and fresh dill.
Photo Credit: Nourish Nutrition

16. Pickled Carrots

For a unique cold side dish, try these quick pickled carrots that come together in about 15 minutes.

A platter of roasted potatoes, carrots and other vegetables ready to serve.
Photo Credit: Boulder Locavore

17. Easy Oven-Roasted Vegetables

Roast a delicious combination of root vegetables in a maple-mustard sauce to create this tasty BBQ chicken side.

Salad Sides for BBQ Chicken

Go beyond a basic green salad by using these scrumptious cold salads that offer a crisp contrast to your BBQ chicken.

A plate of caprese pasta salad on a wooden table ready to eat.
Photo Credit: Nonna Box

18. Caprese Pasta Salad

Made with juicy tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese and topped with a homemade balsamic vinegar dressing, this Italian-inspired pasta salad is a great salad side for BBQ chicken.

A white bowl of shirazi salad ready to serve with a silver spoon.
Photo Credit: Cook What You Love

19. Easy Shirazi Salad

A fresh, crunchy, and refreshing salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, and a tangy dressing is the perfect side for BBQ chicken!

A plate of arugula topped with orange segments and fennel.
Photo Credit: Plant Based Folk

20. Orange and Fennel Salad

This refreshing salad pairs peppery arugula with segmented oranges, slivered almonds, and slices of fennel to create the perfect summer side dish.

A white bowl of fresh tomato salad with a silver spoon and sprig of fresh mint.
Photo Credit: What a Girl Eats

21. Fresh Tomatoes with Mint

For a vegan, Whole 30, and paleo-friendly side salad, try this tomato salad with fresh mint.

A red bowl of butter bean salad ready to serve.
Photo Credit: End of the Fork

22. Italian Butter Bean Salad

Whether you call them butter beans or lima beans, the savory flavors of this refreshing Italian-style salad are a delicious accompaniment to BBQ chicken.

Related Article: The Best Beans for Protein

A bowl of creamy potato salad on a blue background.
Photo Credit: Kibitz Spot

23. Creamy Potato Salad

By making the classic recipe gluten free and dairy free, this fast and easy potato salad is an allergy-friendly BBQ chicken side dish – and it even has a vegan option.

A bowl of classic coleslaw ready to be served at a backyard barbecue.
Photo Credit: Flavor the Moments

24. Classic Coleslaw

Crisp and crunchy shredded cabbage topped with a creamy coleslaw dressing is a classic BBQ chicken side dish.

A glass bowl of Hawaiian-style macaroni salad ready to serve with a wooden spoon.
Photo Credit: Gypsy Plate

25. Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Transform your backyard BBQ into a tropical paradise with this Hawaiian-style BBQ chicken side dish.

A white plate piled high with apple cucumber salad.
Photo Credit: Nourish Nutrition

26. Apple Cucumber Salad

Made in less than five minutes using just a handful of ingredients, this crunchy salad is a delicious accompaniment to BBQ chicken.

A white platter of beetroot and feta salad ready to be served.
Photo Credit: The Picky Eater

27. Beet and Feta Salad

By adding crunchy walnuts and creamy feta cheese to roasted beets, you can create a BBQ chicken side dish that is the perfect combination of sweet and salty flavors.

Looking for More Chicken Side Dishes?

Alpha gals tend to eat a lot of chicken. Fortunately, I’ve got you covered with even more delicious side dishes! Be sure to also check out these flavorful options:

Do You Have a Favorite BBQ Chicken Side?

Got a starchy side that gets your heart pounding? A veggie side you can’t resist? Or maybe a salad side dish that makes your BBQ chicken sing? If you have a favorite side dish for BBQ chicken that I’ve missed, I’d love to hear about it. Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Thank you for sharing!

12 thoughts on “Summer Sensations: 27 BBQ Chicken Sides for Your Next Cookout”

  1. I’ve been thinking about what side dish I should make for our barbecue night, and this post was so helpful. I’m excited to try the creamy potato salad! It is my favorite!

  2. As someone who loves going camping and BBQs, this article has helped me a lot specially with the chicken sides. Thank you for sharing!

  3. There are so many great looking sides in this list it’s hard to pick just a few for our Labor Day celebration this coming weekend but I must try those corn ribs!

  4. We had a BBQ last weekend and I made three recipes from this list and all of them were delicious! I made slow cooker Mexican street corn, carrot fries, and pan fried potatoes and onions. Honestly, the other recipes look fantastic and I’m sure I’ll be coming back to try them all. Great list!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *