Chicken is a savory meat on its own, but its taste goes from respectable to rich when you add barbecue sauce. The dish remains almost as versatile as plain chicken when it comes to flavor pairings. Whether you want a light salad or a creamy casserole, there are plenty of sides dish that suit barbecue chicken.
Great Garden Salads
Light or luscious, salads add crunch to any barbecue chicken meal. Toss mixed greens, carrots, celery, onions and radishes with a light vinaigrette for a healthy garden salad. Combine shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, shredded broccoli and ranch dressing to make a creamy side with tang. For a spinach salad, mix baby spinach, red onion, celery, red apples, cranberries and raspberry vinaigrette. Stir tomatoes, white onions and mozzarella cheese together for a classic Italian salad.
Fabulous Fruit Salads
Fruits are just as versatile as vegetables when it comes to salads and side dishes for barbecued chicken. Stir strawberries, bananas, raspberries, green apples and lemon juice together for a juicy fruit salad with zip. Mix pineapple, mango and shredded coconut to make a tropical treat. Combine red and green grapes with lime juice and sugar for a tangy, sweet salad. Toss watermelon, cantaloupe, parsley and cilantro in orange juice to create a light side with a hint of herbal flavor.
The mellow flavor of a creamy casserole provides a silky way to put out the flames of a spicy barbecue chicken dish. Mix macaroni, cheddar cheese and cream of cheddar soup to make a classic gooey dish. For a hearty side that lends a creamy flavor to the barbecued chicken, mix diced potatoes, sour cream, crumbled bacon, chives and green onions. Combine mushrooms, wild rice and cream of mushroom soup to make a gourmet dish with a nutty flavor. Bake bow tie pasta with celery, onions, tomatoes, black olives, salsa and cream cheese for a Southwest-style casserole.
Savory Steamed Vegetables
Steamed vegetables are a simple way to add a nutritious boost of flavor to a barbecue chicken dinner. Steam green beans and toss them with almonds to make a simple side with a sophisticated flavor. Mix sweet corn, butter, salt and pepper for a traditional barbecue side. Combine steamed peas and carrots with butter and parsley for a colorful side dish that echoes the naturally sweet flavor of chicken. Cook corn in steam, and then season with butter, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese to create a cheesy corn-on-the-cob.
Sopping up extra sauce with bread is one way to take advantage of barbecue shredded chicken. Serving the shredded meat over the bread as a sandwich is another way. Mix jalapenos with honey cornbread for a sweet and fiery kick. Sprinkle buttered breadsticks with garlic powder for a simple spiced bread that pairs well with any barbecue sauce. Serve rosemary wheat rolls with the chicken for a strong herbal flavor. Stir cheddar cheese into sourdough rolls to add a hint of sour flavor to the barbecued dinner.
A writer since 2000, Aya Pauli has covered a variety of topics including food, fashion, beauty, health, parenting, education, decor and crafts. Her award-winning recipes have been published in food magazines such as "Taste of Home," and she is also the author of a salad cookbook. Pauli's craft projects appear in major manufacturer websites, including Dow Styrofoam. She also holds a CDA in early childhood education and works as a preschool teacher in Wyoming.