Sides to served with BBQ chicken

As the weather warms up and the days get longer, covers come off of grills that have been sitting idly by through winter’s chill. When you slap that chicken onto the flames, you’ll want to have some great sides to compliment your meal and the changing of the seasons. These are 12 of the best sides to accompany your freshly grilled chicken, turning an ordinary meal into a quick backyard barbecue.

  • Corn on the Cob – Whether you toss it on the grill alongside your chicken or steam those ears, there are few things that pair with grilled meat of any kind better than fresh corn on the cob.
  • Baked Beans – Baked beans are a staple of backyard barbecues for lots of reasons, not least of which is the huge payoff in flavor for a relatively small time investment. There are even some higher-end canned versions that require little more than opening and heating, letting you give the grill most of your attention without sacrificing the rest of the meal.
  • Potato Salad – You just can’t go wrong with a classic, and potato salad is definitely a barbecue all-star. Cool, crisp veggies and soft, creamy potatoes pair perfectly with grilled chicken, and even a novice cook can whip up a batch of potato salad.
  • Fajita-Style Veggies – Give your grilled chicken a fiesta flare by serving it with sautéed or grilled onions and peppers. For an added kick, mix the mild bell peppers with their warmer brethren. Just be sure to carefully wash your hands after cutting hot peppers and avoid touching your face and eyes during prep time.
  • Rice Pilaf – Serving grilled chicken atop a bed of perfectly seasoned rice pilaf is a classic combination. If you want to save some time, look for pre-seasoned rice blends that require little more than the addition of water and the application of heat.
  • Sliced Fruit – Your chicken will be hot from the grill, so cooling things down with a summery mix of sliced fruit is a great way to celebrate the changing seasons. If your fruit salad will include apples or pears, you’ll also want to toss the mixture with a bit of fresh lemon juice to prevent unsightly brown discoloration.
  • Coleslaw – Whether you prefer your coleslaw with a mayo or vinegar base, it’s still a great complement to grilled chicken. You can customize your recipe to include raw slivers of almost any vegetable, so get creative!
  • Insalata Caprese – Perfectly ripened tomatoes, fresh, creamy mozzarella cheese and fresh basil can turn your grilled chicken into a summer feast with an Italian flair. Drizzle the whole mixture with a bit of olive oil and enjoy!
  • Macaroni Salad – When the weather is warm, chilled side dishes are even better. It doesn’t get much simpler than macaroni salad, another great dish that requires very little time and offers a big flavor payoff.
  • Squash and Zucchini – Fresh squash and zucchini tossed with a bit of olive oil and fresh dill is a healthy and delicious side to accompany your grilled chicken. You can roast, sauté or toss the mixture on the grill in foil packets.
  • Deviled Eggs – If you can boil an egg and slice it in half, you have most of the necessary skills to create tasty deviled eggs. You can modify the recipe to suit your tastes, but a high-quality brown mustard will have a better flavor profile than the bright yellow ballpark variety. If the best cook in the household is occupied at the grill, these simple eggs are easy enough for almost anyone to manage.
  • Veggie Kabobs – Skewering a variety of veggies to toss on the grill next to your chicken is a quick, easy way of preparing the entire meal on the grill. Just make sure that you cut the veggies in relatively uniform pieces to ensure that they cook evenly.

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