Side Dishes for Grilled Chicken

side dishes for grilled chicken - cold, gluten free, and make ahead recipes - mediterranean cucumber salad in bowl

It’s warming up and while chicken is a mainstay year round in our house, I’m all about the BBQing of it outside this time of year. While my husband and I have figured out the marinade and grilling techniques (see below), the side dishes for grilled chicken are always varied, so here are a bunch of our favorites…

side dishes for grilled chicken - Beet and Corn Salad on Small Blue Plate with Blue Napkin in Background

Side Dishes for Grilled Chicken

When it isn’t brutally hot outdoors, I don’t mind doing some of the cooking inside – just having my husband handle the BBQing outside gives me one less thing to worry about while cooking – it’s much more relaxed.

And I will cease turning on the oven for dinner above about 90°, I use our toaster oven SO MUCH in the summer – it’s just enough to roast some potatoes or sweet potatoes and it doesn’t heat up the house!

And then some days, warm food (besides the grilled chicken) sounds terrible and on those days, you just want a cool or chilled side dish.

Below are cold sides, gluten free options, make ahead recipes, and a few other favorites – all great side dishes for grilled chicken!

Tips for Cooking Tasty Chicken

We have a couple tricks (nothing complicated) for getting better tasting chicken.

  1. marinade it for at least 15 minutes (hours is better) with some kind of acid. I really like using lemon juice, but any acid, including a few dashes of white or apple cider vinegar is good. The acid helps break it down. I usually do olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  2. Don’t cook the chicken chilled. Take your chicken out of the fridge 20-30 minutes before you plan to cook it. As with all meat, putting it chilled onto a hot surface seizes the meat, making it chewy. So let it come to room temp.
  3. Smaller is often better. We get large chicken breasts from the store. Before I marinate them, I usually cut them in 2-3 pieces. This helps avoid searing the outside while getting the inside cooked.
  4. Don’t cook all the way to temp. Letting meat sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting allows juices to redistribute among the meat. The meat also sits in this heat for those extra minutes, so you can let it continue to cook without burning it or drying it out.

Cold Sides

WATERMELON BASIL SALAD
This summer tomato watermelon basil salad combines some of the most vibrant flavors of summer. I can eat a lot of watermelon and a lot of heirloom tomatoes on their own, but why skip out of the delicious fun of combining them together for this fast and easy salad that everyone will love.
WATERMELON BASIL SALAD RECIPE
Tomato Watermelon Salad
QUINOA BUTTERNUT SQUASH SALAD
This salad recipe is the epitome of fall for me. I’ve long loved roasted squash and potatoes on salad. Adding crunchy kale and quinoa (for some protein) was just what my salad was missing, however. It’s a winner and on repeat in our home!
QUINOA BUTTERNUT SQUASH RECIPE
quinoa butternut squash salad
MEDITERRANEAN CUCUMBER SALAD
A friend in grad school introduced me to this simple Mediterranean salad recipe (sans quinoa) and I think it will forever be a summer go-to for potlucks and bbqs. I love the added quinoa for protein, but you make it with or without!
MEDITERRANEAN CUCUMBER SALAD RECIPE
WATERMELON ARUGULA SALAD
A newly classic flavor combination of watermelon and arugula, this salad is a new favorite. Add in balsamic for a punch of flavor and marry it all together with some delectable crumbled feta cheese for the ultimate summer salad!
WATERMELON ARUGULA SALAD RECIPE
Watermelon Arugula Salad
Radicchio Corn Salad
A delicious and simple summer salad. This slightly crunchy salad is a great side or starter for any meal! The crumbled feta cheese is just the right compliment to the sweet, fresh corn!
RADICCHIO CORN SALAD RECIPE
Simple Radicchio Salad w. Fresh Corn
KALE FARRO SALAD RECIPE
This kale farro salad is just another favorite farro salad recipe to add to the mix. Cooked farro is tossed with skillet-cooked kale and onions. Chopped dried apricot, flavorful feta, and a lemon vinaigrette make it a bright, light salad perfect warm in the winter and cold in the summer.
KALE FARRO SALAD RECIPE
Kale Farro Salad Recipe
Pea & Bowtie Pasta Salad
If you think of a heavy side when you think pasta salad, think again! This healthy pasta salad is light and full of flavor from fresh peas, lemon zest, and green onions! This pea pasta salad will be your new side dish and potluck recipe go to!
BOWTIE PASTA SALAD RECIPE
Healthy Pasta Salad - Pea Pasta Salad
ORZO PESTO SALAD
Combine the delicious freshness of homemade pesto with mozzarella and pasta for a delectable treat in this orzo pesto salad. Great for a barbecue, a hot weather dinner, or the perfect side dish.
ORZO PESTO SALAD
Orzo Pesto Salad
KIDNEY BEAN SALAD RECIPE
This easy salad packs in the protein and flavor with just a few ingredients you always have on hand. It's an easy no-cook dish in the summer and a fast recipe for winter too!
KIDNEY BEAN SALAD

Gluten Free BBQ Side Dishes

WILD RICE PILAF
A delicious warm sweet potato and wild rice pilaf to serve as a side dish or starter. Enjoy with meat or fish as a side and fall in love with wild rice!
WILD RICE PILAF RECIPE
weet Potato + Wild Rice Pilaf
BEET + CORN SALAD {VEGAN}
Many of the most delicious salads I’ve ever had are really just combinations of flavors I love. This corn and beet salad is just such a combo. The trick to a good salad is not just balancing the flavors but also the consistencies. The crunchy corn kernels balance the soft beets perfectly. You keep reaching for bite after bite!
SUMMER BEET SALAD RECIPE
Beet and Corn Salad - Summer Salad
GLUTEN FREE POTATO SALAD
Everyone will love this French Potato Salad. Skip that dairy-based salad for the elegant, flavor-forward dish. It's gluten free, low fodmap, and a healthier take on this classic side dish!
GLUTEN FREE POTATO SALAD RECIPE
French Potato Salad - Low FODMAP
GREEN BEAN, CORN, + PEACH SALAD
If you need a recipe that screams summer, it’s probably this salad. Three of my favorite summer flavors combine in the salad. Everyone will be reaching for seconds!
GREEN BEAN PEACH SALAD RECIPE
Green Bean Corn Salad

Grilled Side Dishes for Grilled Chicken

SWEET + SPICY GRILLED CANTALOUPE
Grilled fruit is one of the most underappreciated summer joys, in my opinion! You might be familiar with grilled peaches, but the list of delicious fruit doesn’t have to end there. Grilled cantaloupe is really next level and the combination of the smoked paprika and the honey really makes it a taste treat sensation!
GRILLED CANTALOUPE RECIPE
MAKE-AHEAD GRILLED VEGGIES
Love getting together with friends but hate how it’s rarely a healthy experience? These make-ahead grilled veggies are easy, healthy, and a sure hit. Perfect all year round, these grilled veggies are a major upgrade to the traditional vegetable tray!
VEGAN HOR D’OEUVRES
BBQ Appetizers Antipasto
Eating veggies doesn't have to be hard (or not delectably delicious). Whether you're grilling indoors or out, add perfectly grilled veggies to burrata for the perfect vegetable antipasto dish everyone will be raving about!
GRILLED BBQ APPETIZERS
Vegetable Antipasto Recipe with Burrata Appetizer

Other Side Dishes for Grilled Chicken

SUMMER SQUASH PASTA
Don't you just love the fresh flavors of fresh corn and zucchini in the summer? With both in abundance, why not whip up this summer corn pasta with zucchini. It's the perfect easy dinner or side dish – not to mention a delicious cold salad to enjoy for lunch!
SUMMER SQUASH PASTA
Summer Corn Pasta with Zucchini
CHERRY TOMATO PASTA
Let the deliciousness of summer heirloom tomatoes shine in this fresh cherry tomato pasta dish. Finished with ricotta cheese, this might become your favorite recipe for all its flavor and how little work it is to pull together!
CHERRY TOMATO PASTA
PASTA w. GREEN BEANS
Pasta can be a hearty meal, but it doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Loaded with fresh produce, this summer vegetable pasta is fresh and flavorful. It’s a one pot dinner recipe you’ll be craving year round!
PASTA WITH GREEN BEANS
Summer Vegetable Pasta
WHIPPED GOAT CHEESE APPETIZER
A delectable and simple summer appetizer everyone will love. A whipped goat cheese appetizer topped with grilled peaches and other stone fruits. Easy to make ahead, carry to a potluck, or just enjoy in your own home.
WHIPPED GOAT CHEESE & PEACHES
Grilled Peach Goat Cheese Appetizer
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18 side dishes for grilled Chicken

A slew of gluten free, cold, warm, and make-ahead sides dishes for grilled chicken!!
Prep Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Salad/ Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: plant based, salad, side dish, vegetarian
Servings: 8
Calories: 19kcal
Author: Luci Petlack

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup chopped red onion
  • 1 ½ Cucumbers diced (approx. 4 Cups)
  • 2 red bell peppers approx. 2-3 Cups
  • 1 Cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • ¼ Cup fresh lime juice approx. 1 ½ limes

Instructions

  • Mix everything together.
  • For best flavor, refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Taste and season with salt & pepper if more is needed.

Notes

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Nutrition

Calories: 19kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 856mg | Potassium: 139mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 228IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 0.3mg

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