Having chicken is always a good idea, whether it’s to celebrate a promotion with co-workers, serving it in a small party amongst your friends or just having it by your own. The main purpose of healthy sides for chicken is that they are to augment and complement the main dishes.
Selecting a side will often require an understanding on taste. Flavour and overall flair as to how it might relate to the main course.
For example, if your main course is meat. The best side dish to complement this would be a bowl of salad or some vegetables. The vegetables and salads are nutritious as well as bland flavour-wise, which contrasts the unhealthy yet flavourful meat.
But the question that often comes into mind is what sides go well with chicken?
And this is what this blog will tackle and hopefully help you choose the best sides.
Healthy Sides for Chicken – Number 3 Might Surprise You!
Not only nutritious but easy and convenient to prepare as well. Mashed potatoes are a go-to when choosing a side dish for chicken. They add a filling and sweet flavour that greatly complement and amplifies the eating experience of chicken.
Mashed potatoes also fill in the gap of giving the consumer a feeling of fullness and contentment without introducing too much fat nor cholesterol into the mix. Which if we are being honest is already quite abundant in chickens.
The same with potatoes, carrots are a healthy side dish as well. Full of vitamins and minerals, they are a nutritious choice to include in any chicken-based main course.
Carrots are an ideal side dish because of their almost bitter yet bland taste, ideally complemented by the chicken’s strong and delicious flavour. The healthiest option in the three main means of preparing would be raw, sliced carrots.
Raw carrots, along with mayonnaise or none at all is a good side dish. Alongside chicken due to how crispy they are, in contrast to the soft, tender experience when eating chicken.
You read that right. Asparagus goes well as a side dish with chicken! Fresh spears of asparagus have a rather distinct taste. Some describing as “soil-like” and mild, which goes well in conjunction to chicken which has a strong, rich flavour on its own.
Asparagus is healthy, too! Just having raw, sliced asparagus on the side of chicken is always a good idea. Since eating it raw is the fastest, most efficient way you can gain its nutrients.
They are not only good for slicing into thin slices. Placing them on your eyes to rejuvenate and moisturize your wrinkles. Cucumbers are also a good addition to any chicken main course.
The ideal way to prepare a side of cucumber is to cut them up into thin slices which can be picked up and be eaten altogether or separately with chicken. There are those who prefer to dip the cucumber in chicken sauce to add flavour to the fruit, which is quite controversial due to the hygienics of the matter, yet is irrelevant to bring up in this subtopic.
Strange and odd as it may be, watermelon is a good addition to chicken. Watermelons are sweet but not overbearing to the taste, not to mention a healthy side dish to fill in the nutritional gaps that chicken has lapsed and missed. The watery texture also seems to complement the experience of eating chicken, which will often leave an oily or saucy aftertaste.
Serving a few slices of watermelon alongside your main course of chicken should do wonders, no matter what the occasion.
Despite being an already obvious addition to any Asian chicken dish that you may have already seen since, rice is still a side dish in this regard.
The reason why rice is such a perfect side dish is because of how filling it is when being eaten in conjunction with chicken, or basically any viand for that matter.
Rice is rich in fiber, calories and carbohydrates, which chicken lacks. What rice does in this equation is that it fills in the nutritional as well as the hunger gap that is left vacant by the chicken.
Whole grain rice is encouraged in this regard, albeit it is a bit more expensive than the commercial sort due to the latter containing almost no artificial preservatives.
Read my post on a simple baked chicken recipe.
How Do I Decide Which Side Dish To Pick?
Choosing a side dish for chicken may seem an easy and no-brainer of a task. However, contrary to popular belief, a side dish that is well thought out and is mindful of those who are eating alongside you goes a long way from you being regarded as not only sensitive but understanding. This is because some of your peers and colleagues might not prefer chicken or might wholeheartedly not eat it at all.
Case in point, vegans. Chicken is most definitely out of the question when it comes to what they eat. So having a good understanding of your friend or colleague who might be vegan for reasons that either correlate to health or lifestyle, it will mean so much to them that you would serve meat and dairy-free salads, vegetables and the sort to align with their restrictive diets.
Another consideration to put in place would be those who might be allergic to chicken. Believe it or not, there are people out there who might be allergic to chicken and might be too shy to share it as they may become the butt of jokes and ridicule, so it might be a good idea to put small meats such as bacon or beef strips as a side dish.
Bacon or beef strips might not be such an ideal side dish, but it will be highly appreciated by those who might either be allergic to chicken or do not prefer to eat chicken at all.
And lastly, a healthy side for chicken should always be fresh, clean and well-prepared.
Read my other article on stir fry chicken.