20+ Sides Perfect for Grilled Chicken

updated Apr 21, 2022
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corn on plate
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Ben Weiner
Grilled Corn with Vietnamese Scallion Oil

Tossing some chicken on the grill is an easy dinner solution just about any night of the week — especially throughout the warmer months. But once you’ve got that covered, how do you round things out in order to call it dinner? It doesn’t matter whether you go for simple marinated chicken breasts, meaty thighs, wings, or even the whole bird, the beauty of getting grilled chicken on the table for dinner is that it makes a great friend to almost any and all side dishes.

A simple side or two should do the job and satisfy all the eaters around your table. We gathered some of our most favorite sides for grilled chicken, all of which are no sweat to prepare. Since the grill is already fired up, why not take full advantage by grilling up some veggies, like garlicky mushroom skewers, sweet potatoes, or carrots? Or, grill up some broccoli for a fun salad! Otherwise, crunchy slaws or pasta salad are always a win. And if you still can’t decide, remember that you can never go wrong with a simple, refreshing cucumber salad. From flavor-packed salads to crisp and caramelized grilled vegetables, here are 20+ easy summer sides that turn grilled chicken into a meal.

Try One of Our Favorite Grilled Chicken Recipes

Hearty Grilled Side Dishes

Since the grill is already fired up, why not toss the rest of your dinner on it? Cook your side dish right on the grill alongside your chicken and your meal is quickly rounded out, without any need to fuss in the kitchen. Go for classic grilled potatoes or try something new by grilling thick watermelon wedges and finishing them with lime zest, red pepper flakes, and Greek yogurt.

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Grilled Broccoli and Radish Salad with Garlicky Miso Dressing
If you find yourself cranking up the oven temperature whenever you roast broccoli to ensure the florets get as crispy as possible, it’s time to head outside to the grill. Grilling broccoli yields all the best parts about roasting — crunchy charred florets and tender stems — with the bonus of smoky flavor.
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Garlicky Marinated Grilled Mushrooms
If the produce section were a high-school yearbook, we’d award mushrooms “Most Reliable.” Mushrooms are always there for you, whether as a delicious stand-in or accompaniment to meat. We particularly love them when cooked in the blazing heat of the grill, where they become tender and caramelized.
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Easy Grilled Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a delicious addition to your summer dinner plate. All you have to do is toss thick slices with some oil and salt, and after just 10 minutes on the grill they’ll be sweet and tender with a hint of smokiness from the flames.
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The Ultimate Grilled Zucchini Salad
When your garden is awash with zucchini and yellow squash, grill them into submission and make this fork and knife salad.
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Grilled Potato, Onion, and Bacon Skewers
These skewers bring out our primal love of meat (particularly, bacon) and potatoes together on individual skewers for a satisfying side for pretty much any main dish you choose to serve by the fire.
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Cheesy Grilled Potato Packets
Potatoes are quite possibly the perfect foil packet food, turning slightly crispy on the edges and tender on the inside. Adding a layer of melted cheese to these grilled potatoes near the end makes them irresistible!
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Grilled Asparagus with Bacon Vinaigrette
When it’s warm enough for an alfresco lunch and asparagus is flooding our local farmers’ market, this is the recipe we make to celebrate. It’s also great with a softly poached egg: the warm yolks ooze over the tender-crisp spears and create a beautiful contrast with the mustard-y and bacon-y vinaigrette.
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Grilled Carrots with Lemon and Dill
Carrots are one of our favorite vegetables to grill, their charred, sweet flavor needing just a squeeze of lemon and some fresh herbs to become a simple but surprising side dish.
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Garlicky Grilled Kale Salad with Grilled Bread
This is a recipe that will impress your kale-loving friends and shake you out of your salad stupor this summer. Smoky and garlicky, studded with chunks of grilled bread, this grilled kale salad is it.
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Perfectly Grilled Watermelon
Once you’ve had your fill of cold, refreshing watermelon in everything from salads to aguas frescas, it’s time to turn your attention to the grill. The grill caramelizes the melon’s sweetness and gives it a subtle, smoky flavor.
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Grilled Radicchio with Creamy Cheese
This simple and mildly bitter recipe is the perfect side. Look for the elegant, long Treviso radicchio; it is easier to grill and sexier to eat. For the cheese, we’d recommend a Brillat-Savarin, as its creaminess balances the radicchio’s natural bitterness.
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Grilled Eggplant Topped with Goat Cheese and Tomato
Sometimes the simplest thing are the best. This is especially true at the very end of summer, when tomatoes, eggplant, and other late vegetables are finally in their prime. A quick weeknight meal can consist of very little other than fresh vegetables, smoky and hot from the grill.
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Grilled Corn with Vietnamese Scallion Oil
A sweet, umami-rich oil made with scallions, sugar, and fish sauce bathes grilled corn in this summery side dish.
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Grilled Eggplant with Prik Khing Curry
Prik Khing curry paste adds spice and aroma to tender grilled eggplant planks and is sure to pair well with some perfectly charred grilled chicken.
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Satisfying Slaws and Salads

Alongside hot grilled chicken, sometimes all you really need is a salad to keep things cool in the summer heat. Go with something crisp and light, like coleslaw, or something heftier, like pasta salad, depending on your mood. Or, if you’re serving a crowd, make a couple so there’s a little something for everyone.

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Light & Easy Broccoli Salad
This is no doubt a versatile, crowd-pleasing salad that will go with just about anything you’re serving. Grating the broccoli yourself (versus buying bagged pre-shredded) really does make a difference in terms of taste and texture, so do try to go this route if you can.
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Tri-Color Slaw with Lime Dressing
Here’s one of the simplest yet most colorful slaws we know how to make. It only has a few ingredients, and a bright, fresh flavor of lime and cilantro!
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Napa Cabbage and Kale Coleslaw with Creamy Miso-Ginger Dressing
This combination of mildly flavored Napa cabbage, earthy lacinato kale, delicate green peas, and crunchy green beans makes you feel like you have fulfilled your nutritional requirements for the next three days after having a serving or two.
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Herbed Smashed Cucumbers
This smashed cucumber salad is amped up with fresh dill and parsley and cooled with a few spoonfuls of creamy Greek yogurt. Serve this side dish as a crisp accompaniment to roast chicken, grilled steak, or just about any kind of fish.
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Greek Panzanella
High up on the list of dishes that impress in both presentation and flavor yet require very little effort is panzanella. This bread salad — fashioned from day-old bread, along with a slew of ingredients including tomatoes, herbs, and dressing — is a summer meal that can be stretched to feed many.
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Buttermilk Ranch Potato Salad
There’s just something sublime and comforting about creamy, tangy mayonnaise dressing stirred into pillowy chunks of potatoes and sprinkled with table salt and black pepper. Here's a modern take on a classic.
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Orzo Salad with Spinach Pesto, Olives & Feta
What is a summer picnic without its side salads? This one is particularly well-suited to the potluck table. The bright green pasta beckons from across the lawn, and the pungent flavors of olives and crumbly feta make an irresistible companion to grilled chicken and grilled fish.
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Light & Fresh Italian Pasta Salad
This Tuscan-inspired pasta salad is light and bright. It’s filled with a mix of both juicy fresh tomatoes and chewy sun-dried tomatoes, mild black olives, creamy fresh mozzarella, and peppery arugula and tossed in a simple garlicky red wine vinaigrette.
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Watermelon Arugula Salad
This no-fuss recipe for an arugula salad with watermelon and feta will be your go-to side dish all summer long.
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