Chicken salad on fresh bread or a baguette makes for an ideal lunch when serving a few people. It is easy to make up a big batch, and preparing the chicken salad sandwiches takes next to no time.
If you are wanting to serve up some chicken salad for lunch, or pack it to enjoy at a picnic, you might be looking for a side to serve with it.
What goes with chicken salad? Chicken salad can be made with quite a few different ingredients, which means that it goes well with a wide variety of sides. Typically, a green side salad, dill pickles, chips, vegetables, cheese, fruit, or macaroni are the best options.
To help you out when lunchtime calls, here are some of the best sides to serve with chicken salad, giving you enough options to find the very best side!
Side Dishes for Chicken Salad
There are so many different ways to make chicken salad, like our chicken salad recipe without celery, and because of this, there is not one perfect side to serve.
There are quite a few different binders that can be used to make chicken salad, and these will help you to determine what type of side to serve as well.
If you make a chicken salad using mainly mayonnaise, you won’t want to serve a pasta salad or egg salad which is made with mayonnaise as well.
For example, a chicken salad with mayonnaise would best be served with something containing vinaigrette; you just need to balance out the flavors.
You also need to look at the other ingredients that are in the chicken salad. If it contains fruits and nuts, then you might want to serve a more savory, salty side to once again balance out the flavors.
For more savory chicken salad recipes, a nice refreshing fruit plate or fresh vegetable plate might be the perfect choice.
Knowing the ingredients and the flavors in your chicken salad will help you pair the right side with it. Here are some sides that go wonderfully with chicken salad!
1. Green Side Salad With Vinaigrette
A green salad is light and refreshing, which is ideal to balance out a rich and savory chicken salad. Your chicken salad sandwich plate will also look quite presentable and bright with some greens on the side!
With a green salad, you can pretty much choose just about any ingredient you want to include. Choose leafy greens, veggies, proteins, and fats to make up a delicious salad.
The only thing you need to avoid is including any creamy dressings. As the chicken salad is made from mayonnaise or another creamy binder, it would be a bit overwhelming to have a creamy dressing as well. Give your mouth a break!
Opt for a tangy vinaigrette to work with the creamy chicken salad. To make it even simpler, some olive oil and white wine vinegar drizzled on top of a fresh salad will bring about a balanced, tangy flavor.
2. Dill Pickles
Dill pickles and chicken salad go hand in hand, and you should always have some pickles to serve with a chicken salad sandwich.
The reason that dill pickles go so well with chicken salad is that they have a spicy, tangy flavor with a delicious crisp that chicken salad does not.
Together, the two complement each other so well and make up for any flavor that the other might be lacking.
You can either slice up some store-bought pickles that you keep in your fridge, or you could try to make your own.
Pickling and preserving dill cucumbers is not that hard, and it will be really rewarding when you get to serve them alongside a chicken salad!
If you are looking for a quick and easy side to serve with chicken salad, you can’t go wrong with some chips.
The crispiness of the chips go really well with the soft, juicy chicken salad sandwich, and both even each other out. The saltiness of the chips also balances out the creaminess of the chicken salad.
Don’t put too much thought into whether or not you should get baked, fried, or store-bought chips; any type goes well with some chicken salad, and just about any flavor would do as well!
4. Fresh Vegetable Plate
For when you want to make life a little easier, you could set out a fresh vegetable platter.
Fresh vegetables are crisp and refreshing and don’t have too strong of a flavor. This makes them a great side for a creamy chicken salad, especially if the chicken salad has a bit of a tang to it from mayonnaise.
It is best to use fresh vegetables that can be eaten raw and which have a crunch to them, such as carrot sticks, cucumber slices, or celery, but you could serve up blanched vegetables such as broccoli or cauliflower.
This is also a great way to use up leftover vegetables that you have in the fridge, pairing them with the perfect meal!
5. Cheese Plate
A cheese plate is always welcomed at parties and lunches, and there is no reason you couldn’t serve up a cheese plate with your chicken salad. Contrary to what the name suggests, cheese plates don’t only have to contain cheese.
While you should include a few different kinds of cheese, from mild to strong-tasting, you could also put some crunchy crackers on the plate, some grapes, olives, and other food to pick at. Some nuts are also a great addition!
This way, guests or your family can pick out what they want as a side to their chicken salad and enjoy snacking on all the different options.
6. Fruit Plate or Fruit Salad
A fresh fruit plate is a beautiful sight and a beautiful side to the chicken salad, too. The tanginess of fruit along with the sweetness goes well paired with the creaminess of a chicken salad.
Fill the plate with seasonal fruit, or any fruit you have left in your fridge, peel, slice, and chop them, then place them on a platter and serve!
Alternatively, you can even mix your desired fruits together and create a juicy, sweet fruit salad with all the same crisp flavors in one convenient scoop.
There really is no rule on what fruit you can serve, so slice up some apples, strawberries, watermelon, blueberries, mangoes, and any other fruit. Everyone can pick and choose the fruit they want to have with their chicken salad.
Keep in mind that a fruit plate or salad will not be the best option if you are serving a chicken salad that has fruits and nuts in it already, as it might be too sweet overall.
7. Cheddar Cheese Straws
For when you want something a little different than chips, you could serve up cheddar cheese straws.
You should be able to find cheese straws at your local grocery store, but you could also make some cheese straws at home and serve them fresh!
Cheese straws are savory, crunchy, and salty, which compliments the soft tastes and creaminess of a chicken salad.
Cheddar is a good option to use to make these cheese straws, but you could experiment with other cheeses for a milder or stronger flavor.
8. Macaroni Salad
While macaroni salad might seem a bit odd on this list, as we did say that creamy sides should not be served with chicken salad, there is a way to make it work!
When making the macaroni salad to serve with a chicken salad, you should use a vinegar base instead of a mayonnaise base. You can add some mayonnaise in, but don’t put too much.
Some chopped up green and red bell peppers, red onion, and blocks of cheddar cheese are all good options to include in the macaroni salad and it can be served cold too, so it’s perfect for picnics.
What Breads Are Best to Serve With Chicken Salad?
There are so many breads that you could serve the chicken salad on. It really will come down to your taste.
However, these are some of the most popular:
- Toasted sandwich, either whole grain or white
- Multi-grain bread
- Pita bread
What Drink Can You Serve With Chicken Salad?
Undoubtedly, the best drink to accompany a chicken salad is peach iced tea. This is a perfect summery drink, especially if you make it fresh at home! But any fruity tea will work if peach isn’t your thing.
And if tea doesn’t suit your fancy either, look for something else light and fruity, like a lemonade, flavored sparkling water, or light soda.
What Can You Put Chicken Salad on Other Than Bread?
If you are wanting to avoid bread, there are other options for what you could put your chicken salad on.
You could make a chicken salad wrap, adding in a bit of lettuce for crunch, put the chicken salad in a pita with a bit of coleslaw, make a chicken salad quesadilla and add in some cheese, or simply spoon the chicken salad onto a bed of lettuce.
Can You Eat Chicken Salad Warm?
You can eat warm chicken salad, although it does seem to taste better cold. Warm chicken salad is enjoyed in a hot toasted sandwich, in a toasted wrap, or even in a quesadilla.
Either way, chicken salad is delicious and it all depends on how you enjoy eating it!