Perfect Pairings: Discover the Best Sides for Chicken Salad

What goes with chicken salad?

Chicken salad is a versatile and delicious dish that can be enjoyed as a light lunch or a refreshing picnic option. While chicken salad is fantastic on its own, pairing it with the right side dishes can enhance the overall dining experience. In this article, we will explore a variety of side dish options that complement chicken salad and provide a balance of flavors and textures.

1. Green side salad with vinaigrette

A green side salad with a tangy vinaigrette dressing is an excellent accompaniment to chicken salad. The light and refreshing nature of the salad helps balance the richness of the chicken salad. When preparing a green side salad, choose leafy greens such as lettuce or spinach and add a variety of vegetables to create a delicious and visually appealing dish.

2. Dill Pickles

Dill pickles are a classic pairing with chicken salad. The spicy and tangy flavor of dill pickles complements the creaminess of chicken salad, creating a harmonious combination of flavors. You can either use store-bought pickles or try making your own for a homemade touch. The crunchy texture of dill pickles adds a delicious crunch to every bite.

3. Chips

Chips, whether baked or fried, are a quick and easy side dish that pairs well with chicken salad. The crunchy texture of the chips contrasts with the soft and juicy chicken salad for a satisfying eating experience. Choose from a variety of flavors to spice up your meal.

4. Fresh vegetable plate

A fresh vegetable platter is a healthy and refreshing option to accompany chicken salad. Crisp and raw vegetables such as carrot sticks, cucumber slices, or celery add a satisfying crunch that complements the creaminess of the chicken salad. You can also add blanched vegetables such as broccoli or cauliflower for added variety.

5. Cheese Plate

A cheese platter is a versatile and crowd-pleasing choice when serving chicken salad. In addition to a variety of cheeses, such as mild and strong varieties, you can include crunchy crackers, grapes, olives, and nuts. This allows your guests or family members to customize their side dish to their liking.

6. Fruit plate or fruit salad

A fresh fruit plate or fruit salad adds a touch of sweetness and tang to the whole meal. The combination of tangy fruit and creamy chicken salad creates a delightful contrast of flavors. You can choose from a variety of fruits, including apples, strawberries, watermelon, blueberries, and mangoes. Slicing and arranging the fruit on a platter creates an appetizing presentation.

7. Cheddar Cheese Straws

Cheddar Cheese Straws are a savory and crunchy alternative to chips. These thin and crunchy cheese snacks complement the smooth texture and creamy flavor of chicken salad. Cheddar cheese is commonly used to make these straws, but you can experiment with other cheeses for different flavor profiles.

8. Macaroni Salad

While creamy sides are generally not recommended with chicken salad, a vinegar-based macaroni salad can be an exception. By using a vinegar base instead of mayonnaise, you can create a tangy and refreshing macaroni salad that pairs well with chicken salad. Add chopped green and red bell peppers, red onion, and chunks of cheddar cheese to enhance the flavors and textures.


Chicken salad is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in many different ways. When it comes to choosing side dishes to accompany chicken salad, the key is to choose options that provide a balance of flavors and textures. Whether it’s a green side salad, dill pickles, chips, fresh vegetables, cheese, fruit, or other creative choices like cheddar cheese straws or macaroni salad, there are plenty of options to suit different tastes. By considering the ingredients and flavors in chicken salad, you can create a well-rounded and satisfying meal. Enjoy experimenting with different side dish combinations and find your favorite accompaniments to enhance the enjoyment of chicken salad.


What are some popular side dishes that go well with chicken salad?

Chicken salad pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Some popular options include green salad with vinaigrette, dill pickles, chips, fresh vegetable platter, cheese platter, and fruit platter.

Can I serve pasta salad with chicken salad?

While pasta salad can be a delicious side dish, it is not an ideal pairing with chicken salad if both are made with mayonnaise-based dressings. For a balanced meal, it’s best to choose a side dish that complements the flavors of the chicken salad without overpowering it.

Are there vegetarian or vegan side dishes for chicken salad?

Absolutely! Vegetarians and vegans can enjoy chicken salad with a variety of side dishes. Some options include a green side salad with vinaigrette (using vegan-friendly dressings), chips, fresh vegetable plate, fruit plate, or even a vegan cheese plate with plant-based cheeses and crackers.

Can I make my own pickles to serve with the chicken salad?

Yes, you can definitely make your own pickles to serve with chicken salad. Pickling and preserving dill pickles is a rewarding and relatively simple process. By making your own pickles, you can customize the flavors and make sure they complement your chicken salad perfectly.

What types of cheese go well with chicken salad?

When it comes to pairing cheese with chicken salad, it’s best to include a variety of flavors and textures. Some popular choices include mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, Swiss, Gouda, or even a creamy goat cheese. Experiment with different cheese options to find your favorite combination.

Can I serve chicken salad with hot sides?

While chicken salad is typically served cold, there’s no rule against enjoying it with warm or hot side dishes. However, keep in mind that the contrast in temperature can change the overall taste and texture experience. If you choose to serve warm side dishes, consider options such as roasted vegetables or warm rolls to complement the chicken salad.