We know you might BBQ 365 days a year, but in fairness to other foods we’re officially designating this as #BBQMonth! Chicken wings are an obvious must-have for any barbecue – but what else will you fill your plate with? Although practically anything pairs well with awesome, if you’re not sure where to start rest assured, we’ve got your back…err, plate with this handy list of lip-smacking side dishes to partner up with your chicken wings. Give these side dishes a spin with a classic or fresh take!
Ditch the utensils altogether with traditional finger-food-fun chicken wing side dishes that also double as great dip and sauce vessels!
If you want a crowd-pleasing classic with a twist, try loading up your favourite toppings on a glorious pizza with an unexpected sauce base like pesto, salsa or BBQ sauce; sneaking in some interesting veg like spicy breakfast radishes and blanched summer squash alongside your go-to carrot and celery sticks.
Take your French fry game to the next level by making them with sweet potato, plantain or zucchini; up the ante on onion rings by seasoning them with southwest flavour spices or stacking surprises like chicken and cheese inside the rings.
Salads VS Un-Salads
Mama said to eat our greens and eat them we shall! When it comes to salads, you’re generally looking at two categories: Those all about the lettuce…and those featuring almost anything but! The choice is yours because no matter how you toss it, salads make a great light or just plain crunchy addition as a chicken wing side dish.
For the lettuce-based you can’t go wrong with a spicy Caesar, summery strawberry spinach salad or lemon-vinaigrette steak salad. If you’re ready for something new, how about sour cream and dill cucumber or feta-beet?
With un-salads, think coleslaw – done classic or updated with red cabbage and carrot or Brussels sprouts with apples and walnuts (you’re an adult, it’s OK to admit you like Brussels sprouts now).
We didn’t forget about carbs calling themselves salad either. You can try taking that tired potato salad to BAM and beyond with a kick of tzatziki or sweet mustard; elevating basic chilled pasta salad with white asparagus, lemon and pecans. …or stick to a tummy-warming mac and cheese if you prefer it hot!
Basics That Are Anything But
It can be tough to compete with chicken wings taking the centerstage but given a little extra these next few side dishes move beyond basic, proving that quick and easy doesn’t have to mean compromising on flavour.
Upgrade baked beans with fiery chilis, bell peppers or bourbon; spiralize zucchini or broccoli stalks into fun noodles (bonus: pretty much anything looks fancy when it’s spiralized). Got the grill ready? Toss on a super-popular-probably-on-its-way-to-become-a-classic-staple avocado (it’s not just trendy on toast)! And finally, hit your cooked corn on the cob with a dollop of BBQ sauce, herb butter or paprika mayo.
Take it Global
You may not always be able to take a vacation – but your taste-buds sure can! If you’re ready to pair your beloved chicken wings with some new side dishes, try these globally inspired ideas on for size…
Spicy meets sour with Korean kimchi – try it in a kimchi fried rice for a filling side that’s also a great way to use up almost any assortment of vegetables. Not into spice? Fry up potato pancakes or latkes and add any vegetables or cheeses that grab you – these can be topped however you like, sweet with apple sauce or rich with sour cream. It’s for good delicious reason potato pancakes are a staple across so many European countries!
Another fab potato side to try is patatas bravas, a traditional Spanish tapas dish. These roasted potatoes in spicy tomato-based sauce are like the French fry’s sexy self. Edamame can be a great way to introduce a new ingredient to reluctant eaters; season ‘em on their own for a snacky side or add them to rice and beans, salads or dips.
No matter how you enjoy your chicken wings and side dishes, just be sure to grab an extra stack of napkins – you’re gonna need them!