There are several options when it comes to sides for smoked chicken thighs. You can serve a green salad, potato salad, mac and cheese, or coleslaw. The best option is to have a side dish that can easily be prepared in a large quantity.
When you set out to create a meal with smoked chicken thighs, you may find yourself wondering what to serve alongside this tasty meat.
I know that the first time I cooked up some smoked chicken thighs, I was surprised (and dismayed) by how much food I had on my hands.
A whole lot of delicious smoked meat for just me, and no rice or pasta to match.
So what’s a girl — or guy — to do?
This is where side dishes come into play.
There are many different ways you can accent your smoked chicken thighs with additional foods, allowing you to take something small and shy and turn it into a true star of the show.
I have scoured the Internet looking for standout recipes people have come up with, so you don’t have to!
Below are nine delicious sides that will be sure to prove popular wherever they’re served in your home.
What to Serve with Smoked Chicken Thighs: 9 Easy Sides
Now that you’ve got a smoker, full of crazy tasty smoked chicken thighs, you’re wondering what to serve with your main dish.
I know you don’t want to pull out the same old boring potatoes and green bean casserole.
But neither do you have time to make a hundred side dishes!
Well look no further!
Check out what I’ve made to go with my smoked chicken thighs, it’s guaranteed to bring extra flavor and excitement to your dinner table!
A panzanella salad is a classic Tuscan salad made up of bread, tomatoes and basil.
It’s a great way to use up stale bread and it contrasts nicely with the smoky flavor of the chicken.
If you plan on making panzanella for dinner, start by tearing up some stale bread and tossing it into a bowl with tomato slices, thinly sliced red onion, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Let the bread soak up all that delicious dressing while you prepare your chicken thighs.
Then once dinner is done go ahead and toss in some fresh basil leaves!
2. Tomato Salad
Smoked chicken thighs are so delicious on their own that it’s hard to imagine any kind of sauce or dressing going over them, but this simple tomato salad is one exception.
The acidic, juicy tomatoes cut through the rich, smoky chicken and the fresh basil adds an herby, bright note.
Prepare all your ingredients ahead (the recipe calls for heirloom tomatoes, but you can use any kind).
Then simply assemble the salad and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil just before serving.
3. Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are a classic side dish for chicken and make a great light appetizer or snack.
Deviled eggs not only go well with smoked chicken thighs, but they’re also great for taking to potlucks and parties.
Deviled eggs can be made in advance, so you won’t need to worry about them once your guests arrive.
They will be ready to eat as soon as they get to the party.
- To make deviled eggs, boil eggs until they are hard-cooked and then peel them.
- Cut them in half lengthwise and remove the yolks.
- In a bowl, mix the yolks with mayonnaise, mustard and other seasonings such as herbs or spices.
- Scoop the mixture back into the egg whites and sprinkle with paprika before serving.
Cornbread is a common accompaniment to chicken thighs, particularly if you serve the chicken with barbecue sauce.
Whole-wheat or multigrain cornbread is a healthy complement to the meat.
5. Pasta Salad
Pasta salad is another classic dish that pairs well with smoked chicken thighs.
The pasta absorbs the flavor from any dressing, so you can create a creamy or vinegar-based dressing, depending on your preference.
You can also add herbs and vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers for more flavor.
For added smoke flavor, add some liquid smoke or diced prosciutto or bacon bits.
6. Baked Beans
The best side dishes to go with smoked chicken thighs are ones that will complement the flavors of the smoke and chicken.
Baked beans are a great choice because they have their own smoky flavor and can be made in a slow cooker while your chicken is smoking.
They also offer protein, fiber, and many vitamins and minerals.
I like to serve Coleslaw with smoked chicken thighs because it not only has a crunchy texture but it also is light, sweet and tangy.
It’s been a staple in my family for years and I have yet to find someone who doesn’t love it.
When making coleslaw, you can use any type of cabbage as long as you cut it fine enough so that each bite has some crunch to it.
You also want your dressing to be creamy but not too heavy or oily.
If possible, try adding some carrots or onions for extra flavor.
I like to add some chopped celery, red onion and dill pickles to mine because they give it an extra crunchy texture while adding flavor at the same time!
Corn on the cob goes well with chicken, and you can do it in the smoker at the same time as the chicken.
Just throw them in after a couple hours in when you mop the chicken, so they get a little smoke flavor and grill marks.
I’m big on roasted vegetables — they’re easy to make and always a hit with everyone.
Dense, root vegetables like beets, carrots and parsnips are great for roasting and go well with chicken thighs because they can take the heat of the oven.
If you want to cook everything outside you can use foil packets in your grill too.
Tips for Serving Side Dishes with Smoked Chicken Thighs
You can’t have a great meal without an amazing side dish to complement the main course.
As you’re planning your next barbecue, check out these tips for serving side dishes with smoked chicken thighs:
1. Consider the Event and Your Guests
When planning your chicken thighs and side dishes, consider the event you are hosting, as well as your guests.
For example, if you are hosting a tailgate party, a coleslaw pairing might be best since it is easy to transport.
However, if you are hosting a summer potluck or backyard barbecue, consider serving seasonal vegetables like canned green beans or roasted potatoes.
2. Pick Your Side Dishes Based on Seasonality
It is always best to choose seasonal ingredients when putting together your menu because they’re plentiful, affordable and at their peak flavor.
For example, during the summer months, consider pairing your chicken with grilled corn or green beans.
Asparagus is also in season during spring and summer months and pairs wonderfully with chicken thighs.
In the fall, try serving sweet potatoes with roasted garlic cloves and fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme that complement chicken dishes well.
3. Choose Colors That Pop
When you’re serving smoked chicken thighs, choose side dishes that provide a burst of color on the plate.
A colorful plate looks more appealing than a drab one, and it’s much more likely to be photographed and shared on social media.
People who are sharing photos of their food will generally choose foods that look beautiful over foods that look bland.
What to Serve with Smoked Chicken Thighs: 9 Easy Sides
- Panzanella Salad
- Tomato Salad
- Deviled Eggs
- Pasta Salad
- Baked Beans
- Corn on the cob
- Roasted vegetables
- Pick any of these tasty sides to serve with your meal.
- Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
- Enjoy your meal in less than 25 minutes!