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Chicken salad is a wonderfully flavorful and delicious recipe that can truly be made your own in a number of ways. At its core, the classic chicken salad consists of shredded chicken and mayo in a sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. However, the beauty of the chicken salad is that you don’t have to make it as a sandwich or even use mayonnaise. That said though, you may be wondering what to eat with chicken salad. If so, then don’t worry below we’ll go through the best options available so your chicken salad recipe can truly shine.

What To Serve With Chicken Salad?

Like with quiche, ravioli or any other incredibly popular and flavourful dish of this nature, choosing what to serve with either fresh or leftover chicken salad isn’t an issue of lack of choice. If anything the opposite is often true since it just goes so well with so many different types of food.

Additionally, the chicken salad itself can be adopted in a myriad of ways to suit being used with other dishes. As such, you may also end up considering making some adjustments to perfectly suit your own palette. 

One such example is what type of chicken to use, whether it’s rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken or something else entirely. Alternatively, though, it can also be whether to use a different sauce such as Greek yoghurt or sour cream in place of mayonnaise.

In order to really spice things up though, you can also add a few fresh herbs and spices to put an unusual spin on things. One possibility is to use lemon juice or chilli powder in the mayo to give it zest or marinate the chicken before cooking in complementary seasonings to maximise the flavour potential.  

How Is Chicken Salad Is Often Served

Typically, the chicken salad will be served as a chicken salad sandwich with a mix of mayo and chicken as the core ingredients whilst cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and potentially onion are also present.

Naturally, like mentioned above people will put their own spin on things but in the majority of contexts, a traditional southern chicken salad can be recognised as such. Despite this though, whilst sandwiches are a common way for people to eat chicken salad it is far from the only way. 

What to eat with chicken salad - 10 amazing side ideas

Great Bread Options For Chicken Salad Sandwiches

If you are eating it on a sandwich though a crucial question to ask yourself is though is what kind of bread will be used. Fillings are important but without bread, it wouldn’t be a chicken salad sandwich. 

But what type of bread should you use for your chicken salad sandwiches? Well fortunately most types of bread will work excellently for sandwiches like this. That said, however, below are some of our favourites:

  • Flaky Croissants
  • Baguettes
  • Pita Bread
  • Tortilla Wraps
  • Brioche Barms
  • Finger Sandwiches
  • Whole Grain Bread

Other Types Of Chicken Salad

Naturally, one of the mainstays of chicken salad, aside from the chicken, will be the chicken salad dressing. However, different varieties of chicken salad exist all over the world. Whether using different dressings, veggies or even introducing their own seasonings, spices and herbs, different cultures will create dramatically different chicken salads. Some examples of this include the following: 

  • Spicy Chicken Salad
  • Asian Chicken Salad
  • Sweet And Savoury Chicken Salad

What Goes Well With Chicken Salad?

Now we’ve discussed how you can change up a chicken salad and whether you will go for chicken salad finger sandwiches, brioche buns or anything in between. It’s time to talk about sides.  

Below are some excellent options to have with traditional southern chicken salad. However, many of these options will also be excellent choices no matter how dramatically you change things. With that in mind, check out our selection of the best side dish options for a chicken salad: 

  • Butternut Squash Soup
  • Bacon And Potato Soup
  • Potato Chips
  • Potato Salad
  • Caesar Salad
  • Green Salad
  • Ambrosia Fruit Salad
  • Macaroni Salad
  • Dill Pickles
  • Cheddar Cheese Straws

Butternut Squash Soup

If you’re eating chicken salad sandwiches, what better way to complement it than a delicious bowl of warm soup?

Sandwiches and soup naturally go together wonderfully, so of course, chicken salad sandwiches are no exception to this rule. 

A personal favourite though is butternut squash soup. Like many good soups, it will be deliciously warm, creamy and wonderfully thick. 

However, it pairs particularly well with a chicken salad sandwich. The reason is that the sweet flavour of the butternut squash soup beautifully contrasts with and balances the richness of the chicken salad. The result is a side dish that is incredibly distinct whilst still complimenting your main.

What to eat with chicken salad - 10 amazing side ideas

Bacon And Potato Soup

Whilst on the theme of soup, bacon and potato soup is another excellent choice for pairing with a chicken salad sandwich.

As mentioned above, bread and sandwiches go wonderfully together. However, do you know what else pair together beautifully?

Chicken and bacon of course! That is without even getting started on how wonderfully the cheese in the sandwich would pair with both the bacon and potatoes. 

Whilst these flavours do complement each other beautifully, the soft and chewy potatoes along with the crunchy texture of the bacon add a slightly more solid texture to this soup. 

Additionally, whilst butternut squash makes things somewhat sweet, this option is fantastic for keeping things more savoury.

Potato Chips

On the other end of the potato spectrum is the possibility of including potato chips (or crisps as we call them in the UK).

These are like soup and iconic pairing with sandwiches of all kinds. Again, chicken salad sandwiches are included. 

Whether fried or baked, store-bought or homemade these are an excellent choice for complementing sandwiches. The reason being that the crispy texture of potato chips brilliantly contrasts with and complements the softness of the bread.

Additionally, with a chicken salad sandwich, the creamy mayo will also be beautifully complemented by the saltiness of the potato chips.

The extra advantage of this as well is that pretty much any flavour potato chips will pair well with chicken salad. As such, no matter what your flavour preferences are it should be perfect for pairing with your sandwich.

Potato Salad

Sticking with the potato theme, potato salad is another excellent choice for a potato-based side option to have alongside a chicken salad.

No matter how you enjoy chicken salad, potato salad is an excellent choice for a side dish. As they share some of the same flavours and ingredients such as mayonnaise. However, they also are distinctive enough from one another to truly stand out on their own.

Personally, I love potato salad and find it pairs wonderfully with a lot of dishes. However, it goes perfectly with chicken salad when the latter is served in all sorts of ways. For example, it can work excellently alongside a wrap or sandwich.

Alternatively, though, they may be served as two parts of a multi salad meal, potentially with some of the options below. If feeling particularly bold though you could even combine the two salads as they share many of the same ingredients.

What to eat with chicken salad - 10 amazing side ideas

Green Salad

Whether having it in a sandwich or by itself, the chicken salad will pair brilliantly with a light salad full of your favourite green. 

The beauty of something like this comes from the simplicity of it, along with the fact that you can choose your own veggies, dressing and protein to complement the chicken salad. 

As far as proteins go a good choice is always bacon since it will always go wonderfully with the chicken. However, if you want to be lighter on your red meat then nuts or even more chicken can also work well. Alternatively, you could elect to omit the protein entirely if you so wished.

For the dressing though it is best to avoid something overly creamy. After all, your chicken salad already has that covered. Instead, a tangy vinaigrette can help add some freshness to the meal whilst contrasting the richness of your chicken salad. A couple of ideas for dressings in this context include balsamic vinegar, olive oil or white wine vinegar.

Caesar Salad

In a similar vein to using a green salad is to serve your chicken salad alongside some caesar salad. Many of the same benefits apply here, however, caesar salads tend to be slightly more rich and varied in flavours.

As such, instead of topping this salad with your chicken salad mix as you would with the green salad these two should be served in separate bowls.

Alternatively, this option is also excellent when served with a chicken salad sandwich as they will contrast each other well without completely merging thanks to the bread.

The beauty of using a caesar salad though is that it often goes beautifully with chicken. However, if you feel that the dressing would be a bit too heavy then making it without eggs or anchovies may be best.

What to eat with chicken salad - 10 amazing side ideas

Ambrosia Fruit Salad

From veggies salads to fruit salads now, here’s an excellent dessert idea, if you feel like a savoury side would be a little too much.

A chicken salad sandwich or indeed, chicken salad by itself can be somewhat heavy and rich. As such a light, refreshing, zesty and sweet dessert is exactly what’s needed.

This will be a hit at all times of the year, however, particularly in the summertime as the zesty and tropical flavours will feel seasonally appropriate.

Making this delicious dessert is simple enough though as all you’ll need to do is combine crushed pineapple, orange slices, shredded coconut, marshmallows and whipped cream. See, both simple and delicious, making it perfect for a light dessert.

Macaroni Salad

Like the aforementioned potato salad, this pasta salad is a perfect inclusion in a multi-salad style meal.

Many of the other side dishes attempt to somewhat balance the creaminess of chicken salad. However, this option doubles down on it whilst also adding a similar sense of tanginess to something like a vinaigrette.

The apple cider vinegar used in macaroni salad, along with the peas, celery and sweet bell peppers all stand out and shine when eaten alongside the chicken salad.

Additionally, chicken and pasta are a truly fantastic partnership in the culinary world. As such, they complement each other beautifully as always when chicken salad and macaroni pasta salad are eaten together.

Dill Pickles

If making chicken salad sandwiches and love pickles then these two are honestly a match made in heaven.

Think about it. What flavours and texture do dill pickles add to a burger? 

That’s right, tanginess, crispiness and a little bit of spiciness. All three of which are absent from traditional chicken salad sandwiches.

Naturally then, these two truly are a match and honestly using even your favourite store-bought pickles can be an excellent choice. However, if you’re feeling particularly bold then why not try making your own?

What to eat with chicken salad - 10 amazing side ideas

Cheddar Cheese Straws

Crackers with chicken salad are quite delicious. However, what if instead of crackers you used cheese straws?

Now, this won’t exactly be the healthiest choice for a chicken salad side dish but a couple on the side of an otherwise quite healthy dollop of chicken salad with a green salad filled with fresh veggies won’t do too much harm.

Additionally, when made from home, they will be a delicious and simple treat that can be enjoyed somewhat guilt-free.

Now We Know What To Eat With Chicken Salad

Whether it’s what bread to use for a chicken salad sandwich or some ideas of sides to have with it, you’re now in a good place to decide what to have with your chicken salad. As mentioned at the start, chicken salad is incredibly versatile and adaptable to many different cuisines of food types. 

With that in mind don’t let the above limit you and instead simply use it as a jumping-off point for your own ideas. You never know, maybe Bombay potatoes will go well with a curry mayo chicken salad. Actually, that doesn’t sound too bad…

FAQ – Chicken Salad Sides

What should I serve with chicken salad?

The beauty of chicken salad is that it goes well with a lot of different food. Whether it’s soup, green salads, potato chips or even pickles, a wide variety of options are available to you.

What meal goes good with salad?

Between soups, green salads, potato chips or even pickles, a wide variety of options are available to you when it comes to sides to pair with chicken salad. Really that’s the beauty of it though, it can go with or be adapted to go with near enough anything.