9 Side Dish Ideas To Serve With Your Fried Chicken At A Picnic

fried chicken picnic side dish

Fried chicken is a picnic staple.

Why trust me?

I'm an experienced food writer and passionate cook. My website, Cookindocs.com, features accessible, informative, and engaging content with quality recipes and articles that are thoroughly researched and enjoyable to read. You can trust my expertise with 8 years of experience in the field. Learn more about me and my work on this website, and check out my featured articles on TastingTable, Mashed, and 5-Minute Crafts. Read more about me HERE.

It’s tasty, easy to make, and pairs well with many types of side dishes.

You can easily serve fried chicken at your next outdoor get-together, but what do you serve alongside it?

There are so many options out there!

Some popular choices include mac and cheese, cornbread, or biscuits.

Read on to figure out a lot more tasty companions that will elevate your fried chicken at any picnic or party.

What to consider when choosing a side dish for fried chicken at a picnic?

You’ve got your fried chicken, and now you need a side dish.

But what to keep in mind when choosing a side dish for fried chicken, especially if they are meant for a picnic?

  • Consider the weather: Fried chicken is best eaten at picnics during spring or autumn when the weather is mild. It’s less appealing in hot summer months because of how heavy and greasy it can be. If your picnic will be held outdoors (and especially if there’s no shade), plan to pack plenty of napkins for everyone!
  • Consider the time of day: Fried chicken is a great late afternoon meal, but not if your picnic starts at noon—you’ll want something lighter for that occasion! Try some fresh fruit instead; it won’t fill you up so much that you feel sluggish afterward, but it’ll still be delicious and satisfying after an afternoon spent outside.
  • Fried chicken can go great with a saucy side dish. However, when it comes to picnic foods, this is not a good option. Dishes that come with a lot of liquid like gravies or sauces can make a mess when you eat on the grass. Opt for something drier and more friendly to packages or transportation.

9 best side dishes to serve with fried chicken at a picnic

Here we go to the best nine side dishes that will not only pair well with your fried chicken but also be great for a picnic meal:


[amazon fields=”B00LMC36HY” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

Biscuits are a Southern staple.

They are easy to make, easy to serve, eat, transport and store (and clean up too).

If you’re planning a picnic with fried chicken—and who isn’t?—then biscuits are the best thing for you.

And they’re not just good with fried chicken; they work well as accompaniments to other foods too.

They’re able to handle whatever you throw at them!

Mac and cheese

[amazon fields=”B07WTTL6KF” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

Mac and cheese is a quintessential picnic side dish: easy to make, delicious, and infinitely versatile.

It’s also a great way to use up leftovers from your fried chicken dinner (especially if you’ve made extra cheese), plus it can be made in advance and only needs to be packaged for your picnic meal.

Mac and cheese is a classic of any American, so you can’t go wrong!


[amazon fields=”B07SJH23DW” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

Cornbread is a great choice for fried chicken at a picnic.

It’s easy to make, it goes well with chicken, and it can be transported to your destination without causing undue stress.

Cornbread is also a good choice because it’s easy to prepare.

You don’t need many ingredients; all you need is cornmeal and self-rising flour (if your cornbread recipe calls for some).

The batter will mix up in no time at all, so you won’t have any trouble getting this dish ready in time for your picnic festivities.

Potato salad

[amazon fields=”B01N6LMG45″ value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

Potato salad is another classic picnic item.

It’s easy to prepare and can be made with leftover potatoes, vegetables, and mayonnaise (which are all standard picnic fare).

Unlike other salads, this type of salad is not likely to become soggy over time, which is great for an outdoor meal.

If you’re feeling creative, you can also add more herbs for extra flavor.

Sweet potato cake

[amazon fields=”B08XFK7ZQL” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

Sweet potato cake is a great side dish for fried chicken.

It’s also a great dessert to bring along because it is not as heavy as a cake made with butter or cream. This type of cake is delicious when paired with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

It’s easy to make and can be served warm or cold.

Sweet potato cake is a great side dish for picnics, potlucks, and parties.


[amazon fields=”B00KMM8KI0″ value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

Coleslaw is a classic side dish that can be served with fried chicken, but it also makes a great appetizer.

It’s easy to make and always welcome at picnics, potlucks, and barbecues.

Coleslaw is made with cabbage, carrots, and mayonnaise—the perfect combination of sweet and salty flavors to complement the crispy fried chicken!

You can serve coleslaw cold or at room temperature—either way it’ll taste great!

It’s also delicious made with different variations like red cabbage instead of green cabbage or grated apples instead of carrots for variety in flavor profiles.

French fries

[amazon fields=”B06Y5TQJ5J” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

Fries are a classic picnic food and for good reason.

They’re easy to make, easy to serve, and even easier to eat!

You don’t have to worry about your fried chicken getting cold if you’re serving fries alongside it—you won’t have any leftovers at all!

Plus, French fries are one of the most versatile side dishes out there: you can go traditional with ketchup or mustard (or both!) or get creative with chipotle mayo and salsa Fresca.

And don’t forget about those summer barbeques when everyone’s got their mouths full; no matter how greasy they become while eating them straight from their paper bags in between bites of burgers or hot dogs (or whatever else has caught fire), French fries always seem like they’re perfectly suited for every occasion.

Roasted asparagus

[amazon fields=”B00E3J9QSG” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

Roasted asparagus is a great side dish with fried chicken.

It’s easy to make and packed with nutrients, which makes it a healthy option.

If you can’t use up your asparagus right away, freeze it in an airtight container or ziplock bag until you’re ready to roast it.

Asparagus is also one of the vegetables that are perfect to bring out and eat outdoors.

They are not watery and don’t get soggy easily like other leafy greens while maintaining their crunchiness over time.

Corn on the cob

[amazon fields=”B0002DGNQK” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

Corn on the cob is our last suggestion for a great addition to your picnic.

It’s a summertime dish, and it pairs perfectly with fried chicken.

Corn on the cob is an easy side dish that can be served at any cookout or barbecue.

If it is gonna be a barbecue picnic, you can cook it there.

Otherwise, it is easy to grill your corn on the cob with some butter and spices in advance, then pack it for your picnic meal.


In conclusion, fried chicken is a very versatile dish.

It can be served with many different sides, depending on individual preferences and tastes.

In our article, we have presented some options that you may want to consider when serving fried chicken at your next picnic or barbecue.

Good luck and enjoy these delicious items with your loved ones!