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What to serve with BBQ pulled chicken?

When it comes to BBQ pulled chicken, finding the perfect accompaniments can take your meal to the next level. Whether you’re hosting a summer barbecue, planning a casual dinner, or simply looking for a delicious weeknight meal, choosing the right side dishes can enhance the flavors and create a well-rounded dining experience. In this article, we will explore some mouthwatering options that pair perfectly with BBQ pulled chicken, satisfying both your taste buds and appetite.

Classic Side Dishes

One of the easiest and most popular choices to serve with BBQ pulled chicken is a selection of classic side dishes. These timeless favorites complement the smoky flavors of the chicken while providing a balanced meal. Here are a few ideas:

  • Coleslaw: The creamy and tangy nature of coleslaw provides a refreshing contrast to the rich and flavorful pulled chicken. Its crunchiness adds texture to your meal.
  • Baked Beans: A sweet and savory side dish that perfectly complements the smoky flavors of BBQ pulled chicken. Serve them warm for an extra touch of comfort.
  • Cornbread: This Southern classic pairs well with the sweetness and spice of BBQ pulled chicken. The slightly crumbly texture and buttery flavor make it a crowd-pleaser.
  • Mac and Cheese: Creamy and indulgent, mac and cheese provides a comforting contrast to the smokiness of the chicken. Its cheesy goodness is always a hit.

Fresh Salads

If you’re looking for lighter options to balance out the richness of BBQ pulled chicken, fresh salads are an excellent choice. They bring a refreshing and healthy element to the meal. Consider the following options:

  • Garden Salad: A simple salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and your choice of dressing can provide a crisp and cleansing sensation alongside the rich flavors.
  • Watermelon Feta Salad: The juicy sweetness of watermelon combined with the tanginess of feta cheese creates a unique and refreshing flavor profile that pairs beautifully with BBQ pulled chicken.
  • Caprese Salad: With ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fragrant basil, and balsamic glaze, this classic Italian salad adds a burst of freshness and color to your plate.

Unique Twists

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to add a twist to your BBQ pulled chicken meal, consider these unique and flavorful sides:

  • Potato Salad with a Kick: Add some spice to traditional potato salad by incorporating jalapenos or a dash of cayenne pepper. The creamy potatoes provide a neutral base to balance the heat of the pulled chicken.
  • Grilled Vegetables: Fire up the grill and cook an assortment of colorful vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, and corn. The smoky char enhances their natural sweetness and complements the BBQ flavors.
  • Asian Slaw: Swap out the traditional coleslaw with an Asian-inspired version. Mix shredded cabbage, carrots, and snow peas with a sesame ginger dressing for a flavorful and crunchy side dish.

“The key to a memorable meal with BBQ pulled chicken lies in choosing diverse sides that complement the smoky and savory flavors while adding contrasting tastes and textures.” – Chef Emily Richards

No matter which sides you choose, keep in mind that variety is key. A combination of classic dishes, fresh salads, and unique twists will ensure a well-balanced and satisfying meal. Experiment with different flavors and let your creativity shine to create the perfect accompaniments for your BBQ pulled chicken feast.

What Drinks Go Well with Meat?

Pairing the right drink with your meat dish can enhance the flavors and elevate your dining experience. Whether you prefer red or white, there are plenty of options to consider. Here are some popular drink choices that complement different types of meat:

Red Wine

Red wine is a classic choice when it comes to pairing with meat. Its rich and bold flavors complement the heartiness of red meats such as beef, lamb, and venison. For a steak dinner, opt for a full-bodied red like Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec. If you prefer lighter meats like poultry or game birds, a medium-bodied red like Pinot Noir would be a good choice.

Craft Beer

If you’re a beer lover, craft beers offer a wide range of flavors that can pair well with different types of meat. A hoppy IPA can cut through the fattiness of grilled sausages or burgers, while a malty stout can be a great choice for roasted meats like pork or duck. Experimenting with different styles of beer can lead to some exciting combinations.


A fine whiskey can be a fantastic accompaniment to meat dishes. The smoky and oaky notes in whiskey can perfectly complement grilled or smoked meats. Consider pairing a peaty Scotch whisky with a whiskey-glazed BBQ ribs for a truly indulgent experience.

“The key to a successful drink pairing with meat is finding a balance of flavors that enhances both the food and the drink.”


Cocktails can also be a great option to pair with meat, especially if you’re looking for something unique. A classic Old Fashioned made with bourbon or rye whiskey can marry well with dishes like grilled steak or roasted chicken. For a twist, try a cocktail with smoky flavors like a Mezcal Negroni with smoked pork.

Suggested Pairings:

Meat Drink
Beef Steak Red Wine (Cabernet Sauvignon)
Lamb Red Wine (Merlot)
Chicken White Wine (Chardonnay)
Pork Craft Beer (Porter)

Remember, these are just suggestions, and personal preference plays a significant role in choosing the right drink. Feel free to experiment and find your own perfect pairings!

What drink pairs with red meat?

When it comes to enjoying a succulent piece of red meat, the right drink pairing can take your dining experience to a whole new level. Whether you’re enjoying a juicy steak, tender roast beef, or rich lamb chops, there are several options that complement red meat perfectly.

Red Wine: The Classic Choice

There’s a reason why red wine is the go-to choice for many when it comes to pairing it with red meat. The bold flavors and tannins in red wine complement the richness of the meat, enhancing its taste. For a classic pairing, opt for a full-bodied red like Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, or Syrah.

Craft Beer: A Great Alternative

If wine isn’t your preference, don’t worry – there are plenty of craft beers that pair exceptionally well with red meat. Opt for darker beers like stouts, porters, or brown ales as they tend to have roasted flavors that complement the charred crust of grilled or roasted meats.

Whiskey: For the Bold and Adventurous

For those looking for a strong and robust pairing, whiskey can be an excellent choice. Its smoky and caramel flavors can add complexity to the meat. Consider trying a peaty Scotch whisky or a bourbon with a higher proof for a satisfying combination.

Tip: Remember to choose a drink that you enjoy and that complements your personal taste preferences. Experiment with different pairings to find the perfect match for your palate!

Here are some additional suggestions for drink pairings with specific types of red meat:


  • Aged or grilled steak pairs well with a bold red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • For a beer pairing, try a hoppy IPA or a rich, malty porter.
  • Whiskey enthusiasts can opt for a smoky Islay Scotch or a spicy rye whiskey.


  • A juicy lamb chop pairs beautifully with a medium-bodied red like Merlot or a fruity Pinot Noir.
  • Consider pairing lamb with a Belgian-style ale or a farmhouse saison for a beer option.
  • For whiskey lovers, a smooth Irish whiskey with its hints of vanilla and honey can be an excellent match.

Remember, the key to a successful drink pairing is to find a balance between the flavors of the meat and the beverage. Whether you choose red wine, craft beer, or whiskey, the right combination can elevate your dining experience and leave you wanting more.

What Non-Alcoholic Drink Goes Well with Steak?

When it comes to pairing beverages with steak, most people opt for red wine or beer. However, if you prefer non-alcoholic options, there are several drinks that can complement the flavors of a juicy steak. Whether you’re looking for something refreshing or bold, here are some suggestions:

Sparkling Water with Citrus Twist

A sparkling water with a twist of citrus is a great option to cleanse your palate and enhance the flavors of a steak. The effervescence and slight acidity can help cut through the richness of the meat, providing a refreshing and complementary taste. You can customize your sparkling water by adding a squeeze of lemon or lime for an extra burst of flavor.

Iced Tea

An iced tea, whether black or herbal, can be a delightful non-alcoholic companion to a steak. Its mild sweetness and tannins can balance out the savory notes of the meat, creating a satisfying contrast. You can experiment with different flavors such as lemon, peach, or mint to find the perfect match for your taste buds.

Ginger Beer

If you’re after a bolder flavor, ginger beer is an excellent choice. Its spicy and slightly sweet profile can complement the richness of a steak while adding a refreshing kick. The ginger’s heat can provide a pleasant contrast and enhance the overall dining experience.

Craft Soda

For those who enjoy complex flavors, a craft soda can be a fantastic pairing with steak. Craft sodas often feature unique and natural ingredients, offering a wide range of options to explore. Look for flavors like root beer, cola, or cherry, which can bring out the meat’s robust flavors.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to experiment and find your own favorite non-alcoholic drink pairing with steak. The key is to choose beverages that either complement or contrast the flavors of the meat, enhancing your dining experience.

Remember that personal preferences play a significant role in pairing food and drinks. What works for one person may not work for another. Feel free to try different combinations and trust your taste buds to guide you to the perfect non-alcoholic companion for your steak.