Are you wondering what to serve with pesto chicken?
Pesto is a classic Italian condiment made from fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic and olive oil; it adds so much flavor to any dish.
But when it comes to pairing pesto with poultry – like chicken – the possibilities are seemingly endless!
When prepared as an entrée, this dish demands side dishes that will not only balance out the flavors but also bring something special to the table.
If you’re at a loss for inspiration, don’t worry – we’ve got 12 of our favorite accompaniments for pesto chicken that are sure to enhance your next dinner experience.
These recipes go beyond just potatoes and other ‘standard’ sides.
Read on for some creative flavor combinations that will make your meal memorable!
What to Serve with Pesto Chicken? 12 Must-try Side Dishes
1. Roasted Carrots with Parsley and Garlic
These roasted carrots are the perfect side dish for your next meal.
They are packed with flavor and have a great texture.
The parsley and garlic elevate the dish and make it even more delicious.
The carrots are roasted to perfection and have a great taste.
The parsley and garlic add a nice touch of flavor to the dish.
The tips on elevating the dish include adding some honey or balsamic vinegar to the mix.
This will give the carrots a slight sweetness or acidity that will really make them stand out.
2. Honey-Glazed Brussels Sprouts
These honey-glazed brussels sprouts are the perfect side dish to any meal.
They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, with a sweet and savory glaze that is irresistible.
Plus, they are so easy to make.
To get the perfect taste and texture, be sure to roast your brussels sprouts until they are nice and crispy.
Then, simply glaze them with a mixture of honey and soy sauce.
The result is a dish that is both sweet and savory, with a beautiful caramelized flavor that will have everyone coming back for more.
For an extra special touch, you can top your honey-glazed brussels sprouts with some crumbled bacon or shredded Parmesan cheese.
Either way, they are sure to be a hit.
3. Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage
This roasted butternut squash with sage is the perfect side dish for your pesto chicken.
The sweetness of the squash pairs perfectly with the savory chicken, and the sage adds a touch of earthiness that ties everything together.
This dish is simple to make and can be easily elevated with a few simple tips.
When picking out your butternut squash, make sure to choose one that is heavy for its size and has skin that is free of blemishes.
The best way to roast your squash is to cut it into cubes, toss it in olive oil and salt, and then bake it in a preheated oven until it is fork-tender.
For an extra touch of flavor, you can add a few fresh sage leaves to the pan during the last few minutes of roasting.
4. Sauteed Swiss Chard with Pancetta
Sauteed Swiss chard is a delicious side dish that can be enjoyed with many different main courses.
The taste of the Swiss chard is slightly bitter, but when it is cooked with pancetta, the dish takes on a whole new flavor.
The texture of the Swiss chard is also very unique.
When it is sauteed, the leaves become very tender, and the stem stays crispy.
There are a few tips that can help you elevate this dish.
First, make sure that you cook the pancetta until it is nice and crisp.
This will add a great crunch to the dish.
Second, don’t be afraid to experiment with different herbs and spices.
Adding a little bit of garlic or red pepper flakes can really help to boost the flavor of the dish.
Finally, don’t forget to season the Swiss chard well before serving.
A little bit of salt and pepper can go a long way in bringing out the best flavors of this side dish.
5. Creamy Mashed Potatoes
There’s nothing quite like a big bowl of creamy mashed potatoes.
They’re the perfect comfort food, and they go with pretty much everything.
Whether you’re serving up a hearty stew or a simply grilled chicken breast, mashed potatoes are always a welcome side dish.
The key to great mashed potatoes is all in the texture.
You want them to be smooth and creamy, without any lumps.
The best way to achieve this is to use a ricer or food mill.
If you don’t have either of those, you can use a potato masher, but it will take a little longer to get the desired consistency.
Once you’ve got your potatoes nice and creamy, it’s time to add some flavor.
A little bit of butter and milk will go a long way but don’t be afraid to experiment with other ingredients.
Cheese, garlic, herbs, the sky’s the limit.
Just make sure not to go overboard, or you’ll end up with a mushy mess.
6. Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecans
There’s nothing quite like roasted sweet potatoes.
The taste is distinctively sweet, and the texture is soft and fluffy, making them the perfect side dish for any meal.
But there are ways to elevate this dish and make it even more delicious.
One way to do this is by adding pecans.
Pecans add a lovely crunch to the dish and complement the sweetness of the potatoes perfectly.
Another way to elevate this dish is by roasting the sweet potatoes in maple syrup.
This gives them an even sweeter flavor that is simply irresistible.
For the best results, be sure to use fresh sweet potatoes that are of a uniform size.
This will ensure that they all cook evenly.
Cut them into thick slices, about 1-2 inches thick, and toss them in a little olive oil before roasting.
Roast at a high temperature, about 400 degrees Fahrenheit, for 20-25 minutes or until they are cooked through.
These roasted sweet potatoes are sure to be a hit with everyone at the table.
7. Parmesan-Crusted Asparagus
Parmesan-crusted asparagus is a simple yet elegant dish that is perfect for any occasion.
This dish is packed with flavor and has a lovely crispy texture.
The key to making this extra dish special is to use high-quality Parmesan cheese and to cook the asparagus spears until they are perfectly tender.
Asparagus is a versatile vegetable that pairs well with many different flavors.
In this dish, the asparagus is lightly coated in a mixture of Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.
The result is a dish that is full of flavor and has a beautiful crispy texture.
To make this dish even more special, be sure to use high-quality Parmesan cheese.
Cooking the asparagus spears until they are perfectly tender is also crucial.
You don’t want them to be too soft or too crunchy.
The best way to achieve the perfect level of tenderness is to cook them for just a few minutes in boiling water.
Then, finish them off in the oven so that they get nice and crispy.
This parmesan-crusted asparagus dish is sure to impress your guests.
It’s simple yet elegant, and it’s packed with flavor.
Be sure to use high-quality Parmesan cheese and cook the asparagus spears until they are perfectly tender for the best results.
8. Grilled Corn on the Cob with Herb Butter
If you’re looking for a delicious and easy side dish to go with your pesto chicken, look no further than grilled corn on the cob.
This dish is simple to make but packs a flavorful punch, thanks to the addition of herb butter.
Corn on the cob is also a great source of fiber and vitamins, making it a healthy option for your next meal.
When it comes to taste, grilled corn on the cob is sweet and slightly smoky from the grill.
The herb butter elevates the flavors even further, adding a depth of flavor that compliments the chicken perfectly.
As for texture, the corn is tender but still has a slight bite to it.
The butter also adds a smooth and creamy element that takes this dish to the next level.
If you want to really impress your guests, try grilling your corn in foil packets.
This not only keeps the corn from falling through the grill grates but also allows it to steam in its own natural juices, resulting in an even more flavorful and tender final product.
Simply wrap each ear of corn in foil, being sure to add a generous pat of herb butter before sealing up the packet.
Grill over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until the corn is cooked through.
9. Tomato and Arugula Salad
This Tomato and Arugula Salad is the perfect side dish to any summer meal.
The tomatoes are ripe and juicy, while the arugula provides a nice peppery flavor.
This salad is also super easy to make – all you need is some chopped tomatoes, arugula, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.
I love the taste of this salad.
The sweetness of the tomatoes pairs perfectly with the peppery arugula.
I also love the texture of this salad – the juiciness of the tomatoes contrasts nicely with the crunch of the arugula.
If you’re looking to elevate this dish, you could add some crumbled feta cheese or grilled chicken.
I also think this salad would be delicious with a balsamic vinaigrette.
Overall, this is a simple but delicious salad that is perfect for summertime.
10. Quinoa Pilaf with Toasted Almonds
This quinoa pilaf with toasted almonds is a simple yet delicious side dish that is perfect for any occasion.
The quinoa is cooked in a flavorful broth and then mixed with toasted almonds, dried cranberries, and green onions.
This dish is packed with flavor and texture, and it’s also very healthy.
The quinoa is the star of this dish, and it has a nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with the toasted almonds.
The quinoa is also very light and fluffy, and it soaks up all of the flavors from the broth.
The dried cranberries add a touch of sweetness, while the green onions add a bit of spice.
11. Farrotto with Roasted Mushrooms
This dish is hearty and filling, making it the perfect comfort food for a cool autumn evening.
The farrotto is creamy and satisfying, while the roasted mushrooms add a touch of earthiness to the dish.
For an extra bit of flavor, try adding some Parmesan cheese to the dish.
The key to making a great farrotto is to cook the farro slowly so that it has time to absorb all of the flavors from the other ingredients.
Be sure to use low-sodium chicken broth, as this will help to keep the dish from becoming too salty.
If you want to elevate the dish, try adding some crispy pancetta or fresh sage leaves.
12. Fruit Salad with Mint Syrup
This fruit salad is a refreshing and light dish that’s perfect for summertime.
The combination of sweet and tart flavors is delicious, and the mint syrup elevates the flavor even further.
The texture of the fruit salad is also lovely, with a mix of soft and juicy fruits.
To make this dish even more special, I like to add a few extra ingredients.
First, I add a touch of lime juice to brighten up the flavors.
Then, I add a handful of fresh mint leaves for an extra pop of flavor.
Finally, I drizzle a little bit of honey on top before serving.
This dish is best served chilled, so be sure to give it ample time to cool in the fridge before serving.
There are many great side dishes that go well with pesto chicken.
I have listed twelve of my favorites that are sure to please any palate.
From roasted vegetables to creamy mashed potatoes, there is something for everyone.
So next time you are wondering what to serve with your pesto chicken, try one of these fantastic side dishes.
Your guests will be sure to thank you.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!