With the fall weather comes game days and tailgating parties. Chicken wings - often the star of tailgating food, especially in the South, are loved by many for their crispy skin, tender meat, and flavorful sauces. They are the epitome of finger-licking goodness, offering a perfect balance of savory, spicy, and sometimes sweet flavors. The delightful crunch when you bite into a well-cooked wing is unparalleled. It’s so good, it’s often hard to know what to pair with it. But don’t worry. This guide of sides for chicken wings will save your tailgate and keep it from being the same old celery sticks with blue cheese dip.
When it comes to pairing sides with chicken wings, there are numerous options to enhance the overall dining experience. Classic choices like celery sticks and carrot strips are popular for their refreshing crunch and ability to balance out the richness of the wings. Creamy dips such as ranch or blue cheese dressing are traditional favorites, providing a cool contrast to the heat of spicy wings. But we’ve got a range to choose from because we want to wow our guests! So dive right into these yummy chicken wing sides and start planning your next tailgate or game day.
Carrots are often a go-to when preparing a side dish for chicken wings because they can also be dipped in ranch or blue cheese. However, you should absolutely switch things up and roast them instead. Roasting carrots brings out a delicious, natural sweetness that pairs amazingly with spicy, crispy chicken wings.
Again, switch up the typical celery sticks and make this Mediterranean celery olive salad instead. (Who really likes celery sticks anyway?!) This salad is crunchy and salty and will go right along with your spicy or sweet chicken wings. The secret ingredient is a little bit of chopped dates for sweetness to balance the salty, savory flavors going on.
Okay, if you insist on having ranch dressing as a side for your chicken wings, let’s at least make sure it’s a good ranch. And this ranch dressing is restaurant quality. You can boast to all of your friends that you made it yourself. It’s so easy to make, you won’t mind that you skipped the store-bought version.
Again, you’ve got to have a good recipe for blue cheese dressing dip if you want to serve it as a side for chicken wings. These dressings really are easy to make at home and they taste so much better than their store-bought counterparts. This recipe for Best Ever Blue Cheese Dressing is so easy, so simple, wholesome, and made with uncomplicated ingredients.
The combination of crispy wings and perfectly cooked fries is a match made in heaven, satisfying both crispy and savory cravings. This recipe includes tips for making the fries extra crispy, which is important when making them at home. It will ensure you have delicious, easy-to-make, crispy fries to serve as a side for your wings.
When serving spicy chicken wings, pairing them with a sweeter side is a good idea. It’ll help cool off the palate if you have guests that like a bit of heat, but need a chaser. With an air fryer, these sweet potato fries get deliciously crispy. And the cinnamon sugar coating balances spicy, savory chicken wings. You’ll love it!
Onion rings are a great pairing for wings because, like fries, they bring a crispy element that complements crispy chicken wings. However, onions also bring an additional sweetness to help balance out the heavy fried feeling. These crispy onion rings have a bit of parmesan added to bring in a bit of cheesiness as well as a bit of a salty bite.
You can never go wrong with a good piece of bread to sop up the heat of chicken wings. These garlic bread rolls are absolutely beautiful when presented next to a pile of steaming, crispy chicken wings. These are tear-and-share bread rolls, so they’re perfect for a tailgating party. Homemade bread dough is stuffed with a savory garlic and herb filling that will add amazing aromas to your house.
This recipe for bacon jalapeno mac and cheese packs a bit of heat as well as smokiness, so as far as a side for chicken wings, it’s absolutely perfect. The flavors match well and will complement each other with every bite. You can spice it up with more jalapenos, or keep it toned down. It’s up to you and your flavor preference.
Coleslaw is another fantastic chicken wing side dish, offering a refreshing and slightly tangy contrast to the spicy flavors of the wings. If you’re in the “I love cilantro” club, then you need to make coleslaw with cilantro and lime. It brings a burst of fresh flavors, and can quickly calm down the heat of chicken wings.
I think the name says it all. You know right away what you’re getting with this dish. A delicious, absolutely buttery, chicken wing side dish that will add texture and flavor to your party. The corn is simmered in a bath of butter and milk until it’s tender and flavorful. This recipe will easily stand up to any heat the chicken wings bring.
If you are in need of a dairy-free option, don’t worry, it can still be delicious. You might even have guests prefer the potato wedges this way, dairy-free or not. These crispy potato wedges are seasoned with olive oil, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. It’s simple and easy, which is what you want for game day treats. More time to enjoy the game!
Mashed potatoes are always a great option to serve alongside crispy chicken wings. Everyone loves a heaping serving of mashed potatoes. The addition of sour cream to this recipe makes these ultra creamy, and good enough to go back for seconds. So make a large batch, because guests will want them again and again!
These garlic parmesan knots are so easy to make. And when I say easy, I mean, in under 30 minutes, you can have them on the table easy. That’s a win in my recipe book! To make them completely from scratch, you need just 8 ingredients. The recipe makes 8 garlic knots, so if it’s for a tailgating party, make a few batches!
I love a good nacho recipe, piled high or wide with tons of ingredients. These loaded oven-baked nachos are the perfect fit for serving alongside chicken wings. They will have all other textures covered. Creamy, melty, salty, savory, as well as crispy notes will tie into spicy chicken wings for a winning meal.
If you’re serving chicken wings at a dinner party, consider using this Italian bruschetta with goat cheese as a side. It will elevate the meal to a dinner party standard. And if your chicken wings are lemon pepper or garlic flavored, it’ll be even better. The Italian flavor will flow through the whole meal.
You’ve got to love a good fried dill pickle. Homemade fried pickles are so simple to make and taste great! Make them in batches and keep them warm in the oven if you’re serving a crowd on game day. They stay crispy and flavorful and will be a hit alongside whatever flavor of chicken wings you decide on.
For a healthier alternative to fries, mashed potatoes, or nachos, roasted or grilled vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower can complement the indulgence of chicken wings. Their earthy flavors and slight caramelization add depth to the meal without overshadowing the star of the show. You can use your favorite veggies, or follow the recipe exactly.
This whipped feta dip is an amazing substitute for the traditional ranch or blue cheese dressing dip. It adds a sophisticated air to the meal, creating a fancy atmosphere. Consider this combination for your next dinner party, when you want something easy, but fancy to make. The combination of cream cheese and feta will pair well with crispy chicken wings.
If you’re grilled chicken wings in the summer, consider serving them alongside this watermelon fruit salad. It’ll elevate slices of watermelon into an actual dish that can impress any guest. It’s covered with a lime mint dressing that calms down any spice or heat but also enhances the flavor of the fruit. It’s a win-win!
This creamy, zesty deviled egg potato salad combines the best of both worlds when it comes to chicken wing sides. Deviled eggs would make a cooling side dish as would potato salad. Why not put them together in this delicious side?! It would complement a spicy buffalo wing in every way. And, it can be made ahead of time, saving you some work come game day.
Alternatively, you can easily whip up this sweet potato salad. Roasting the sweet potatoes caramelizes them and adds a bit of sweetness to the dish. The sweet potato sweetness along with the peppery kale, crunchy pecans, creamy goat cheese, and tart cranberries make this an unexpected but delicious chicken wing side dish.
If you’re in the middle of summer, and you don’t want a mayo-based dish sitting out, consider this no mayo potato salad instead. It’s still creamy and packed with flavor due to a bit of olive oil and Dijon mustard. The mustard will pair nicely with a teriyaki-based chicken wing or even a mango habanero chicken wing.
What can you use to chase down a bit of heat from spicy hot buffalo chicken wings? Savory fried dough balls- that’s what! Light and fluffy hush puppies make an amazing chicken wing side, because they are good fresh out of the fryer, and they stay good even if they sit out a bit. You can’t go wrong with a good, fluffy hush puppy!
A take on jalapeno poppers, these grilled mini sweet peppers with goat cheese are what you’re missing from your grilling session. Jalapeno poppers are well known as a finger food served alongside chicken wings. It’s time to change it up and make these grilled sweet mini peppers instead. The slight sweetness you get complements spicy chicken wings and keeps dinner elegant.
A good copycat recipe always works well as a side! White cheddar stuffed mushrooms add a meaty texture to chicken wings, as well as a melty, creamy, sharp bite that everyone will love. I highly suggest making a double batch, because these do not last long, no matter how many you’re serving.
This list of 26 sides for chicken wings features diverse options, catering to various tastes and preferences, ensuring your guests have a wide array of options to choose from during their next chicken wing feast.
And I'll leave you with my healthy homemade ranch dressing.
Homemade Ranch Dressing (Perfect for Chicken Wings!)
- 1 cup non fat plain greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoon milk I used 1%
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried chives
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon dill weed
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- Mix all of your ingredients together in a bowl and serve.
- Store dressing in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.
- *Note- I edited this to ¼ teaspoon of paprika (it was originally ½) some complained of a little too zesty and a pink color, this should help