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What To Serve With Beer Can Chicken [19 BEST Sides]

Beer can chicken is a popular barbecue dish where a whole chicken is roasted with a can of beer inside. As the chicken cooks, the beer heats up and creates ‘beer steam’, which helps keep the chicken moist and infuses it with a subtle beer flavor.

These 19 side dishes are perfect for serving alongside beer can chicken. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a hearty dish, a healthy dish, or something super quick to make.

The best dishes to serve with beer can chicken are mushroom stuffing, fondant potatoes, grilled corn on the cob, lemon garlic green beans, and brown butter sage rolls. You can also go with jalapeno popper mac and cheese, parmesan carrot fries, Caesar salad, or creamed spinach.

Holiday favorites

Beer can chicken is a great alternative to your usual Thanksgiving turkey.

Pair it with classics like mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, or stuffing to complete the feast! Or whip up something unique, like glazed hasselback squash for a more interesting meal. 

Mushroom stuffing 

This mushroom stuffing is a must-have if you’re planning to serve your beer can chicken for a special dinner. 

It’s oh-so-buttery and herby, with golden edges that are simply irresistible. 

But what makes this special is the addition of mushrooms, which add an earthy, umami twist everyone will love. 

Why we love this recipe: this will make your kitchen smell heavenly. 

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Grilled corn on the cob

Nothing beats grilled corn on the cob.

They’re super easy to make and only need about 15 minutes on the grill to cook.

But most importantly, grilling infuses the sweet corn kernels with a delectable smoky twist. 

You can enjoy an ear of corn straight from the grill, but this recipe goes the extra mile by slathering the grilled corn with hot honey butter – yum! 

Why we love this recipe: these are guaranteed crowd-pleasers. 

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Miso roasted brussels sprouts

Roasting is my go-to method for cooking brussels sprouts.

The high heat draws out the sprouts natural sugars, and gives them delightful crispy exteriors while keeping the insides tender. 

They’re tasty with just a dash of salt and pepper, but this recipe roasts them with a miso vinaigrette, which gives them a deeper, umami bite. 

Why we love this recipe: it involves zero hands-on cooking. 

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Lighter creamed spinach

Creamed spinach is an excellent veggie side dish for your beer can chicken, but it isn’t exactly the healthiest. 

This recipe fixes that by using less butter, and replacing the heavy cream with a mixture of fat-free milk and reduced-fat cream cheese.

These swaps will give the spinach leaves the classic creaminess without adding too many calories. 

Why we love this recipe: a serving only has 123 calories. 

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Honey-glazed hasselback squash

Want something unique with your beer can chicken? Look no further than this hasselback squash. 

They take a bit more time to make than the potato version because they require two rounds of roasting, but they’re worth the extra effort!

The slits allow the herby honey-butter mixture to infuse the interiors, making them extra tasty. 

Why we love this recipe: it’s a show-stopper. 

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Lemon garlic green beans

These green beans are the way to go if you want something quick and simple with your beer can chicken. 

They may sound plain, but the lemon juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes will lift and brighten your whole dinner.

Plus, you only need one pan to whip up this nourishing side dish.

Why we love this recipe: it’s great for regular and special dinners. 

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Rotkohl (red cabbage)

Rotkohl, a German staple, will bring a sweet and tangy flavor to the table with its mix of red cabbage, vinegar, and apples.

The cabbage is slow-cooked to draw out its natural sweetness and spiced with a hint of cinnamon, the quintessential holiday spice. Be careful when you’re preparing it though, because red cabbage juice stains (I learnt this the hard way).

Why we love this recipe: it adds a pop of color and flavor.

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Starchy dishes are an excellent accompaniment for your beer can chicken. 

I usually go with a decadent pasta dish like mac and cheese if I’m craving something indulgent. 

Or you can go with soft, fluffy dinner rolls to soak up your tender chicken’s savory juices. 

Jalapeno popper mac and cheese

Growing tired of your usual mac and cheese? Switch things up with this fusion version. 

It features a luscious four-cheese sauce studded with jalapenos, giving you creamy, fiery goodness in every bite. 

And everything is topped with a buttery panko topping and bacon bits for a crunchy contrast. 

Enjoy this spicy mac and cheese with a slice of your beer can chicken for a hearty meal. 

Why we love this recipe: it’s great for serving a crowd. 

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Fondant potatoes

Want a special potato side dish for your beer can chicken? You can’t go wrong with these fondant potatoes. 

Making these involves cutting down the potatoes into cylinders, then quickly frying both ends to achieve golden, crispy exteriors.

The fondant potatoes are then finished in the oven with stock, making the inside delightfully tender and flavorful. 

Why we love this recipe: they’ll make your spread look Insta-worthy. 

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Brown butter sage dinner rolls

These dinner rolls are an excellent starchy addition to your beer can chicken meal.

They’re super soft and fluffy, and perfect for mopping up your chicken’s juices and gravy. 

And they boast a deep, nutty flavor, thanks to the combination of brown butter and sage. 

Just a heads up –  these rolls require two rounds of proofing, so plan ahead when making them!  

Why we love this recipe: they’re made with an enriched dough, making them extra hearty. 

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Pinto beans and rice

A heartwarming classic, pinto beans and rice never disappoints.

The beans are simmered to perfection, absorbing the rich flavors of cumin and paprika, while the rice provides a fluffy, light base. Add a sprinkle of fresh cilantro for some color and it’s perfect.

Pro tip: I find basmati rice works best and cooks quickly. And if you don’t have pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans, or chickpeas are all great too.

Why we love this recipe: it’s a hearty, budget-friendly meal.

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Baby potatoes wrapped in bacon

Take your side dish game to the next level with baby potatoes wrapped in bacon. Each potato is encased in a crispy bacon shell, offering a salty contrast to the soft, buttery inside.

You can serve these as an appetizer while you wait for the chicken to cook (they go great with ranch or sour cream), or as a side to the chicken. They also taste great hot or room temperature, which makes them super versatile.

Why we love this recipe: you only need two ingredients.

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Twice baked potatoes

Can you tell I like potatoes?

Imagine fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes mixed with cheese, bacon, sour cream, and chives, then stuffed back into crispy potato skins and baked until golden. I’m hungry already.

You can do the first cook early in the day and then finish them off the the second cook while the chicken is cooking or resting.

Why we love this recipe: you can customize the stuffing to your hearts content.

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Vegetables and salads

Keep your beer can chicken lean and healthy with a side of veggies or a bowl of salad. 

You can go simple with plain sauteed veggies, or try something different with a cheesy cauliflower faux rice dish.

Beer can chicken is also an excellent addition to your classic Caesar salad! 

Caesar salad

The key to a perfect Caesar salad is using homemade croutons and dressing. 

This recipe uses baguettes and a garlic-parmesan olive oil mixture to achieve golden, extra crispy croutons.

Pro tip: anchovies are a must for classic Caesar dressing, but if you don’t mind straying from tradition you can swap the anchovies for Worcestershire and lemon juice

Shred your beer can chicken and toss them with this Caesar salad for a light but satisfying meal. 

Why we love this recipe: it’s restaurant-worthy without the hefty price tag. 

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Parmesan carrot fries

Carrots are traditionally roasted and glazed, but did you know you can also transform them into fries?

Like sweet potatoes, they have a hint of sweetness that tastes superb with your juicy, herby chicken. 

And the addition of parmesan cheese before roasting the fries gives them some extra crunch.

Make your beer can chicken meal more special with these vibrant carrot fries. 

Why we love this recipe: these are highly addictive. 

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Parmesan cauliflower rice skillet

Cauliflower is one of my go-to alternatives for rice.

It’s low-carb, and develops a similar soft, fluffy texture when you cook it. 

Cauliflower has a nice nutty flavor to it, which is enhanced by cooking it in vegetable stock and then mixing in parmesan cheese.

Serve your beer can chicken with this cauliflower rice dish for a delicious and healthy dinner. 

Why we love this recipe: you can indulge in this with less guilt. 

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Moroccan quinoa salad

Add a delicious Moroccan flair to your beer can chicken meal with a serving of this quinoa salad. 

It’s studded with almonds and dried cranberries that add flavor and give this dish a contrasting chewy and crunchy bite. 

Pssst… not a fan of cranberries? You can also use chopped dates, dried cherries, or fresh apples.

Why we love this recipe: it’s great for meal preps. 

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Macaroni salad

This picnic favorite is all about creamy goodness. It’s packed with tender pasta and crisp veggies, and the dressing has just the right balance of mayonnaise and mustard.

Add a sprinkle of paprika or some fresh dill to give it a personal touch. If it’s an adult-only party cayenne pepper will add some heat.

I always make my macaroni salad the night before I want to eat it because I think it tastes better the next day.

Why we love this recipe: it’s a crowd-pleaser at any summer gathering.

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Asparagus drizzled with extra virgin olive oil

Asparagus, with its delicate, grassy flavor, becomes irresistible when you drizzle it with high-quality extra virgin olive oil and roast it to tender perfection. The oil not only enhances its natural taste but also adds a touch of luxury to this simple vegetable.

Finish with a squeeze of lemon and a grating of Parmesan for a side dish you can’t beat. If you’re feeling really fancy, a sprinkle of bacon crumbles on top are delicious.

Why we love this recipe: it’s simple yet sophisticated.

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What To Serve With Beer Can Chicken [19 Ideas]

In this short recipe, I show you exactly how to make lemon garlic green beans to serve with your beer can chicken.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beer can chicken side dishes, what to serve with beer can chicken
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 59kcal


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Over medium high, heat oil in a large skillet with a fitted lid.
  • Add green beans and pepper flakes. Toast to coat. Cover the pan and turn down the heat. Let the green beans cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove lid and add in the garlic, lemon zest, juice, salt and pepper. Toss for a few minutes then serve immediately.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 59kcal

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