This article was updated on 8th August 2023 for clarity and freshness.
If you’re wondering what to serve with your drumsticks, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I list 45 of the most popular side dishes for drumsticks.
In a rush? Here’s the short answer.
The best dishes to serve with drumsticks are French potato salad, apricot couscous, creamy slaw, baked mushroom rice, and steamed asparagus. You can also go with sweet potato mash, ratatouille, garlic roasted mushrooms, instant pot collard greens, or mac and cheese.
The refreshing crispness of a well-made salad is a delightful contrast to warm and rich drumsticks. Whether it’s a tangy coleslaw or a grain-based salad like tabbouleh, I’ve got something for you.
French potato salad
I love creamy potato salads, but this French version is quickly becoming my new favorite.
Instead of a mayo-based dressing, the fork-tender spuds are tossed with lots of fresh herbs and a vinaigrette. These changes make for a lighter potato salad that’s just as delicious as the mayo-loaded version.
Serve this lighter potato salad with baked chicken drumsticks for a healthier version of the classic barbecue pairing.
Why we love this recipe: everyone will be fighting over the last spoonful of this salad.
Cucumber lemon orzo salad
This orzo salad is a summer delight.
The combination of lemon, cucumbers, fresh dill, and parsley infuses the orzo pasta with fresh, zesty goodness in every bite. Feel Good Foodie also adds crumbled feta for a hint of creaminess, but you can leave it out if you prefer to keep it dairy-free.
Psst… the best thing about this salad are the colors, I love them!
Why we love this recipe: it gets better the longer it sits.
Apple cranberry coleslaw
This isn’t your ordinary slaw. Aside from the usual cabbage and carrots, this version has crisp apple slices and morsels of dried cranberries to add a subtle fruity twist.
But the biggest difference lies in the homemade dressing. Instead of using pure mayonnaise, Veronika uses Greek yogurt as the base instead. This swap gives your slaw that classic creamy bite, but with an extra tang and fewer calories. Now that’s what I call a win-win.
Why we love this recipe: it’ll make even regular dinners feel special.
Grilled peach and arugula salad
Bring a pop of color and freshness to your indulgent spread with this grilled peach arugula salad.
The peaches are delightfully soft and charred, while the arugula adds crisp, peppery goodness to every bite. The addition of blue cheese also brings a creamy, lightly tangy twist. And everything is tied together with a balsamic vinaigrette to keep all the flavors balanced.
Prop your drumsticks over this gorgeous salad for an Insta-worthy summer meal.
Why we love this recipe: it tastes as fabulous as it looks.
Hearty sides like mashed potatoes or rice pilaf will provide a comforting and filling complement to drumsticks. They’re not always the healthiest, but you deserve a treat sometimes, right?
Mashed sweet potatoes with ginger
Want something a little bit more special than your regular mashed spuds? You can’t go wrong with these mashed sweet potatoes.
It starts off the same way as classic recipes. But Feasting At Home’s version involves infusing the butter with shallots, ginger, and garlic before incorporating it with the sweet potatoes. It’s a simple extra step that adds a more prominent savory flavor to the sweet spuds.
And after that, all you need is (lots of) gravy, drumsticks, and some green beans to complete your tasty dinner.
Why we love this recipe: leftovers are great for breakfast – drizzle some maple syrup on top to jazz them up.
Baked mushroom rice
This is probably the easiest rice casserole you’ll ever make.
You don’t need to pre-cook anything – simply place the rice grains and the broth in the baking dish and top everything with mushrooms. As the mushrooms cook, their juices drip onto the rice, making it extra tasty.
And after 35 minutes in the oven, you’ll have perfectly fluffy, flavorful rice, ready to serve with your juicy drumsticks.
Why we love this recipe: this will flood your kitchen with a mouthwatering aroma.
Zucchini and squash casserole
Looking for an indulgent side dish that won’t make you feel too guilty? Try this casserole.
It’s loaded with lots of zucchini and squash, so you’re getting your fill of fiber and vitamins A and C. But the real reason why it’s a guaranteed hit is that the veggies are smothered with a super cheesy sauce that’ll get even the pickiest eater excited.
And if you want to make this even healthier, you can also swap the zucchini and squash with steamed broccoli and cauliflower instead.
Psst… Want a spicy kick? Add cajun spice to the cream sauce.
Why we love this recipe: it’ll make you feel nostalgic.
Pearl couscous with vegetables and apricots
This couscous dish is a tasty side that’ll fill you up without weighing you down.
Instead of simply boiling the couscous, the recipe starts off like a traditional pilaf. The couscous first gets toasted with butter, spices, and dried apricots, then simmered with broth. This results in a more flavorful, aromatic dish.
This dish also has spinach and butternut squash that make it hearty enough on its own, but it’s even better with a side of baked drumsticks to complete the meal.
Why we love this recipe: it celebrates delicious Middle Eastern flavors.
Homemade buttermilk biscuits
Whether deep-frying or roasting your chicken drumsticks, buttermilk biscuits are a must-have (especially if there’s gravy around).
You can easily pop a can of premade dough if you’re in a rush (no judgments here), but nothing beats making these from scratch. The process is simpler than you think, plus you likely already have the ingredients in your pantry.
Pro tip: the trick to getting hundreds of flaky, buttery layers is to flatten and fold the dough instead of rolling it.
Why we love this recipe: it has a 4.80 rating from 400 reviews.
French onion mac and cheese
This recipe takes your typical mac and cheese up a notch by adding elements of French onion soup to the mix.
Golden brown, caramelized onions are swirled with your cheesy bechamel and pasta, infusing both with a lightly sweet, nutty flavor. And to replicate that intense savory goodness you get with French onion soup, Just A Taste also adds bouillon paste to the bechamel base.
This pasta dish’s cheese sauce is so good that you’ll be mopping up it up with your chicken drumsticks!
Why we love this recipe: one bite instantly lifts your mood.
Warm veggie sides
These veggie sides are a middle ground between salads and hearty sides.
They’re not heavy like potatoes or as light as most salads, but they’re super nourishing. Simple steamed veggies will get the job done, but I’ve got a few more exciting options.
Instant pot collard greens
Go full-on Southern and serve your drumsticks with these collard greens.
Traditional recipes require a long and slow cook to infuse the greens with flavor and really soften them up, but this version speeds things up by using an instant pot. As its name suggests, this nifty gadget helps you achieve tender greens and a delicious, concentrated broth in 30 minutes.
Psst…don’t have collard greens? Kale, turnip greens, and chard will still work with this recipe.
Why we love this recipe: it’s effortless.
Did you know you don’t need to fire up the stovetop to steam asparagus spears? You can do it in the microwave instead.
It’s less messy and only takes 3 minutes from start to finish – no need to wait for the water to boil. The key is to ensure your paper towels are damp to achieve a satisfying crisp-tender bite.
Dress these spears with butter and lemon juice before serving them with your drumsticks to give them a little pizazz.
Why we love this recipe: a serving only adds 23 calories to your meal.
Sheet pan roasted veg
Make things easy for yourself and cook everything you need on one tray.
With this recipe, you can roast your vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, and onions) in the same pan as your chicken. Eating Well also includes a recipe for a simple sour cream sauce to accompany the chicken and veg, but I usually skip this when I already have a pot of gravy.
This dish is minimal fuss, minimal work, and best of all, minimal washing up – exactly what you need on busy work nights.
Why we love this recipe: it’s great for both regular and special dinners.
Garlic butter roasted mushrooms
Roasted mushrooms are an easy side dish that pairs superbly with your chicken drumsticks.
They act as a sponge for whatever flavors you cook them with, and this version from RecipeTin Eats goes for classic garlic butter.
But if you want to take these morsels further up a notch, you can add a drizzle of lemon juice plus a sprinkling of chopped thyme for extra freshness and flavor.
Psst… go for large mushrooms so you get more juices to spoon over your drumsticks.
Why we love this recipe: it transforms a simple ingredient into something delicious.
Take a page from French cuisine and whip up this classic ratatouille to go with your drumsticks.
You might be tempted to toss everything in the pot to cook together, but the key to perfecting this dish is searing the veggies individually. It’s extra work, but it ensures the vegetables are perfectly cooked and prevents them from turning mushy.
Why we love this recipe: it’s easily customizable and you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand.
What To Serve With Drumsticks
- 1 portion french-style potato salad
- 1 portion garlic butter roasted mushrooms
- 1 portion buttermilk biscuits
- 1 portion grilled peach and arugula salad
- 1 portion cucumber lemon orzo salad
- 1 portion baked mushroom rice
- … and more
- Prepare your drumsticks according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
- Side dishes include: French-style potato salad, cucumber lemon orzo salad, mashed sweet potatoes with ginger, ratatouille, apple cranberry coleslaw, instant pot collard greens, baked mushroom rice, zucchini and squash casserole, pearl couscous with vegetables and apricots, sheet pan roasted veg, homemade buttermilk biscuits, steamed asparagus, grilled peach and arugula salad, French onion mac and cheese, and garlic butter roasted mushrooms.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!