It’s a staple of summer cookouts and backyard barbecues, but let’s face it: plain grilled chicken can be a bit boring.
That’s where sauces come in!
A good sauce can take your grilled chicken from ordinary to extraordinary, adding flavour, texture, and colour to your dish.
But with so many sauces out there, it can be hard to know which ones to choose.
In this article, we’ll explore the best sauces to pair with grilled chicken, from classic barbecue sauce to more adventurous options like chimichurri and teriyaki.
We’ll also give you tips on how to make your own sauces at home, so you can customise them to your liking and impress your guests with your culinary skills.
Let’s get stuck in!
Just want to grab a few ideas and head straight back to the kitchen?
Here’s a quick list of some of the best sauces to serve with grilled chicken…
Keep reading for more ideas, plus instructions and recipes for making your own sauces at home.
One of the most popular sauces for grilled chicken is, of course, barbecue sauce.
This tangy, sweet, and smoky sauce is a classic staple for grilled meats, and it goes incredibly well with chicken.
You can either buy your favourite store-bought barbecue sauce or make your own from scratch.
This barbecue sauce recipe is lusciously thick, made with simple ingredients, and ready in just ten minutes.
Brush it onto your chicken during the last few minutes of grilling, and remember to give it a lovely charred, caramelised finish.
Another beloved sauce for grilled chicken is honey mustard.
This creamy and sweet sauce, made from a blend of honey and mustard, complements the flavour of the chicken wonderfully.
To make your own honey mustard sauce, simply whisk together equal parts honey and your chosen mustard – Dijon works well here, but wholegrain or a classic yellow mustard can also be used.
Adjust the ingredients to your taste, and serve the sauce on the side or drizzle over your grilled chicken for a truly mouth-watering dish.
If you’re looking for something with a bit more zing, try a Dijon mustard sauce.
This rich and creamy sauce combines mayonnaise, sour cream, Dijon mustard, honey, and garlic, creating a delicious and tangy flavour that pairs well with grilled chicken.
To make the sauce, simply whisk together the ingredients and serve along with your chicken.
The sharpness of the mustard and the creaminess of the mayonnaise and sour cream create a perfect balance, giving your grilled chicken an added depth of flavour.
Teriyaki sauce is a another favourite for grilled chicken, particularly among fans of Japanese cuisine.
This sweet and savoury sauce is made from soy sauce, sugar or honey, mirin, and sake or rice vinegar.
To make the sauce, simply combine the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until it reaches a thicker consistency.
Brush the teriyaki sauce onto your chicken as it cooks, allowing the flavours to meld and create a caramelised, sticky glaze.
A classic and versatile choice for grilled chicken is a simple lemon butter sauce.
You’ll need just 5 ingredients and everything comes together in just a couple of minutes, so it’s perfect for busy weeknights when you want something quick and easy, but with a little sophistication!
Add a green side salad, and you’ve got a vibrant and well balanced meal that’s ideal for when you have guests visiting.
Another delicious option is pesto.
This flavourful and aromatic sauce is made from fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil.
You can make it from scratch or buy it at your local grocery store.
The freshness of the basil and the nuttiness of the pine nuts complement your grilled chicken perfectly, giving it a fresh and earthy taste that will leave your taste buds craving more.
A white wine sauce is an elegant and delectable way to dress up your grilled chicken.
Start by sautéing onions and garlic in some butter, then deglaze the pan with a generous splash of white wine.
Let the mixture reduce, then add in some chicken broth and a touch of cream, and season to taste.
The acidity from the wine, combined with the richness of the cream, creates a luxurious sauce that pairs exceptionally well with the chargrilled flavour of your chicken.
A creamy mushroom sauce adds a touch of indulgence to your grilled chicken.
Start by sautéing sliced mushrooms until they’re golden brown and aromatic. Then, add some garlic and fresh thyme, followed by a splash of white wine or chicken broth to deglaze the pan.
Stir in some cream, allowing the sauce to thicken before serving.
This rich and delicious sauce is a fantastic companion to grilled chicken, as the earthy flavour of the mushrooms melds beautifully with the smoky aromas you get from the grill.
Grilling chicken is always a great idea, but sometimes it could use a little boost from some tasty condiments and dressings.
Let’s jump into some popular ones that can elevate your grilled chicken dishes.
One of the most popular and versatile condiments is mayonnaise.
You’d be surprised just how well this creamy and rich condiment complements grilled chicken.
You can simply spread a layer of mayonnaise on your chicken sandwich, or mix it with other ingredients to create unique and flavourful sauces.
For instance, mix mayo with garlic, lemon juice, and black pepper to prepare a delicious garlic sauce that pairs perfectly with your grilled chicken.
To make your own garlic sauce, you’ll need:
Simply mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, and you’ve got yourself a wonderful garlic sauce to accompany your grilled chicken.
Ketchup is another classic condiment that can add a tangy and sweet flavour to your grilled chicken dishes.
A simple tomato ketchup can be used as a dipping sauce for chicken wings or as a topping for your grilled chicken burger.
Additionally, you can expand the flavour profile of ketchup by combining it with other ingredients like honey, mustard, or hot sauce, creating a versatile sauce that caters to your taste preferences.
Mix ketchup with honey and a dash of soy sauce for a quick and easy sweet and savoury glaze that works wonders on your grilled chicken.
For a more refreshing and zesty dressing, try gremolata sauce.
This Italian mixture of lemon zest, garlic, and parsley adds a bright, fresh taste to grilled chicken while keeping it light and healthy.
Gremolata sauce is an excellent choice for a warm summer day or a light lunch option.
To make classic gremolata sauce, you’ll need:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir well.
Simply spoon this vibrant sauce over your grilled chicken or use it as a marinade for an extra burst of flavour.
When it comes to adding some heat and zest to your grilled chicken, there are a variety of sauces that can elevate your dish. In this section, we will explore three popular options: Aji Amarillo, Buffalo Wing Sauce, and Chimichurri Sauce.
Aji Amarillo is a Peruvian yellow chilli pepper sauce, known for its unique tangy and spicy flavour. To make your own Aji Amarillo sauce, you will need:
Simply blend these ingredients together to create a vibrant sauce that is excellent for marinating your chicken or as a dipping sauce.
The heat from Aji Amarillo pairs well with the smoky flavours from grilled chicken, and the tangy lime juice adds a refreshing contrast.
A classic choice for spicing up your grilled chicken is Buffalo Wing Sauce, a rich and zesty concoction traditionally used on fried chicken wings. To make this sauce, all you need are:
Combine and cook these ingredients together until the sauce thickens. Then slather it onto your freshly grilled chicken for a delicious and spicy kick.
This sauce acts as an excellent glaze for your chicken, and the buttery richness adds a comforting touch to your dish.
Originating from Argentina, Chimichurri Sauce is a herbaceous and zesty sauce that works wonders with grilled chicken.
Prepare your chimichurri by combining:
Finely chop the herbs and garlic and mix with the remaining ingredients.
The vibrant green colour and fresh flavours of Chimichurri Sauce complement the charred taste of grilled chicken, making for a delightful and balanced meal.
Drizzle it over your chicken or use it as a marinade before grilling.
By incorporating these spicy and zesty sauces into your grilled chicken dishes, you can create mouth-watering meals that you and your guests will love.
If you’re looking to add a bit of excitement to your grilled chicken, why not try a delicious peanut sauce?
This rich, savoury blend of flavours is sure to please your taste buds.
For a quick and easy to follow recipe, try this 5-minute peanut sauce. You’ll want to make it again and again, and it also works wonderfully with salads, noodles, spring rolls, and stir fries.
For a change from the usual barbecue sauce, give white barbecue sauce a try.
Originating from Alabama, this tangy sauce is a delightful combination of mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon juice, and spices like black pepper, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder.
The creaminess and tang of the sauce accentuate the flavour of your grilled chicken, while the spice adds an exciting kick.
This versatile sauce also pairs well with other grilled meats and vegetables, so don’t be afraid to get creative in your kitchen!
For a healthy and flavourful twist, try topping your grilled chicken with a roasted vegetable sauce.
Begin by roasting an assortment of your favourite vegetables, such as bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and zucchini.
Once they’re tender and slightly charred, blend them together with some olive oil, fresh herbs like basil or parsley, and a splash of balsamic vinegar for added acidity.
This roasted vegetable sauce offers a wonderful contrast of flavours and textures when paired with juicy grilled chicken, and you can even use the leftovers as a dip or spread for sandwiches.
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