What To Serve With Bourbon Chicken (30+ BEST Pairings!)

Bourbon chicken, with its succulent pieces of chicken glazed in a rich sauce that echoes the smoky sweetness of bourbon whiskey, is a beloved dish that invites a variety of complementary sides.

Named after Bourbon Street in New Orleans, and of course its whiskey component, it’s a predominately Asian recipe with a Cajun twist, and it’s often found on the menu in American Chinese restaurants, Southern food joints, and even shopping mall eateries. 

Just need some quick side dish inspiration? 

I’ve got you covered! 

The tastiest options for what to serve with bourbon chicken include basmati rice, wild rice, mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, quinoa, steamed broccoli, coleslaw, rocket salad, stir fried noodles, angel hair pasta, cornbread, and garlic bread. 

Let’s take a look at some more ideas… 

bourbon chicken

Core Components

When planning the perfect meal around bourbon chicken, you need to consider the main flavours of the dish and how they’ll pair with your chosen sides.

Bourbon Chicken Essentials

Bourbon chicken is known for its sweet and tangy sauce, featuring a mixture of bourbon, brown sugar, and spices.

The chicken itself is typically marinated, then pan-seared or grilled to achieve a caramelised outer layer that locks in moisture.

Starchy Sides

Starchy sides are the perfect companions to the rich and flavourful bourbon chicken. They absorb the sauce well and balance the meal.

Rice Varieties

You have a plethora of rice options to complement your bourbon chicken.

Basmati rice is light and fragrant, making it a delightful choice.

For something stickier, consider jasmine rice, which is superb for soaking up all that delicious sauce.

  • Basmati Rice: Aromatic and light
  • Jasmine Rice: Sticky and perfect for sauces
  • Brown Rice: Nuttier and healthier option
  • Wild Rice Mix: Adds a rustic touch

brown rice

Potato Dishes

Potatoes are a hearty choice to serve alongside bourbon chicken, providing comfort and satisfaction.

  • Mashed Potatoes: Smooth and buttery, a classic side
  • Roasted Potatoes: Crispy outside, tender inside
  • Potato Wedges: Seasoned and baked to perfection

roast potatoes

Quinoa and Couscous Options

For a healthier twist or to cater to those looking for gluten-free alternatives, quinoa and couscous are excellent choices.

  • Quinoa: High in protein and with a unique texture
  • Couscous: Tiny pearls of pasta that are light and fluffy

Quinoa and couscous effortlessly absorb the flavoursome bourbon sauce, making each bite a delight.

(Love chicken dishes, and trying out new flavour combinations? You’ll also enjoy sides for tandoori chicken, and sides for blackened chicken!) 


Vegetable Accompaniments

Veggie side dishes are a great choice for what to serve with bourbon chicken, bringing balance and colour to your plate, as well as some goodness to your diet! 

Steamed Vegetables

Steaming vegetables preserves their natural flavour and nutrition.

Try these:

  • Broccoli: A classic choice that pairs well with the savoury-sweet sauce of bourbon chicken.
  • Green Beans: Their slight crunch complements the tender chicken.

roasted broccoli


A salad can add a vibrant touch to your meal with freshness and colour.

  • Coleslaw: The creamy, tangy flavour cuts through the richness of the chicken.
  • Rocket Salad: Peppery rocket with a simple vinaigrette offers a sharp, zingy contrast.

korean slaw

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables develop a sweet, caramelised exterior which goes wonderfully with bourbon chicken.

  • Carrots: Roast until tender and garnish with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
  • Butternut Squash: The subtle sweetness matches the bourbon glaze’s profile.

glazed carrots

Noodle Dishes

Noodle dishes complement bourbon chicken by absorbing its rich, savoury sauce.

Here are a few specific noodle concepts to pair with your meal.

Asian-Inspired Noodles

For a harmonious pairing with bourbon chicken, try stir-fried noodles like chow mein.

The bold flavours of the chicken meld well with the umami of soy sauce and the crunch of stir-fried vegetables.

Here’s a simple guide:

  • Ingredients: Stir-fry noodles, vegetables (carrots, bell peppers, bean sprouts), soy sauce, sesame oil.
  • Preparation:
    1. Boil noodles until al dente.
    2. Stir-fry vegetables in sesame oil.
    3. Add cooked noodles and soy sauce to the pan.
    4. Toss everything together until well-coated.

Soba noodles offer a nuttier flavour and are great served cold or warm.

Dress them with a light sesame dressing to ensure they don’t overpower the main dish.

stir fried noodles

Italian-Inspired Pasta

If you fancy a Western twist, reach for Italian-inspired pasta.

A dish like garlic parmesan angel hair pasta will mellow out the intense flavours:

  • Ingredients: Angel hair pasta, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, parsley.
  • Preparation:
    1. Cook angel hair pasta until al dente.
    2. Sauté garlic in olive oil until aromatic.
    3. Toss pasta with garlic oil and a generous sprinkle of Parmesan.
    4. Garnish with chopped parsley.

A simple fettuccine lightly tossed in olive oil and herbs can be just as effective, allowing the complex taste of the bourbon chicken to shine.

angel hair pasta


When selecting bread to accompany bourbon chicken, you’re looking for something that complements its rich and savoury flavour.

Here are a few types of bread that will do just that.


Cornbread is a classic Southern choice that pairs wonderfully with bourbon chicken.

Its slightly sweet taste and crumbly texture can balance the bold flavours of the chicken.

  • Texture: Crumbly
  • Flavour: Sweet and buttery

(Do you enjoy Southern cuisine? Take a look at what to eat with biscuits and gravy, and what to eat with Cajun chicken for more inspiration!) 


Dinner Rolls

Soft and fluffy dinner rolls are perfect for mopping up the delicious sauce from bourbon chicken.

They’re a versatile option for a comforting meal.

  • Texture: Soft and light
  • Flavour: Mild with a buttery finish

Garlic Bread

Crispy on the outside and soft inside, garlic bread with its aromatic flavour enhances the experience of the bourbon chicken, adding a punch of garlic that works well with the savoury qualities of the sauce.

  • Texture: Crisp crust, soft center
  • Flavour: Rich garlic, often with herbs such as parsley

garlic bread

Unique Pairings

When you’re looking to complement your bourbon chicken, think outside the box with unique pairings that can elevate your dining experience.

These suggestions are simple yet unexpected, adding a delightful twist to your meal.

Fruit Salsas

Fruit salsas offer a refreshing counterpoint to the rich, savoury flavours of bourbon chicken.

Here are a couple of delectable combinations to consider:

  • Mango & Red Pepper Salsa: Combine diced mango, red bell pepper, red onion, and coriander. Add a splash of lime juice for zest.
  • Pineapple & Cucumber Salsa: Mix chopped pineapple and cucumber with sliced spring onions and a hint of chilli for a sweet and spicy kick.

pineapple and cucumber salsa

Cheese Plates

A cheese plate can serve as an excellent accompaniment, providing a creamy texture and a contrasting taste profile.

To pair with your dish:

  • Smoked Gouda: This cheese’s smoky depth complements the bourbon-infused sauce beautifully.
  • Aged Cheddar: Opt for a mature cheddar to balance the sweetness of the chicken with its sharp, tangy notes.

Dessert Suggestions

After enjoying the rich flavours of bourbon chicken, a well-chosen dessert can be the perfect ending to your meal.

Here are some of the best choices for sweet treats when considering what to serve with bourbon chicken… 

Simple Sweets

If you’re looking for an effortless dessert that complements the bold taste of bourbon chicken without overshadowing it, consider these options:

  • Fresh Fruit Salad: A mixture of seasonal fruits can provide a refreshing contrast. Serve with a drizzle of honey for extra sweetness.
  • Lemon Sorbet: The zesty flavour can cleanse the palate and provide a light, uplifting finish.

fruit salad

Decadent Desserts

For those who desire something richer, these desserts are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth:

  • Chocolate Brownies: Dense and fudgy, chocolate brownies are a crowd-pleaser. Add pecans for a textural surprise.
  • Bread and Butter Pudding: A classic British dessert with a creamy custard and a golden-brown crust that offers comfort in every bite.


Beverage Pairings

Choosing the right drink to complement your bourbon chicken can enhance your dining experience.

The rich, savoury flavors of the sauce pair well with a variety of beverages.

Non-Alcoholic Beverages

When opting for a non-alcoholic drink, consider something that balances the sweetness and spice of bourbon chicken.

  • Iced Tea: A classic choice, unsweetened iced tea offers a refreshing counterpoint to the dish’s bold flavours.
  • Sparkling Water: Add a slice of lemon or lime to a chilled glass of sparkling water for a fizzy drink that cleanses the palate.

Alcoholic Companions

If you prefer an alcoholic option, select a drink that stands up to the robustness of the chicken without overwhelming it.

  • Red Wine: A medium-bodied red, such as Merlot, can complement the dish’s rich sauce.
  • Beer: A crisp lager will cut through the sweetness and refresh your taste buds after each bite.

As you can see, there are so many delicious options when it comes to what to serve with bourbon chicken! 

Which of these side dishes will you be serving alongside your main course? 

Share your thoughts in the comments section below! 

The BEST Side Dishes for Bourbon Chicken!

A collection of the best sides and pairings to serve alongside your bold and flavoursome bourbon chicken.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Cajun
Servings: 1


  • 1 serving bourbon chicken


  • Prepare your bourbon chicken, according to your favourite recipe.
  • Select your side dishes, and prepare. Great choices include basmati rice, wild rice, mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, quinoa, steamed broccoli, coleslaw, rocket salad, stir fried noodles, angel hair pasta, cornbread, and garlic bread. 
  • Serve your meal, and enjoy!