Make more satisfying side dishes for fried chicken by taking cues from these trending recipes! Trade goopy, flavorless mashed potatoes and soggy coleslaw for viral hits like smashed potatoes, mayo ramen, and corn ribs. Discover your new favorites below.
These recipes take the best side dishes for fried chicken and dial them up to 100. Can't quit mashed potatoes? Try them with an umami-packed mushroom gravy. Love chicken and waffles? Just wait until you try the croffle.
1. Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
When you’re thinking of side dish ideas for fried chicken, mashed potatoes probably appear first on your list, too. There are numerous ways to elevate your basic mash, i.e., by adding mayo for richness. And to make your potatoes even more “extra,” you can always finish them with homemade mushroom gravy.
Try this recipe by @plantbasedschool: it has 7M views – a testament to people’s love of mushrooms. You can simplify the gravy-making process further by using a packet of Knorr Cream of Mushroom Soup instead of flour, broth, and soy sauce. You still get all the flavor and creaminess you're after, but with less effort.
2. Smashed Potatoes
Do you prefer crunchy potatoes over creamy ones? Give smashed potatoes a whirl. TikTok creator @plantyou was one of the first to get everyone hooked. In her recipe, Carleigh Bodrug boils potatoes until cooked (skins on for a crispy crust!), then lays them out on a tray for smashing. Then, she pops them in the oven and lets them cook until golden. These potatoes are good as is, but Bodrug serves them with another trending recipe – the Green Goddess salad dip. It’s vibrant, tangy, and perfect with crisp, buttery potatoes.
3. Corn Ribs
As the seven-year-old Tariq (famously known as “Corn Kid”) proclaims in his viral video, “It’s corn! A big lump with knobs!” Obviously, everyone loves corn on the cob, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it better. That’s where this recipe comes in. Originated by TikTok user @spicednice, corn ribs are essentially cobs sliced into rib-like pieces. Season them liberally with spices, bake or air-fry until golden, and serve with chipotle-lime mayo. Yum.
A “croffle” is the lovechild of a croissant and a waffle. It first blew up in the South Korean restaurant scene sometime in 2018 and has remained a breakfast staple ever since. If you love sweet and savory pairings, having a buttery, flaky croffle with your fried chicken would be the obvious choice. You can also go the classic American soul food route and opt for regular waffles instead. Whatever you do, don’t forget to douse your plate in lots of maple syrup.
5. Creamy Ramyun
Instant ramen is ubiquitous on social media. Everyone has a soft spot for these noodles – especially when they’re swimming in a creamy broth or sauce. One of the most-viewed versions is the mayo-egg ramen by @yumyumpiglet. It’s a simple concoction of Korean ramyun, raw egg, mayonnaise, spring onions, and minced garlic. The final dish is deeply savory, a little spicy, and oh-so-rich. Just like something you might order in a ramen shop with a side of karaage!
6. Fried Rice
Fun fact: the Philippines is one of the few countries where the fried chicken chain KFC serves rice. Pinoys love plain white rice with any ulam, but if you want your meal to be extra special, pair yours with fried rice instead. TikTok has no shortage of viral recipes for this stir-fried staple, so just take your pick. Try a “better-than-takeout "egg fried rice, buttery garlic rice, or kimchi fried rice (great for Korean-style fried chicken!).
7. Cucumber-tomato Salad
For a light-and-fresh option that can cut through the greasiness of your chicken, make room for @mommagcooks’ “favorite salad.” The keto-friendly summer salad is a colorful mix of chopped and seasoned cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions, dressed in a quick vinaigrette. If you want a salad with more pizzazz, try the “Bella Hadid salad,” shared by the fashion model herself. It has arugula, Parmesan, and avocado for a more varied flavor profile.
Which side dishes for fried chicken will make it into your menu? These options can also work as accoutrements for other mains, like deep-fried fish fillets or grilled pork. Try them out to find what could work best for your homemade meals!