Chicken and dumplings is one of my favorite comfort foods to serve on rainy days or cold winter nights.
This rich and creamy soup is bursting with so much flavor and texture from the tender chicken, chewy and fluffy dumplings, and crisp vegetables.
Some of my favorite chicken and dumplings are served at Cracker Barrel, the king of comfort food 🙂 But you can also make this rich, creamy dish at home to enjoy with the entire family.
And while this dish is delightful all by itself. Why not transform this hearty bowl of soup into an unforgettable meal with these classic side dishes.
Want to learn what flavors work well with the irresistible soup? Keep reading to find out!
Cornbread and soup make the perfect pair. And that’s doubly true for chicken and dumplings. Soft, buttery cornbread is the perfect tool for soaking up that creamy soup. These two Southern foods are a match made in heaven.
2. Fresh Green Salad
Now, we all know that chicken and dumplings isn’t super healthy or calorie conscious. It’s got some healthy components, but there’s quite a lot of fat from the cream in there, so you may want to pair it with something healthier and lighter.
And what better nutritious side is there than a fresh green salad? Not only is it healthy and delicious, but it also gives the soup a nice crunchy contrast. Plus, it’s so easy to whip up!
You can use whatever greens, nuts, veggies, and cheese you prefer, but I suggest that you coat it in a tart vinaigrette. Chicken and dumplings is already so rich, you’ll want something tangy to cut through that umami flavor.
3. Brussels Sprouts
Would you believe me if I said that I consider Brussels sprouts as comfort food? Sure, I hated them when I was younger, but it’s not their fault!
Now that I’m older, I realize that the secret to sweet, crunchy Brussels sprouts is proper preparation and cooking.
Try roasting them for 20-40 minutes, and I’m sure that like me, you’ll change your mind about it. Oh and did I mention they taste amazing with chicken and dumplings?
4. Green Beans
Aside from being crunchy and nutritious, green beans also offer a nice pop of color to your meal. You can always saute the green beans and call it a day, but they taste even better when flavored with some balsamic vinegar, chicken broth, sugar, onions, and butter. Yum.
5. Fried Okra
Fried okra isn’t only delicious, but it also gives the tender elements in your soup a nice crunchy surprise.
How to prepare the veggie dish? You start by dipping raw okras in cornmeal batter. You then deep fry those bad boys until golden brown. It might seem like a lot of effort, but I promise you, it’s worth it.
6. Grape Salad
Now, here’s another refreshing side that features a stunning fruit. Grapes are not only great for making juice and wine, you know. They also make a great salad that pairs well with chicken and dumplings.
And it’s easy to prepare too. All you need is to blend sour cream, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Coat the grapes with this fantastic mixture and refrigerate for an hour. Top with pecans and brown sugar right before serving.
7. Fried Apples
Sometimes a creamy soup needs a sweet companion to balance out its richness. For me, nothing works better than a simple dish of fried apples. Not only does it give a sweet contrast to the soup, but also a nice crunch.
Plus, you don’t need to be a kitchen expert to pull this off. Just combine sliced apples with sugar (either brown or white) in a skillet. Let it cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the apples from sticking to the pan.
Add more sugar and cinnamon and cook for 5 more minutes, and voilá! A deliciously sweet side.
8. Corn Pudding
Other than fried apples, corn pudding also makes a sweet pairing with chicken and dumplings. This corny custard is smooth, milky, creamy, and downright delicious. Its mild sweetness cuts through the richness of the soup, giving you a well-balanced meal.
9. Brownies a la Mode
Now, if you’re a sweet tooth like me, there’s no way you’ll end a meal without some dessert. I like an equally comforting dessert with chicken and dumplings. And what screams comfort food more than brownies a la mode?
Just think about it – a warm, moist, and decadent brownie topped with a scoop of cold and sweet vanilla ice cream.
The combination of hot and cold gives you a wonderful explosion in the mouth! Doesn’t that sound like the perfect way to end a meal?
10. Chocolate Mousse
There’s nothing like a decadent dessert to end a rich and creamy dinner.
Another sweet treat that screams decadence is chocolate mousse. What I love the most is how it tastes amazing no matter how you prepare it. Whether it’s light and airy or thick and creamy, it’s still fantastic.
11. Banana Pudding
If you’re not a fan of chocolate, though, there are other sweet ways to round out your chicken and dumplings dinner.
One fabulous way is to serve and enjoy some banana pudding. It’s a sweet and refreshing dessert made with layers of custard, cookies, and ripe bananas. A wonderful way to round out your amazing dinner.
12. Fruit Salad
Now, if you’re feeling a little guilty about serving a sinful dessert, this last option is the one for you. Just slice up your favorite fruits, such as peaches, mangoes, and grapes, throw them into a bowl and you’re all set!
You can also drizzle some honey or syrup over the fruits to give them some extra sweetness. I like adding Greek yogurt to mine too for a little tartness.