Have you heard of poppy seed chicken?
Poppy Seed Chicken is a traditional Polish recipe widely popular in most European countries, especially Poland itself.
The distinctive flavor of this dish comes from honey-based marinade and several secret herbs.
It tastes sweet but also savory at the same time.
What might seem original about this meal is its presentation and serving style.
It’s cooked in crockery, like a stew over the fire or a stove.
This dish is usually served with mashed potatoes or polenta.
What else to serve poppy seed chicken with? The possibilities are endless; you can serve it over rice or noodles, but the traditional side dish is mashed potato or polenta.
To help you decide what to choose, here are the eight best sides that go perfectly well with this meal.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Poppy Seed Chicken?
First and foremost, consider serving side dishes for Poppy Seed Chicken to make the meal more flavorful and filling.
Side dishes include anything served alongside the main course to add flavor and texture.
A simple chicken dish like Poppy Seed Chicken is already delicious on its own; however, it can be made even more delicious with complementary side dishes.
Another good reason for serving side dishes with Poppy Seed Chicken is to make the meal more filling.
If you serve a significant portion of plain chicken as your main dish, you may find yourself hungry quickly and craving something else shortly after dinner.
However, if you add at least one other component to your meal, even just a small one like a salad or some mashed potatoes, you’ll feel full and content for longer after completing your meal.
What to Serve with Poppy Seed Chicken? 8 BEST Side Dishes
Here are eight of the best side dishes to serve with poppy seed chicken:
1 – Green Beans and Carrots
If you need something quick and easy, these veggies go perfectly with any poultry dish.
They’re also a great way to get children (or significant picky others) to eat their vegetables without complaining too much about it.
To prepare, saute the veggies until tender and then top them with a few teaspoons of poppy seed sauce or other chicken gravy.
For an even easier side dish, try canned green beans and carrots instead.
You can also add a little salt and pepper if you like, but they’re fine by themselves.
2 – Rice Pilaf
Rather than plain white or brown rice, try serving your next Poppy Seed Chicken with rice pilaf.
The slightly nutty flavor of the rice pairs well with poppy seed chicken for an exciting change from regular sides.
Also, rice is an excellent alternative to potatoes, especially if you need a gluten-free dish.
To make rice pilaf:
- Saute some chopped onion in oil until golden brown, and then add your favorite kind of white or brown rice.
- Pour in chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil before reducing it to low heat for about half an hour.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and top with extra poppy seeds if desired.
3 – Spinach Salad
This salad isn’t just delicious because it tastes excellent with Poppy Seed Chicken.
It’s also packed with vitamins, iron, antioxidants, and other healthy nutrients that are great for the body.
Other leafy greens like kale or romaine lettuce also work well.
To make a spinach salad, combine baby spinach leaves with mushrooms, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, apples or pears (or any other fruit you want), shredded cheese, and a low-calorie dressing like olive oil and vinegar.
You can also add in some chopped nuts or seeds for an extra crunch.
4 – French Fries
If you’re not eating your Poppy Seed Chicken with rice pilaf, mashed potatoes, or any other starch, then try serving it with French fries instead.
We all know that potatoes are delicious, but if you pick the right type, they can also be a healthy side dish.
Sweet potato fries, for example, are low in calories and loaded with nutrients like potassium and vitamin C.
Other good options include regularly baked or mashed potatoes as well as roasted rosemary parsnips or sweet potatoes.
All three of these sides taste great with chicken and are also lower in fat than French fries or other fried sides.
5 – Mashed Potatoes
As mentioned earlier, mashed potatoes are another excellent option for serving alongside Poppy Seed Chicken.
Even though they’re usually made with milk and butter, you can lighten them up by using healthier ingredients like almond milk or low-fat Greek yogurt instead.
You can also lose the butter completely.
Either way, mashed potatoes are excellent comfort food that goes great with any poultry dish.
If you’re feeling extra adventurous, try making some garlic mashed potatoes or go the traditional route and make classic smashed red skin potatoes instead.
6 – Pasta Salad
This tasty side dish is perfect for summer barbecues because it’s light, refreshing, and easy to make.
Though it’s usually made with macaroni noodles, you can use any pasta you want.
Rainbow rotini looks incredibly delicious next to poppy seed chicken.
To make a simple pasta salad, cook your preferred type of pasta al dente and then rinse it with cold water before tossing it in a medium bowl with cucumber slices, red onion, tomatoes, bell pepper, and either classic Italian dressing or another type of vinaigrette.
Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.
7 – Coleslaw
Though it’s typically made with cabbage, you can also use different types of veggies in coleslaw if that’s what you have on hand.
You can even use a combination of veggies for extra flavor and nutrition.
Some good options include carrots, fennel, green pepper, or celery.
Combine all of your chopped vegetables with red onion, parsley leaves (or another herb), and either Greek yogurt or mayonnaise to make coleslaw dressing.
You can also add in some honey or dijon mustard for extra flavor and then season with pepper to taste.
8 – Oven Roasted Veggies
If you want more veggies with your Poppy Seed Chicken, then double the amount that you serve.
You can roast practically any type of vegetable in the oven, but some good ones to try to include cherry tomatoes, broccoli florets, bell pepper slices, or asparagus spears.
Just toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then bake at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the veggies become tender and slightly crispy.
You can also baste them with your favorite sauce halfway through cooking to give them extra flavor.
If desired, sprinkle with some shredded cheese to make them even better.
In conclusion, poppy seed chicken is an excellent meal on its own, but you can make it even better by serving it with one of these eight delicious side dishes.
Not only are they great for your waistline, but they also help you eat more veggies and keep your palate entertained.
They’re all relatively easy to make (and none of them require any fancy kitchen equipment), so give one (or more) a try the next time you want something fast yet healthy with your dinner.