An excellent way to prepare chicken is by flavoring it with lemon pepper seasoning. When it penetrates deep into the juicy meat, the chicken is imbibed with citrusy notes, subtle spice, and savory tastes. Lemon pepper chicken also has an irresistible aroma that wafts through the air, tempting everyone in the room.
Aside from the incredible flavor and smell, lemon pepper chicken stands out for its versatility. You can serve it with salads, pasta, and rice. But if you want to bring some nutrients and fresh flavors to the table, check out these 12 healthy and tasty veggie sides for lemon pepper chicken.
Rice is an excellent side dish for saucy foods like lemon pepper chicken because it absorbs and disperses rich flavors. But if you want to keep your carb intake low, swap it for vibrant and healthy broccoli rice! This recipe transforms the florets into cilantro lime broccoli rice, whose zesty and savory flavors match those of the lemon pepper chicken.
Compared to broccoli, cauliflower is the more popular rice alternative, mainly because it’s been tried and tested by those following low-carb or keto diets. The cauliflower rice also has a plain flavor, much like authentic rice. Thus, it’s a perfect canvas that takes in rich sauces, like those in lemon pepper chicken. Preparation takes only 15 minutes, especially if you use a food processor to break down the veggie.
Spinach rice or spanakorizo is not a rice alternative; it even has white grains! Instead, this Greek recipe combines basmati and spinach to elevate leftover white rice into a healthier and more flavorful side dish. Aside from the spinach, other ingredients are included to introduce more layers of flavor, such as acidity from the lemon juice, herby tastes from dill, and savoriness from the chicken bouillon.
The cauliflower rice above is impressive, but if you want to keep the florets from getting blitzed, roast them instead! These lemon garlic roasted cauliflower comes out with a caramelized look and taste, bringing out this veggie’s subtle and underrated flavors. Moreover, hints of citrus, garlic, red pepper spice, and parmesan cheese complement your lemon pepper chicken’s taste profile.
People love to serve saucy and creamy lemon chicken pepper with pasta because the noodles absorb the flavor. But should you give up such a fantastic combo if you must cut back on carbs or gluten? Good news – you don’t have to because you can have zoodles or zucchini noodles instead! To achieve that al dente texture, you can eat raw, microwaved, lightly sauteed, or quickly boiled your zoodles.
Asparagus is a go-to vegetable side dish for many protein meals, from steaks to chicken. But to match the flavors of your lemon pepper chicken, this lemon-roasted asparagus is the best choice. The bright and zesty flavors you love about that chicken recipe are intensified as two dishes – side and entree – provide citrusy notes. Roasting also caramelizes the veggie and keeps the texture perfectly crisp-tender.
There are many potato types; the most well-known are the yellow ones, such as Yukon gold. However, red potatoes also have much to bring to the table, such as vitamins, fewer carbs, thin skin, creaminess, and subtle sweetness. It also stands out for its waxy center and firm texture after oven roasting. But if you want a more tender, fluffier potato, parboil it before roasting!
Mashed potatoes are classic and fabulous, but these smashed potatoes are nothing like it. The crispy skin, buttery flavor, and tender flesh make it a fun little treat. They’re like French fries in quality, but the look is more rustic than straightly cut frites. The best potatoes for this recipe are small to medium ones – you can even use baby potatoes to nail down that bite-sized portion!
Long, thin, crispy skin, tender insides – sounds like French fries, but these are roasted green beans! This healthy and delicious side dish shares many qualities with asparagus and potato fries while ensuring its unique and sweet flavor. It makes an excellent pair for lemon pepper chicken!
10. Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash may sound like a bizarre, made-up vegetable, but it’s real! It’s named as such because it can be cooked and scraped into long, spaghetti-like strands. This distinctive feature has transformed it into a common pasta alternative. Since lemon pepper chicken is fantastic with pasta, it’ll do great with spaghetti squash, too! The bright, golden color also makes your meal pop out better.
11. Glazed Carrots
If you need some sweetness with lemon pepper chicken, serve it with these glazed carrots. This simple recipe draws out the best qualities of cooked carrots: their tender textures and subtle sweetness highlighted by caramelization. The brown sugar glaze then intensifies that sweetness while contributing a pleasant buttery taste. You can also swap the brown sugar for maple syrup for a unique flavor.
Protein on a bed of mashed vegetables is a timeless way to serve food and make the meal feel a bit fancy. It’s also a bonus that such a side dish is excellent for absorbing sauces, which is great for lemon pepper chicken. While mashed potatoes are the classic choice, a healthier alternative is creamy mashed cauliflower. It’s also delicious but with much fewer carbs.