What Dessert Goes With Fried Chicken?

Have you ever been planning a tasty Sunday dinner of crispy fried chicken and struggled to come up with a complimentary dessert? Should it be rich in sweetness or something to sit lightly in the stomach after that heavy meal? Well, we've eaten our way through the research and have spoonfuls of satisfying answers for you!

You can certainly dig into whatever sweet treat your heart desires. However, several popular desserts pair well with the crunchy saltiness of fried chicken. These include, but are not limited to:

  • banana pudding
  • peach cobbler
  • berry sorbet
  • sweet potato pie
  • monkey bread
  • key lime pie

So, why do each of these desserts balance so nicely with your poultry? What sides go well with fried chicken? How do you pair desserts with the main course? Continue reading for delightful tips on how to end your dinner on the perfect sweet note!

Fried chicken in a basket on a wooden floor, What Dessert Goes With Fried Chicken?

Recommended desserts for a fried chicken dinner

Banana pudding

Delicious dessert with banana slices and cookie crumbs

One of the most popular classic desserts around, banana pudding, is a light, delicious treat that cuts the fried chicken's oily after-effect. It's served cold, so it is very refreshing on a hot day. The key ingredients are pudding, vanilla wafer cookies, ripened bananas, and whipped cream. Not only are the main items cheap and simple to find, but you can easily make this dessert in large amounts. It's a family reunion star!

Peach cobbler

An overhead close up of a peach and rhubarb cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a white bowl

Because fried foods are such heavy meals, fruit-based desserts like peach cobbler are a great option. Cobblers are baked desserts with a biscuit-like crust partially covering the fruit and minimal amounts of extra sugar. Made with fresh ripe peaches rather than canned; you'll get a clean, natural-tasting sweetness to help wash down that lardy poultry. A small scoop of chilled ice cream is often added to the serving bowl as a finishing touch. If you don't like peaches, you can replace them with apples, cherries, blueberries, or blackberries!

  • Visit Cooking Classy for a juicy guide to whipping up the perfect Peach Cobbler.
  • Straight from the heart of Texas, House of Yumm's Homemade Peach Cobbler recipe sounds drool-worthy.

Berry sorbet

Fruit and berry ice cream in a large beautiful glass decorated with leaves of mint and scoop, surrounded by ice cubes on black stone background

A properly made sorbet is a revitalizing, tart burst of chilled berries and spices. They're terrific for cleansing the palate of the grease from your fried chicken dinner. Similar to the consistency of ice cream, this frozen concoction is healthier, as it contains no milk, egg, or cream. Much of the sweetness comes from the fruit used, which is normally strawberry, blueberry, or raspberry. Mixing in lemon juice adds a nice, crisp zest to your bite. You can get creative with herbs like basil, mint, and rosemary, as well.

Sweet potato pie

Homemade festive sweet potato pie for thanksgiving

Sweet potato pie is made from its namesake's starchy root vegetable. Sweet potatoes have a natural sweetness and creamy texture that makes them a shoo-in for turning into a pie filling. After eating that poultry gut-bomb, the fiber, potassium, and vitamins A and D are valuable nutrients beneficial to your system- even if they're from an exquisite dessert! These pies are commonly flavored with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and sometimes ginger.

Monkey bread

Easter dessert of pull apart carrot cake monkey bread

If your dinner party is full of sugar junkies and you're looking for a hardcore dessert to please their taste buds, monkey bread may be just the thing. They're a warm, gooey treat reminiscent of cinnamon rolls. It is a perfect complement to fried chicken's saltiness because it is full of sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Many are even drizzled over with vanilla icing. You'll probably need a nap afterward, but it's all so satisfying!

Key lime pie

Key lime pie on a marble table

Key lime pie is silky-smooth and will sit in your stomach a bit easier than monkey bread. Both citrusy and sweet with its graham cracker crust and lime-infused filling, it possesses an invigorating taste. Wake those taste buds up with this tart treat after your fried foods for a refreshing final course. Your belly will be appeased.

How do you pair desserts with a main course?

You can use some basic guidelines to help when it comes to pairing your entree with a pleasing dessert. First, always try to account for the individual preferences of anyone you may be cooking for. Taste is subjective. This means it's a different experience for each of us. You definitely want it to be satisfying, so the meal ends on a happy note!

Try to pick items that complement the flavors present in the main course. For example, fried chicken tends to be rich and salty. So, a dessert that's light and not overly sweet is a great option. Although, again, it boils down to what satisfies that sweet tooth.

Use contrasting elements. Differences in textures, colors, and temperatures can be appealing. When you have a hot entree, following that up with a cool final course is natural. Since fried foods are crunchy, grab a creamy dessert. Opposites attract!

What is the most popular dessert in America?

Although the saying "American as apple pie" has become iconic, it doesn't win out as the nation's favorite sweet treat. In fact, there is no single dessert owning that title. Top sweets in America change yearly and differ by region. However, some of the foods that routinely come out on top include:

  • ice cream,
  • brownies,
  • bananas foster,
  • pecan pie,
  • cherry pie,
  • apple pie,
  • cookies,
  • and banana pudding.

What makes your mouth water?

What sides go well with fried chicken?

There's a multitude of scrumptious side items that you can serve with fried poultry. Let's go over a few crowd-pleasing dishes!

Collard greens

A high angle close up shot of a white bowl full of collard greens and ham hock pieces

Collard greens are full of vitamins, calcium, and iron. They have a slightly bitter but not overpowering taste and can be cooked with ham bacon for extra flavor.

Corn fritters

Gluten free corn fritters and fresh spinach on a wooden board

Although also fried, corn fritters are a popular side for fried chicken. Essentially, they're small cakes made of corn and sometimes cheese. Some variations use sweet corn for an amazing elevation in taste.


Homemade coleslaw, shredded red cabbage, grated carrot, sliced onion, and mayonnaise

Coleslaw is a great way to sneak some additional crunch and nutrition into your dinner. It's like a tiny red cabbage salad. The dressing is usually mayonnaise or a vinaigrette.

Mashed potatoes

Close up of gravy boat pouring over mashed potatoes

We doubt we really need to elaborate on this one! With or without gravy? Loaded or plain? Sour cream or none? However you like them, starchy potatoes simply belong with crispy chicken.

Watermelon salad

Delicious watermelon, cucumber and feta cheese salad in square bowl on wood background

You may have never heard of this one, but watermelon salad can bring tons of oomph to the table. There are so many flavors and textures in this dish. You have the sweet of the melon, soft but not soggy. There's red onion for a kick and a crunch. Feta cheese is rich and creamy. Lastly, crispy sliced cucumber brings even more coolness to the watermelon. So yummy!


Homemade buttermilk biscuits cooling on a cutting board with melting butter

Bread. Butter. Chicken. Need we say more?

Macaroni and cheese

Homestyle baked macaroni and cheese in a red bowl with shredded cheese, bread crumbs, and cheese and pasta accents

Full of gooey, cheesy goodness, mac and cheese is an undeniable rockstar side for fried foods. The fat from this item brings such a rich depth of flavor to any meal.

To Summarize

Our research concluded that peach cobbler, banana pudding, sweet potato pie, key lime pie, berry sorbet, and monkey bread are some of the best desserts to pair with fried chicken. They all possess the sweetness or tang to both complement and counter the greasy, salt-laden poultry.

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