I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that a BBQ chicken sandwich is one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling foods out there.
You can enjoy it any time of the day, whether it’s a savory breakfast, a quick snack, or even a quick dinner.
The possibilities are simply endless!
But despite how delicious it is, things can get a bit stale if you add the same toppings over and over again, and that’s where this guide comes in handy!
Today, I’ll walk you through 21 irresistible BBQ chicken sandwich toppings and ideas to mix things up. Let’s dive right in!
Here Are the Best Toppings for BBQ Chicken Sandwich
BBQ chicken sandwiches are easily one of my absolute favorites.
However, just because you love the sandwich, doesn’t mean you have to eat it the same way over and over!
The following list will show you what goes on a bbq chicken sandwich, from untouchable classics to some ultra-unique toppings, and everything in between!
1. Go Full Umami with Caramelized Onions
There’s a good reason why onion rings are often added to sandwiches.
They add a unique salty taste with a dash of sweetness, but why not take the sweetness to the next level?
Caramelized onions take the sweetness profile to the next level and add much-needed juiciness to the BBQ chicken sandwich!
2. Drizzle Some Pesto Sauce
Pesto sauce is a staple pasta dressing, but you can also use it as a creative add-on to your chicken sandwich!
The basil and oregano base is highly fragrant and has plenty of health benefits.
This makes it a perfect guilt-free dressing for weight waters on a cheat day!
3. Top Up with Mac and Cheese
Mac and Cheese is a solid side dish to incorporate into a BBQ party.
However, there’s something special about using the combination directly as BBQ pulled chicken sandwich toppings.
The gooey cheese adds a unique savory flavor and the moisture keeps the grilled chicken soft on every bite!
You can even add some grated cheddar if you like it extra savory.
4. Spice It up with Salsa Verde
Although salsa verde is often used with chorizo and veggies, it’s also a popular topping for chicken quesadillas and pulled sandwiches.
So, why not BBQ chicken sandwiches?
The Mexican green sauce has a brilliant tart and zesty flavor that will immediately brighten up your sandwich.
Depending on how much chili pepper is in the salsa, you can also control the level of heat!
5. Turn up the Heat Jalapeno Poppers
Jalapeno poppers are often combined with chicken salads and quesadillas to add some delicious spicy juiciness to the recipe.
In fact, Jalapeno poppers are often used in grilled cheese and turkey sandwiches, such as this recipe, so why not BBQ chicken ones?
6. Glaze with Bacon Jam
If you’re a fan of caramelized onions but you want to kick things up a notch, you should definitely try out some bacon jam!
This topping blends in well with just about any type of sandwich you have.
It’s also a great way to add some complexity to the relatively mild flavor of under-seasoned BBQ chicken.
This video shows a remarkably easy recipe to prepare some smoky bacon jam.
Make sure that you follow the instructions at 1:21 for the best results.
7. Spread Some Pimento Cheese
If you’re in the mood for a southern classic addition, you might want to go for Pimento cheese!
Spreading some pimento cheese over the buns or the BBQ chicken will give your sandwich a creamier consistency with a noticeable spicy flavor and aroma!
You can even have a side bowl of melted pimento cheese as an extra dip!
8. Keep It Healthy with Avocados
Prepared the right way, a BBQ chicken sandwich can be surprisingly healthy.
This is becasue it doesn’t require a lot of fats and carbs (apart from the bread, of course.)
Consider spreading some mashed avocados with a squeeze of lemon juice over the bread slice!
This helps you avoid unnecessary calories and keep your sandwich diet-friendly and delicious.
9. Drizzle Some Italian Dressing
If you like bold and tangy flavors with a very subtle hint of sweetness on your BBQ chicken sandwich, you should keep the Italian dressing in mind.
This one uses zesty and aromatic ingredients like garlic, lemon juice, oregano, basil, and vinegar to brighten up the taste profile of the chicken!
In addition to buying it directly from a store, you can easily create your own version of Italian dressing at home, following this one.
10. Cover It with Smoked Gouda Cheese
I have always been a big fan of gouda cheese.
Something about its unique nutty flavor and the subtle tang with caramel notes really clicks with all kinds of pulled sandwiches!
Even better, smoked gouda has a distinct depth with a silky smooth texture that gives all kinds of cheese a run for their money!
This recipe right here is ideal if you want to combine the complex flavor of smoked gouda cheese with a BBQ chicken sandwich.
11. Smother Some Hummus
Hummus is a magical spread that is bursting with nutty, savory flavor.
The Middle Eastern dish is easily made by blending chickpeas with tahini, garlic, and spices.
The olive oil base gives the hummus a rich and velvety smooth texture.
This makes it very easy to layer in your chicken sandwich.
Make sure that you also squeeze a fresh lemon over the tahini paste for extra tanginess and to brighten its flavor.
12. Bring in Some Sweetness with Coleslaw
If you’re a big fan of balanced sweet and sour flavors, you’re going to love this one!
A lot of people enjoy a scoop of coleslaw as a side dish along with sandwiches and burgers.
Besides lifting up the flavor, it also adds a unique crunch factor that is perfect with grilled chicken!
13. Add Thousand Island Sauce
Although thousand island sauce is one of the most versatile add-ons out there, they’re most commonly used as dressing for sandwiches.
This makes it a perfect fit here!
This video shows you how to prepare a creamy and fresh batch of the sauce at home for a fraction of the cost.
Always use white onions for the recipe as mentioned in 1:01.
14. Bring in the Tanginess with Blue Cheese
Simply put, blue cheese is not for everyone, as there are some people who find its pungent smell and flavor off-putting.
However, if you enjoy blue cheese in various recipes, you’re going to love how its semi-soft texture and salty flavor brighten the grilled chicken!
15. Coat It with Pomegranate BBQ Sauce
What’s a BBQ party without some smokey and delicious BBQ sauce?
If you want to try out something unique, you might want to tweak the sauce a little.
The sour taste of pomegranate with a hint of sweetness will simply take your BBQ sauce to the next level, especially if you’re into fruity notes!
16. Cover It with Honey Mustard
The magical blend of honey and dijon mustard is always a great idea for anyone who’s into the sweet and sour flavor.
This recipe combines the sweet and mildly sharp flavor of the season with creole/cajun seasoning for the ultimate explosion of flavors in your mouth!
17. Trickle Some Pineapple Hot Sauce
You have to try out this tropical wonder at least once in your life, especially if you like spicy flavors!
This video shows you how to prepare an incredibly smooth and delicious mango-based hot sauce with easy instructions!
18. Throw In Pickled Carrots
Pickles are some of the best toppings to brighten the flavor of your sandwich.
While a lot of people immediately think of pickled cucumber, I’ve always found carrots an underrated alternative!
I usually go for grated pickled carrots but you can also try pickled slices for an extra crunchy factor.
19. Go Oriental with Hoisin Sauce
Hoisin sauce is a highly underrated Asian sauce that makes for a perfect sweet and spicy topping for your pulled BBQ chicken sandwich toppings!
While you can buy the fragrant, thick sauce from the market, you can enjoy a fresh homemade batch with this simple recipe!
20. Layer Some Cold Cuts
Pastrami, pepperoni, salami, mortadella, pancetta, or chorizo, you name it!
Adding a few layers of cold cuts and deli meat won’t only lift the flavor of your chicken sandwich, but it also doubles as a wonderful garnish for aesthetics!
21. Mix Things up with Alabama White Sauce
The Alabama white sauce is so commonly used with pulled chicken sandwiches that it’s nicknamed the “white BBQ sauce”.
This mayonnaise-based sauce is rich in vinegar and Worcestershire sauce.
It also has a generous amount of garlic and cayenne pepper to add depth and complexity to the flavor.
BBQ Chicken Sandwich Toppings: Best Snacks and Dishes to Have on the Side
Now that you know what to put on a BBQ chicken sandwich, you might be interested in some side dishes and ideas to pair it up with!
To help you make the meal an absolute rocker, here are some of the perfect companions to have on the side:
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Sometimes, a classic is called so for a good reason, and that applies perfectly to mashed potatoes.
There’s simply something magical about combining creamy mashed potatoes with well seasoning meats and chicken, so make sure that you don’t miss out on it!
Whether it’s baked in the oven, crockpot, or on the stove, Baked beans is simply finger-licking delicious!
To make your beans special, use navy beans along with caramelized onions, mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce.
Greek Pasta Salad
While there are plenty of salads that you can pair with BBQ chicken sandwiches, I’ve always found Greek pasta salad my favorite!
This one features refreshing feta cheese along with tomato, olive oil, cucumbers, along with some fusilli pasta!
Another refreshing pair that surprisingly works is some chilled watermelon wedges!
This combination is perfect for hot summer days while grilling outdoors!
Of course, you can eat it fresh, but if you’re daring, you can grill them for a few seconds to enjoy a unique sweet and sour taste!
Balsamic and Soy Glazed Mushrooms
On their own, regular sauteed mushrooms can be a great combination with BBQ chicken sandwiches.
Yet, I highly recommend that you try out some roasted mushrooms with some balsamic vinegar, garlic, and soy sauce!
If you’re too attached to corn on the cob, here’s a tasty sweet treat to munch on without straying too far!
This brilliant comfort food is incredibly easy to make.
In fact, you only need to add the ingredients to a casserole dish and let the oven do all the work!
As you can see, there’s no shortage when it comes to BBQ chicken sandwich toppings.
Just like with pulled pork sandwich toppings, not only will they change the taste of the sandwich, but even how it looks and feels in your mouth!
For that reason, you should never shy out of trying different and unique combinations. You’ll be amazed by how some of these toppings can totally change how you play the sandwich game!
BBQ Chicken Sandwich Toppings: 21 Mouthwatering Ideas
- Caramelized Onions
- Pesto Sauce
- Mac and Cheese
- Salsa Verde
- Jalapeno Poppers
- Bacon Jam
- Pimento Cheese
- Italian Dressing
- Smoked Gouda Cheese
- Sweet Coleslaw
- Thousand Island Sauce
- Tangy Blue Cheese
- Pomegranate BBQ Sauce
- Honey Mustard
- Pineapple Hot Sauce
- Pickled Carrots
- Hoisin Sauce
- Layered Cold Cuts
- Alabama White Sauce
- Choose your desired toppings.
- Gather and organize needed ingredients.
- Create tasty toppings and enjoy your BBQ chicken sandwich!