If you’re wondering what to serve with your pad thai, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I list 17 of the most popular side dishes for pad thai.
In a rush? Here’s the short answer.
The best things to serve with pad thai are crab rangoon, Thai chicken satay, or Thai turkey meatballs. You can also serve salads like Asian cucumber salad, Thai mango salad, or green papaya salad. Thai chicken lettuce wraps and tom yum soup are good options for starters.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
Thai chicken satay
If you want to go full Asian with your meal, serve your pad thai with the gold standard of authentic Thai food – the roasted chicken satay.
Nothing beats a sweet-savory-sour noodle stir-fry and some marinated chicken with peanut sauce.
A bite of this meal will transport you to the streets of Thailand itself.
Spare 30 minutes and go on a trip with Nagi as she shows you how to make the ideal Thai chicken satay.
Asian cucumber salad
Thinking of having pad thai for lunch but can’t quite find a good pair for it?
Why not go for a cool Asian cucumber salad?
It’s fun, light, and hydrating!
And the refreshing flavors will round out any lingering heat from your pad thai nicely.
Trust me, once you try it, you’re going to be eating this Asian cucumber salad on a daily basis.
Tom yum soup
I’ve always thought of pad thai as a nice comfort food you can eat on a lazy weekend.
And do you know what else is warm and comforting?
Soup! And not just any soup. Tom yum soup. A hot, sour Thai soup.
Tom yum soup is filled with spicy notes and herbal flavors. It’s the perfect option for a light appetizer before the main event (pad thai).
Check out Recipetin Eats for an easy-to-follow recipe.
Chili peanut crunch
A pad thai is never truly complete without its signature peanut crunch.
The peanuts add texture to the noodles, and with this chili peanut topping they add flavor and spice too.
Chili peanut crunch is a handy thing to have around even when you’re not eating pad thai. You can sprinkle it on salads, curries, and even just eat it as a snack!
Learn how to whip up this popular Southeast Asian topping with Feasting at home.
Shrimp tempura is usually associated with Japanese cuisine, but who says you can’t do a little culinary mash-up?
Pad thai has slippery and juicy noodles, so the soft and delicate crisp from the shrimp tempura is exactly the kind of extra texture you need.
Follow Ana’s Ebi tempura recipe. You’ll love it just like I do!
Baked turkey meatballs
We’ve all heard about spaghetti and meatballs before.
But have you ever tried meatballs served alongside a pad thai?
It’s a super tasty twist.
These Thai turkey meatballs are flavor-filled little morsels of delight, packed with ginger, chili, and green onions.
Psst… you can make them with or without the sauce – it’s up to you.
Green papaya salad
I’ve always loved how Thai dishes are like a party in your mouth.
And this green papaya salad is no exception.
It has shredded juicy papaya with a mix of different herbs and veggies, including Thai basil, carrots, and green beans.
Not sure where to get green papaya? Try your local Asian supermarket. And if you can’t find it, green apples make a great substitute.
Try this green papaya salad at your next dinner party.
Stir-fried bok choy
Bok choy is probably the freshest vegetable around.
Its subtle taste, satisfying crisp, and emerald green leaves are hard to resist.
Just don’t overcook it or it can become a bit sad-looking.
And the nutty, spicy flavors from the seasoning on this stir-fried baby bok choy will brighten up your pad thai wonderfully.
Thai chicken lettuce wraps
These Thai chicken lettuce wraps are one of my favorite Asian snacks.
They’re light on the stomach and will make your guests feel like they’re dining in a fancy restaurant.
You could even skip the chicken filling and fill the lettuce leaves with a small serving of pad thai instead!
It doesn’t get any better than these yummy Thai chicken lettuce wraps.
Thai mango salad
Want a light, summery dish to pair with your pad thai?
This bright mango salad is just what you’re looking for.
All you need is 20 minutes and you’ll have a refreshing, colorful side dish with a sweet and sour flavor to match the aromatic pad thai.
I guarantee you won’t regret eating this Thai mango salad!
Thai chicken wings
I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation about someone’s favorite food where chicken wings weren’t mentioned.
Everybody just loves chicken wings.
And these Thai chicken wings will help take your pad thai to new heights.
The spicy peanut dipping sauce that goes with the chicken tastes soooo good drizzled over the pad thai.
It’s a match made in heaven.
Fresh Spring rolls
Are you looking for an Asian side dish that’s simple to prepare and not boring?
Try these no-cook spring rolls.
Wrapping the rolls might seem intimidating at first but it’s actually very easy.
And you can fill them with whatever veggies and protein you like. These spring rolls use shrimp, but they’re great with tofu or chicken too if you don’t eat fish.
The more colorful the veggies, the better it looks. I like using red cabbage.
Thai pineapple fried rice
If you’re looking to serve a Thai medley at your next dinner party you’ll need a bowl of fried rice on the table next to your pad thai.
The juicy pineapple keeps things from getting too dry and provides a nice contrast to all the spice.
If you’re the kind of person who loves pineapples on their pizza then you’re going to adore this pineapple fried rice recipe.
(just don’t think about the double carbs!).
Bean sprout salad
Pad thai is tasty because it’s got a little bit of everything.
Eggs, noodles, veggies – you name it! Bean sprouts are commonly used as a garnish to add some freshness.
And you can make them feel even fresher by turning them into a bean sprout salad.
This is one healthy salad you don’t want to miss trying!
Borrow this Chinese goodie to add some crisp to your pad thai.
The fried wontons are filled with a mixture of crab sticks and cream cheese and then paired with a sweet chili dipping sauce.
Follow Simply Stacie for a healthy air fryer version of crab rangoon.
And if you don’t like the sound of these, try egg rolls or potstickers instead.
Thai green beans
You can serve pad thai with any kind of greens you want.
But I’m going to suggest the classic green beans (with a bit of Thai seasoning of course).
Green beans are crunchy and vibrant. And their naturally earthy flavor helps to highlight more umami flavors of the pad thai.
I like making these stovetop Thai green beans.
Mango sticky rice
This classic dessert cannot be forgotten when you’re serving pad thai.
The creamy rice will cool down your mouth if you were a bit heavy-handed on the spice, and the sticky sauce will have you licking your lips in glee.
The best part?
The sweet, soft mangos.
This mango sticky rice from Delish is restaurant-quality!
The best side dishes to serve with pad thai
- Thai chicken satay
- Asian cucumber salad
- Tom yum soup
- Chili peanut crunch
- Shrimp tempura
- Baked turkey meatballs
- Green papaya salad
- Stir-fried bok choy
- Thai chicken lettuce wraps
- Thai mango salad
- Thai chicken wings
- Fresh Spring rolls
- Thai pineapple fried rice
- Bean sprout salad
- Crab rangoons
- Thai green beans
- Mango sticky rice
What To Serve With Pad Thai
- 1 portion pad thai
- Prepare your pad thai according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
- Side dishes include: Thai chicken satay, Asian cucumber salad, tom yum soup, chili peanut crunch, shrimp tempura, baked turkey meatballs, green papaya salad, stir-fried bok choy, Thai chicken lettuce wraps, Thai mango salad, Thai chicken wings, fresh spring rolls, Thai pineapple fried rice, bean sprout salad, crab rangoons, Thai green beans, and mango sticky rice.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!