This article was updated on 2/8/2023 for clarity and freshness.
If you’re wondering what to serve with your sweet and sour chicken, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I list 45 of the most popular side dishes for sweet and sour chicken.
In a rush? Here’s the short answer.
The best side dishes to serve with sweet and sour chicken are fried rice, scallion pancakes, prawn toast, pot stickers, and egg rolls. Try serving stir fry, green beans, and napa slaw for healthy options. You can also serve lo mein, Chinese potato salad, seaweed crackers, and Thai noodle salad.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
Pairing sweet and sour chicken with a starchy side dish is a no-brainer.
Fried rice or noodles may be the go-to, but you could go the unconventional route with a creamy mash or some crispy fries. You could also try healthier starches too, like quinoa or couscous for a more nourishing meal.
Egg fried rice
No Chinese meal is complete without some classic egg-fried rice. It’s the ideal base for a saucy dish like sweet and sour chicken.
Jessica Gavin’s recipe is basic, although you can easily customize it to your preference. She uses peas and carrots for her recipe, but I also like adding mushrooms and peppers to make my fried rice healthier.
Pro-tip: cold, leftover rice is preferred, but you can also make this with fresh rice as long as it’s already cooled.
These classic scallion pancakes are great for soaking up every drop of the sweet and sour chicken’s vibrant, sticky sauce. They’re delightfully golden and crisp on the outside and have flaky layers studded with mildly peppery scallions to contrast your sweet-tangy sauce.
Cooking in Chinglish uses lard to give these scallion pancakes the ideal texture, but I’ve tried this with bacon fat once and it worked splendidly. It gave my scallion pancakes an irresistible smoky twist.
Lo mein is one of the most popular dishes in Chinese restaurants, and did you know it’s also one of the easiest recipes to replicate at home?
Damn Delicious has an easy recipe that’s ready in less than 30 minutes and requires mostly pantry staples to make. She sticks with colorful veggies for her version, although you can easily customize your add-ons.
I usually keep mine meat-free when serving with it with sweet and sour chicken, but you can also add shrimp or even tofu for extra protein.
Quinoa peanut stir-fry
If you’re looking for a more nourishing but equally delicious starchy side for your sweet and sour chicken, quinoa stir-fry has got you covered.
It’s flavored with sriracha, vinegar, turmeric, and ginger, giving it a sweet-spicy kick that pairs nicely with your sweet and sour chicken.
And despite having almost the same amount of calories per serving as plain old rice, quinoa is still the healthier option because of its high plant protein content and fiber.
Pairing sweet and sour chicken with fries may not be traditional, but I guarantee you it’s a must-try. Like with scallion pancakes, you can use the fries to scoop up that delicious zesty sauce.
Regular potato fries are great, although jicama fries are an even better option if you’re trying to stay healthy. Jicama has fewer calories than potatoes do, and will still give you that satisfying starchy bite.
These take a bit more time to make than regular fries, but they’re worth the wait.
Vegetables and salads
If you want to keep your sweet and sour chicken meal low-carb, skip the starchy sides and whip up a classic veggie stir-fry instead.
You can also stick with a crisp Asian-style slaw or keep it simple with steamed broccoli florets. Noodle salads are also a great option if you still want a bit of carbs in your meal.
Vegetable stir fry
Vegetable stir fry is one of my favorite dishes to serve with sweet and sour chicken – it’s a nutritious side dish that completes the meal.
Cooking for Keeps uses a classic blend of vegetables, but the beauty of stir-fries is you can use whatever you have on hand. It’s a great dish you can whip up if you’re cleaning up your fridge.
I love adding veggies like broccolini and zucchini to make my stir-fry even healthier.
Pro-tip: remember not to overcook the veggies so they remain vibrant and crisp-tender.
Thai noodle salad
Pair your sweet and sour chicken with this Thai noodle salad for a flavorful Asian fusion.
This noodle salad is dressed with a spicy-sweet dressing that’s just as addictive as the sweet and sour chicken sauce. The dressing already has ingredients like sweet chili sauce and hot chili oil that gives it heat, but you can also add a splash or two of sriracha to amp it up further.
And the best part? You can enjoy this salad warm or cold.
Chinese potato salad
This isn’t your typical creamy potato salad.
Instead of cubing potatoes and making creamy mayo dressing, it features pouring hot oil infused with Sichuan peppercorns and garlic over blanched potato silvers. This Chinese cooking method gives the spuds a savory, mildly numbing flavor taste that complements the zesty note of your sweet and sour chicken.
Omnivore Kitchen also adds chili peppers in their oil infusion, but you can skip this if you’re not a fan of spicy food.
Garlic green beans
If you think green beans are boring, this side dish from Healthy Nibbles will change your mind.
Instead of a simple sauté, the green beans are flash-fried. This simple technique gives the green beans’ exteriors a lightly crisp, blistered texture while keeping them tender on the inside.
The key to mastering this technique: making sure your oil is hot enough since the beans only need a minute or two of cooking. Any more than that and they’ll go soggy.
Sweet and sour chicken is a rich dish, so I like to serving it with something light like this napa slaw. It’s chock-full of fresh and crunchy elements that contrast nicely with the tender pieces of chicken.
Plus, it’s also dressed with a ginger soy dressing that complements the sweet and sour chicken’s sauce.
Kitschen Cat uses chow mein noodles to add extra crunch to this salad, but you can also use almonds or pepitas for a healthier twist.
These appetizers are the perfect food to whet your appetite before your sweet and sour chicken main course.
I like to keep the Chinese theme strong with some veggie egg rolls, but you can also try crispy prawn crackers or even classic pot stickers.
Pssst… and who’s stopping you from serving these alongside your sweet and sour chicken for a more satisfying meal?
Veggie egg rolls
I love homemade egg rolls, but why not take the healthy route and use an all-veggie filling?
The Hungry Waitress makes things even easier by using a ready-made coleslaw mix you can pick up in any grocery store. This allows you to skip the prep work and go straight to sautéing the veggies with your choice of seasoning.
I usually keep it classic with a soy sauce, sesame oil, and the usual aromatics. Then scoop them into egg roll wrappers and ROOOOLLLL.
If you’ve never tried these crispy golden treats before, you’re missing out. Prawn toasts are made with flavorful ground shrimp sandwiched between two pieces of triangular bread and fried until crispy golden.
They’re like fried dimsum, but heartier!
These are typically enjoyed alongside a sweet chili sauce, but I love serving them with my sweet and sour chicken. The chicken’s zesty sauce is the perfect dip for these prawn-filled delights.
These seaweed crackers are another fun and crunchy side you can serve before or alongside your sweet and sour chicken.
They’re made with nori sheets that have been layered with spring roll wrappers then deep-fried until crisp. If you want to make these a bit healthier, you can follow What To Cook Today’s lead and cook them in the air fryer instead.
These crackers are often served as a snack during Chinese New Year, but you can definitely make them any time because of how simple they are.
Complete your Chinese “fakeout” meal with a serving of these pot stickers.
They’re not your usual dumplings, because their fried on one side first before steaming. This gives you the best of both worlds — a delightfully crisp bottom and plump and tender top.
You can buy these in the frozen food aisle, but making them from scratch is just as easy. It also allows you to customize the filling.
The Novice Chef Blog keeps it traditional with a pork and veggie filling, but you can also try chicken, shrimp, or even keep it meat-free with mushrooms.
Egg drop soup
This egg drop soup is a guaranteed crowd-favorite, whether you serve it before or alongside your sweet and sour soup.
After all, who can resist those silky egg ribbons and rich, flavorful broth?
I like keeping it simple and sticking with Rachael’s recipe, but you can make this soup even heartier. Try adding protein like tofu, chicken, shrimp, or even vegetables like mushrooms and bok choy.
What To Serve With Sweet and Sour Chicken – 45 Side Dishes
- 1 portion fried rice
- 1 portion egg drop soup
- 1 portion vegetable stir-fry
- 1 portion sesame prawn toast
- 1 portion napa cabbage slaw
- 1 portion scallion pancakes.
- 1 portion … and more
- Prepare your sweet and sour chicken according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
- Sides include: egg fried rice, scallion pancakes, Chinese potato salad, Thai noodle salad, veggie egg rolls, prawn toast, vegetable stir fry, seaweed crackers, potstickers, garlic green beans, egg drop soup, napa slaw, and lo mein.
- Serve immediately and enjoy.