What to Serve With Stir Fry? 25 Ideas

Side dishes that will pair with your stir fry best

Written by Elisa Chan. Updated on What to Serve With Stir Fry

Stir fry is a kind of food that often needs no additional sides. It is just as good as it is. However, sometimes we may need to make some extra side dishes, for instance, if we are expecting guests to visit or we are simply bored of having only stir fry alone for dinner.

No matter the reason, we think it will be useful for everyone to learn what side dishes are best to be served with a hot stir fry. So grab a pen and a sheet of paper and take notes since you are going to learn a lot of handy tips today!

What Side Dish to Serve With Stir Fry

To be honest, stir fry is quite an independent foodstuff. As you probably know, it is cooked by frying different ingredients, such as vegetables and meat, in a wok pan with quite a lot of oil. The name “stir fry” comes from the way of cooking the dish by constantly stirring it while frying.

Such a content means that no additional dishes are usually supposed to be served along with a stir fry. However, this dish pairs surprisingly well with several sides. For instance, rice, veggies, or greens.

As we have just said, stir fry is a kind of dish that normally does not require any side dishes or additional foods to be served along with it. Nevertheless, we still tend to accompany this hearty and delicious food with various sides to make it taste more different.

But home chefs tend to face the same frequent issue when it comes to making a side for a stir fry. What sides to serve with a stir fry? What foods will pair with this dish better than others?

We can suggest a few options that your stir fry will definitely win from no matter whether it is a chicken or a beef stir fry, or their seafood alternative.

What Side Dish to Serve With Stir Fry
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Fried Rice Side Dishes

Fried rice is, perhaps, one of the most common and frequently used sides to serve with any stir fry. Since rice is a universal food, it goes well with both fish and other seafood (let’s say, shrimps), beaf, chicken, etc. Even if you are making only vegetarian no-meat stir fries for yourself, rice will accompany them perfectly!

What to serve with stir fry instead of rice? You can also opt for all sorts of noodles and pasta. Cook them separately and serve at the side, or add pasta right into the stir fry – you decide. Only make sure you choose pasta made of hard sorts of wheat! Like this, it will not get soggy while being cooked.


If rice or pasta seem too heavy on your stomach for you, shift for a lighter version. Veggies in particular. They can be served in several ways including steamed and fried options. And of course, you can serve them raw (at least those vegetables that can be consumed uncooked).

If raw food is not your favorite, try out steamed broccoli, brussels sprouts, or green beans. Or you can spend a bit more time and make another stir fry only out of veggies. Fried zucchini, onions, mushrooms and carrots seasoned with garlic and soy sauce will complement your meaty stir fry ideally!

Dumplings And Rolls

If you want to try out something new with your stir fry, why not accompany it with egg rolls, spring rolls, and even dumplings? Yes, they are not that nutritious, but as a side dish, they are so great!


When we think of what to serve with a stir fry, fruit is the last option we think about. If we think about them at all. However, if you are ok with trying something new and unusual, serving fruit can be your option.

We recommend you stick to citruses (for instance, oranges) and pineapples since their sweet taste with those light sour notes will complement the meaty or seafood stir fry better than others. And if you are going to make an Asian cuisine stir fry, do consider serving Cantaloupe on the side!


Salad is a side staple to go with so many main dishes! Having a portion of fresh greens and veggies is always a good thing, especially during the winter when we lack vitamins.

You decide what kind of salad it will be but feel free to make any of them. No matter whether it is a bowl of fresh green leafy salad or a coleslaw, each of them will pair with a hot stir fry exceptionally well!

Now you know what sides to serve with a stir fry to highlight its taste and make the main course even healthier.

What Is the Most Popular Side Dish to Serve With Stir Fry?

Stir fry is considered to be a universal kind of food not only because it is possible to combine different ingredients in one meal. This main course can also be accompanied by quite a variety of sides!

Perhaps, this is what makes stir fries so popular in American families: you can cook noodles, pasta, veggies or rice, and a complete and nutritious meal is ready to enjoy! But have you ever wondered what the most popular side dish is to serve with stir fry?

When it comes to picking up what to put on the side, your choice will depend on what the main ingredient in your stir fry is.

  • with the chicken stir fry, try out broccoli with soy sauce and garlic, chorizo with sweet potato, boulangere potatoes, Ba’Corn Cheese, orzo pasta, cheesy cauliflower, and many more
  • the shrimp stir fry combines well with macaroni pasta, Greek salad and Caesar salad, roasted parmesan asparagus, couscous, grilled kabobs, coconut rice, and mango guacamole
  • as for the meaty stir fry, macaroni cheese salad, wedge salad, baked sweet potatoes, and mushrooms Bordelaise will be one of the best sides
What Is the Most Popular Side Dish to Serve With Stir Fry
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What Is America’s Favorite Side Dish For Stir Fry

Since stir fry is one of the most popular main dishes in the USA, Americans invented multiple varieties of this meal. And naturally, they include different sides to be served with each and every stir fry type.

What are America’s top favorites, you may wonder? Of course, everything depends on the preferences of a particular family, however, there are a few sides that are cooked more often than others:

  1. fried rice
  2. salads
  3. spaghetti or pasta (including macaroni salads)
  4. vegetables
  5. egg rolls

Perhaps, such a choice of dishes is explained by their simplicity. You don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen making a salad or boiling pasta!
And besides, each of these sides pairs well with any kind of stir fry. This is especially handy if you have no time to guess what to cook so that the side dish combines with the main course harmoniously in terms of taste and texture. So even if you have such picky eaters as kids in your family, serving them stir fry with one of these sides is a guarantee that they will not only taste it but surely will like it.

What Is America’s Favorite Side Dish For Stir Fry
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What Greens to Serve With Stir Fry

If you want to make a stir fry but you don’t want it to be too fat or heavy on your stomach, you will most likely choose to cook a vegetable alternative to this dish. However, you may stumble upon quite a common issue of what greens to make use of for this main course.

There are lots of veggies that can be used for cooking, but will any of them pair well with a stir fry? Can the same greens be added to a meaty and a seafood stir fry? Let’s figure this out.

Among the best veggies that taste well when added to a stir fry we can name the following:

  • broccoli
  • zucchini
  • carrots
  • sweet pepper
  • baby corn
  • green beans
  • yellow squash
  • bok choy
  • sweet potatoes (batat)
  • mushrooms
  • bean sprouts

This is not a complete list, of course, but you can already see that the number of variants is pretty impressive. And also, you surely have noticed that some veggies are not on the list. For instance, regular potatoes, tomatoes, aubergine, and others.

This is because they have different cooking times (usually longer than those on the yes-list) and thus they will not be properly cooked if you switch the heat earlier than needed. Also, not all greens can be fried.

How To Make The Best Chicken Stir Fry | Perfect Chicken Stir FryHow To Make The Best Chicken Stir Fry | Perfect Chicken Stir Fry

What Noodles Can Be Used For a Stir Fry?

Cooking stir fry with noodles is more like an Asian-style variant of this dish. However, it is also rather popular. But what noodles can we use for it exactly? Will any of them work well?

It hangs upon whether you will be cooking noodles as a side dish or cook them together with the rest of the ingredients. If they are going to be cooked separately, then you can make use of any kind of noodles, of course. Only make sure you boil them according to the instructions on the packet.

On the other hand, if you want to add noodles right into the wok pan and fry them along with the meat and veggies, your variety of choices might be somewhat less wide. In this case, we would recommend you choosing one of the following types of noodles:

  1. buckwheat flour soba noodles with earthy flavor
  2. Japanese udon noodles. Thick and chewy with neutral taste – ideal fors tir fries!
  3. egg noodles
  4. spaghetti
  5. linguine
  6. fettuccine
  7. rice noodles

All of them are usually easy to cook and besides, they can be incorporated into the pan a once without pre-boiling them.

What Noodles Can Be Used For a Stir Fry
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What Dessert to Serve With Stir Fry

Since stir fry is a main course, it means that a dessert is supposed to be served soon after it. And this is another point of concern for quite many home chefs and housewives. What kinds of dessert are best to be served with a stir fry?

Of course, since the dish is rather hearty itself, especially if it contains meat, the dessert that will follow it shall be light and with the minimal amount of fat. But will regular sweets work to meet such a purpose?

You might be surprised, but there are indeed a few light desserts that will make a harmonious ensemble with a stir fry!

  • fresh fruit
  • no-bake lemon yogurt tart
  • panna cotta
  • pear and apple galette

They are easy to make and each of these desserts is light enough for you to enjoy it after a portion of a hearty main dish.

What Dessert to Serve With Stir Fry
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How to Store Stir Fry Leftovers

Cooking stir fry takes a certain amount of time and effort, this is why keeping it safe and still edible is the major goal for every prudent housewife! But how do we store stir fry for enjoying it later?

Well, depending on how soon you are planning to eat it, you can opt for one of the following ways of storage:

  • refrigeration
  • freezing

Of course, the lifespan of the dish will vary in each particular case. If we keep our stir fry in the fridge, it will be able to last for three to four days more with no quality decay. But if we toss it into the frosting camera, its shelf life will significantly extend! Frozen stir fry can stay edible for nearly two weeks without turning bad.

As for the storage conditions and regulations, they are pretty much the same as for any other foodstuff. You let your stir fry leftovers cool down and then transfer the dish into a frost-resistant tank or a zip-lock packet. This way, any type of stir fry can be stored.

Well, this is all that we wanted to tell you about what to serve with the stir fry as a side dish. In addition, you now know what desserts will fit this hot and savory meal best of all. With all that information, and being aware of how and where to store this dish best, stir fry has all the chances to become your family’s favorite staple!

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ What to serve with a chicken stir fry?

Noodles, fried rice or white rice will do since the dish already contains protein and veggies.

⭐ How long do I need to cook my stir fry?

The average time is 3-4 minutes.

⭐ What kind of meat is stir fry?

It’s the long and thin cut of meat from a cow’s belly.

⭐ How to make chicken tender in a stir fry?

Marinate it in cornstarch sludge and deep fry or blanche in water before adding to the wok pan.

Written by
Elisa is a passionate cook who will advise you on healthy and delicious food topics! With her help, you will discover how to properly store and freeze food, as well as learn important nuances about preserving vitamins in your meals to make them stay nutritious.
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