Here are the top 15 side dishes to serve with sweet and sour meatballs (plus a few more). And the best Instant Pot recipe to get you started!
Sweet and sour meatballs are a family favorite in our house.
They’re kid-friendly, and they’re also a quick meal to make on busy weeknights.
Most recipes are dump-and-go and only require a handful of ingredients.
You can simmer your meatballs in the delicious sauce on your stovetop, in your slow cooker, or pressure cook them in an Instant Pot to keep your hands free until dinner time.
But, if you haven’t had sweet and sour meatballs before, you may not know what to serve with them.
Thankfully, we’ve got plenty of ideas to help you out!
Below you’ll find the best side dishes to serve with sweet and sour meatballs to create the perfect easy dinner.
What are sweet and sour meatballs?
There are many different meatball recipes out there, and you may be familiar with preparations like:
- Hawaiian meatballs
- Swedish meatballs
- Italian meatballs
- BBQ meatballs
- Grape jelly meatballs
But, you might be less familiar with sweet and sour meatballs.
These Asian-inspired meatballs pay homage to the traditional Chinese sweet and sour sauce.
You’ll need ingredients like brown sugar, soy sauce, pineapple chunks and/or pineapple juice, and sesame seeds to make the tangy sauce.
And you can include vegetables like bell peppers, green pepper, and green onions to accompany the meat.
You can use homemade meatballs or store-bought meatballs to save time, and any type of meatball including turkey meatballs, chicken meatballs, ground beef meatballs, and even frozen meatballs.
In our house, we use frozen meatballs and this Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs recipe.
RELATED: 17 Awesome Ways to Substitute for Pineapple Juice
What to Serve with Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Now that we’ve discussed what sweet and sour meatballs are, here are some of the best side dishes to serve with them to create a satisfying and complete meal.
1. White Rice
White rice is the most popular side dish to serve with sweet and sour meatballs. It’s the perfect base to soak up all the yummy sauce. And it’s so easy to prepare.
PRO TIP: Try cooking it with chicken broth for more flavor.
2. Brown Rice
You can also serve brown rice with your sweet and sour meatballs. It’s a healthier option, but it does take a bit longer to cook.
3. Cauliflower Rice
Cauliflower rice is a great option for those following a low-carb diet, and it’s an easy way to sneak in extra veggies for picky kids.
The preparation is a little different, but you can use it the same way you would white rice or brown rice.
If you want to make your own cauliflower rice, you’ll need a head of cauliflower and a food processor or blender.
Or, you can purchase premade cauliflower rice from the store.
4. Coconut Rice
If you’re tired of plain old white rice, you can try coconut rice with black beans! It’s rich and creamy, and you can make it in your rice cooker.
You can also add ginger and lime to jazz things up even more.
5. Egg Noodles
If rice isn’t your thing, you can opt for egg noodles. These are another popular side to serve with sweet and sour meatballs, and they keep with the Asian theme.
You can serve plain noodles are noodles with stir fry veggies like bell pepper, onion, and broccoli.
6. Broccoli Salad
Speaking of broccoli, a creamy and crunchy broccoli salad also pairs well with sweet and sour meatballs.
7. Asian Cucumber Salad
Asian cucumber salad is another crunchy and flavorful side dish to serve with sweet and sour meatballs. It’s a fresh and healthy dish that you can personalize with your favorite sauces and seasonings.
It’s the perfect bright and crisp complement to the savory and rich meatballs.
8. Asian Cabbage Salad or Slaw
You can also serve a simple Asian salad or slaw with your meatballs. This is another dish that you can personalize to your taste.
Start with a base of red and green cabbage, shredded carrots, and onion. Then add your favorite Asian dressing and toppings like cilantro, peanuts, and edamame.
9. Chinese Egg Noodle Soup
Egg noodle soup is another of the most popular dishes to serve with sweet and sour meatballs.
It’s warming, comforting, and flavorful. And you can make it as simple or complex as you’d like, either with a simple broth and noodles or with the addition of toppings and add-ins like vegetables and protein.
10. Sauteed Green Beans
Green beans are another classic pairing for sweet and sour meatballs. You can enjoy them sauteed with garlic and savory seasonings, or roasted in the oven.
They’re a healthy, crispy, and satisfying side to complete your meal.
11. Bok Choy
Bok Choy is a popular Asian vegetable that’s similar to cabbage. You can braise your Bock Choy, sauté it, or roast it in the oven.
You can serve them with a yummy Asian sauce like soy sauce or teriyaki sauce along with sesame seeds and onion.
Or, you can keep them plain with a little bit of salt and pepper.
12. Fried Rice
If you’re looking to jazz up plain white or brown rice, you can make some fried rice with a few additional ingredients.
There are lots of different fried rice variations out there, but we love Spam fried rice.
13. Fried Wontons
Who doesn’t love a good fried wonton? They’re the perfect crispy and crunchy foil to the soft and flavorful sweet and sour meatballs.
And they’re an especially good pairing to serve with meatballs at a party.
14. Chow Mein Noodles
Chow Mein noodles are a similar side dish to egg noodles. And you can enjoy them the same way — either plain or with stir fry vegetables like onion and celery.
15. Egg Rolls
Egg rolls are a great pairing for sweet and sour meatballs. And you can even use them to sop up the sauce.
You can choose vegetable egg rolls or egg rolls with protein like ground sausage.
They’re flaky, crispy, and a favorite of both kids and adults.
Here are some other great side dishes to serve with sweet and sour meatballs that didn’t make our top 15.
These ideas are just as delicious and great options to complete your meal.
- Mashed Potatoes
- Fruit Salad
- Mashed Cauliflower (similar taste and texture to mashed potatoes)
- Potato Salad
- French Fries
- Corn on the Cob
- Yellow Squash or Zucchini
Most vegetables pair well with sweet and sour meatballs. Here are some of the most popular options:
– Bell pepper
– Green Beans
– Bok Choy
– Yellow Squash
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