27 Elevate Your Chicken Afritada Experience: Discover the Perfect Side Dish

Chicken afritada is a delicious, tomato-based Filipino dish that already holds a special place in many people’s hearts.

While it’s an undoubtedly flavorful meal on its own, pairing it with the perfect side dish can take your afritada experience to a whole new level!

Allow me to guide you through the amazing world of side dishes that wonderfully complement the savory taste of chicken afritada, providing you with that perfect balance of textures and flavors for a truly satisfying dinner.

In this post, you’ll discover our recommendations for complementary side dishes and learn how to make your chicken afritada even more special.

A Quick solution for a side dish for chicken afritada 

Steamed White Rice, Garlic Fried Rice (Sinangag), Bread or Dinner Rolls, Steamed or Grilled Vegetables, Noodles or Pasta, Pandesal Bread Rolls, Grilled Eggplant Salad (Ensaladang Talong), Filipino-style Macaroni Salad, Rice Pilaf, Roasted Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli, Green Salad, Garlic Bread, Baked Beans, Couscous, Polenta, Fried Plantains, Mashed Potatoes, Spinach Salad, Vegetable Fries, Steamed Rice, Quinoa Pilaf, Fried Okra, Baked Potatoes, Sautéed Mushrooms & Onions, Sauteed Spinach, Baked Pasta.

What is chicken Afritada and what does chicken Afritada taste like?

Chicken Afritada is a Filipino stew made with chicken, potatoes, and vegetables cooked in tomato sauce.

It usually has a sweet-sour taste with the addition of sugar and white vinegar. The vegetables used usually consist of bell peppers, carrots, onions, garlic and tomatoes, while other ingredients like olives or raisins can be added as well.

Chicken Afritada is typically served over steamed white rice to make it more flavorful. It has a bright flavor that will make your taste buds dance!

And if you’re looking for something extra special, try adding some hard-boiled eggs for an extra protein kick! Enjoy this delicious dish any day of the week!

When it comes to taste, Chicken Afritada is savory yet naturally sweet. The tomatoes are cooked down until they become almost a sauce-like consistency and give the dish an acidic but comforting flavor.

The potatoes add some heartiness, while the bell peppers and carrots provide a crunchy texture to contrast the soft chicken pieces.

Lastly, the olives and raisins add bursts of sweetness that make this dish unique and delicious!

All these flavors come together with some herbs like bay leaves, oregano, thyme and more to really bring out all its flavors! 

So if you’re looking for something flavorful and unique, give Chicken Afritada a try – you won’t be disappointed!


What is Afritada made of?

Afritada is usually made with pork, chicken, or beef. The meat is cooked in a tomato-based sauce and seasoned with garlic, onions, bay leaves, and other spices.

Potatoes are also commonly added to the dish. Traditional versions of Afritada might include carrots and bell peppers as well, depending on personal preference.

Other vegetables such as eggplant, squash, string beans or peas may be used as well. Variations of this dish can be found across different regions in the Philippines.

It is often served over white rice or accompanied by a side dish of steamed vegetables.

Afritada is generally considered to be an easy dish to make at home and uses relatively inexpensive ingredients that can be found in most supermarkets.

It is a popular choice for family dinners and special occasions, as it can be made ahead of time and is easily adaptable to different tastes. The dish also reheats well, so any leftovers can be enjoyed the next day.

Overall, Afritada is an easy-to-make and flavorful Filipino dish that combines savory meats with tomato-based sauce and vegetables.

It is versatile enough to suit a variety of tastes, making it a great option for both weeknight meals and special occasions alike.

Best side dishes for chicken afritada

1. Steamed White Rice

A quintessential part of many Filipino meals, steamed white rice is a simple yet essential partner for chicken afritada.

The mildly sweet taste and fluffy texture of white rice create harmony with the rich flavors of afritada.

The rice is like a blank canvas helping to highlight the deep, tomato-based sauce and tender chicken.

If you’d like to boost the nutritional value of your meal, you could also opt for brown rice or quinoa.

2. Garlic Fried Rice (Sinangag)

Here’s another delicious and popular Filipino classic that pairs exceptionally well with the chicken afritada.

Garlic fried rice, or sinangag, adds an extra depth of flavor to your meal. 

With the fragrant aroma and flavors of garlic and a slight crispiness to the rice, sinangag provides an interesting contrast to the juicy tenderness of the afritada.

Plus, making it is a fantastic way to use up leftover rice!

3. Bread or Dinner Rolls

When you’re craving something a little different, bread or dinner rolls are another great side dish option.

The soft and fluffy texture of bread perfectly complements the robust flavors of the afritada, acting as a sponge to soak up the remaining sauce left on your plate.

Use bread to make an open-faced afritada sandwich, or tear off a few pieces and enjoy them as you savor the flavorful chicken and hearty vegetables.

4. Steamed or Grilled Vegetables

If you’re looking for a lighter side dish, steamed or grilled vegetables make for a healthy and delicious accompaniment to your chicken afritada.

Steamed vegetables like green beans, asparagus, or broccoli maintain their vibrant colors, crisp textures, and natural flavors that complement the richness of afritada.

Grilling vegetables, such as zucchini, eggplant, or bell peppers, add a touch of smokiness that can elevate the overall taste of the meal.

Additionally, incorporating vegetables adds valuable vitamins and nutrients to your dinner without excessive calories.

5. Noodles or Pasta

For a heartier side dish, you can try coupling your chicken afritada with noodles or pasta. Choose from egg noodles, rice noodles, or even spaghetti to provide a more filling and satisfying meal.

The al dente texture of the pasta works wonderfully with the fork-tender chicken and thick sauce, turning your afritada into a delectable pasta dish.

This fusion of Italian and Filipino flavors results in a unique and unforgettable dining experience!

6. Pandesal Bread Rolls

An ideal accompaniment to any Filipino meal is pandesal, a soft and fluffy bread roll with a slight hint of sweetness. 

pandesal bread rolls are good side to serve with chicken afritada
Pandesal Bread Rolls

These versatile bread rolls make great vehicles to mop up that rich and tasty sauce while complementing the tender chicken and vegetables in your afritada.

You can opt for store-bought pandesal or challenge yourself to make them from scratch for a truly authentic and homemade touch.

7. Grilled Eggplant Salad (Ensaladang Talong)

Elevate your chicken afritada with a flavorful and refreshing side of ensaladang, a Filipino grilled eggplant salad.

The smoky and earthy flavors of charred eggplant marry well with the tangy notes of tomatoes, onions, and vinegar.

The salad cuts through the richness of the afritada, thus cleansing your palate and providing a vibrant contrast to your meal.

Plus, it’s a fantastic way to include more vegetables in your daily diet.

8. Filipino-style Macaroni Salad

For a delightful fusion of flavors to accompany your chicken afritada, try a serving of Filipino-style macaroni salad.

This creamy and slightly sweet salad adds an exciting flavor profile to your meal, providing a different sensation with every bite.

The combination of elbow macaroni, mayonnaise, sweetened condensed milk, and various mix-ins such as shredded chicken, pineapple, raisins, cheese, and boiled eggs makes a luscious and satisfying side dish that everyone will adore.

9. Rice Pilaf 

A classic side to match with chicken Afritada, rice pilaf is a flavorful dish that can be prepared in a variety of ways.

It typically consists of rice cooked in butter or oil and then combined with onions, herbs, and spices such as garlic, oregano, and parsley.

10. Roasted Potatoes 

Roasting potatoes in the oven is an easy way to bring out their natural sweetness. You just cut them into wedges or cubes and toss them with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and your favorite herbs before roasting until golden brown.

11. Steamed Broccoli 

Broccoli pairs perfectly with chicken Afritada due to its mild flavor and crunchy texture when served steamed alongside a generous helping of fresh, aromatic garlic sauce or pesto sauce.

12. Green Salad 

For a light accompaniment to your chicken Afritada feast, you can prepare a green salad featuring crisp romaine lettuce leaves combined with cucumber slices.

And tomatoes tossed in an olive oil vinaigrette dressing seasoned with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt flakes.

13. Garlic Bread 

Whether it’s store-bought or homemade, you must try garlic bread, and it is an excellent choice to serve alongside chicken Afritada; its garlicky aroma will add extra layers of flavor to the overall meal!

Garlic Breads are one of the best partners with chicken afritada
Garlic Bread

14. Baked Beans 

Baked beans are one of the best partners with chicken Afritada, and they offer up more than just protein.

They provide great depth of flavor when paired with tomato-based sauces like the one used for Afritada due to their sweetness which helps balance out any acidity from the tomatoes used in the dish.

15. Couscous 

This light yet flavorful side dish can be cooked quickly on the stovetop by boiling water together with stock cubes or bouillon powder until bubbly before adding couscous grains along with other herbs and spices, such as rosemary or thyme, if desired.

couscous is a good side dish for chicken afritada

Let it sit covered off heat until all liquid is absorbed before fluffing it up gently with a fork right before serving time!

16. Polenta 

Traditional Italian polenta is another great accompaniment for chicken Afritada due to its mild yet nutty taste when cooked according to package instructions (usually boiling water and then slowly stirring in cornmeal).

Serve this warm side topped off with cheese for added flavor!

17. Fried Plantains 

A Caribbean favorite among many cultures around the world, fried plantains are fried slices of green plantain that have been cooked over low heat in vegetable oil until golden brown.

Then you can serve them hot straight from the pan for the best results!

18. Mashed Potatoes 

Mashed potatoes are always welcome when you serve them alongside any type of meat dish.

mashed potatoes are always welcome when you serve them with chicken afritada
Mashed Potatoes 

Use equal parts butter and cream cheese while mashing potatoes to give them an airy texture that everyone will love!

19. Spinach Salad

Start off by sautéing some sliced onion rings in olive oil.

Then combine them together with spinach leaves seasoned lightly with freshly ground black pepper before topping off your salad creations with freshly picked olives or diced tomato pieces balanced off nicely by a light vinaigrette dressing!

20. Vegetable Fries 

You can try Vegetable Fries, which go well with chicken afritada.

Vegetable fries are made by slicing up carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash etc., into thin strips, tossing them lightly in seasoning such as herbes de Provence, then baking them until crispy perfection has been achieved!

21. Steamed Rice 

Steaming long-grain white rice on the stovetop according to package instructions makes for an excellent side dish for you that goes well not only with chicken afritada but also with various other dishes like stews, roasts, curries, chili etc.

Or extra flavor, you can try adding some garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cardamom, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks etc., while steaming your rice!

22. Quinoa Pilaf 

Quinoa can make for a nutritious alternative side option compared to regular white rice used traditionally.

quinoa pilaf is a classic that goes perfectly well as a side dish for chicken afritada
Quinoa Pilaf

Cook quinoa pilaf according to package instructions but adding some finely diced vegetables such as onions, red/green bell peppers, celery, carrot etc., during the cooking process helps enhance its flavor even further!

23. Fried Okra 

Another southern classic that goes perfectly well as a side dish for chicken afritada; is fried okra are strips of young okra pods lightly battered in seasoned flour.

fried okra is a classic that goes perfectly well as a side dish for chicken afritada
Fried Okra 

Then shallow fried until golden brown deliciousness has been achieved! Serve them up while they’re still warm for the best results!

24. Baked Potatoes 

An easy yet tasty side option when you serve chicken afritada, simply wash and dry.

Then prick potatoes and then bake them in the oven wrapped in aluminum foil until tender and golden brown perfection have been achieved! Serve them up topped off with a dollop of butter or sour cream for extra flavor!

25. Sautéed Mushrooms & Onions 

This quick and simple side dish can be made by sautéing mushrooms and onions with a bit of butter, garlic, herbs and spices like oregano, thyme, rosemary etc., until lightly golden brown and fragrant.

Serve them up alongside your chicken afritada for a flavourful accompaniment that is sure to please!

More: Delicious Sides to Serve with Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

26. Sauteed Spinach 

Make the most of this nutritional powerhouse by simply washing, then sautéing spinach leaves with some garlic and olive oil until tender.

You can season it with salt and pepper and enjoy it as an accompaniment to your chicken afritada dish!

The options are truly endless when it comes to making delicious side dishes to serve alongside chicken afritada, so get creative in the kitchen today!

Bon Appétit!

27. Baked Pasta 

Last but certainly not least, baked pasta dishes such as lasagne macaroni and cheese or even a simple mix of cooked elbow macaroni with cream sauce can make for an excellent alternative accompaniment choice to serve alongside chicken afritada! 

baked pasta is a good choice to serve alongside chicken afritada
Baked Pasta 

So, you can try using different types of cheese, such as mozzarella, cheddar Parmesan ricotta etc and top it off with a sprinkle of breadcrumbs for added crunchiness!


More: Perfect Side Dishes to Complement Your Chicken Wings -Easy and tasty

What are the best flavors to go with chicken afritada?

Chicken afritada is a flavorful and delicious dish that can be cooked with a variety of flavors. Some of the best flavors to pair with this dish include tomato-based sauces, garlic, onion, bell peppers, cilantro, oregano, paprika, bay leaves, thyme, and parsley.

For an even more robust flavor profile, you can also add ingredients like red wine vinegar or capers. The combination of these flavors creates a savory and satisfying meal that everyone will love!

If you’re looking for an extra kick of flavor, try adding some chili peppers or hot sauce to your chicken afritada. Enjoy!

How do you jazz up a chicken afritada?

A delicious way to jazz up a chicken afritada is by adding in some extra spices and flavorings. A few ideas that work great include adding a teaspoon of smoked paprika or a bit of garlic powder for an extra boost of flavor.

Fresh herbs like basil, oregano, and thyme are also great additions for some added complexity.

You can also spruce up the dish by substituting white wine or beer for the water instead of using just plain water. 

This can really add a whole new level of flavor to your chicken afritada! Finally, topping it off with some freshly grated cheese or crispy fried onions makes it even more irresistible. Enjoy!

How should chicken afritada be served?

Chicken afritada is best served hot and fresh. It can be served as a main course with steamed white rice or over pasta.

To make it even more delicious, you can add a side of crispy fried garlic or sliced avocados on the side.

To complete your meal, add a salad or vegetable dish like stir-fried vegetables or grilled zucchini to round out your plate. Enjoy!

What is chicken Machado vs Afritada?

Chicken Machado is a dish typical of the southern part of the Philippines, where it originated. It is made from chicken, potatoes, olives, bell peppers, tomato sauce and spices.

The chicken pieces are fried in oil until golden brown before being simmered in the aforementioned ingredients for about an hour. The result is a savory and flavorful stew that can be enjoyed as a stand-alone meal or served with steamed rice.

Afritada is another Filipino dish that features chicken as its main ingredient. This dish usually involves simmering chicken pieces in a tomato-based sauce along with vegetables like carrots and potatoes.

Unlike Machado, which has more of a spicy flavor due to its use of chilies, Afritada tends to be sweeter and more mellow in taste.

 Afritada is usually served with steamed white rice or garlic-fried rice. Both Machado and Afritada are popular dishes in the Philippines and can be found on many restaurant menus.

The differences between these two dishes lie mainly in their flavor profiles and cooking methods, making them a great addition to any Filipino meal!

Conclusion on a side dish for chicken afritada 

Say goodbye to the dull and boring side dishes and elevate your chicken afritada with these unconventional yet extraordinary side dish options.

With these recipes, you’ll impress your family, friends, and even yourself by transforming a classic Filipino dish into an extraordinary culinary experience.

Remember that cooking is a creative playground, so feel free to mix and match these side dishes or even come up with variations to pair with your favorite chicken afritada.

Happy cooking and bon appétit!

FAQs on a side dish for chicken afritada

Q1. How long can you keep afritada in the fridge?

Afritada can last up to 3-4 days in the fridge as long as it is stored properly in an airtight container. It is best to eat afritada within 2 days for optimal freshness and flavor. If you do have leftovers from afritada, be sure to reheat them thoroughly before eating. Enjoy!

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