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Fish tacos can make a delicious meal. Combining fried or grilled fish with salsa, sour cream, onions, tomatoes, and a flour or crispy tortilla is simply perfection. However, as tasty as fish tacos are, they’re not quite enough to be a meal on their own. Deciding what to serve with fish tacos for your next family meal or get-together with friends may be stressing you out. Fear not! There are plenty of scrumptious fish taco sides to choose from that will perfectly complement your meal!
Table of Contents
What are Fish Tacos
Fish tacos are exactly what they sound like. Soft or hard taco shells filled with fish. The fish used for fish tacos can be fried, breaded, or grilled; it’s really up to the person making them. You really can use any type of fish to make your fish tacos, but some of the more common options include mahi mahi, halibut, cod, grouper, flounder, and barramundi.
The toppings added to a fish taco can also be customized to match the taste buds and preferences of the individuals eating them. Many individuals who serve fish tacos for a large crowd, or even a smaller gathering, create a toppings bar to allow everyone to build their taco to perfection. Some topping options for fish tacos include cabbage, lettuce, cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole, red onions, lime/lime juice, cilantro, and sour cream.
What Sides Go Well With Fish Tacos
What goes with fish tacos? Lots of things. Fish tacos can be flexibly paired with different sides to change the overall tone and feel of the meal. In most cases, fish tacos will be the main dish, but in some instances you can even choose to offer fish tacos as an appetizer or side alongside a different meal. Really, you have a lot of flexibility when selecting a side for fish tacos; there are very few ‘wrong’ answers.
What to Serve with Fish Tacos
Choosing sides to go with your fish tacos may feel difficult. However, simply think about the overall feel you want the meal to have and use the suggestions for sides for fish tacos below to help you. Here are some of the best sides to serve with your fish tacos:
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- Jalapeño Poppers
- Chips and Salsa
- Chips and Queso
- Refried Beans
- Cucumber Salad
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Mexican Corn Pudding
- Fruit salad
- Black Bean Soup
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Loaded Nachos
Cilantro Lime Rice
Cilantro lime rice is one of those fish taco side dishes that everyone will love. The cilantro and lime flavors in the rice will help accentuate those in the fish for a truly satisfying meal. Cilantro lime rice can be a bit spicy, making it a nice choice to accompany tacos.
Cilantro lime rice is simple to prepare. Start with long-grained rice, rather than short-grained, as the end result will be nice and fluffy. Add the uncooked rice to a saucepan with some olive oil to brown it. Then, add in some minced garlic and let it cook for about two minutes. Add water and lime zest and let the rice cook. Finally, just mix in some chopped up cilantro and lime juice once the rice has finished cooking.
Want a side with fish tacos that is sure to impress? Then, you’ll definitely want to consider these jalapeño poppers. The crispy panko coating helps cut the spice of the jalapeño just enough to make them go down easily…maybe too easily! This side is crunchy, tasty, and can be modified by adding cream cheese or other herbs and spices to the poppers.
Chips and Salsa
If you go to a Mexican restaurant, the sides for fish tacos will often be chips and salsa. This more traditional side is also tasty and really easy to prepare. You can purchase a jar of salsa at the grocery store to keep it really easy, but it isn’t too difficult to make your own fresh salsa either. You’ll just need tomatoes, cilantro, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper. To take your salsa up a notch, you could even add a little jalapeño or bell pepper.
If you’re feeling a little extra extravagant, why not also make a side of guacamole to go with the tortilla chips. Guacamole is also relatively simple to prepare. You’ll only need avocados, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, garlic, salt, and lime juice.
Another nice thing about preparing salsa and guacamole is that they can also double as toppings for the tacos.
Chips and Queso
Chips and queso is also among the more popular side dishes for fish tacos. Similar to salsa and guacamole, queso is another popular dip for Mexican tortilla chips. Queso, which means cheese in Spanish, is more than just simply melted cheese. Most queso recipes call for other ingredients to take the spice and flavor up a notch. These other ingredients often include chile peppers, jalapeño, pico de gallo, onion, cumin, or cayenne pepper.
Refried beans are another top choice for what to eat with fish tacos. They are another traditional Mexican dish that can help to round out your fish taco meal. Refried beans are beans that have been “well fried.” The cooking process means that refried beans are nearly mashed, making them quite smooth. Their smooth texture and subtle, yet tasty, flavor really makes them complement the taste of the fish tacos. Refried beans are another side that could also double as a taco topping.
Cucumber salad can also be a good choice when you’re thinking about what to serve with fish tacos. Cucumber salad is made using cucumber, red onion, dill, parsley, chives, paprika, and sour cream. These bold and delicious flavors blend nicely together and can taste great alongside, or even on top of, a fish taco.
If you want to make cucumber salad as a side for fish tacos, plan to make it the day before you’ll be serving the tacos. Letting the salad sit in the fridge overnight, or for at least six hours, really helps all the flavors to marinate and blend together.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
What goes good with fish tacos, especially on a cooler day? The answer has to be chicken tortilla soup. This Mexican-inspired soup typically has a tomato base and features other key ingredients such as beans, corn, and, of course, chicken. Right before serving, sprinkle some fresh tortilla strips over the soup to add a nice crunch.
The nice thing about making your own pot of chicken tortilla soup is that you can customize the spices. Make it pack as much (or as little) of a punch as you’d like. Adding some jalapeños or cilantro can definitely kick up the spice level for those with a more adventurous palate. It can also help clear up your sinuses!
Mexican Corn Pudding
Mexican corn pudding is another good answer to the “what sides go with fish tacos” question. Corn pudding is creamy, tasty, and can also be customized to pack as much of a punch as you’d like. To make your own corn pudding, you’ll need corn, cumin, cheese, cream, milk, salt, and pepper. Many individuals also like having some extra cheese, chile peppers, or cayenne pepper to top their pudding after it has all cooked.
Fruit salad can also make a nice side for fish tacos. Adding some fresh fruit on the side can help you make a light fish taco lunch. The fruit is delicious and healthy. Plus, it will really let the fish tacos stand out as the star of the meal.
You can add pretty much any fruit you want to your fruit salad. Chances are, you have what you need in your fruit bowl or refrigerator right now. If not, head to the grocery store and see what looks good. Some popular choices for fruit salad include grapes, strawberries, melon, cantaloupe, kiwi, pineapple, apples, and pears.
Black Bean Soup
If you’re looking to serve soup with your fish tacos, why not make up a batch of black bean soup. Black bean soup is one of the fish tacos sides that can help make your meal hearty and filling. A piping hot bowl of black bean soup next to your scrumptious fish tacos may be just the thing to keep everyone warm and satisfied on a cool day.
Black bean soup only requires a few ingredients. These include canned black beans, onions, bacon, pepper, cilantro, and tomatoes. You may also wish to have some fresh avocado available to use as a garnish when serving the soup.
Sweet Potato Fries
While you may not immediately think of sweet potato fries as a “Mexican” side dish, they can taste great alongside fish tacos. Sweet potato fries are easy to make. You’ll just need to slice up sweet potatoes and toss them in olive oil and salt. Then, roast the fries in the oven (or cook them in the air fryer if you have one). You can even put a Mexican twist on sweet potato fries by adding some cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder to the olive oil before coating them.
Sweet potato fries are also healthier than regular french fries. Pairing them with fish tacos, which can also be a healthier option, can make for a low calorie, yet delicious, meal.
Nachos are also among some of the more popular sides to go with fish tacos. However, rather than sticking with plain nachos with just cheese, opt for a heartier and fancier side by making your own loaded nachos. You can add any of your favorite toppings to make them enjoyable for you and your guests. Some toppings to consider include tomatoes, black beans, jalapeño peppers, bacon, and cilantro.
Be sure to have plenty of sour cream and guacamole available when you serve the nachos. These two dips can help bring out all of the flavors that you piled on the chips to make your loaded nachos.
When you’re asking “what goes well with fish tacos,” don’t forget about dessert! Churros are a traditional Mexican dessert that will add the perfect sweet touch after enjoying the fish tacos. Churros are deep-fried dough that is coated with a mixture of cinnamon sugar — yum!
You can make a dulce de leche dip to make your churros taste even more phenomenal. Dulce de leche is caramelized milk that is both easy to make and incredibly sweet and tasty.
Deciding What to Serve with Fish Tacos
Now, when you think about what to serve with fish tacos, you should have an arsenal of ideas ready. So many different sides taste great with fish tacos; you just need to decide what you’re in the mood for and start planning!
What kind of fish is best to use for fish tacos?
While you can use just about any fish to make fish tacos, white fish, such as mahi mahi, grouper, flounder, cod, and halibut, are common selections.