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Fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium phosphorus, vitamin D2, vitamin D, zinc, iron, and many other essential vitamins, and minerals.  According to the American Heart Association, eating fish twice or more a week is an important step in making sure you are eating a healthy and balanced diet.  If you’ve been starting to eat more fish, you may be having trouble coming up with tasty fish side dishes.  Continue reading to learn some new ideas for what to serve with fish.

Popular Types of Fish

When you hear fish, your mind may go directly to salmon, tilapia, or tuna.  However, there are numerous different species of fish, each with their own unique tastes and textures.  Incorporating fish into your diet can be exciting as you experiment with cooking some of these different types of fish.

In addition to the many different types of fish you can try, there are also multiple fish cooking techniques to experiment.  Even the same type of fish, such as salmon, can taste quite differently depending on the cooking method used.  Consider playing around with some different cooking techniques for fish, including:

  • Broiling
  • Steaming
  • Sautéing
  • Grilling
  • Fying
  • Air frying
  • Barbecuing
  • Poaching

In addition to the cooking methods above, you can also add fish into casseroles, filet it and combine it with other ingredients to make fish cakes or fish patties, and so much more.  The possibilities truly are endless with this seafood treat.

What to serve with fish

What Goes with Fish

What sides go with fish?  One of the appealing things about fixing fish is that there are so many sides that pair quite nicely with it.  In addition to all the different types of fish you can choose and the different cooking methods, there are quite a few tasty sides that will perfectly complement the meal. 

What Should You Serve with Fish

Because there are so many possible side options to pair with a fish lunch or dinner, you may be feeling lost or overwhelmed trying to narrow down the choices and make a decision. Use the ideas shared below to help you focus your search and choose a side that is sure to be a hit.  Here are a few of the possible side dishes you can serve with fish:

  1. Caesar Salad
  2. Roasted Potatoes
  3. Rice Pilaf
  4. Coleslaw
  5. Grilled Vegetables
  6. Cheesy Cauliflower Rice
  7. Risotto
  8. Oven Roasted Asparagus
  9. French Fries
  10. Dipping Sauce
  11. Mashed Potatoes
  12. Green Beans
  13. Sweet Potatoes
  14. Pasta Salad
  15. Roasted Sweet Bell Peppers
  16. Kale
  17. Grilled Pineapple

Caesar Salad

If you’re looking for what to eat with fish to keep the whole meal nice and healthy, a Caesar salad is an excellent choice.  Whether you serve the salad on the side, or choose to top it with your broiled, steamed, or even fried fish, you’re looking at a very tasty and fulfilling meal.  

Caesar salads are also very easy to make.  Just combine romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese, Caesar dressing, and a few croutons, if you’d like, and you’re good to go.  

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Roasted Potatoes

Many people see roasted potatoes as the answer to the “what is a good side dish for fish” question.  Adding a side of roasted red potatoes or roasted Greek potatoes will not only help your meal to taste better, it will also help fill you up and keep you satisfied.  

To roast potatoes, simply wash them and cut them into chunks.  Place them into a bowl and add some olive oil and your favorite seasonings, such as salt and pepper, or garlic, rosemary, and lemon.  Then place them into a hot (400 degree) oven for 30 to 40 minutes.  You can also sprinkle a little parmesan cheese over your potatoes for the last 10 to 15 minutes for an extra touch of deliciousness.

Rice Pilaf

If you want to find some seafood side dishes that won’t overpower the delicious flavors of your fish, consider rice pilaf.  It is flavorful, but not overwhelmingly so that you still won’t be able to savor and enjoy each bit of fish.

Rice pilaf is prepared by sautéingthe uncooked rice with onion, oil, and other seasonings before cooking it in broth.  Compared to traditional white or brown rice, which are cooked in just plain water, rice pilaf is more flavorful.

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Coleslaw

Coleslaw can also be the answer to “what goes good with fish.”  This is especially true if you’re preparing fish for lunch, but there are no rules stating you can’t enjoy some fresh and homemade coleslaw with a fish dinner too.

Coleslaw is made by mixing shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, mayonnaise, and vinegar.  While you can find pre-made coleslaw at the grocery store, it is very easy to make at home and will almost certainly taste better and fresher alongside your fish.

Another way to enjoy coleslaw with your fish, particularly a fried fish filet, is to combine the two together on a sandwich.  Add a dollop of tartar sauce to create your own gourmet sandwich.

Grilled Vegetables

Vegetable side dishes for fish can help you stick with a healthier theme.  Pairing some grilled vegetable or grilled veggie skewers is one scrumptious idea to try.  Put some of your favorite veggies, such as squash, broccoli, mushrooms, bell peppers, and corn on your skewer and toss them on the grill or grill pan.  This would be a great pairing if you’re planning on making grilled fish, since you can cook everything all together.

If you aren’t planning on grilling your fish, you could still choose to grill your vegetables.  Alternatively, you could steam or roast veggies for your side dish instead.

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Cheesy Cauliflower Rice

Another one of the best sides to go with fish is cheesy cauliflower rice.  Using cauliflower instead of regular brown or white rice makes this a low-carb dish.  Plus, when you add in some cheesy sauce, you’ll hardly be able to tell that you’re actually eating cauliflower.

This ooey gooey cheesy side dish would taste good with any type of fish, but you may find it most enjoyable with a broiled or fried fish.

Risotto

If you don’t want to skip the carbs with a rice substitute, go for the real deal with risotto.  Risotto is an excellent side dish for fish; it is tasty, creamy, and has a subtle flavor that won’t overpower the fish.

You can find many different risotto recipes based on the type of fish you’re eating and exactly what you feel like.  Some popular ones include risotto with mushrooms, tomato parmesan risotto, saffron risotto, and butternut square risotto.

Oven Roasted Asparagus

Searching for “what goes with fish?”  Oven roasted asparagus is the perfect veggie to plate with your tasty salmon, mahi mahi, tilapia, or other fish meal.  Asparagus is also one of those sides for fish that is easy to make.

When preparing asparagus, snap off the thick ends, rather than cutting them.  Snapping off the ends helps ensure that you remove all of the bitter part, without getting rid of the fresh and tasty part.  Once you’ve washed and snapped the asparagus, place the spears on an oiled baking sheet and drizzle olive oil over them.  Add a bit of salt, pepper, and garlic, then toss it all together to make sure the spears are coated.  Roast the asparagus in a hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes, turning them over about halfway through the cooking time.

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French Fries

French fries go with nearly anything, right?  They can certainly be the perfect pairing for your fish.  Think about fish and chips!  Fries will clearly taste good with fried fish, but they can also be a good choice if you’re serving broiled, barbecued, or steamed fish too.  

If you want to make your fries crispy and delicious, while still keeping them on the healthier side, consider baking them in the oven or cooking them in an air fryer instead of deep-frying them.  Sweet potato fries can also be a healthier alternative to consider.

Dipping Sauce 

When thinking about good sides for fish, you can’t forget about the dipping sauce.  Having the perfect sauce to dip your fish in can really help tie the entire meal together.  Tartar sauce is commonly served with fish, and is always a safe choice.  Tartar sauce is made with mayonnaise, pickle relish or chopped pickles, and seasonings.  Some recipes also call for lemon juice or even olives.

While you can’t go wrong with tartar sauce, you could also consider pairing a cheese sauce, dill sauce, or garlic sauce with your fish.  Think about which flavors in the fish you’re trying to enhance, and choose a sauce that will help you accomplish that goal.

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes can be served with so many dishes, and fish is definitely among the top choices.  Mashed potatoes are starchy, creamy, and filling, helping them to nicely complement just about any type of fish that may be on your plate.

When making mashed potatoes, you can choose from either a smoother or chunkier consistency.  If you want extra smooth and creamy mashed potatoes, use an electric mixer and blend the potatoes right after draining them while they’re still nice and hot.  Then, add in some butter and a splash of milk.  For chunkier mashed potatoes, go for the old-fashioned way and use a potato masher to smash up the potatoes and butter.  

You can also add some garlic or cheese to your mashed potatoes if desired.

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Green Beans

One of the best healthy sides for fish is green beans.  Steam fresh green beans or roast them with some olive oil, garlic, and balsamic vinegar to make a tasty treat to enjoy with your fish.  The key is to choose fresh green beans over canned or frozen.  The texture of fresh green beans will be firmer, and their flavor will be richer than canned or frozen options.

Sweet Potatoes

When you’re wondering what to serve with fish, keep things simple and toss a few sweet potatoes in the oven.  Baked sweet potatoes are soft, flavorful, and can help bring out the flavor in a piece of fish.

Sweet potatoes are perfectly good plain, but you can also serve them with a little bit of butter or even brown sugar.  Alternatively, as mentioned above, you could even make sweet potato fries or mashed sweet potatoes.

Pasta Salad

One more yummy side dish to serve with fish is pasta salad.  One pasta salad dish you may enjoy is a tasty orzo pasta salad.  Just add orzo, lemon honey dressing, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, scallions, and feta cheese to a bowl and stir all the ingredients together.  

Bacon macaroni salad with pasta, bacon, tomato, celery, and onion is another delicious option to try.

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Roasted Sweet Bell Peppers

Brighten your plate and your taste buds by serving roasted sweet bell peppers next to your fish.  They’ll add a little crunch to make your fish all the more enjoyable.  Plus, sweet bell peppers come in a range of colors, including red, yellow, and orange.  They’ll add a colorful rainbow to your plate, making for a beautiful presentation in addition to the delicious taste.

Kale

Kale is a very healthy and nutrient-dense vegetable.  Massaging kale before cooking it can help ensure that it turns out tender and delicious.  Consider sautéing your kale with garlic and olive oil, roasting it in the oven, or even making kale chips in the air fryer.

Grilled Pineapple

Create your own dream island getaway by grilling some pineapple to serve with your fish.  Not only does pineapple taste good, but it is a great source of vitamin C, fiber, manganese, pantothenic acid, and fiber.  Grilled pineapple would taste especially good with a white fish, such as mahi mahi or tilapia.

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Deciding What to Serve with Fish

With so many tasty side dishes for fish, what will you choose?  You really can’t go wrong with one of the sides we shared above, such as grilled vegetables, rice pilaf, or orzo pasta salad!  What are you adding to your grocery list or pulling out of your refrigerator to cook alongside your fish dinner?

FAQs

What sides go with fried fish?

Some tasty fried fish sides include hush puppies, french fries, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, steamed vegetables, and onion rings.