Fish is a versatile, healthy, and relatively easy main course to prepare any time of year. There are many readily available fish options to choose from at any grocery store near you, and the flavor combos you can use to season your fish are endless, as are the ways you can prepare and serve it.
But, what is a good side dish for fish?
Luckily, when it comes to sides for fish, the options are just as versatile as the main course itself. Whether you are specifically looking for healthy sides for fish or something more elaborate and especially flavorful to really wow your dinner guests, we’ve got you covered.
Depending on the season, the occasion, the fish you choose to serve, and what you are in the mood for, here are 22 recipes for fish side dishes to help you serve up the perfect meal every time.
1. Rice Pilaf
There are many variations of rice pilaf out there, but this recipe is a quick, easy, and delicious side to remember when considering what goes good with fish.
You can whip this rice pilaf up in 30 minutes, and with simple ingredients, it is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. Plus, the addition of cayenne adds an extra flair and spice to really create a memorable flavor for this dish!
2. Garlic Butter Cauliflower Rice with Spinach
Looking for a healthy side for your fish dinner?
Look no further than this delicious cauliflower rice recipe! It only takes about 15 minutes to make, and cauliflower rice is low carb, paleo and vegetarian friendly, and gluten-free.
This recipe will pair especially well with a citrus-inspired fish dish as the main course. It is a light but delicious side, and the chili powder and lime in this recipe will brighten up any meal, making it especially perfect for busy summer evenings or family gatherings.
3. Greek Potatoes
If you are craving a side that is flavorful and unique for a dinner party or special occasion, these Greek potatoes are for you. Everyone loves potatoes, and this crispy and lemony recipe is no exception.
It’s sure to impress your dinner guests and pairs especially well with grilled or baked fish.
This dish is one of the heartier sides that go with fish, and it does take over an hour to make. Be sure to plan ahead and allow yourself plenty of time to perfect this delicious recipe.
If you want to up the Greek element, you can whip up some tzatziki sauce, as well!
4. Lemon and Herb Baked Risotto
Do you have a busy evening ahead that has left you wondering what to serve with fish?
It’s time to try this completely hands-off risotto recipe! Because this risotto is baked in the oven, you can literally fix it and forget it — until the timer beeps, of course.
The key to this recipe is to use special risotto rice (arborio is the most common) and to bake it in a deeper dish rather than a wider one to keep it from drying out.
That said, this recipe is the perfect addition to a fish dinner because of the lemon and herb flavors!
5. Buttery Garlic Green Beans
Made with fresh green beans, this recipe is a healthy side option for your fish of choice. Green beans go well with just about everything, and with fresh garlic and butter, who could resist?
Furthermore, this recipe is ready to serve in 15 minutes, so it is perfect for those times you need a quick but healthy dish everyone in your family will enjoy.
The secret here is lemon pepper seasoning, which makes this recipe even easier to throw together!
6. Homemade French Fries
A classic fish fry demands a classic side, so if you’re craving some comfort food, these homemade French fries are the perfect side dish for you! The recipe calls for only three ingredients, and russet potatoes are a must.
The secret is to soak the potatoes in cold water to remove the starch.
This will result in crispier fries that hold up to the challenge. Additionally, this recipe recommends frying your fries twice to remove all the moisture.
7. Caesar Salad
If starchy carbs are not your jam when it comes to what to eat with fish, then this delicious, well-known salad might just be the side for you.
This recipe pulls out all the stops and will teach you how to make your own croutons with baguettes and craft a delicious homemade Caesar dressing, but you can always opt for store-bought substitutes in a pinch.
However, if you have the time, these croutons are sure to become your new favorite salad topper!
8. Cheesy Cauliflower Rice
Who can resist another cauliflower rice recipe? This delicious cheesy cauliflower rice takes about 10 minutes to make, and it is the perfect keto-friendly substitute for mac and cheese.
You can pair it with fried fish for a warm comfort meal or share it with your neighbors at your next summer barbecue.
Will anyone really know it is cauliflower?
Even the pickiest eaters are sure to dig into this cheesy delight.
9. Mushroom Risotto
If you want a twist on a risotto side dish, try out this easy mushroom risotto the next time you serve up some grilled fish.
This recipe is more hands-on than the one above, but it still only requires one pan, making for easy post-meal clean-up.
Good risotto cannot be rushed, so make sure you simmer while you cook rather the bring it to a full boil. Furthermore, you don’t have to constantly stir for this recipe, so you have plenty of time to simultaneously prepare your fish!
10. Tartar Sauce
If you want the fish you’ve prepared to be the true star of the show, making something simple on the side like this tartar sauce will highlight the main course, whether it be fish sticks, fried fish, or even a fancier dish like homemade salmon cakes.
This tartar sauce is so easy to make that all you have to do is throw everything into a bowl and stir.
Seriously, it is that simple. Lemon juice, pickles, and sugar might sound like a weird combo, but once you’ve mixed it all up, you won’t regret it!
11. Dill Sauce
If a simple sauce seems like the side for you, then you cannot go wrong with this delicious dill sauce, especially when serving salmon.
The lemon and mustard flavors pair with salmon perfectly and are sure to please. Plus, this recipe calls for only four ingredients and can be whipped up in a matter of minutes.
However, the recipe does recommend that you serve the sauce chilled, so preparing it ahead of time is best.
12. Garlic Dipping Sauce
Do you love Papa John’s garlic dipping sauce? Make your own at home!
This buttery, garlicky cream sauce is perfect to dip your fried fish in or drizzle on top of a filet fresh off the grill — take your pick.
Papa John’s sauce is vegan, so if you want to stick with that, Smart Balance is a great butter substitute to use, but if real butter is the way to your heart, the secret is to clarify it before adding the garlic powder to ensure your sauce does not separate.
13. Grilled Veggie Skewers
If you want to keep your summer cookout healthy, these veggies skewers are the side for you. Plus, you can grill them up at the same time as your fish.
This recipe calls for red onions, bell peppers, and zucchini, but if you are feeling adventurous, you can also try yellow summer squash, mushrooms, or even pineapple for a tropical twist.
Check out the recipe notes for even more suggestions on which vegetables do (and do not) work best on the grill!
What side dish list would be complete without this classic? Plus, this coleslaw recipe only calls for four main ingredients: coleslaw mix, mayonnaise, honey, and apple cider vinegar.
What’s easier than that?
Because the base recipe is so quick, you can really have fun with this dish and make it your own. Some additional suggestions include seasonings like salt, garlic powder, or cilantro, and you can even go so far as to add strawberries, bleu cheese, or pineapple.
This is the perfect side for any grilled or baked fish of your choice.
15. Simple Side Salad
If a classic Caesar salad doesn’t seem like quite the right pairing for the fish you are serving, you can try this side salad instead.
While there is a hint of Caesar in this recipe, the additions of pecans, dried cranberries, cucumbers, and balsamic add a whole new set of flavors to the menu.
If you are feeling especially adventurous, you can even swap out the cucumber for apples or pears. The secret that makes this recipe so successful is the blend of both Caesar and balsamic dressing.
Who would have thought?
16. Mashed Potatoes
When it comes to potatoes, there is never a wrong time to go back to the basics, and what better way to do that than to serve up some mashed potatoes the next time you grill some fish for dinner.
This buttery and salty recipe will complement whatever flavors you choose for your main course, and it is especially delicious because it combines two different types of potatoes: Yukon gold potatoes and russet potatoes.
But the real secret to this side dish is the addition of cream cheese!
17. Roasted Brussels Sprouts
When you think about what sides go with fish, Brussels sprouts might not be top of mind, but you won’t be disappointed with this recipe.
It is as simple as coating the Brussels sprouts in olive oil and salt and baking them for 17-25 minutes.
However, if you want to spice them up a bit depending on how you’ve prepared your fish, you can drizzle them with balsamic, top them with fresh lemon juice, or even add red pepper flakes or sesame seeds. The possibilities are endless.
18. Whipped Sweet Potatoes
If you want to stick with potatoes but try something with a twist, check out the sweet potato alternative to mashed potatoes.
This recipe can be prepared in about 30 minutes and offers a slightly sweeter take on a potato side dish with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.
If maple pecan-crusted salmon sounds like a meal you would love, then this side dish should definitely make an appearance at your table.
19. Roasted Cauliflower
If roasted veggies sound like the perfect side, then you’ll also love this healthy roasted cauliflower at your next fish dinner.
This recipe is oven roasted as well, and after coating the cauliflower florets in olive oil and butter, you can follow the recipe’s seasoning ideas or customize your flavors to match your main course.
After all, cauliflower is the perfect veggie to get creative with!
If you are wanting a fully vegan option, the butter can be substituted with more olive oil instead.
20. Roasted Sugar Snap Peas
In keeping with the roasted veggie theme, don’t forget about sugar snap peas!
Often thought of as a quick and easy snack, sugar snap peas might not immediately come to mind when you think about what to eat with fish, but they should not go unnoticed.
When sugar snap peas are roasted, their sweet flavor intensifies, and this recipe pairs that sweetness with the tanginess of garlic, salt, and pepper for a perfectly balanced side dish.
21. Oven-Baked Fries
If you love the sound of homemade French fries but don’t feel like going through the trouble of frying them, then this recipe is for you.
To recreate your favorite fish and chips meal at home, start but soaking your russet potatoes in cold water like the recipe above, but instead of frying them, oil them up generously, bake them at 375°F for 20 minutes, then turn the oven up to 425°F and bake for another 20 minutes to get that perfectly crispy fry texture we all crave.
22. Grilled Potatoes
If you are craving potatoes with your fish dinner but don’t want to take the time to make fries, try grilling them instead. Keep in mind they will take about 30 minutes to grill, so plan ahead.
(Note: These also make a great campfire meal with some freshly caught fish!)
Simply slice the potatoes and wrap them in foil with onions, butter, and seasonings of your choice.
This recipe calls for salt and pepper, but don’t be afraid to get creative! After grilling, you can also top your potatoes with cheese, dill, chives, bacon bits, or even mushrooms.
What to Serve With Fish (22 Perfect Side Dishes)
Here is a slightly different take on rice pilaf! This recipe includes the addition of orzo instead of only rice, giving it a fun twist.
- 2 tbsps butter
- ½ c orzo pasta
- ½ c diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ c uncooked white rice
- 2 c chicken broth
- Over medium-low heat, melt butter in a covered pan. Stir in orzo and cook until golden.
- Add onions and cook until translucent; then add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- Add in the rice and chicken broth and bring to a boil. After boiling, cover and reduce the heat back to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
- Remove from heat, fluff the rice, and serve with your favorite fish!