When we consider what we’re going to serve with our fish, it can get a little… complicated to say the least.
Most fish are extremely versatile and many side dishes can help them pop with some unique flavors and aromas.
What is critical when you’re creating a fantastic fish dish though is that you’re using sides that compliment the textures, flavors and aromas of the fish – ensuring you’re not overpowering the main.
Luckily, we’ve made this a little easier for you chefs out there.
We’ve created this comprehensive guide which covers sides to go with almost any type of fish, along with some handy recipe ideas and other things!
Join us as we dive much deeper.
1. Curried Cod
Okay, so it’s kind of cheating to call curry a side – but this dish (and the next in our list for that matter) does not need a side!
For those of you who are looking for a fantastic fish meal which is low in calories but extremely high in flavor – look no further than curried cod!
Cod is one of the most popular types of fish out there and it’s easy to see why.
It usually serves a terrific portion and is one of the most meaty fish you can use in a meal.
The tomato, chickpeas and ginger really bring out the natural flavors of the cod but do not overpower it.
They pair very well together which makes it one of the most healthy, most tasty and most easy fish dishes to make.
Told you this wouldn’t need a side!
If you’re looking for something much more simplistic but packs a punch with flavor, then pan frying scallops and pairing them with chili and coriander cannot be beaten.
Scallops are meaty and this allows strong flavors to become weaker during the cooking process.
As a result, you can use much stronger spices to give them a huge boost.
Chili and coriander have always paired well together, so when we add this perfect blend to chunky scallops, we’ve got a real hit on our hands.
This is an ideal starter dish or a great snack for those days when you’re unsure about what to make.
The meal is pretty low in calories too for those of you who are health conscious!
Cauliflower rice is perhaps the healthiest form of rice you could choose and it has its own unique flavor.
While some people are not the biggest fan of the taste of cauliflower, it does not have an overpowering aroma to it, nor taste.
Instead, it works to bring out the flavors and aromas of the main – and in this instance, your chosen fish.
However, if you want to add a little more of a kick to your rice, you could boil the rice with added pepper, garlic powder or even paprika.
This side is perfect for people who want some rice with their fish but really don’t want to go crazy with the carbs or the calories. That’s totally fine!
Come on now, who among us doesn’t crave the smell and beautiful texture of buttery mashed potato from time to time?
Well, it’s in fact one of the best sides to put with fish.
Aside from some other sides, mashed potatoes do not contain additional oil due to being fried.
Instead, they are typically boiled to perfection and prepared with some low-fat salted butter.
Next up, throw a little garlic into the equation and some cheese to balance out the consistency. Amazing!
But it’s down to you how you might want to create your mashed potatoes. They can be made as healthy (or not!) as you like.
Keeping a healthy and balanced diet is very important and there’s no better way to do this than by accompanying some great tasting fish with a traditional salad.
Made with Romaine lettuce, croutons, anchovies and cheese – you’ve got something that is packed with nutrients and isn’t too heavy on the stomach.
That’s an ideal meal for work-based lunches!
6. French Fries
Why not add a little bit of a classic into your fish dish?
French fries can be the perfect pairing with fish, especially for fish like salmon and cod due to their size.
If you want to make your French fries the most healthy they can be and reduce the amount of calories of the fish, consider using an air-fryer or simply cooking them in your oven.
Coleslaw can be a gorgeous coupling to your fish. With its creamy texture and crunchy vegetables, you can make your fish explode with an amalgamation of sweet and savory tastes and aromas.
Few sides like coleslaw can work as well, regardless of how you prepare your fish.
It’s just how you make the coleslaw that makes the biggest difference.
8. Dill Sauce
Dill sauce is one of the most popular sides with some fish, but particularly with salmon (see also ‘26 Easy and Tasty Dill Recipes‘).
Its strong flavors match incredibly well with the inner tastes of the salmon (see also ‘16 Best Leftover Salmon Recipes You Need To Try!‘), but also when you season the salmon with additional flavors such as salt, pepper and garlic.
Highly recommended if you are going to choose a salmon dish!
Risotto is among the best of its kind when it comes to choosing a side dish, but it pairs so well with fish.
Tomato’s fruity and sweet taste when mixed with the more powerfully savory taste of spinach give an ideal match to fish.
The fish can sit on a pillowy bed of risotto which makes the texture so soft and appealing. It’s a great choice for those cold days inside!
It can get a little dull and boring sometimes just adding some vegetables on your plate with some fish, so why not make it much more interesting?
Putting your favorite vegetables onto a kebab skewer and grilling them to perfection, whilst adding an insatiable pouring of butter or homemade chili sauce onto the skewers can be super cool to do, and make your dinner more fun!
11. Tartar Sauce
Tartar sauce has long been the perfect partner to fish as a main – and this is still the case now.
It has a unique taste and texture which works so well with pretty much any fish.
12. Smoked Asparagus
This is a great side to fish if you’re a fan of asparagus – although we’re quite sure it won’t be to everyone’s tastes.
Essentially, you prepare the fish at the same time as the asparagus allowing for the flavors and aromas to blend together throughout their time together.
Rice pilaf is a gorgeous way to make rice. Usually made with butter to give it a beautiful yellow color, it is rich with unique aromas and flavors.
You can make the dish as healthy as you like by exchanging the butter for something else – but it’s down to you.
Many Asian dishes add noodles with fish dishes and they do it to perfection – so take some lessons from the continent and make your own.
White fish tends to go well with sesame noodles and is one of the most healthy dishes you can make.
Okay, so you may think this is kinda copying the last choice – but trust us when we say they’re very different.
Whilst noodles can go well with Asian style dishes, spaghetti can go well with European dishes.
An example can be shellfish like shrimp and spaghetti (or even linguini for that matter).
Add a traditional tomato or garlic based sauce and you’ve got the most amazing midday snack!
16. Garlic Butter
Garlic butter can be paired with plenty of different fish dishes, but perhaps the best is shellfish like lobster or crab.
However, this does not mean you’re limited to this. You can make your salmon, cod or even trout dish taste superb with garlic butter.
If you’re looking for ways to incorporate imitation crab recipes into your culinary adventures, there are numerous creative recipes to explore as well.
17. Jacket Potato
We’ve got a British spin on things now. A jacket potato is effectively a large potato that has been cooked via baking and the skin has been left on.
They’re generally larger than your typical baked potato we might be used to.
It is allowed to breathe throughout the baking with small slices on the two sides and then smothered in butter or non-dairy seasoning sauce.
The small slices allow for the sauce or butter to travel right through the potato and it pairs amazingly well with fish.
18. Mac & Cheese
Seafood mac and cheese normally entails cooking the fish with the overall recipe, but you don’t actually need to do that.
If you’re serving up a larger fish, you can simply use the mac and cheese as a side dish. It can really make your mouth erupt with flavors.
Have a go at making the perfect mac and cheese yourself right here and then place that on a plate next to your chosen fish!
19. Green Beans
Similar to our asparagus recipe, green beans can accompany most fish ideally through their non-powerful tastes, but packed with nutrients and beautiful aromas.
Why not try a tasty grilled salmon steak with your green beans? It’s a perfect evening dinner idea perfect for the family!
Stuffed bell peppers tend to go well with lots of healthy dishes and for fish – this is no exception.
The biggest choice is what do you stuff the peppers with? Well why not the fish itself!
Yes you read that right. With the perfect blend of fish and pistou, you can make the side into a main in seconds. Perfect for both!
We know what you’re thinking. Toast? Really?… Yes.
You can make the most fantastic Med style fish and toast which allows the grilled aromas and flavors to come through into one another – and the crunchy/soft pairing for the texture is great!
22. Lemon Butter
Lemon butter works so well as a drizzle over your fish or during the cooking process.
Pair this with pasta dishes and you’ll have one of the best dishes you’ve ever eaten.
A big ol’ corn matches like a dream with grilled fish and the perfect blend of lime and chili as a sauce or dressing.
You can even put your own spin on things, but generally you’d grill both your fish and the corn for the best results.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Side Has The Lowest Calories?
Generally, vegetable sides will be lowest in calories, but you will need to check the overall caloric value of the dish to be sure.
Can I Have Vegetables And Carbs?
You can make an amazing dish by mixing the two, but you’d need to get the balance right.
Most recipes can give you an idea of how many vegetables or (e.g. potatoes) you can have together.
The Bottom Line
We hope you’ve enjoyed some of our choices for sides to put with your fish. Good luck with your cooking!