fish sides

What To Serve With Fish: 7 Easy Side Dishes

Fish is something we should eat more of. It is not only tasty but very healthy and nutritious. You can eat fish in many ways, but serving the right side dish might also be important.

Stay tuned to see all the best side dishes for fish! We will give you ideas for recipes and when it is best to choose them. 

Why Fish?

The term “fish” refers to the animal, but in the world of cooking, it also refers to various types of fish. On the one hand, fish could be fatty, like salmon or tuna, or white, like tilapia, sea bass and cod. Fish can also be grilled, fried, baked, steamed, or roasted.

Each type of fish will have a different flavor profile but also very different nutrients. On the one hand, fatty fish is a good source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids, but it has more fat. A white fish can be low-calorie and low-fat, but it lacks omegas and other nutrients.

For most people, the best way to cook fish is sauteed in oil on the stove. However, you can also choose a denser fish, like salmon, and prop it on the grill like you would steak. For baking, try using parchment paper or breading it beforehand.

You might also see fish served with a sauce, like tartar sauce, soy sauce, teriyaki glaze, and more. If you want to save calories, you can serve your fish with a touch of olive oil and lemon only. For fried fish, try using less breading or an air fryer to save some calories and fat.

Nutrition Facts

One large fillet of steamed fish (255 g) has the following nutritional content (*):

  • 408 calories
  • 174 g water
  • 65.7 g protein
  • 14.1 g fat
  • 0 g carbohydrate
  • 0 g fiber
  • 0 g sugar
  • 23 mg calcium
  • 1.22 mg iron
  • 79 mg magnesium
  • 752 mg phosphorus
  • 997 mg potassium
  • 1040 mg sodium
  • 101 µg selenium
  • 89.2 µg vitamin A
  • 148 mg cholesterol
  • 2.6 g fatty acids, total polyunsaturated

Fish is very healthy, as you can see it is high in protein, and some vitamins and minerals. Any fish will have some fatty acids, and in this case, the polyunsaturated kind, which refers to omega 3 and 6. However, depending on how you prepare your fish, it can rack up salt and calories.

What Goes With Fish for Dinner and Lunch

Below are easy and delicious sides for fish that you can serve at any time!

#1. Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary and Lemon

Potatoes go well with most types of protein, and fish is not different. This recipe mixes the aromatic flavor of rosemary with lemon citrus for a perfect pairing with baked fish and steamed fish.


  • 8 to 10 fingerling potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your roasted potatoes with rosemary and lemon:

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 375 degrees °F.
  2. Wash and clean your potatoes. Place them on a lined baking sheet.
  3. Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, parsley, cumin, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  4. Pour the mixture over your potatoes. Toss well.
  5. Place them in the oven and roast for about 20 to 30 minutes or until golden.
  6. Serve your roasted potatoes with rosemary and lemon warm with extra parsley on top.

#2. Baked Cauliflower with Miso Dressing

Miso is always a very unique yet delicious flavor. In this case, your baked cauliflower will be a perfect side dish for baked fish.


  • 1 cauliflower head
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your cauliflower with miso dressing:

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees °F.
  2. Wash and clean your cauliflower. Break it into smaller pieces, and place them on a baking sheet.
  3. Mix the miso paste, vegetable oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  4. Pour the miso dressing over the cauliflower and toss well.
  5. Roast your cauliflower for about 20 to 25 minutes or until tender and golden.
  6. Serve your cauliflower with a miso dressing warm with fresh parsley on top.

#3. Bell Pepper Rice

While bell pepper rice is not something that you think about often, this recipe is worth it. You can serve this with steamed, baked, or grilled fish at any time.


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your bell pepper rice:

  1. Add the water and broth to a pot, bring it to a rolling boil, and add the rice.
  2. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
  3. In the meantime, add the olive oil to a skillet. Once warm, add the onion and bell peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Season with cumin, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and fluff with a fork. 
  5. Stir the vegetables into the prepared rice. Mix well.
  6. Serve your bell pepper rice warm with fresh parsley on top.

#4. Balsamic Parmesan Asparagus

Asparagus is one of classic sides with grilled fish, especially grilled whole fish. Adding the peas gives this recipe some extra creaminess and flavor.


  • Bunch of asparagus
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ⅓ cup parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your balsamic parmesan asparagus:

  1. Wash and clean your vegetables. Chop the tomatoes and onions, and cut the ends of the asparagus.
  2. Place all your vegetables on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Toss well.
  3. Bake your vegetables for about 20 minutes.
  4. While the vegetables are baking, add the balsamic vinegar to a saucepan. Cook it for about 8 to 10 minutes or until it thickens.
  5. Remove the vegetables from the oven and place them on a serving platter.
  6. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar reduction on top.
  7. Serve your balsamic parmesan asparagus warm next to your fish.

#5. Pasta with Garlic Butter and Capers

Pasta is always a good choice with fish, and this recipe is delicate and delicious. You can serve your fish on the side or top, and either way, it goes perfectly with this recipe.


  • ½ box spaghetti
  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your pasta with garlic butter and capers:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the spaghetti according to box instructions. Drain the spaghetti and set it aside.
  2. Add the butter and garlic to a skillet. Once warm, add the apple cider vinegar, vegetable broth, and lemon juice.
  3. Simmer everything until the liquid is reduced by about half.
  4. Stir in the capers and cook for about 3 minutes.
  5. Add salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook for one more minute and turn off the heat.
  6. Stir in the pasta, and toss everything well.
  7. Serve your pasta with garlic butter and capers warm with fish on the side.

#6. Creamed Spinach and Mushrooms 

A creamy and decadent recipe that is not too filling is always a nice way to complement your fish. This recipe is easy to make and never disappoints.


  • 1 ½ tablespoon butter
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your creamed spinach and mushrooms:

  1. Wash and trim your spinach. Set it aside.
  2. Wash, clean, and chop your mushrooms. Set them aside too.
  3. Add the butter and garlic to a saucepan. Once warm, add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 to 8 minutes.
  4. Stir in the flour, and mix well.
  5. Stir in the milk and heavy cream. Reduce the heat and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  6. Add spinach, cumin, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  7. Add the parmesan cheese. Mix well and cook for another 3 minutes.
  8. Serve your creamed spinach and mushrooms warm next to your fish.

#7.Tartar Sauce

Fish almost always goes with tartar sauce, so making your own can be a good idea. You can add more or less citrus, and make this a unique recipe.


  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 Dill pickles, chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon capers, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your tartar sauce:

  1. Chop your capers and pickles, and place them in a large bowl.
  2. Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, dill, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper to the bowl. Mix well.
  3. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  4. Serve cold with fish on the side to dip in.

Tip: Your tartar sauce can last up to five days when stored in the refrigerator.

How Can I Pick The Best Fish Side Dishes?

Fish is never a bad idea, particularly when you want something high in protein but not too high in cholesterol and calories. Since you can prepare it in various ways, the side dish you choose might also look very different.

For steamed or sauteed fish, you might want a recipe that is light and easy. You can try the pasta with garlic butter and capers recipe, which is delicate and delicious. The creamed spinach and mushrooms are also easy to prepare and will not overpower the fish.

When it comes to grilling or baking your fish, the flavors are a bit smokier, which calls for a side dish that stands out. You can try the roasted potatoes with rosemary and lemon that are crunchy and flavorful. The balsamic parmesan asparagus mixes sweet and sour to complement your fish.

If you happen to be serving fried fish, then a side dish that lets that flavor come through is the right choice. We suggest the tartar sauce, which is perfect for dipping your fried fish. You can try the cauliflower with miso dressing that is crunchy and has an umami kick to it.

For all other cases, the bell pepper rice is not going to overpower your fish and will always taste good.


Does fish sound boring? Not anymore! Next time when you wonder what to eat with fish, any of these recipes will make your fish dish shine more, and you can try them together or apart.

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*image by Jim_Filim/depositphotos

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