Finding side dishes to go with fish can be tricky. If you are undecided about what to serve with fish, find everything from healthy, easy, decadent, and comforting sides here, along with many expert tips for cooking cod, tilapia, halibut, salmon, and more!
Fish is a popular dinner option because not only is it healthy, but can be prepared in countless ways. Fried fish, fish and chips, or a lighter version of oven fried fish are especially popular during Lent.
Affordable recipes, such as fish cakes, tuna casserole, or baked parmesan tilapia are ideal for busy weeknight meals. For entertaining or summer gatherings, grilled salmon in foil, Mexican fish, or blackened fish tacos not only make an impressive meal, but are easy to prepare.
What are good side dishes for fish?
Whether you prefer cod, salmon, sea bass, halibut, tuna steaks, or many others, find what to serve with fish here. Many home cooks pair light fish entrees with more filling side dishes, such as potatoes, rice, or french fries.
However, for an all around healthy, and possibly low carb, meal there are many healthy side dishes, such as veggies and salads. Below are the most popular, classic sides to go with fish, while further down find the best side dish recipes.
- Crispy Oven Fries
- Roasted Squash
- Baked Potatoes
- Brussels Sprouts
- Baked Mac and Cheese
- Fruit Salad
- Corn on the Cob
- Sautéed Apples
- Green Bean Casserole
- Mashed Potatoes
- Pasta Salad
- Steamed corn
- Potato wedges
- Green Salads
- Sweet Potatoes
- Jello Salad
Tips for cooking fish
- Most recipes describe fish as being done when it “flakes easily with a fork.” For more reliability use an instant read thermometer to make sure it’s at 145ºF in the thickness part of the filet. Also look for the color inside changing from translucent to opaque.
- Fresh fish isn’t readily available where I live, so I often use frozen fish. Allow 24 hours in the refrigerator to thaw a 1 pound package. If you need to speed up the process, leave fish in vacuumed sealed pouches and run under cool water. Directly rinsing fish will change the texture and add too much moisture.
- Whether I’m baking, frying, or poaching fish, I always pat it dry first to remove excess moisture and prevent it from becoming mushy.
- A general rule of thumb is to cook 10 minutes per inch thickness of fish, flipping halfway through. Add 5 minutes if cooked in foil or in a sauce, such as in this recipe.
Storing and freezing tips
Seafood should be stored in the coldest part of your fridge and used within 1-2 days of purchase. If you plan on preparing in longer than 2 days, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and transfer to a ziplock freezer bag until ready to thaw and prepare.
The best way to thaw fish is in the refrigerator overnight. To prevent leaking, place the fish in a shallow dish to catch any drips as it thaws.
To thaw fish quickly, keep it in the moisture-sealed packaging and place in a bowl of cool water. Change out the water every 20-30 minutes, making sure the water stays cool, and not too cold or warm.
Best way to reheat fish
Since seafood cooks so quickly, reheating fish may lead to overcooking. Therefore, you’ll want to use a gentle approach, warming it low and slow. I don’t recommend microwaving leftover fish fillets.
How to Reheat Baked Fish
- Place the fish in a foil packet so it’s completely covered. If there is sauce to go along with it, spoon over the fish before heating. For thinner white fish, such as tilapia or trout, add a dash of water, broth, or fish stock to the foil before closing.
- Transfer the packet to a baking pan and place in a 275ºF oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish. The fish should have a 130ºF internal temperature.
How to Reheat fried Fish
- Oven Method: Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and heat in a 350ºF oven for 10-15 minutes
- Skillet Method: Lightly grease a nonstick skillet with olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the fish to the hot skillet and heat for 2-3 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Air Fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 320ºF. Place the fish in the basket and bake 5-7 minutes, turning halfway through.
Sauces to go with fish
Top fish with a simple squeeze of lemon juice, fresh herbs, or one of these easy, flavorful sauces.
- Tartar Sauce
- Dill Sauce
- Lemon Butter Garlic Sauce
- Creamy Parmesan Cheese Sauce
- Lemon Cream Sauce
- Cajun Cream Sauce
More easy side dishes to serve with fish
Looking for the perfect side dish recipes? Find many vegetables, starches, salads to fit a variety of tastes and flavor! If serving tacos, find more side dish options in this “What to Serve with Fish Tacos” article.
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