Fish tacos are a tasty meal with various ingredients. It’s perfect for the summertime, and adding the right side dish to your fish tacos can take them to the next level. Because the ingredients in tacos can be so diverse, so can the appetizer options. But, with many options comes at least one that you’re sure to like.
Side dishes for fish tacos can include guacamole, salads, various other dips, pastas, coleslaws, and rice.
Tips for Making Fish Tacos
To have the perfect side dish, your main dish needs to be superb too. There are many fish taco recipes out there, if you don’t have your own, but the concept is simple. You can make fish tacos the same way you’d make regular tacos, but with fish instead of beef. The only thing is, there are many types of fish to choose from.
Some of the best fish to use for fish tacos are salmon, farmed freshwater fish, or any mild saltwater fish that is white-fleshed. When you make beef tacos, the beef takes on the flavor of the other ingredients. The same goal applies to fish tacos, and these types of fish will do just that.
Seasoning and topping preferences vary from person to person, but a great traditional topping for fish tacos is adobo sauce or seasoning. The sauce can be used to marinate the fish. It tends to have a more pungent taste than the adobo seasoning. Both adobo sauce and seasoning add a zesty, yet somewhat mild, taste to your fish tacos.
Sides for Fish Tacos
Once you’ve perfected your fish tacos, you just need a perfect side dish. There are a plethora of options for fish taco sides, so you are likely to find one that suits your needs and pleases your tastebuds.
1. Jalapeno Poppers
These are one of the most classic fish taco sides. They can be made in an air fryer or deep fried. If you don’t like very spicy food, this one probably isn’t for you. But if you enjoy spice; the crispy texture of jalapeno poppers combines perfectly with their fiery taste.
These do take some extra preparation, probably the longest of the fish taco sides on this list. But if you have the time, the results are satisfying. You’ll need the peppers, panko crumbs, paprika, and some type of filling. Popularly, shredded cheese and/or cream cheese is used as a filling for jalapeno poppers.
Making Jalapeno Poppers
- Slice the peppers in half. Then prepare the filling by mixing your preferred ingredients; likely cheddar cheese, garlic, and cream cheese.
- Make the topping. This is what the panko crumbs are for. Mix the crumbs with butter and paprika in a separate bowl.
- Use your hands to mix and mold the filling to fit into the pepper halves, then sprinkle the crumbs on top.
- Bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Plain avocado guacamole works, but experimenting with it and adding other ingredients like mango, pineapple, or strawberries can provide a satisfactory result, too. Adding small fruit slices to the mixture of avocado, lime, and cilantro provides a unique side dish.
Salads are one of the most versatile side dishes out there, making them a good side for fish tacos as well. You could stick with the beloved caesar salad, making it as hearty or as light as you please. Or, you could choose a less conventional salad like cucumber or tomato salad.
To make pickled cucumber salad, thinly slice a cucumber and add white vinegar, onion, and a sprinkle of salt and sugar. It is recommended to let cucumber salad chill in the fridge for half an hour to let the flavors reach their potential, but digging in right away isn’t a bad idea either.
For tomato salad, all you need to do is dice some fresh tomatoes. Combine them with other flavoring agents like basil, red onion, and olive oil. You could also add avocado or mozzarella to tomato salad to make the flavors burst even more.
Some more unique options for a salad that compliments fish tacos include watermelon and quinoa salads.
4. Queso Dip
It’s hard to go wrong with a queso dip. Dipping your fish tacos into a queso dip could be just what you need to complete the dish. You can make it on your own by either baking or broiling a combination of butter, whole milk, goat cheese, flour, and pepper, if you feel up to it. Queso dips are also widely available to purchase at grocery stores.
5. Sopa Azteca
For another warm side dish to go with your fish tacos, you could try sopa azteca. It can easily be made with tomatoes, onion, and garlic. Saute the onion and garlic, then cook the tomatoes and add broth. Sopa translates to soup, so the expectation is to make a soup.
Some toppings for sopa azteca include cheese, chili peppers, and avocado. Sopa azteca is a great option because it is flavorful but not overwhelmingly so.
6. Rice with Lime and Cilantro
This is a perfect appetizer for Mexican food. It is a pretty basic food, but can make for a great side dish, especially for picky eaters. Using long-grained rice is best, just make sure it’s cooked properly and enjoy!
7. Avocado Slaw
You’ve heard of coleslaw, but a lesser known gem is avocado slaw. It’s best to prepare the day before, but again, eating it straight away works too. Shred some cabbage, carrots, and diced onions. Then, put them into a plastic bag. Mix the ingredients when you’re ready to serve and add them to some avocado slices.
8. Corn on the Cob
This one’s a crowd favorite for virtually any meal. It goes well with fish tacos, too. You can add various toppings or eat it right after it’s been cooked. Either way, corn on the cob is popular for a good reason.
Fish tacos are a very versatile recipe, you can add as many or as few toppings as you like. The side dishes for fish tacos are the same way. Plain vegetables work great, or you could tweak the salad recipes that you’re used to. Dipping your fish tacos into some guac or queso is a viable choice as well. Whatever you prefer, you’re likely to find a fish taco side that you love.