Fish sticks are the ultimate convenience foods.
Adults and children love them & they’re super simple to prepare.
They have a major flaw, though: lack of flavor.
Even the best store-bought brands or homemade recipes for fish sticks end up being a little lackluster.
I personally view them as a vehicle for a delicious dipping sauce on the side to do all the flavor heavy lifting.
And I’ve been known to use sauces for any fried fish for that matter!
That’s why I put together this list of my favorite fish stick dipping sauces that come together fast for those weeknight meals.
These range from mild and creamy to tangy and spicy, so there’s something for everyone here!
1. Old-Fashioned Tartar Sauce
To me, the best fish stick dipping sauce is tartar sauce.
You just can’t beat a classic!
The briny flavors of the pickles and capers just go so well with the crispy, savory fish sticks.
Add to that the acidic tang of the lemon juice and mustard, and you’re cutting through the greasiness with a freshly sharpened Katana!
In my humble opinion, nothing beats a tried-and-true combo like this one.
2. Creamy Sweet Chili Sauce
This creamy, spicy, sweet, and tangy dipping sauce has it all.
Although it’s not everyone’s favorite ingredient, the mayo here is crucial.
It imparts a luxurious mouthfeel and acts like the perfect backdrop to the punchy flavors of sweet chili sauce and lime.
It’s the ultimate companion to crispy fried or baked fish sticks thanks to its slight kick and great texture.
3. Spicy Cajun Dip
I don’t know about you, but I love me some seafood po’boys!
The warm kick from Cajun seasoning is so fitting when you’re talking about fish, shrimp, or scallops.
You can capture this essence when you’re making a simple meal of fish sticks by making this spicy Cajun dip to go with it.
The raw garlic in the dip might seem like a lot, but it isn’t.
It plays so nicely with the Cajun spices and the slight sharpness from the lemon juice.
4. Ranch Dressing
Classic ranch dressing is an amazing condiment for anything breaded, battered, and fried.
This makes it an easy fish stick dipping sauce choice when you’re in a pinch.
You can use the powdered stuff, but this recipe is straightforward, only has a handful of ingredients and none of the harmful preservatives.
Give it a try when you’re looking for something new to have with fish sticks.
5. Jalapeno Tartar Sauce
If you want a modern spin on the classic, may I introduce this jalapeno tartar sauce?
Instead of using traditional dill pickles and capers, you’re getting all the briny flavor from pickled jalapenos.
And it works so well!
Jalapenos also stand up to the raw onion and garlic in the recipe better than you’d expect.
The result is a wonderful accompaniment to fish sticks.
Just don’t serve this if you’re on a date!
6. Fish Taco Sauce
Fish tacos are the ultimate form of fried fish.
So, it’s only fitting that they’d require an equally robust sauce.
This sauce is IT.
Imagine the best sour cream you’ve ever had on a taco, just 100 times more flavorful!
The chipotles in adobo offer such a great, subtle kick, but they’re mostly there for their amazing flavor.
And of course, we can’t forget the raw garlic that permeates the sauce with its aroma.
You’ll wish every day was Taco Tuesday after you make this sauce.
7. Classic Marinara Sauce
If you’re looking for a fish stick marinara dipping sauce, this Food Network recipe is the one for you!
It’s sweet from the San Marzano tomatoes and the sauteed Spanish onions, but the flavor profile is far from one-note.
You also get the garlic aroma and the subtle fragrance of the basil.
The longer you let this sauce simmer, the deeper the flavor becomes and the richer the texture becomes.
8. Fresh Lemon Dill Aioli Sauce
Aioli is just a fancy name for a mayo-based dipping sauce.
Now that we got this out of the way, let me tell you about this absolute gift to fish-stick lovers everywhere.
This aioli is super citrusy, but not lip-puckeringly acidic.
How, you ask?
Easy. Just zest your lemons before you juice them!
The essential oils that give lemons their delicious aroma are all found in the yellow part of the peel.
This part is super lemony, but not at all acidic, so adding it won’t make your aioli sour.
Just avoid grating in the white part of the rind, as it’s bitter and spongy.
This is wonderful with fried fish after a day of fishing as well. Just sayin’.
9. Spicy Remoulade Sauce
Remoulade is a fancy French “cold sauce” that goes great with things like crab cakes.
It’s basically a tartar sauce with more steps.
If you find yourself in possession of the extensive ingredients needed to make it, go for it.
It might take a little extra time to put together, but you’re in for a treat if you make it!
10. Appetizer Cocktail Sauce
Most people think cocktail sauce just goes with those sad, rubbery, boiled shrimp.
I beg to differ.
This sauce is severely underrated, mostly because everything that goes into it is a flavor bomb.
Horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and chili sauce.
Put them together, and you’ve got ketchup’s hot cousin!
11. Sweet and Sour Sauce
If you’re a fan of the sweet and sour sauce packets you get with Chinese takeout, give this one a try!
It has a bunch of ingredients, but it’s definitely worth making.
I personally appreciate the addition of the Sambal Oelek, which is a fermented chili paste that tastes oh so good!
All in all, it’s a stellar addition to your sauce roster, whether for fish sticks or anything else.
12. Maple Mustard Sauce
Just like honey mustard, the combination of sweet and tangy in this sauce is a great pairing with crispy, savory foods.
The biggest difference is the piney, aromatic flavor of maple syrup infused with Dijon mustard.
It’s almost like honey mustard’s more sophisticated Canadian distant relative who took a semester in France.
13. Zax Sauce Recipe
Say what you will about fast food chains, but we can all agree that they know their sauces!
This copycat recipe of Zax sauce is a rendition of fry sauces, which have a combination of mayo and ketchup.
This version also includes garlic powder and black pepper to make things a little more savory and exciting.
It also works great with french fries, chicken nuggets, and even on homemade burgers!
14. Spicy Mayo Recipe (Sushi Restaurants Copycat)
This recipe for spicy Sriracha mayo is the easiest one on this list.
It only has two ingredients, but its complex flavor doesn’t let that on whatsoever!
Sriracha is, after all, a fermented chili and garlic sauce.
That means you get so much flavor from this one ingredient.
If you’re a fan of that orange sushi sauce, you’d gladly pair it with your fish sticks.
Here’s the best part:
You can adjust the spice level by adding as little or as much Sriracha as you’d like.
15. Thai Chile-Herb Dipping Sauce
This sauce has a unique addition that you don’t see every day; toasted rice powder.
It’s a traditional way to add a nutty flavor without using nuts, and in this recipe, it’s definitely needed!
The intense savoriness of the fish sauce, paired with the acidity of the vinegar and lime juice, and of course, the heat of the Thai chiles all need an equalizer.
Give this a try if you want to jump out of your comfort zone to something a lot more adventurous.
How to make a fish stick dipping sauce, you ask?
Well, take any of the 15 ideas shared above and make your fish stick dinner a lot less boring!
The options here are endless, from classic tartar sauce and marinara to out-of-the-box ideas that incorporate fish sauce and fermented chili pastes.
Whatever you enjoy, you’re bound to find something that’ll elevate fish sticks to a whole new level.
Fish Stick Dipping Sauces: 15 Easiest Options
- Old-Fashioned Tartar Sauce
- Creamy Sweet Chili Sauce
- Spicy Cajun Dip
- Ranch Dressing Just for Fish Sticks
- Jalapeno Tartar Sauce
- Fish Taco Sauce
- Classic Marinara Sauce
- Fresh Lemon Dill Aioli Sauce
- Spicy Remoulade Sauce
- Appetizer Cocktail Sauce
- Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Maple Mustard Sauce
- Zax Sauce Recipe
- Spicy Mayo Recipe (Sushi Restaurants Copycat)
- Thai Chile-Herb Dipping Sauce
- Choose your desired fish sticks sauce recipe.
- Gather and organize needed ingredients.
- Create a tasty fish sticks sauce and get to dippin'!