What to Serve with Fish Tacos: 13 Sides to Turn Your Meal into a Feast
Tacos are great, aren’t they? They’re so diverse, filling, and so fun to eat!
Stuff over a tortilla, it’s that simple. Whether it’s meat, shredded chicken, veggies, or fish, tacos always deliver and will never lose their charm; there are so many styles!
And from all tacos in the realm, the fish taco is a standout. It’s so light, and airy, and so full of flavors reminiscent of our blue seas and oceans.
Tuna, swordfish, undercooked or stewed, fish is a great taco filling and a fantastic way to give a twist to your already institutionalized Taco Tuesday.
Among fish tacos, the one filled with golden, battered-and-fried fish, the Baja-style taco, is something special.
If you think about it, battered fish tacos are Mexican’s rendition of fish and chips.
Then we gotta ask, what to serve with fish tacos?
Tacos are always the main dish, so it’s a wonderful idea to have a few complimentary dishes to round up your meal.
Sides for fish tacos can come in all flavors and colors.
As long as they complement your flaky fish, you’ll be all right, so here’s a list of side dishes that will add to your Mexican themed dinner.
Sides for Fish Tacos: Let’s Do This
With these sides, every day could be Taco Tuesday, so grab a plate and let’s dig in.
1. Guacamole, the Ubiquitous Mexican Side Dish
Let’s start with a classic. Mashed avocados with diced tomatoes, onions, chopped cilantro, and a dash of lime juice:
The green guacamole makes everything taste better, from nachos to enchilada accompaniments, it’s the best addition.
Make a batch and watch everyone indulge in your Guac. It might just become the star of the evening!
Add a few sliced jalapenos to your guacamole for added heat and remember to make it just before serving!
Avocados are great, but they DO go brown. Drizzling lime juice will help them stay bright green for a bit longer.
Watch Inspired Taste make a classic Guac with their Easy Guacamole Recipe here:
2. Mexican Angel Hair Pasta, Starchy, and Savory
This dry, tomato-based pasta, called in Spanish Fideo Seco, is a fantastic side dish.
Drizzle it with cream and sprinkle some fresh cheese over it and see how pretty it looks!
This is a fabulous side dish, because of course, who doesn’t love pasta?
This savory Mexican version is unbeatable, by the way, and it brings a starchy element to the table.
Add a few smoky chipotle peppers to your pasta for added sweetness and heat and enjoy the comfy side dish while you devour those fish tacos.
See how Maura from The Other Side of the Tortilla makes a Fideo Seco.
3. Cucumber Salad, Incredibly Fresh and Healthy
Fresh fish tacos are on the light side; they’re even quite healthy for the category, so compliment them with a bowl of sliced, green cucumber salad.
Cucumbers are mostly water, that’s why they’re super refreshing.
Add some julienne onions, a spatter of lime juice, salt, and sprinkle dried oregano leaves for the full experience.
Don’t be shy with the lime juice; when it comes to this Mexican cucumber salad, the soggier, the better!
A well-thought side dish for fish tacos, a salad shows you care about a balanced diet, and it’s a creative way to have your daily vegetable intake.
4. Grasshoppers. Really.
A small bowl of fried grasshoppers says Mexican Caribbean dinner better than any other side dish.
Don’t think about them as insects, but as protein-packed, crunchy superfoods. And they’re quite tasty too!
You’ll have to source these from a Mexican specialty grocery store, but they’re so popular right now that you won’t have a hard time finding them.
There are the regular fried grasshoppers, and the ones covered in chili powder. Get both.
Go on, pop some into your mouth, and bond with your new, crunchy, favorite snack.
5. Ceviche, A Citrusy Taste of the Sea
Because fish tacos are a seafood dish, they’ll naturally go well with other seafood dishes, like the fresh ceviche.
Ceviche is a Peruvian dish, but the Mexican culture has assimilated it for decades.
Raw fish, “cooked” in lime juice and tossed with diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro leaves, this is the best way to enjoy fresh sea produce.
Fish in a taco is seasoned, filling and sometimes greasy, so a fresh counterpart, like ceviche, will work nicely.
Try a shrimp ceviche substituting the fish for the shellfish for a twist!
Watch Spicy Latina Mom making a fresh ceviche here:
6. Fries, Because They Belong at Every Table
We’ve said it before; fish tacos are Mexican Fish and Chips; the resemblance is uncanny.
French fries are the perfect side dish for a casual fish taco night, and it’s more common than you think.
We don’t have to tell you this but remember the golden standards for fries:
Crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, beautifully golden colored; never burnt, never soggy.
Do we have to say more? You’ve got this! And feel free to top your fries with whatever you like!
7. Caesar Salad, a Mexican Classic
To really nail what to serve with fish tacos, you have to take a look at the local customs.
Fish tacos are initially from Baja, the sunny Mexican corner that borders California.
Along the border, there’s Tijuana too.
And Tijuana is not only known for its nightlife, but it’s also the birthplace of the famous Caesar Salad too.
Is Caesar Salad Mexican? Yes! And it’s named after its creator, restaurateur Caesar Cardini.
History aside, Caesar salad is both refreshing and creamy and will complement your meal nicely with an elegant touch.
8. Stuffed Avocados, A Satisfying, and Decadent Side
This side dish is so tasty that it could be the main dish, but today it’ll be a starring supporting actor.
Half a few ripe avocados (you know they’re ready when the stem has browned) and stuff them with a spoonful of tuna salad, mayo, and all.
Feeling creative? Stuff your avocados with anything from crab meat to quinoa; everything is delicious inside an avocado.
To keep things on track and complement your fish tacos, go for something fishy, literally.
9. Jicama Slices, Crunchy Slices of Bliss
The jicama (he-ka-ma) is a starchy vegetable with an unmistakable crunch and grainy, sweet taste.
Don’t be intimidated by the brown bulb with pearly white flesh, just peel it and slice it.
Moist and juicy, jicamas are excellent crudités and fabulous side dishes for any seafood inspired menu.
Toss them with lime juice and add powdered chili pepper and serve them to your friends and family.
Sliced, diced, or in canes, jicamas freshen your palate after every taco bite, and the best thing? You don’t even have to cook them.
10. Rice Primavera, A Homey, Comforting Rice
We all think of rice as an Asian staple, but it’s the most consumed grain in the world!
And Mexican cooks have used it for centuries.
Imagine a bowl of white, fluffy rice with diced carrots, zucchini, and corn kernels — This is the famous Mexican spring rice, and it tastes like home.
If you’re having fish tacos for dinner, a nice steamy (non-sticky) rice will complement and balance the meal, becoming the primary carb source and a most-delicious filler.
Look at how Cooking with Lila masters this Mexican rice here:
11. Chocolate Clams, Ditch the Oysters!
Asking what goes with fish tacos is, in a way, the same thing as asking what goes with fresh, local seafood.
With this in mind, a feast made up of ocean treasures isn’t complete with a few clams, especially the rich, enormous, chocolate clams.
Source these at a specialty seafood store and enjoy them fresh with a squirt of lime juice and a dash of hot sauce.
The best thing is that you’ll be painting a picture, no matter where you are, you and your guests will feel like in a weekend in Acapulco.
Learn all about chocolate clams at Catalina Offshore Products YouTube channel here:
12. Mexican Corn Esquites, A Hearty Corn Stew
Esquites are a steamy corn kernel stew with heavy cream, fresh cheese crumbs, and powdered chili.
What a delight!
Cheap and easy, this soup is a perfect starter or side dish for a Mexican themed dinner featuring fish tacos.
Because corn is the heart and soul of the country’s cuisine and you’ll have it two ways, in the form of soup and as tortillas.
Make a large batch because there are never enough esquites to go around.
Write down this recipe from My Latin Table for Authentic Mexican Esquites.
13. Grilled Cactus Leaves, Try Something New
Since we’re all about trying new things, and so should you, we’d love you to try a different side dish: grilled slices of cactus leaves.
Cactus leaves are a new, undiscovered superfood.
They reduce cholesterol, have lots of antioxidants, and are an effective hangover cure, who would have thought?
As a vegetable-based side dish, they’ll give color to your overall meal and will help you meet your daily veggie intake.
They’re tasty too, differently — Talking about expanding your picky taste buds!
Learn How to Cook Nopales from the Mexico in my Kitchen blog.
What Goes with Fish Tacos: The Right Drink?
Let’s talk about the perfect pairing of Baja-style battered fish tacos and a Mexican Lager Beer like Corona.
Locals will argue that there’s no way of enjoying a fish taco without a cold one on the side, and we agree.
The beer freshens your palate, tones down the heat, and completely complements the saltiness of the fish.
For the most authentic experience, add the lime to the taco, and not to the beer.
What to serve with fish tacos: Salsas, A Whole New Layer of Flavor
The fish taco started as a street food snack to feed the fishermen returning from the sea!
And that’s not all. Fish tacos are super healthy; it’s a good idea to add fish to your weekly meal rotation.
It’s the fatty acids and all the vitamins and minerals that make fish ideal to enjoy at least two times a week.
Side dishes are one thing. But you can’t talk about Mexican food without mentioning salsas.
The sometimes spicy, but often mild sauces liven up any dish; they bring bright flavors or sweetness, savoriness, and addictive heat and bring authenticity to your fish tacos.
You now have your fish tacos and your side dishes ready.
Let’s taco-about a few sauces to round your experience.
You might be wondering, what’s the difference between a side dish and a salsa?
Side dishes complement the meal, salsas, always drizzled last, add the final touch to your taco.
Don’t worry, most sauces are easy to make and shouldn’t take more than five minutes to prepare, the result: they’ll blow your guests’ minds.
The Classic Green Salsa
The key ingredient is green tomatoes.
The tangy, meaty, small tomatoes blended along with a few jalapeno peppers, cilantro, onion, garlic, and a dash of lime juice is incredibly fresh.
A bright green salsa that’s both herbal and citrusy.
The Creamy Green Salsa
Make this creamy salsa in the same way as the traditional green salsa mentioned above but add a special ingredient: avocado.
Avocados are creamy and silky; they’re super healthy too.
The creamy green salsa is a delicacy and will make your fish tacos fuller and more intense. Be careful: it’s addictive!
The Red Salsa
In the same way that the ying balances the yang, the red salsa complements the green renditions making them the perfect pair.
Here, tomatoes and the red-hot chili peppers take center stage.
Blended with onions and garlic, and a pinch of salt, this sauce is a bit sweeter and mellow.
Pico de Gallo
Make the famous chunky salsa with diced tomatoes, jalapeno, white onions, and chopped cilantro leaves sprinkled with salt and tossed with a splash of lemon juice.
Pico de gallo brings savoriness, tanginess, and a crunch to each taco bite. A local’s favorite sauce, especially for fish tacos.
The Chipotle Salsa
Find yourself a can of preserved chipotle peppers; the smoky red treats are packed with flavor.
Blend them with grilled tomatoes, a garlic clove, onion, and cilantro and meet your new favorite Mexican salsa.
Did you know chipotles are dried and smoked versions of jalapeno? Talking about versatility!
Know your limits and find the right amount of peppers for your Mexican salsas.
No recipe can tell you how much is enough since we’re all unique when it comes to heat tolerance.
Don’t worry; even the spicy peppers are harmless (they’re actually quite good for your health), so the worst thing that could happen is breaking a sweat. Live a little!
You’ve got this!
What to serve with fish tacos depends entirely on your taste.
There are more options than fish in the sea, but as you’ll figure out, there’s no way to go wrong.
Make a few side dishes and blend a curated selection salsas, turn the music on and make your reunions an authentic fiesta.