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What to Serve with Tilapia: Bring Out the Best of This Fresh White Fish

What to Serve with Tilapia: Bring Out the Best of This Fresh White Fish

Looking to eat more seafood in your weekly meals? Tilapia is one of the best choices because it’s affordable, easy to find, and very easy to prepare.

You can sauté it, bake it, broil it, grill it, and put it with many types of sauces. From butter and lemon to blistered tomatoes and basil, you could have tilapia every day of the year without repeating a recipe.

Naturally, that might make you wonder what goes with tilapia. This flakey white fish has plenty of sides that will help you fill up the table.

Whether you’re feeding your family or having special guests join you around the table, you’ll find this list of what to serve with tilapia to be your perfect cheat sheet when building a dinner any night of the week. 

Sides to Go with Tilapia

Fried, baked, sauteed, or any other way, choose from these 15 sides to go with tilapia tonight!

1. Mushroom and Herb Rice Pilaf

Because tilapia is such a light protein, it helps to make the meal feel more filling through grains. But serving plain rice is boring! That’s why you need to make a mushroom and herb rice pilaf.

Brimming with flavors and fresh nutrition, this side makes your meal more complete and more delicious with rustic flavors. 

Mushroom and Herb Rice Pilaf

2. Oven-Roasted Parmesan-Lemon Asparagus

Another great side to match your favorite method of making tilapia is asparagus. Roasting it in the oven with lemon, parmesan, and olive oil is the best way to bring out its natural flavors.

Oven-roasting also means less work for you while ensuring your asparagus cooks perfectly. 

Oven Roasted Parmesan Lemon Asparagus

3. Fiesta Quinoa 

How about a side dish that gives you grains and salad in one bowl?

Fiesta quinoa puts up a pretty presentation that invites guests to dig into loads of nutrients.

Eating healthy never looked so good, and this feisty version of quinoa is sure to please even the pickiest people.

Fiesta Quinoa

Archana at Ministry of Curry has an excellent recipe, one that is vegan too so your meatless guests will have plenty to fill up on!

4. Primavera Tortellini Salad

Whether it’s spring, summer, or any time of year, you can’t go wrong pairing your tilapia with a primavera-style tortellini salad. Multi-colored tortellini looks the best though any kind will do.

Cook it as directed on the package and then pair it with steamed broccoli, slices of bell peppers and red onions. Cheese is a must too, bringing this whole side dish together to match your tilapia.


Primavera Tortellini Salad

5. Vibrant Mediterranean Cauliflower Rice

Keeping your tilapia simple with the flavors of the Mediterranean?

Or perhaps you’re looking for a side that feels filling but is grain-free.

Either way, this vibrant Mediterranean cauliflower rice is the side dish answer you’re looking for.

And yes, even if you’ve hated cauliflower rice before, this recipe will make you a believer.

Vibrant Mediterranean Cauliflower Rice

Just follow this recipe from Cookie + Kate.  

6. Lemony-Garlic Butter Roasted Potatoes

If you ate tilapia on its own, you’d definitely be hungry again in about 10 minutes.

While it’s delicious and nutritious, it’s not near filling enough.

Fortunately, if you’ve got potatoes, lemon, garlic, and butter in your house, you’ve got it covered with this fully satisfying side.

Red potatoes are an even better way to make this though Yukon gold will do nicely too. 

Lemony Garlic Butter Roasted Potatoes

7. Cilantro Lime Rice

Going for more of a Mexican theme with that tilapia? If fish tacos are on the menu, don’t forget cilantro lime rice.

This side goes well with the bold flavors Mexican fish dishes carry, allowing the chance to further soak up your sauces and help fill you up all the way.

Simply make your rice and add cilantro and lime juice.

Cilantro Lime Rice

8. Creamy Parmesan Risotto

Tilapia is such a great fish because it can take on a fancy presentation. If you’re doing your dish more Italian in style, then a creamy parmesan risotto as a side can’t miss.

It’s got that creamy, cheesy, and slightly nutty taste that really wins big with this mild fish. 

Creamy Parmesan Risotto

9. Pancetta and Pork Belly Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts roasted in the oven will turn anyone into a lover of this often misunderstood veggie.

But just to be sure, roast it with pancetta and pork belly.

These rich and fatty flavors are a nice contrast to the lightweight and refreshing tastes your tilapia will put on the table.

Pancetta and Pork Belly Brussels Sprouts


10. Crispy Classic Caesar Salad

Can’t decide on your tilapia side dishes? Keep things simple with a crispy classic Caesar salad.

Chill the lettuce before dressing it and grate your own parmesan on it to give it a restaurant-worthy flavor.

Adding homemade croutons will certainly kick it up to epicurean status too!

Crispy Classic Caesar Salad

11. Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole

With or without kids at the table, a surefire crowd-pleaser to serve with tilapia is cheesy broccoli and rice casserole.

It’s ideal for when you want the oven to do all the work for you.

Cheesy and delightful, everyone is going to love it, plus any leftovers will make you excited for lunch the next day.

Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole

Maegan at The BakerMama shows you how it’s done!

12. Lemon-Pepper Smashed Cucumber Salad

Take out some aggression and have a winning side dish for your tilapia all in one go!

Simply give a whole cucumber a few good whacks and then chop it from there.

Then, add fresh-squeezed lemon juice and grind up whole black peppercorns.

A pinch of salt will do from there for a refreshing and light side to keep that lightened dinner theme going strong. 

Lemon Pepper Smashed Cucumber Salad

13. Tangy Carrot Slaw

If you’re tired of coleslaw, try making a tangy carrot slaw instead.

Using daikon radish and beets with it can add a more Asian-fusion taste which will go great if you’re doing steamed tilapia with soy sauce and ginger.

It’s refreshing yet bold thanks to tangy vinegar to make the dressing.

Give it a try for something different!

Tangy Carrot Slaw

14. Caramelized Cabbage Wedges

Why do brussels sprouts always get the love?

If you have fresh cabbage and want to try something new, cut it into wedges, then toss with olive oil and sea salt and roast in your oven.

They come out tender inside and crispy outside. Even for people who say they aren’t fond of cabbage, this is one tilapia side dish that will make them ask for second helpings.

Caramelized Cabbage WedgesAmanda at Striped Spatula has the details on how to make it. 

15. Hearty Parmesan-Thyme Mushrooms

Want something quick and easy to go with tilapia on a busy night? Make mushrooms with parmesan and fresh thyme.

This simple dish takes just 15 minutes on the stove or oven, leaving behind a delightful mushroom broth you can enjoy as soup or on its own as you like. 

Hearty Parmesan Thyme Mushrooms

If you like seafood sides, then be sure and check out our list of what to serve with halibut, the lovely cod dish, and if you’re extra adventurous our favorite swordfish side dishes!

Tonight’s tilapia dinner will now be even easier to make with these 15 wonderful side dishes that will please your palate and belly alike!

tilapia side recipes

What to Serve with Tilapia

Ideas and side dish recipes to eat with Tilapia
Course: Side Dish


  • Rice Pilaf
  • Oven-Roasted Asparagus
  • Fiesta Quinoa
  • Tortellini Salad
  • Cauliflower Rice
  • Roasted Potatoes
  • Cilantro Lime Rice
  • Risotto
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Caesar Salad
  • Broccoli Rice Casserole
  • Cucumber Salad
  • Carrot Slaw
  • Cabbage Wedges
  • Parmesan-Thyme Mushrooms


  • Choose your desired Tilapia side dish recipe.
  • Gather and organize needed ingredients.
  • Create a tasty Tilapia side to complete your meal!


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