We all know tilapia is a tasty and healthy dish to serve.
The mild fish pairs with many different flavors without overpowering anything on the plate. But what should you serve with it?
With so many options out there, deciphering which side dishes pair best with tilapia can be an overwhelming task!
Don’t worry–we’ll provide you with 12 must-try side dishes that are sure to enhance this classic fish option for your next dinner party or weeknight meal.
What to Serve with Tilapia? 12 Must-try Side Dishes
1. Kale and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
Kale and roasted sweet potato salad is a great dish to serve alongside tilapia.
The kale provides a nice crunch, and the roasted sweet potatoes add a lovely sweetness to the dish.
Here are some tips on how to elevate this already delicious salad:
- Add some crumbled feta cheese for an extra salty kick.
- Switch out the kale for spinach or arugula if you want a more delicate flavor.
- Add some chopped-up bacon or pancetta for a bit of smokiness.
- Try serving the salad with a balsamic vinaigrette instead of the usual olive oil and vinegar dressing.
2. Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini Sauce
This roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce is a delicious and healthy side dish that pairs well with tilapia.
The cauliflower is roasted to perfection, and the tahini sauce adds a creamy, nutty flavor that takes this dish to the next level.
The key to making this dish is to roast the cauliflower until it’s nice and crispy.
This will give it a great texture that pairs well with the creamy tahini sauce.
I like to add a few cloves of garlic to the cauliflower while it’s roasting for an extra punch of flavor.
To make the tahini sauce, simply combine tahini, lemon juice, water, and garlic in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
If you want a thinner sauce, you can add more water until you reach the desired consistency.
Serve the roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce on the side, or drizzle it over the top.
3. Quinoa Tabbouleh with Grilled Vegetables
If you’re looking for a delicious and healthy side dish to serve with your tilapia, look no further than quinoa tabbouleh.
This dish is packed with flavor and nutrients, and it’s easy to make.
The quinoa in this dish provides a hearty base, while the grilled vegetables add a nice smoky flavor.
The tabbouleh also features fresh herbs, diced tomatoes, and lemon juice for a bright, acidic finish.
To elevate this dish, try serving it with grilled chicken or shrimp.
You could also add feta cheese or avocado for some extra creaminess.
However you serve it, quinoa tabbouleh is sure to be a hit.
4. Flatbread with Hummus and Grilled Vegetables
This dish is the perfect blend of savory and sweet, with a little bit of crunch.
The flatbread is crispy and chewy, the hummus is smooth and creamy, and the grilled vegetables are slightly charred and juicy.
The taste and texture of this dish are what make it so special.
The flatbread is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, while the hummus is smooth and creamy.
The grilled vegetables add a slight char and a juicy sweetness that takes this dish to the next level.
There are a few tips that will help you elevate this dish.
First, be sure to use fresh flatbread for the best taste and texture.
Second, don’t skimp on the hummus – go for a high-quality brand that has a rich flavor.
Finally, grill your vegetables over high heat, so they get nice and charred.
5. Greek Salad with Feta Cheese and Kalamata Olives
A Greek salad is the perfect accompaniment to tilapia.
The salad is light and refreshing, with a variety of textures and flavors.
The feta cheese is creamy and salty, while the Kalamata olives are rich and earthy.
The crisp lettuce and juicy tomatoes balance the dish perfectly.
There are a few things you can do to elevate this dish.
First, make sure to use high-quality feta cheese.
It makes all the difference in terms of flavor.
Second, add some fresh herbs to the salad for an extra pop of flavor.
Mint, basil, and oregano all work well.
Finally, drizzle the salad with high-quality olive oil.
This will take it from good to great.
6. Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad
This roasted beet and goat cheese salad is a perfect side dish for a summer BBQ.
The beets are roasted to perfection, and the goat cheese adds a delicious creaminess.
The salad is also packed with healthy ingredients like arugula, walnuts, and balsamic vinegar.
The key to this dish is roasting the beets properly.
You want them to be soft but not mushy.
The best way to achieve this is by wrapping them in foil before putting them in the oven.
This will help them retain their moisture, so they don’t dry out.
Once the beets are roasted, let them cool before adding them to the salad.
You don’t want them to wilt the arugula or make the goat cheese too soft.
If you’re short on time, you can always buy pre-roasted beets at the grocery store.
To elevate this dish, you can add some crumbled bacon or grilled chicken.
You can also use different types of cheese like feta or blue cheese.
And if you’re not a fan of balsamic vinegar, you can use any other type of dressing that you like.
7. Farro Salad with Grilled Vegetables
Farro is a hearty grain that makes for a great base in salads.
This dish is elevated with the addition of grilled vegetables, which add a nice smoky flavor.
The vegetables can be grilled ahead of time and then allowed to cool before adding them to the salad.
This dish can be served at room temperature or cold, making it ideal for summertime gatherings.
The key to this dish is to use a variety of vegetables so that there is a good mix of colors and textures.
Some of our favorite veggies to grill are zucchini, eggplant, peppers, and mushrooms.
If you’re looking for even more flavor, you could also add in some fresh herbs like basil or oregano.
To make this extra dish special, try serving it with a homemade vinaigrette.
A simple balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing would be perfect.
8. Wilted Spinach Salad with Bacon and Hard-boiled Eggs
A spinach salad is a great way to get your greens in, but sometimes it can be a little bland.
That’s why we love this recipe that includes bacon and hard-boiled eggs.
The bacon adds a nice smoky flavor, and the eggs add some creaminess and body to the dish.
Plus, they both help to elevate the simple spinach leaves.
This salad is best when served immediately after it’s made.
The spinach leaves will start to wilt if they sit for too long, so you want to make sure they’re still nice and crisp.
We recommend using baby spinach leaves for this salad as they’re more tender than full-grown leaves.
If you can’t find them at your local grocery store, you can always use regular spinach leaves and just chop them up into smaller pieces.
To make this extra salad special, we like to top it with crumbled blue cheese or feta cheese.
You could also add in some chopped nuts or dried fruit for a little sweetness and crunch.
9. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic vinegar is a perfect match for roasted Brussels sprouts.
The deep, rich flavor of the vinegar pairs well with the slightly sweet and nutty taste of the roasted Brussels sprouts.
The balsamic vinegar also helps to bring out the natural flavors of Brussels sprouts.
The texture of roasted Brussels sprouts is another reason why this dish works so well with balsamic vinegar.
The crispy outer leaves of the Brussels sprouts pair perfectly with the creamy and soft center.
The balsamic vinegar adds a bit of acidity to the dish, which helps to balance out the flavors.
There are a few tips that can help you elevate this dish even further.
First, try roasting your Brussels sprouts in olive oil instead of vegetable oil.
This will give them a richer flavor.
You can also add some chopped garlic to the mix before roasting.
This will give the dish an extra kick of flavor.
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of balsamic vinegar.
A good quality aged balsamic vinegar will add a depth of flavor that you won’t find in a cheaper version.
10. Mashed Potatoes with Garlic and Herbs
Mashed potatoes are classic comfort food that can be enjoyed in so many different ways.
One of our favorite ways to enjoy them is with garlic and herbs.
The garlic adds a nice depth of flavor to the potatoes, while the herbs add a touch of freshness.
The key to making great mashed potatoes is to use starchy potatoes like Russets.
This will give you the light and fluffy texture that you’re looking for.
Another tip is to not overmix the potatoes.
You want to mix them just enough to get them smooth, but not too much, or they’ll end up gluey.
If you’re looking for a way to elevate your mashed potatoes, try adding in some shredded cheese, bacon, or green onions.
These all make great additions that will take your dish to the next level.
11. Sweet Potato Fries with Dipping Sauce
There’s nothing quite like a basket of hot, crispy sweet potato fries.
And when they’re paired with the perfect dipping sauce, they’re even better.
But what is the best sauce for sweet potato fries?
Sweet potato fries are typically on the sweeter side, so a savory or slightly spicy dipping sauce is the perfect complement.
A dipping sauce can also help to elevate the dish and make it more interesting.
Here are some of our favorite sauces for sweet potato fries:
- Chipotle mayo: This creamy, slightly spicy sauce is perfect for dipping sweet potato fries. The chipotle peppers give it a smokey flavor that pairs well with the sweetness of the fries.
- Honey mustard: This classic sauce is always a good choice for sweet potato fries. The sweetness of the honey balances out the tanginess of the mustard, making it a delicious option.
- Barbecue sauce: Barbecue sauce is another great option for sweet potato fries. The smoky, Sweet, and tangy flavors go well together and make for a delicious pairing.
12. Steamed Rice with Sautéed Vegetables
Steamed rice is a classic side dish that can be enjoyed with a variety of different main dishes.
Tilapia is a mild-flavored fish that pairs well with rice and other sides that have bolder flavors.
When it comes to taste and texture, steamed rice is a versatile side dish that can be adapted to your liking.
If you prefer your rice to be more firm, then you can steam it for less time.
If you prefer your rice to be softer, then you can steam it for longer.
The key to perfect steamed rice is to experiment until you find the cooking time that works best for you.
There are also many ways to elevate the flavor of steamed rice.
One simple way is to add sautéed vegetables to the dish.
This will add some extra color, flavor, and nutrients to the dish.
Another way to elevate the flavor of steamed rice is to cook it in broth instead of water.
This will give the rice a more robust flavor that pairs well with tilapia and other mild-flavored dishes.
There are many delicious dishes that go great with tilapia.
Some of our favorites include steamed rice, roasted Brussels sprouts, sweet potato fries, and mashed potatoes.
No matter what you’re in the mood for, there’s a dish on this list that will satisfy your cravings.
So the next time you’re wondering what to serve with tilapia, be sure to give one of these side dishes a try.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!