Elevate your simple fish sticks into a splendid dinner with these spectacular sides!
Fish Sticks are my go-to dinner when I’m incredibly exhausted or just not in the mood to cook. We all have those days!
Since fish sticks are both delicious and incredibly easy to make, I pull them out at least once a month. And while sure, they’re store-bought, who says you can’t make a fabulous meal out of them?
So, if you’re looking for ways to amp up your quick dinner, today’s your lucky day. Here are 12 fantastic sides to serve with fish sticks.
1. Tartar Sauce
We all know anything battered and deep-fried need some dipping lovin’. And with fish sticks, you can never go wrong with a simple tartar sauce.
And just like fish sticks, tartar sauce is also easy to whip up. All you need is mayonnaise, mustard, sour cream, dill pickles, parsley, onion powder, and lemon juice.
No time to make it from scratch? No problem! Store-bought tartar sauce works just as well.
2. Salsa and Guacamole
When I was young, my mom always served either tartar sauce or ketchup with fish sticks. So back then, I never realized that you can dip fish sticks in other sauces too. Now that I’m all grown up, I love experimenting with different dips for my deep-fried fish!
For instance – salsa and guacamole is perfect for a Tex-Mex dinner. For the salsa, I blend tomatoes, cilantro, onions, lime, salt, and pepper. For the guacamole, I just mash avocados with lime juice, cilantro, and jalapenos and call it a day.
If you’ve got some tortilla bread on hand, perfect! You can make yourself a hearty and delicious fish taco using fish sticks. Yum!
3. French Fries
Can there be any more classic combo than the good-old fish and chips? I don’t think so!
You’re already preparing all those beautiful dips, so why not serve a side that makes use of them as well? French Fries don’t only taste great with fish sticks, but the condiments that go with it as well.
And, since you already have your deep-fryer ready, it makes cooking a lot easier. Two birds with one stone, am I right?
But, if you’re not a fan of all the grease, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy those iconic and addictive fries. Just pop those spuds in the oven and you’ll still get delicious crispy fries minus all the excess oil.
Be sure to sprinkle the potatoes with Parmesan cheese, garlic and onion powder for maximum flavor!
4. Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries add an element of sweetness to your otherwise salty dinner. Plus, it’s healthier than its more popular cousin, to boot.
You don’t need to deep-fry sweet potatoes, either. Just coat them in your favorite herbs and spices and bake. I love rubbing mine in paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin. The combination of flavors is mind blowingly delicious.
5. Fried Green Tomatoes
Oh, how I love this Southern side dish! They’re so good, you wouldn’t even notice you’re eating tomatoes. I’m telling you, even the pickiest eaters will love fried green tomatoes.
To make, just coat sliced green tomatoes in cornmeal batter and deep-fry until golden. You’re already deep-frying fish sticks, so might as well make the most out of that oil.
6. Mac and Cheese
Even though fish sticks are coated in batter, you won’t get a lot of carbs from the dish. So you’ll need something starchy to round out your dinner – and a cheesy and creamy bowl of mac and cheese is perfect for the part.
Aside from being filling, mac and cheese also adds that irresistible richness that pairs perfectly with fish sticks.
For a healthier alternative, try using cauliflower instead of pasta! Sure, nothing beats the original, but this substitute will allow you to eat more for fewer calories!
Aside from the textural contrast, you also get that nice hot and cold combo when you pair coleslaw with your fish sticks. And since coleslaw is so refreshing, it counterbalances the richness of the fried fish. And best of all, it’s a breeze to make!
Whether you use pre-shredded cabbage and carrots, or shred them yourself, it will only take you a few minutes to prepare this creamy and flavorful side.
And, whether you use the traditional mayo-based dressing or the tangy vinaigrette dressing, the coleslaw will still taste amazing with fish sticks.
Just keep in mind that it tastes best when cold, so give it a few hours in the fridge before you serve it. This will also allow the flavors to marry, giving you an even tastier slaw.
8. Fresh Fruits
Fresh fruit taste great with fish sticks – whether you eat it on the side or as a dessert. I love eating fish sticks with fresh bananas, mangoes, pineapples, and grapes.
The fruits just add a light and refreshing contrast to the deep-fried dish, and together, they make a well-balanced meal.
You can eat your favorite fruits as is, or you can enhance their sweetness further by drizzling them with honey or maple syrup.
9. Cucumber Salad
Here’s another crisp and refreshing side that will balance out the oiliness of the fish sticks. To make a simple yet spectacular cucumber salad, all you need are red onions, dill, and oregano. Just mix those ingredients and coat them in Greek yogurt. So easy, right?
Cucumbers combined with red onions, oregano, and dill, and then coated in Greek yogurt – now that sounds like a refreshing side! It will give your rich and tender fish sticks that cool and crisp contrast. A perfect combination indeed.
10. Fried Okra
Not a fan of okra? Well, I’m sure this dish will change your mind. Because there is nothing that a simple batter and deep-frying can’t fix.
Go ahead, try dipping that green okra into a cornmeal batter and deep-fry it until it’s golden brown. The transformation is so impeccable I bet you won’t even be able to tell it’s okra. And yes, it is phenomenal with fish sticks!
11. Roasted Vegetables
Since fish sticks are frozen processed foods, we all know it’s not the healthiest dish. So, to make up for the lack of nutrition, pair the dish with some roasted vegetables!
Aside from the healthful benefits, the roasted vegetables will also add a nice color contrast to your plate.
And you can pick whatever vegetables you want, too! You can’t go wrong with root crops, so slice up some potatoes, carrots, and onions and pop those in the oven.
Or how about some Brussels sprouts? If you’re not a fan of the mild bitter flavor, cover it up by peppering the sprouts with Parmesan cheese.
Roasted cauliflower tastes fantastic too. You can cut up the florets or just roast the whole head! Flavor it with your choice of herbs and spices, but I like mine with parsley and sesame seeds.
Asparagus is another top choice for me. And since it also has a subtle bitter flavor to it, I coat it with Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs before roasting. It creates a tasty treat and also adds a nice crunch!
12. Lemon Rice
Because fish sticks are hardly filling on their own, serve these babies with a bowl of rice for a hearty and well-rounded meal.
If you’re not a fan of the blandness of rice, just mix it with a little bit of lemon juice and it will transform into an aromatic and zesty side that balances out the richness of the fish sticks.