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21 Best Salmon Sides in 7 Categories + Dinner Ideas

Salmon is one of the healthiest proteins, as it’s packed with various vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. It’s usually served as a main course that steals the show, but the best salmon side dishes can make its unique and rich flavor shine. Read on to find the best salmon side dishes.

Tasty salmon is usually caught in Norway, Canada, or Chile and can be served in multiple ways to suit every taste. But next to this captivating dish, several sides elevate your meal from merely satisfying to unforgettable.

Best Salmon Sides: What to Serve with Salmon

Best Salmon Side Dishes: What to Serve with Salmon

Salmon is so versatile and cooks pretty fast. It can be prepared in numerous ways to bring out its naturally rich flavor, and luckily, it goes well with various sides, from hearty pasta dishes to vibrant and zesty salads that make your meal healthier.

Salmon Patties Sides

Salmon Patties Side Dishes

Salmon patties are made using shredded salmon or canned salmon. Kids and adults love them because they’re rich in delicious flavors and tastes.

The combination of eggs, bell peppers, spices, and the crusty breadcrumb exterior make them the perfect dish for lunch or dinner. Here are some mouthwatering sides that go well with these crispy patties and elevate their taste.

Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

Indulge your taste buds with the sweet potato fries and salmon patties combo. Baked in the oven after being seasoned with your favorite seasonings and spices, these fries represent a healthy yet delicious side that will make your little ones fall in love with salmon patties.

Add some greens and you’re done with the perfect side dish. You can also prepare them in the air fryer. Serve these sweet potato fries with tartar sauce, spicy mayonnaise with some pickles, or a sweet chili dip.

While we are all in love with regular fries, these are typically healthier as they have a higher potassium content. Moreover, they have a hint of sweetness and spiciness that make them more appealing.

Lemon Rice

Lemon Rice

By cooking some rice, lemon juice, lemon zest, butter, and garlic, this fantastic side will be ready. It’s a simple dish, yet it’s packed with delicious flavors that go well with your salmon patties. Serve your rice and salmon with lemon wedges and chopped parsley for a fresh and light dinner.

You can prepare the same side using orzo or Jasmine rice if you want your side to be more fragrant.

Roasted Carrots and Potatoes

Roasted Carrots and Potatoes

Looking for a nutritious side to serve with your salmon patties? Drizzle your carrots and potatoes with olive oil and your favorite spices, then roast them in the air fryer or oven for a delicious and healthy side. They’re also quite easy to prepare – perfect for busy weekdays.

Although these veggies pair perfectly with salmon, you can also add other vegetables to make this side richer and more tasty. Toss in some green bell peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and shallots for a delicious flavor.

Side Dishes for Smoked Salmon

Side Dishes for Smoked Salmon

Smoked salmon has a briny and savory flavor with a tender texture that melts in your mouth. The smoking process maintains moisture and intensifies the flavors, so you need the proper sides for salmon to make them shine through.

Green Beans Almondine

Green Beans Almondine

These crispy green beans are super easy to prepare but will be the perfect healthy addition to your smoked salmon.

The key isn’t to leave the green beans in the boiling water for too long because they’ll get soggy. Combine them with the roasted shallots, garlic, and almonds and you’re done.

The same recipe can be made using asparagus or carrots. You can toss your beans with some parmesan cheese and toast them in the oven until the cheese melts for a richer flavor.

Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad

Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad

Once you prepare this pasta salad, it will be your go-to recipe for lunches, dinners, and parties. The addition of pesto, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, and mozzarella, makes it a complete meal on its own.

Add some slices of smoked salmon on top, and your dish will be ready. It’s an excellent option for meal prepping because you can prepare it in advance or put it in a lunch box for a delicious packed lunch.

Creamy Potato Salad

Creamy Potato Salad

The best thing about this side salad is that you can prepare it ahead of time. It’s also so versatile, so you can add some hard-boiled eggs, shallots, celery, pickles, and your favorite herbs to make it richer.

Prepare your dressing using mayonnaise, sour cream, and mustard, and let the dressing soak into the potatoes to make them richer and more tender.

This salad gets better when you leave it in the fridge for a few hours before serving, allowing the potatoes to absorb all the tasty flavors from the dressing. It can be your go-to recipe on busy weekdays when you don’t have enough energy.

Sides for Pan-Fried Salmon

Sides for Pan-Fried Salmon

Pan-frying salmon is one of the easiest and fastest ways to prepare this fish. It retains all its flavors and allows you to infuse it with the taste of garlic butter and fresh herbs. Here are the best sides to complement the taste.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are rich in minerals and vitamins and when roasted, the crunchiness will complement the rich and fatty texture of the pan-fried salmon. Drizzle them with olive oil and spices and toss them in the oven. You can also add some mozzarella cheese to make them more crunchy.

For an extra kick, you can add some chili oil on top of your roasted Brussels sprouts. It makes their crispiness shine and doesn’t mask the richness of the salmon.

Cauliflower Mash

Cauliflower Mash

Most people serve fried salmon with mashed potatoes, but if you’re looking for a healthier alternative, you can prepare this cauliflower mash. Add some cream, butter, and your favorite seasonings, and this creamy side will be the best dish to complement your salmon’s taste.

The secret lies in mashing the cauliflower in the food processor until you get the desired creamy consistency. You can also mash a boiled potato, and you’ll see how they beautifully blend.

Serve this side with your homemade garlic bread, and your salmon dinner will be ready in no time.

Creamy Lemon Pasta

Creamy Lemon Pasta

You’ll love how easy and tasty this pasta dish is, and it goes well with multiple protein dishes, including pan-fried salmon.

There are no secret ingredients, as this pasta is prepared using butter, garlic, heavy cream, lemon zest, and parmesan cheese to be the perfect topping.

Rigatoni pasta is an excellent choice because it scoops the sauce and delivers more taste in every bite. Yet, you can also prepare this dish using linguini or spaghetti.

This pasta can be customized to suit your preferences by adding a few ingredients. Tossing in some baby spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, or shrimp while cooking the sauce will help you prepare a new version of this tasty pasta without much effort.

What to Serve with Grilled Salmon

What to Serve with Grilled Salmon

You’ll need a few minutes to grill your salmon to perfection. It’s a healthier version of this tasty main course, without using butter, and relying only on the healthy fats within its flakes.

However, you should be careful not to over-grill your salmon, or it might become too dry.

Chopped Kale Salad with Toasted Breadcrumbs

Chopped Kale Salad with Toasted Breadcrumbs

The secret of this salad lies in the seasoning. You’ll need to roast panko breadcrumbs with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, then mix it with Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, fresh lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, chopped garlic, and some grated parmesan cheese.

Combine this topping with freshly chopped kale, and your salad will be ready.

Although this salad is made using kale, you can also use arugula or lettuce. Add your favorite leafy greens for a brighter version of this dish.

Asparagus Gratin

Asparagus Gratin

Asparagus are quite crunchy and this gratin topping will make them richer and more creamy. After roasting them in the oven, prepare a topping made of heavy whipping cream, mustard, flour, and your favorite seasonings.

Top your veggies with a mix of fontina, parmesan, and sharp cheese for the perfect golden look. You can also add some seared bacon bits for more depth.

Oven-Baked Sweet Potatoes

Oven-Baked Sweet Potatoes

This is one of the most versatile side dishes to serve with grilled salmon. Start by poking holes in the sweet potatoes to allow them to cook evenly when you bake them in the oven or on the grill. Once done, you can cut them open and use your fingers to reveal more of the flesh.

Now, your sweet potatoes are ready to be topped with any topping. So, go wild.

Some options include garlic butter, crispy bacon bits, sharp cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, pickles, and fresh parsley. Anything you choose to give you a new version of this dish.

Best Tasty Appetizers Before Serving Salmon

Best Tasty Appetizers Before Serving Salmon

Prepare your palates for the richness of salmon with these appetizers. They will get you ready for the flavorful salmon, without stealing the show.

Halloumi, Carrot, and Orange Salad – A Sweet and Zesty Starter That Takes Minutes to Prepare
The combination of salty halloumi, sweet carrots, and zesty lemons creates the perfect combo.

While the halloumi pieces are getting grilled, you can let the thinly sliced carrots marinate in vinegar and olive oil. Blood oranges work perfectly for this salad because they’re fruity and tart.

Toss these ingredients with your favorite leafy greens and a dressing made of honey and mustard. You can also add some pomegranates for a brighter colorful salad.

Mussels in a Creamy Garlic Sauce

Mussels in a Creamy Garlic Sauce

Mussels will elevate the taste of your salmon dish and will be an excellent option for dinner parties and special events. They don’t take much time to cook and will be the perfect starter to get you ready for your salmon main course.

After getting your mussels cooked, prepare a sauce made of heavy cream and garlic to drizzle on top of them. The sauce’s secret ingredient is white wine, which gives your mussels an extra kick and more richness.

Stuffed Mushrooms with Clams

Stuffed Mushrooms with Clams

When serving salmon on a special occasion, you want every dish on your menu to complement the other.

These stuffed mushrooms will be the perfect starter to get everyone ready for the salmon you’ve prepared ahead, and they complete the seafood theme without overpowering your main dish.

You must pick fresh and rather large mushrooms to be able to stuff them with a mix made of minced clams, garlic, seasoning, and a topping made of breadcrumbs.

You can also top your stuffed mushrooms with some parmesan cheese and broil them until the mushrooms are tender and your cheese is golden.

Best Desserts After Salmon Dishes

Best Desserts After Salmon Dishes

No lunch or dinner menu is complete without a dessert that acts as the perfect wrap-up. After serving salmon, you want a dessert that satisfies your sweet tooth.

At the same time, it should pair well with this rich fish without making you feel uncomfortable or heavy.

Crème Brûlée – A Rich and Indulgent Dessert

Crème Brûlée

This delicacy is the perfect dessert to serve after your salmon, with a custardy and creamy interior and a crusty exterior. The bittersweet burned topping is sweet and reveals a rich dessert that is loved by many.

People love this dessert because it’s the perfect blend of simplicity and sophistication. You can prepare it with the classic vanilla flavor or add maple syrup or chocolate for a sweet kick to enrich the taste.

Orange Sorbet – A Zesty Chilled End to a Delicious Meal

Orange Sorbet – A Zesty Chilled End to a Delicious Meal

Orange sorbet is a simple yet refreshing dessert to serve at the end of your salmon meal. The addition of the star anise gives it an earthy flavor and balances the cool and crunchy texture of the ice cream.

The good news is that it doesn’t take much time to prepare, yet it looks sophisticated and tastes divine. You can enrich its flavor by adding tangerine sauce. This will be an excellent dessert to prepare ahead of time if you’re confused about preparing your menu.

Fruit Salad – A Classic that Never Ceases to Impress

Fruit Salad – A Classic that Never Ceases to Impress

Who said that you have to spend hours to prepare a delicious dessert? Preparing a fruit salad can be an excellent choice when you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen.

It’s so versatile, so you can add any fresh fruits you already have. Keep your fruit salad colorful, and add cranberries, strawberries, grapes, pomegranates, orange slices, kiwi, and pineapple. You can also add a drizzle of syrup for some extra sweetness and roasted nuts for a little crunch.

Best Drinks to Serve with Salmon Dishes

Best Drinks to Serve with Salmon Dishes

Picking the right drink to serve with salmon doesn’t involve a lot of preparation. Yet, you have to spend time on the right pairing to choose flavors that complement one another.

Chablis

Chablis

Chablis is a dry white wine with a light body and significant citrus fragrance. It’s so light, so it works perfectly with smoked salmon because it doesn’t mask its flavor.

It’s different from Chardonnay, which is more mature and blends well with hot salmon dishes like pan-fried and grilled salmon.

Pink Lemonade

Pink Lemonade

You don’t have to serve an alcoholic drink when you serve seafood. Pink lemonade can be an excellent option because its citrusy acidity goes well with salmon and keeps you feeling refreshed while enjoying your plate.

There are several ways to prepare and serve this drink to add the pink color. Add cranberry juice, grenadine, or strawberry syrup to give the juice its distinctive pink color and unique taste. Serve the drink with lemon wedges and enjoy.

Icy Cucumber Lemonade Mint

Icy Cucumber Lemonade Mint

This recipe depends on all fresh ingredients and the addition of cucumber makes it super refreshing. Cucumbers are hydrating and blend well with the lemonade and mint.

You can serve this drink fresh or spice it up by adding your favorite liquor. Use honey or sugar syrup to sweeten your drink and it will be ready.

Easy Salmon Dinner Ideas

Easy Salmon Dinner Ideas

Salmon is one of the easiest dishes to prepare because it cooks pretty fast. Moreover, it doesn’t need a lot of seasonings or spices to taste amazing. Here are some of the easiest salmon dinner ideas to serve.

Salmon with Sun-Dried Tomatoes Creamy Sauce – The Perfect Creamy Sauce with a Tangy Addition
Sun-dried tomatoes can elevate the taste of any dish, especially when added to a garlicky, creamy sauce.

After pan-searing or grilling your salmon steak, sautee some minced garlic and sun-dried tomatoes to be the base for your sauce.

Prepare a simple creamy sauce, and you can add a little bit of lemon juice for a zesty kick, and that’s it. Toss your salmon steaks into the sauce and make sure that the sauce covers all their sides.

Let it simmer for a few minutes, and serve your delicious dinner. Serve this dish with lemon rice or a fresh garden salad.

Walnut-Rosemary Crusted Salmon

Walnut-Rosemary Crusted Salmon

This is a nice one-tray dish that you can prepare fast. Just line a baking tray with parchment paper, and cover it with a dressing made of mustard, lime juice, honey, grated garlic, salt, and pepper.

Spread this sauce on top of your salmon steak and top it with a mixture made of walnuts, panko, and rosemary. The salmon will take about 10 to 12 minutes to be fully cooked and you can serve it with some fresh parsley.

Stuffed Salmon

Stuffed Salmon

Stuffing salmon with a creamy vegetable filling makes it one of the easiest, tastiest, and most nutritious dinners that you can prepare in a few minutes. For this recipe, you’ll need to prepare a filling of chopped spinach, artichoke hearts, diced mushrooms, and cream cheese.

After sauteing the vegetables with garlic and adding the cream and parmesan cheese, you’ll cut a sleeve in every salmon steak to add your filling. Cook the salmon in some butter with the skin side up, then flip it until it’s done, and then transfer it to the oven for about six minutes.

Overbaking can make the salmon too dry, so be careful. Spritz the steaks with some lemon juice and serve this dinner with creamy white pasta and lemon wedges.

Salmon Tacos

Salmon Tacos

This is an excellent recipe that you can prepare using leftover pan-seared salmon. You can also mix it with a dressing made of olive oil, cumin, chili powder, and smoked paprika to add an extra flavor.

Warm your tacos and fill them with avocado sauce made of mashed avocado, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and your favorite seasonings.

Garnish your tacos with chopped pineapples, pico di gallo, or mango salsa with some chili oil and serve.

Greek Salmon Salad

Greek Salmon Salad

If you’re a fan of Greek salad, you’ll fall in love with this version. You’ll prepare the Greek salad using the traditional recipe, and top it with broiled or pan-seared salmon bites.

To prepare the bites, you’ll have to cut your salmon into cubes and drizzle them with olive oil, chopped garlic, and your favorite seasonings.

You can also add a little honey for a twist and cook the salmon bites until they’re golden and crunchy on the outside. Mix them with your salad, and you’ll have an elevated version of this classic dish.

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