The easy salmon side dishes help turn one of the easiest fish recipes into a complete dinner and includes delicious rice, pasta, and potato ideas to pair with a vegetable or salad.
Salmon is my favorite fish to cook for dinner because the tender filets pair perfectly with a wide variety of seasonings and side dishes.
You can use salmon as a quick cook protein and pop one of these delicious side dishes into the oven or pot for an easy weeknight meal.
Just by mixing up the salmon side dishes, you can have dozens of completely different dinner ideas to add to your meal plan all month long!
Start with the Best Salmon Recipes
New to cooking salmon? Try one of my easy salmon recipes and you'll see why it is my family's favorite fish in no time.
For beginners, I recommend trying my oven baked salmon. All you need is a 9x13-inch dish, butter, and a special seasoning.
If you have an air fryer, you can learn how to cook salmon in an air fryer here.
HINT: It goes great with green beans at the same time!
And if you want to give the salmon a big flavor boost, don't miss trying my mustard glazed salmon which has such a beautiful color.
The Best Salmon Side Dishes
Salmon is a flaky pink fish with a delicate sweetness that tastes amazing with a wide variety of seasonings or marinades.
The best salmon side dishes will complement the flavor of your salmon and highlight its delicate texture.
For each side dish recipe, I've tried to include the perfect seasoning blend or sauce to go with it.
Rice Side Dishes
Rice is a perfect pick for a side dish for salmon because it is a delicate dish that soaks up any sauce you might drizzle over the fish.
Season the salmon with practically any herb blend, blackening spice, Cajun spice, or even lemon pepper seasoning and pair it with these rice side dishes.
Wild Rice Pilaf:
You can make this wild rice pilaf recipe in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop and it is filled with tender veggies.
Herb Butter Rice:
Another Instant Pot recipe that could be tweaked for the stovetop, I just love this easy herb butter rice recipe.
This would be amazing with salmon that has a lemon butter sauce.
Baked Red Rice with Bacon:
Season the salmon with a Cajun or blackening seasoning and it will taste amazing with this tomato-based baked red rice dish.
Instant Pot Jasmine Rice:
If you use an Asian marinade or teriyaki sauce, this Instant Pot jasmine rice is the perfect side dish because it is a plain rice that will soak up that delicious sauce.
Add a sprinkle of green onions for color.
Pasta Side Dishes
If you want to pair pasta with salmon, you can either lay the salmon right on top of a bed of pasta for a full entree or plan a simple pasta side dish to put next to the filet on the plate.
In either case, avoid tomato-based sauces and lean towards olive oil, butter, lemon, or garlic based pastas.
My favorite salmon pasta side dishes include:
Warm Couscous Salad:
This warm couscous salad is loaded with fresh veggies and bright mandarin oranges that would go perfectly with a spiced salmon filet.
Try blackening, Cajun, or mustard glazed salmon.
Asian Pasta Salad:
The original recipe for this Asian pasta salad uses broiled chicken tenderloins but this pasta salad would taste amazing with an Asian salmon, too.
Lemon Butter Pasta with Chives:
My oven baked salmon would pair perfectly with this lemon butter pasta side dish.
Lemony Orzo Salad:
This easy lemon orzo salad can be served warm or chilled.
A spicy seasoned salmon or one with a simple Italian or Mediterranean herb blend would be perfect.
Goat Cheese Pasta with Baby Spinach:
The tangy goat cheese pasta has a burst of lemon and green baby spinach.
This rich pasta dish would complement a spicy blackened salmon or a Mediterranean herb salmon.
Mashed Potatoes or Roasted Potatoes
Pairing potatoes with salmon can be a little tricky if you're not careful. Since fish has such a flaky, delicate texture, your dinner will be lacking if you don't add something with a bit of a crispy crunch to it.
Salmon and Mashed Potatoes:
You can serve salmon and mashed potatoes if you add something fresh like crispy green beans.
My oven roasted mini potatoes and onions has a hint of mustard and would go really well with the mustard glazed salmon recipe.
Salmon and sweet potatoes can be a good match as long as you add a bit of spice to the fish. Otherwise, your meal will be overly sweet.
A Cajun or blackened salmon would be perfect with crispy roasted sweet potatoes or even a sweet potato casserole.
Vegetable Side Dishes
Fresh vegetable side dishes bring a much-needed boost of color and flavor to your salmon dinner.
Air fryer green beans are my top pick. It is my go-to veggie to serve with salmon almost every time.
Roasted Peppers and Pineapple: This dish would complement the sweetness of the salmon and is especially tasty if you rub the salmon with a spicy herb blend.
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes:
This could be a good choice for adding some acid to a salmon and mashed potatoes dinner but you might want to also have something like my chunky corn salsa for a little bit of crunchy texture.
Old Fashioned Squash Casserole:
This classic zucchini and yellow squash casserole is a rich and delicious side dish you could serve with fish and skip the carbs altogether!
Salads for Salmon
Salmon is the perfect easy protein for using to top an entree salad but these easy salad recipes also make a great side dish.
Salmon Caesar Salad:
Use an Italian herb blend or a spicy blackened salmon on top of a Caesar salad.
The baby spinach, bright citrus, and creamy feta cheese in this simple citrus salad would be a perfect complement to the sweet salmon.
Crispy Wild Rice Salad:
This easy crispy wild rice salad is made from wild rice leftovers and would be easy to toss together while the salmon is cooking.
Even the lemon parmesan vinaigrette would be great for drizzling over the crispy salmon!
Summer Salad with Leftover Salmon:
Maybe your salmon is leftover from the night before and you need a new idea?
This leftover salmon salad is one of the best ways to finish it up.
If you stick with just the veggies or salad and want something a little starchy other than rice, pasta, or potatoes, a simple biscuit or dinner roll is the perfect salmon side.
Cheddar Bay Biscuits: These are served at Red Lobster for a reason! The herb butter topping would be perfect with salmon of any flavor.
Buttermilk Drop Biscuits: Want something a little more flavor neutral? These crispy, buttery biscuits are the perfect pick.
Whole Wheat Buns: Want to make a salmon sandwich? This would be my husband's choice of dinner roll for sure!
Bread Machine Crescent Dinner Rolls: These soft buttery dinner rolls are an elegant choice if you're serving salmon for a special holiday dinner.
Salmon Toppings and Sauces
Finally, if you're looking to mix things up with your salmon routine, sometimes just changing the seasoning, marinade, or sauce you serve with the dish is the fix you need.
Pineapple Salsa: Try using a fajita-style seasoning blend on your salmon and top it with this fresh pineapple salsa. You could even make salmon tacos.
Spicy Remoulade Sauce: Spoon a dollop of this creamy sauce over the salmon and serve it with the red rice mentioned above. Or you could make a salmon po'boy sandwich on a roll with shredded lettuce.
Thick Teriyaki Sauce: Keep it easy and spoon this over the cooked salmon on a bed of jasmine rice. Add a sprinkle of green onions for fresh color and flavor.
Mustard Vinaigrette: Roast the salmon and then drizzle this sauce over the top. Serve it with a vegetable salad or simple pasta salad.
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