Looking for something to serve with fried fish? Look no further. When you pull those perfectly golden brown, cornmeal-crusted fried fish filets from the deep fryer, you don’t want to stress about what to serve with them.
There isn’t much better than getting together with friends for a fish fry. (Ok, maybe a crawfish boil.) In the summertime, we love to make Southern Fried Catfish, but we do try to limit our catfish intake, so we also fry up all kinds of panfish or sunfish as well - bluegill, yellow perch, white bass, pumpkinseed, freshwater drum, crappie, and redears.
Too much fried food can be kind of heavy and greasy, but a good creamy side dish can balance that out.
There are a lot of popular side dishes to serve at fish fries - here are our favorites:
Classic Southern Coleslaw
Coleslaw is an easy side dish to serve with fried fish - you can use bagged slaw mix to save on time and make it ahead of time. This coleslaw uses a little bit of buttermilk so it has a nice tang to it that complements the fried fish really well.
Southern Style Collard Greens
We always have our first fish fry here when the collard greens in our garden are at their peak. Summer is just warming up but we aren’t in the thick of it yet. It doesn’t get much better than freshly caught fish that is crusted in cornmeal, fried until crispy, and served with freshly picked greens!
We love to cook our collard greens with diced onion, bacon, and a ham hock. Top them with a little pepper vinegar and they are absolute perfection.
Crispy Fried Okra
Fried Okra? Need I say more? Southern popcorn. You can drop it in the fryer while breading up your fish and snack on it while getting things ready - because you know no one will wait to eat it! We love to dip fried okra in ranch, Cane's Sauce, and Boom Boom Sauce.
This may seem like an odd suggestion, but Fried Catfish fillets with a scoop of crawfish étouffée over the top served with a scoop of green onion rice is an amazing dish known as Catfish Atchafalaya. I highly recommend trying it.
Southern Potato Salad
Easy Southern Potato Salad
Southern Potato Salad is creamy, tangy, and delicious - it balances out the crunchy cornmeal coating on the fish. It is a perfect side dish for fried fish & can be made ahead of time so you can focus on perfectly frying up your fish. I love that it is cold and creamy in contrast to the crispy texture of the fish. Plus, it is delicious.
Slow Cooker Southern Green Beans or Instant Pot Southern Green Beans
Crock Pot Southern Green Beans
Southern Green Beans are a popular side dish that can be cooked (and pretty much ignored) while other things are going on. The Crockpot Green Beans recipe is great because it can be started in the morning and it will cook all day while you are busy getting other things done and the Instant Pot Green Beans recipe is great if you forgot to prepare a side dish to go with your catfish dinner.
Instant Pot Southern Style Green Beans
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Chunky Option)
I love to make mashed potatoes - they go with everything, especially fried food. I love to make these mashed potatoes in an Instant Pot because they are quick to prepare and they don't require boiling potatoes or heating up the house - and they are so flavorful. They are a great choice for a summertime dinner.
Cornbread Cooked in a Cast-iron Skillet
Simply Sweet Skillet Cornbread Recipe
Cornbread is a classic side dish that goes with nearly everything. Cooked in a cast iron pan - you can't go wrong.
Red Beans and Rice
Louisiana Red Beans and Rice
Oven Baked French Fries
Fried fish goes so well with french fries - it's almost expected that you'll get french fries with fried fish. If you are using a deep fryer, you can just drop the fries right in - if you are frying fish on the stove and want to speed things along, you can bake fries in the oven.
Hush puppies are commonly served with fried fish and if your family likes them, you should serve them. We don't love them - my husband and I usually each eat one and then don't really want anymore so I wouldn't serve them at a fish fry, but I know people love them - so serve them if your crowd loves them!
Beer-Battered Onion Rings - Just a Taste
Onion rings are totally underrated. I don't have a recipe for onion rings on my site because I made this recipe once and they were perfect - there's no reason for me to recreate perfection. I highly recommend that you make them as written and serve them with fried fish, burgers, ribs, everything.
Easy Pasta Salad (Mom's Recipe)
This is my mom's recipe for pasta salad and it is always a hit - everyone always loves it and comes back for seconds. It is loaded with veggies and topped with Italian dressing.
Cowboy or Redneck Caviar
Cowboy or Redneck Caviar is such a great dish to serve with fried fish because it is so fresh and bright. We also love to serve it over grilled fish.
Blue Cheese Grilled Potatoes - Tried and True Recipes
If you plan on breaking out your grill for anyone who doesn't like fried food, grilled potatoes are a delicious side dish and they are really easy to prepare while cooking other things.
You should probably have some kind of vegetable with fried food, right? A vegetable salad is always a good choice and cucumber salads are easy to make - especially if you live in the south and all summer long, someone will always be trying to get rid of bags of cucumbers and squash! (There's a joke in the south that you should always lock your car doors - not because of thieves, but because people will leave squash in your car!)
We love to make cucumber salad with red onions, sour cream, vinegar, cucumbers, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, and fresh dill.
Condiments to Serve with Fried Fish
- Hot Sauce - We love Tabasco or Crystal Hot Sauce
- Lemon Wedges - Squeezing a little lemon juice over the top of a catfish fillet is so good!
- Tartar Sauce
- Kosher Salt - Sprinkling catfish fillets with a little bit of salt adds so much flavor.
- Dipping Sauces -