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.

I love to mix up a batch of homemade fish fry mix so I am always ready to fry fish!

A cast iron pan with parchment paper topped with fried catfish fillets.
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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:

Delicious Catfish Side Dishes

Creamy Coleslaw

Creamy southern coleslaw (shredded carrots & cabbage covered in mayonnaise) up close.
Classic Southern Coleslaw
5 from 13 votes
This Creamy Southern Coleslaw recipe is one of my favorite side dishes. The sweet, tangy dressing combined with the fresh, crunchy cabbage is so simple, yet so flavorful.
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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.

Collard Greens

A bowl of southern collard greens on a metal rack with a yellow towel.
Southern Collard Greens
4.91 from 33 votes
This Southern Collard Greens Recipe is the best side dish recipe. A perfect soul food recipe cooked low and slow with bacon, onions, a ham hock, and garlic.
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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.

Fried Okra

Cornmeal crusted fried okra draining on a paper towel.
Crispy Fried Okra
4.97 from 26 votes
This Fried Okra is dredged in buttermilk and breaded in a flour & cornmeal coating that's loaded with flavor. Fried until crispy in peanut oil, it’s an addictive Southern appetizer, snack, or side dish.
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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.

Crawfish Étouffée

a zoomed in image of a pot of crawfish etouffee
Crawfish Étouffée
4.95 from 18 votes
Crawfish Étouffée is an easy-to-make, smothered crawfish dish that is over-the-top delicious. The creamy sauce, tender crawfish tails, and perfect amount of Creole seasoning make this a knockout dinner.
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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.

a white plate with fried catfish, crawfish etouffee, and green onion rice on it
Catfish Atchafalaya
5 from 8 votes
Catfish Atchafalaya is a unique combination of Southern Fried Catfish, smothered in Crawfish Étouffée, and served with Green Onion Rice. It is a five-star meal that is easy to enjoy at home.
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Southern Potato Salad

A bowl of creamy southern potato salad with a mustard based dressing.
Easy Southern Potato Salad
5 from 11 votes
This Easy Southern Potato Salad made with Hard-Boiled Eggs and Pickles is a summertime favorite. It has a creamy, flavorful mayonnaise dressing and is topped with Creole Seasoning for a perfect finishing touch.
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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

A bowl of southern style green beans cooked in a crock pot with ham, bacon, and red bell peppers.
Crock Pot Southern Green Beans
5 from 16 votes
These Crock Pot Southern Green beans have so much flavor – they are a family favorite. They are the perfect easy side dish for any holiday menu.
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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.

The Instant Pot Green Beans recipe is great if you forgot to prepare a side dish to go with your catfish dinner.

A white bowl of southern green beans and bacon on a gray background.
Instant Pot Southern Style Green Beans
4.85 from 19 votes
It's hard to beat that cooked all day with smoky meat flavor of Southern Style green beans. They are melt-in-your-mouth delicious and are ready in less than an hour.
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Sautéed Yellow Squash

In the summer, when we have squash coming at us from every direction, I love to sauté squash to add as a healthier side to fried fish!

Sauteed yellow squash with onions.
Sautéed Squash
5 from 3 votes
This simple sautéed squash recipe is so easy to make and allows the flavors of this delicious summer vegetable to shine. The delicious squash is tender, buttery, sweet, and so flavorful.
Sautéed Squash Recipe

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

A bowl of cheesy garlic mashed potatoes.
Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Chunky Option)
5 from 5 votes
Mashed Potatoes will be the most popular dish on your table with this perfectly garlicky and buttery Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes Recipe. Mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food, and pressure cooking cuts the cooking time needed to make this easy side dish in half.
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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.

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Cornbread Cooked in a Cast-iron Skillet

A cast iron skillet with slices of cornbread in it.
Sweet Skillet Cornbread Recipe
4.85 from 32 votes
Sweet Cornbread made in a cast iron skillet is the perfect accompaniment to any meal. This cornbread is sweet, crumbly, buttery, and has a perfect crisp to the edges.
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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

A bowl of Louisiana red beans and rice with seared andouille sausage.
Louisiana Red Beans and Rice
4.93 from 14 votes
This Louisiana Red Beans and Rice Recipe makes thick, creamy, delicious New Orleans Red Beans. This easy recipe will have everyone clearing their plates.
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I know it seems weird, but creamy red beans with a little bit of white rice, fluffy cornbread, and a big crispy slab of fried fish belong together. It is a Southern delicacy.

French Fries

Oven Baked French Fries
Oven Baked French Fries are coated in olive oil, tossed in delicious seasoning, and baked until crispy. They are easy to make and are so good!
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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

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!

Onion Rings

Beer-Battered Onion Rings – Just a Taste
Up your fish fru side dish game with a crowd-friendly recipe for hot, crispy Beer-Battered Onion Rings with your choice of dipping sauces.
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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.

Pasta Salad

A bowl of pasta salad and a wooden spoon, zoomed in.
Easy Pasta Salad (Mom’s Recipe)
4.67 from 3 votes
This Pasta Salad is a bite from my childhood. It is overflowing with vegetables and reminds me of springtime and grilling with my parents. It is light enough for a hot day and is bursting with so much flavor.
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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

A small bowl of redneck caviar with black-eyed peas, corn, black beans, and tomatoes with a side of tortilla chips.
Cowboy Caviar
5 from 3 votes
Cowboy Caviar is a Southern Dip and Side Dish that is made with fresh vegetables & a delicious vinegar dressing. Black-Eyed Peas & Black Beans are tossed with fresh summer tomatoes, peppers, and corn to make a simple dip, and you won’t be able to resist scooping a chip in this dip!
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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.

Grilled Potatoes

Blue Cheese Grilled Potatoes – Tried and True Recipes
These Blue Cheese Grilled Potatoes are a quick and easy recipe that goes perfectly with your favorite hamburger or grilled chicken recipe.
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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.

Cucumber Salad

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 – It has taken a while to make this recipe perfect, but we love this homemade tartar sauce recipe!
A small bowl of homemade tartar sauce with a fried shrimp in it.
Easy Homemade Tartar Sauce
5 from 16 votes
This Easy Homemade Tartar Sauce recipe is the perfect sauce to dip your crunchy fried fish fillets or crispy fried shrimp in. The tangy flavor pairs perfectly with so many dishes, and it is so easy to make.
Tartar sauce recipe
  • Creole Remoulade Sauce – This is a new recipe on my site, and it is so good with fish! It is tangy and a little spicy.
A bowl of remoulade sauce with a spoon and a pink towel.
Creole Remoulade Sauce
5 from 7 votes
Creole Remoulade Sauce combines creamy mayonnaise and Creole mustard with dill pickles and horseradish to make a tangy sauce that adds flavor to so many delicious seafood dishes. It's so easy to make and tastes so good!
creole remoulade sauce recipe
A jar of homemade raising canes sauce dripping off of a spoon.
Copycat Raising Cane’s Dipping Sauce
4.90 from 321 votes
Raising Cane's Dipping Sauce is a tangy, creamy, peppery, and addicting dipping sauce that goes with literally everything. We love it with french fries, chicken tenders, and burgers.
Cane’s Sauce Recipe

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Hi, I'm Kari!

I am a newlywed, food blogger, health coach, and mama to a hot mess of a border collie. I love to put a new spin on old family recipes and I try to make as many meals as possible with an Instant Pot.

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  1. 5 stars
    Hi Kari!! I’m glad I found ur site! I’ve been looking for an old recipe for fried fish and you came thru!👍👍👍👍.. ur site won’t let me use small letters.. email I’m including is all small case letters!!

    1. Hi Donna! I’m so happy to hear that! You’re also not the first person to mention the size of the letters – I don’t know what that’s about, but I’ll look into it, but it came through in normal letters 🙂 I’m so glad you loved the recipe!! That makes me so happy to hear and makes all the hard work of posting these recipes worth it!