Picture this: a perfectly cooked, flaky salmon fillet, but then the moment of hesitation hits—what side dish can live up to this main event?

Salmon’s rich, buttery taste has romanced taste buds for ages, and finding its match in the perfect side dish is akin to creating a harmonious symphony on a plate. Every forkful should be a little celebration, as the tangy zest of lemon wedges or a spoonful of quinoa salad intertwines with its velvety texture.

I’m here to guide you through the vibrant array of companions your salmon is dreaming of. From the rustic charm of roasted asparagus, the heartiness of wild rice pilaf, to the bright pop of a caprese salad, we’ll explore the subtleties that will transform your meal into a culinary delight.

By the time we reach the end, you’ll be equipped with a trove of complementary flavors for salmon that will elevate your next dinner and could very well steal the show. Let’s set the stage for your next memorable meal.

What Side Dish Goes with Salmon

Side Dish Flavor Profile Preparation Time Dietary Notes Best for
Grilled Vegetables Charred, smoky 15-20 minutes Vegan, Gluten-Free Casual meals, BBQs
Lemon Butter Sauce Tangy, buttery 10 minutes Vegetarian Elegant dinners
Garlic Mashed Potatoes Creamy, savory 30 minutes Vegetarian, can be made dairy-free Comforting meals
Quinoa Salad Fresh, herbaceous 25 minutes Vegan, Gluten-Free Healthy lunches
Roasted Asparagus Earthy, crisp 15 minutes Vegan, Gluten-Free Springtime dinners

Light and Refreshing Vegetable Sides

When your main dish is a stunning piece of salmon, you gotta ask yourself, what side dish goes with salmon that’s going to keep things light and not weigh down the beautiful fish? Trust me, fresh veggies with a zesty twist—they’re your answer.

Greens and Salads

Picture this: a Chopped Kale Salad With Toasted Breadcrumbs. It’s got crunch, it’s got bite, and those breadcrumbs, oh man, they’re like little croutons of joy nestled among the greens.

Then you’ve got the Lemon Kale Salad. Think bright. Think citrusy. It’s like sunshine in a bowl. It fits right in with what side dish goes with salmon—giving a light touch that won’t overpower that delicate salmon flavor you love so much.

Got a craving for something with a bit more oomph? You can’t go wrong with Asparagus with Cheese Sauce and Herb Breadcrumbs. The asparagus stays snappy, and that cheese sauce, it’s creamy but won’t make your tastebuds too sleepy, I promise. The herbs in those breadcrumbs? They tie it all back to the star of the show—your salmon.

Roasted and Grilled Vegetables

Let’s fire up the grill for some Easy Grilled Asparagus. Or if oven’s your jam, those Roasted Brussels Sprouts come out all caramelized and are a total game-changer.

Now, for something that’s a little off the beaten path but still fits that light vibe you’re shooting for, try Skillet Roasted Cabbage Wedges with Hot Bacon Dressing. Alright, yeah, bacon. But that’s just for a hit of smoky flavor. Trust me, it’s still on Team Light Side.

Every single one of these guys answers that all-important question: what side dish goes with salmon. It’s like they were made for days when you want your salmon to be happy on the plate with something just as fresh and light as it is.

Hearty Grains and Legumes

Let’s talk about the perfect match for the star of your plate. You’ve got this gorgeous salmon, right? Now, the question pops up: what side dish goes with salmon that’s going to hug its flavors just right?

Rice Dishes

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Rice is like the best pal who gets along with everyone, especially salmon. Let’s start with Cilantro Lime Rice. It’s fresh, it’s zingy, and it’s like this vibrant base that makes the salmon pop. Every forkful has this little fiesta going on, which is exactly the vibe you need.

Next up, Coconut Rice. It’s subtle, guys. It’s creamy without being too in-your-face, and when you pair it with salmon, it’s the taste of tropics in your kitchen. Trust me, it’s like they were meant to be together.

Now, if you’re going for something with a bit of color, Arroz Verde (Mexican Green Rice) is your ticket. It brings this herby punch that complements the salmon like a dream.

Quinoa and Couscous

Alright, wandering into the world of super grains, we’ve got Quinoa Salad with Carrots and Sugar Snap Peas—think textures, folks. The softness of the quinoa with that satisfying snap? It’s a texture party.

And let’s not forget Lemon Herb Couscous. It’s light, it’s fluffy, and when you have herbs in the mix, phew, it’s like a fresh breath of air alongside your main.

Pasta and Noodles

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Pasta? With salmon? Why the heck not! Imagine twirling some Lemon Butter Pasta on your fork, then getting a bite of salmon. That combo is killer. It’s smooth, buttery, and that lemon cuts through just enough to make it sing.

And if you’re a pesto person, then Pesto Penne Pasta is where it’s at. Basil and pine nuts with salmon? Forget about it. They go together like peanut butter and jelly.

But let’s not ignore those spuds. Lemon Roasted Baby Potatoes go crazy well with salmon. The outsides get a bit crispy, insides stay fluffy, and that lemon… Oh man, it’s the zing that makes everything better.

Every dish here answers that burning question: what side dish goes with salmon? It’s more than just the sidekick—it’s the flavors, the warmth, the way they make that salmon shine. Every grain or legume here—it’s not just filler. It’s part of the show.

Comforting Warm Sides

Sure, salmon’s got its own groove, but part of that smooth dance on the plate? It’s finding out what side dish goes with salmon that feel like a warm hug.

Potatoes in Various Forms

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Now, let’s rap about spuds because, come on, they’re amazing. Mashed Red Potatoes aren’t just fluffy clouds on your plate; they scoop up those salmon juices like nobody’s business.

But hey, sometimes you want that crunch, right? Enter Baked Sweet Potato Wedges—dipped in a homemade aioli or just solo, they’re the sweet lil’ side that plays off salmon’s savory side just perfect.

Then there’s the wild card, Crispy Smashed Brussels Sprouts. Sounds nuts, right? But it’s all crunch and nuttiness, and guess what? They get along like best buds with salmon.

Casseroles and Gratins

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Okay, so when it’s cold out or you just need some extra love, casseroles and gratins are like that cozy sweater. Asparagus Gratin is legit. It’s creamy and dreamy with these little breadcrumbs sprinkled on top for the grand finale.

Then there’s that Easy Cauliflower Casserole. It’s hearty but won’t weigh down the plate. It complements that salmon like it’s telling it jokes—lightens up the whole deal.

And if you’re down with switching it up, Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is the bomb dot com. It’s pasta, sure, but those tiny trees take it up a notch. It’s cheesy, it’s fun, and with salmon? Slam dunk.

All these? They’re the answer to what side dish goes with salmon when you want something to wrap around you like a warm blanket. They’re the comfort zone. The where-have-you-been-all-my-life kind of feel. They’ve got the vibes that make your main squeeze, aka that salmon, really sing.

Unique and Flavorful International Sides

Thinking of different corners of the globe brings us to the exotic and delicious. It’s like the United Nations of yum, each dish bringing a little passport stamp to your salmon soirée.

Asian Inspired

Starting East, we’re talking Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce. It’s got that combo of sweet, sour, and a little kick that weaves into the salmon flavor like a dream.

Then glide into Stir-Fried Eggplant With Sesame and Basil. It’s tender, it’s fragrant, and those sesame seeds? They pop with a tiny crunch that’s music to your ears.

Italian Favorites

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Next stop: Italy. Cacio e Pepe is like the simple black dress that goes with everything, including salmon. It’s cheesy, peppery, and oh-so-satisfying.

Or maybe your taste buds want to dive into Creamy Parmesan (No Wine) Risotto. It’s luxurious, folks. Every rice grain soaks up the creamy goodness and whispers sweet nothings to your salmon.

Latin American Touches

We’re zipping over to Latin America with Air-Fryer Corn on the Cob. It’s sweet, it’s smoky, it’s a bit of summer any time of the year, complementing the salmon like a sunny day.

And for something truly out of left field, Dianne’s Southwestern Cornbread Salad is a potluck hero that’s hearty, a bit tangy, and full of texture. Tons of color, tons of flavor—it’s what side dish goes with salmon when you’re ready to party.

All these flavors from around the world? They answer the call of what side dish goes with salmon by offering a little escape. The salmon? It might come from our backyard waters, but with these sides, it’s globetrotting from your dinner plate.

Cold Sides for Hot Days

When the sun’s blazing, you’d probably rather not stand over a hot stove any longer than you must.

So, let’s chill with some sides because even on hot days, the big question remains: what side dish goes with salmon that won’t add to the heat?


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Got some greens and a hankering for something cool? Beet, Fennel, and Apple Salad. It’s a triad of crunchy, an orchestra of flavors that harmonizes with the salmon swimmingly.

Now for a twist on old favorites, try the Tomato Cucumber Avocado Salad. It’s the freshness personified; each bite is like a sip from a spring.

Then there’s this wildcard, Brussels Sprout Slaw with Apples and Pecans. Trust me, it’s crunchy, it’s nutty, and that little sweetness—salmon will thank you.

Refreshing Cold Pasta and Bean Salads

Okay, let’s talk about the cool carbs. Easiest-Ever Pasta Salad isn’t just a lazy name—it’s a promise. Boil some pasta, throw in your veggies, a splash of dressing, and voilà.

Beans in your salad? Yep, you heard it. Black-Eyed Pea and Grain Salad is a textural wonderland, and it’s got this down-to-earth feel that’s just right with salmon’s richer notes.

Tangled in these cold dishes are answers to that summery version of what side dish goes with salmon. It’s the kind of eats that feel just as good sitting on a picnic blanket as they do at your dining table. Every forkful’s like a breeze on a warm afternoon—utterly refreshing.

FAQ On What Side Dish Goes With Salmon

What sides work best with baked salmon?

When you pull that beautiful baked salmon from the oven, you want sides that complement, not compete. Steamed broccoli or a light arugula salad can balance the richness. Toss in some pine nuts or avocado slices with that salad for a satisfying crunch and creamy contrast.

Can I pair pasta as a side dish with salmon?

Absolutely, tender salmon with pasta is like a cozy hug on a plate. Aim for a pesto pasta or something with a light, lemony touch. Keep it simple—maybe a sprinkle of parmesan—and let those two dance together without stepping on each other’s toes.

Are there any low-carb options that go well with salmon?

Low-carb doesn’t have to mean low-flavor. Cauliflower mash is a winner, giving you that comforting mash vibe. Or consider sautéed spinach, garlic mashed in for a kick. These sides support the salmon’s star role without weighing down your plate—literally.

What about veggies—what kinds work best?

Think color, think vibrancy. A balsamic glazed brussels sprouts side dish or roasted asparagus can add that desired snap to your dish. Herbs bring the zing—like dill or cilantro in your vegetable preparations. You want them fresh and full of life, just like the salmon they complement.

Is rice a good side with salmon?

Rice is the versatile best friend to salmon. Lemon butter sauce drizzled over a cilantro lime rice can take you on a flavor journey. Fancy more texture? Go for wild rice pilaf. Each grain is an invitation for the salmon flavors to dive in.

What are some unique side dishes for salmon?

Quinoa salad throws a party of textures and tastes in your mouth. Or take a Mediterranean turn with a caprese salad—those tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil capture the sun. Thinking out of the box pays off. Each bite is a discovery.

Any recommendations for a gluten-free salmon side dish?

You’re in luck because salmon loves gluten-free company. Quinoa’s not just trendy; it’s a powerhouse grain that’s naturally gluten-free. And roasted vegetables? They’re always on the table. Just check your dressings and sauces to make sure they’re gluten-free, too.

How can I bring a bit of citrus to pair with salmon?

Citrus and salmon? They’re close friends. Garlic mashed potatoes with a zest of lemon can make those taste buds sing. Even a simple lemon butter sauce does wonders drizzled over the fish or mixed into your side dish.

Is it okay to serve a creamy side dish with salmon?

Creamy can be dreamy with salmon. A creamy dill cucumber salad has that rich texture but still feels light enough not to overshadow the main. Trust the dill to tie it back to the fish and the cucumber to keep it refreshing.

What’s a quick and easy side dish I can make?

I get it, we’re all running on a tight schedule. A no-fuss option? Steam some green beans, a spritz of olive oil, maybe a dash of sea salt, and you’ve got a side dish in minutes. Easy does it, and sometimes, that’s just perfect.


So, we’ve journeyed through a smorgasbord of sides, picked just for that star of the sea—salmon. Your main takeaway? There’s no shortage of brilliant pairings.

Whether you’ve settled on the simplicity of steamed broccoli, the rustic charm of herb-roasted potatoes, or the zesty surprise of a lemon butter sauce, the options are curated to enhance, not mask, the inherent splendor of your fish. Brilliant, right?

Now, imagine those balsamic glazed brussels sprouts ready to mingle with the slight char on your fillet, or the creamy dill cucumber salad acting as the cool counterpart to its warmth.

It’s about that solid handshake between main and side—taste buds are craving harmony on that plate. And hey, it’s not just about taste, it’s a visual feast too. The splash of vibrant colors on the side, like a quinoa salad speckled with veggies, brings your dish to life.

Walk away with confidence; next dinner is going to be a hit. Picking what side dish goes with salmon? Nailed it.

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