Catfish is a type of whitefish with a unique taste that is mild, sweet, and moist. It is very popular among southern cuisine and is less flaky than other kinds of whitefish.
If you’re cooking catfish for dinner, you’ll want to ensure you choose the perfect side dish to serve with your entrée.
With its unique flavor, a side dish selection that balances out the richness of the catfish is just what you need. Let’s dig into 17 delectable side dishes to serve with catfish for dinner.
17 Side Dishes to Serve with Catfish
1. Hush Puppies
Hush Puppies are balls of deep-fried cornbread batter that are commonly served with seafood entrees in the south-including catfish! The cornbread is just what your meal needs to balance out the light protein of the fish.
If you’re looking for a healthier version of Hush Puppies, try baking them in a muffin tin and using olive oil to replace vegetable oil or shortening.
Another classic side dish served with seafood, coleslaw is a great choice when serving catfish for dinner.
Shredded cabbage and carrots doused in creamy mayonnaise dressing hits the spot and enhances the flavor of the mild fish, while the crunchy texture of the cabbage in the slaw offers a nice balance with the tender and fleshy fish.
3. French Fries
When it comes to side dishes, you can’t go wrong with serving up some crispy French fries with your catfish entrée. A little salt and grease are just what your mild-flavored catfish needs.
To step the flavor of your meal up a notch, add garlic powder, onion powder, and parmesan to your French fries.
The sweetness of cornbread counterbalances the richness of catfish, making them a match made in heaven at the dinner table.
If you’d rather not serve something overly sweet with your catfish, try limiting the amount of sugar you use in your cornbread recipe for cornbread that is more savory than sweet.
5. Salt and Vinegar Kettle Chips
As fish and chips go hand in hand, kettle chips and catfish are a fantastic duo, specifically salt and vinegar kettle chips. Vinegar in particular greatly enhances the flavor of the meek and mild catfish.
This salty and crunchy snack provides a nice contrast of flavor and texture paired with the tender and moist white fish.
6. Corn on the Cob
For a healthier choice, grill corn on the cob to serve with your catfish. Once grilled, add a pat of butter and salt and pepper to complete your corn on the cob.
The crunchy texture of corn on the cob is just the contrast your tender and moist catfish entrée needs, while adding a vegetable to your meal.
7. Fried Okra
A southern staple, fried okra is a perfect match for catfish. Coat your okra in breadcrumbs or a cornmeal batter and deep-fry to crispy perfection.
Fried okra adds a vegetable to your meal while providing a satisfying crispy crunchy texture that contrasts the rich and moist texture of the catfish flesh.
8. Cilantro Lime Rice
White rice with cilantro and lime juice is a hearty side dish that goes well with catfish, which doesn’t have much sustenance to it.
The fragrant cilantro and zesty lime juice help cut through the richness of the catfish, making them a great pairing that is both healthy and hearty.
9. Cucumber Salad
A cucumber salad with cucumbers, red onions, oregano, and dill, coated in Greek yogurt, is a refreshing and light side dish to serve alongside catfish.
Not only is it a healthy choice, it balances out the rich and tender catfish with a cool and refreshing twist. Serve it at a cookout in the summertime to beat the heat.
10. Macaroni and Cheese
For a dinner that’s a big hit with the family, try macaroni and cheese with your catfish entrée. The crowd-pleasing macaroni and cheese provide a soft and creamy texture to the flakiness and richness of the catfish.
If you’re serving children who are picky eaters, a side of macaroni and cheese alongside catfish will encourage them to enjoy the meal.
11. Mashed Cauliflower
For a healthier alternative to mashed potatoes, try some mashed cauliflower with your catfish, which offers a similar flavor and texture to that of mashed potatoes without the extra calories.
But since mashed cauliflower doesn’t have much flavor to it, you’ll want to add sour cream, cheese, green onions, or bacon on top to enhance the flavor.
12. Asparagus Fries
Asparagus is a fantastic selection to pair with your catfish entrée as it introduces a vegetable into your meal and is a healthy choice.
But since both asparagus and catfish are mild in flavor, you’ll want to take your asparagus up a notch by coating the stalks in panko breadcrumbs and making asparagus fries by baking them in the oven.
13. Potato Salad
When it comes to side dishes that complement fish entrees, you can’t go wrong with potato salad. Thick and chunky potatoes are just what your catfish needs.
With creamy mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and sweet relish, potato salad contributes zesty flavors to your overall meal that cuts through the richness of the catfish.
14. Summertime Succotash
A mix of sweet corn, tomatoes, red peppers and yellow onions lend a sweetness to your meal while a touch of jalapeno adds a little bit of heat.
Not only is this side dish chock-full of vegetables, it’s perfect for a summertime lunch of grilled catfish and succotash that is light and healthy.
15. Kickin’ Collard Greens
Add a vegetable to your meal with collard greens simmered with bacon, minced garlic, onion, and chicken broth for a side of kickin’ collard greens.
The smoky bacon, sweet onion, and garlic flavors enhance the otherwise muted flavor of your catfish and make for a savory yet healthy side dish.
16. Onion Petals
If complete fried goodness is what you’re going for, try deep-fried onion petals with your fried catfish entrée.
When it comes to the richness of fried catfish, you can’t go wrong with a crunchy, deep-fried side dish to complete your meal. Serve with cajon horseradish dip to add a little spice to your entire meal.
17. Fried Green Tomatoes
Fried green tomatoes are a solid pairing with your catfish dinner that will bring southern cooking to your kitchen table regardless of your location.
Slice your green tomatoes, coat them with panko breadcrumbs or cornmeal, and deep-fry until golden and crispy. The tangy flavor of green tomatoes combined with the crunchy fried shell complement the tender texture of catfish.
Now that you know 17 delectable side dishes to serve with catfish, it’s time to make your selection and head to the kitchen.
Whether you’re serving up some down-home southern cooking with fried green tomatoes or packing a crispy fried punch with French fries, you’ll love serving your catfish entrée with any of these side dish selections.