22 Tasty Side Dishes To Serve With Your Salmon Dinner

Green beans almondine
Green beans almondine - Jennine Rye/Daily Meal ‌

Salmon is a marvelous protein source low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in omega-3 fatty acids, purported to help reduce triglyceride levels, inhibit the proliferation of artery-clogging plaques, and potentially improve blood pressure. It can also be a delicious, versatile, and quick weeknight meal that can satisfy the whole family or be turned into an elegant entrée when entertaining.

While you may have many ways of preparing salmon, from grilled to pan-fried to baked, coming up with satisfying side dishes to complement your fish is often a challenge. You want recipes that will be satiating, are nutritious, and accentuate the fish without overpowering it.

To help you plan your next salmon dinner, we scoured Daily Meal's archives for some tasty side dishes to round out your meal. These creative vegetable and starch recipes run the gamut from simple to more elegant, depending on who you will be feeding. Some of these may surprise you, while others will be familiar favorites you may have forgotten about. Read on for the ultimate roundup of flavorful side dishes that pair perfectly with succulent salmon.

Read more: 12 Underrated Types Of Fish You Should Try At Least Once

Ultimate Creamed Spinach

Creamed spinach
Creamed spinach - Erin Johnson/Daily Meal

Creamed spinach is a classic side dish that can jazz up any meal. While spinach is the star of this recipe, heavy cream, cream cheese, and grated parmesan give it a rich, luxurious texture that will please a crowd.

The key is to use the inherent moisture released from the spinach cooked in butter to create a roux that will help to thicken this dish. If you are concerned about the spinach turning brown, add a hint of white wine or lemon juice to the spinach as it cooks to help maintain its verdant hue.

Recipe: Ultimate Creamed Spinach

Sautéed Garlic Broccolini

Sautéed Garlic Broccolini
Sautéed Garlic Broccolini - Kristen Carli/Daily Meal

Broccolini is the sweeter, milder cousin of broccoli. Though its flavor is similar, it's more delicate, making it ideal for pairing alongside salmon. The svelte stalks can be cooked whole and are intended to be served slightly al dente.

This recipe calls for quite a bit of garlic, providing intense flavor. The key to using this much garlic is not burning it. The goal is to draw out the flavor before it begins to brown, so do not leave it in the pan for more than a minute without adding the broccolini. You might also add some lemon zest for extra flavor.

Recipe: Sautéed Garlic Broccolini

Simple Roasted Classic Vegetables

Roasted vegetables
Roasted vegetables - Kristen Carli/Daily Meal

This recipe couldn't be any easier. It's reminiscent of the steamed vegetables we all grew up eating that had little flavor and were cooked to a pulp, but by roasting the vegetables instead, their natural sugars will begin to caramelize, imparting flavor and color while maintaining the structural integrity of the vegetables.

The key to this recipe is to make sure you do not allow the vegetables to burn. Once you have placed them in the oven, stir them frequently to ensure they cook evenly. Add garlic powder and smoked paprika to the seasoning mix for enhanced flavor and color.

Recipe: Simple Roasted Classic Vegetables

Greek-Style Roasted Potatoes

Greek-style roasted potatoes
Greek-style roasted potatoes - Kristen Carli/Daily Meal

Roasted potatoes are always a great side dish for any meal. This recipe benefits from Greek flavors, including garlic, oregano, lemon juice, and olive oil. While the recipe calls for baby potatoes, I recommend fingerling, baby Dutch, or purple majesty varieties. These waxy types of potatoes hold their shape better and yield a crisp texture.

These potatoes can burn if you do not stir them occasionally, so do not abandon them while they cook. And while fresh lemon juice is best, you can use jarred lemon juice in a pinch. You will need 2 to 3 tablespoons of juice for the equivalent of one lemon.

Recipe: Greek-Style Roasted Potatoes

Instant Pot Risotto Alla Parmigiana

Risotto alla Parmigiana
Risotto alla Parmigiana - Deniz Vergara/Daily Meal

Risotto is a dish that screams elegance. It is luscious and rich, owing to the high starch content of the Arborio rice typically used to make it. The biggest issue with making risotto is that it is a bit labor-intensive and can take some babysitting. Using an Instant Pot eliminates the active time and effort without adversely impacting the texture of the rice.

The key is to make sure you manually release the pressure on your Instant Pot immediately after the cooking time is done. Failing to do so can result in overcooked rice that lacks that quintessential al dente yet creamy texture.

Recipe: Instant Pot Risotto Alla Parmigiana

Easy Creamed Corn

Creamed corn
Creamed corn - Kristen Carli/Daily Meal

The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity. Though freshly picked sweet corn is a delicacy, shucking and removing the kernels from the cob can be labor intensive. Frozen corn is packaged at peak freshness, making it a flavorful and healthy alternative. Its texture is also superior to the canned variety.

This recipe does not call for any thickener beyond the natural starches within the corn, which get released during the cooking process, making it an ideal option for those needing a gluten-free side dish. Toss in some freshly grated nutmeg and a couple of tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan cheese for extra flavor.

Recipe: Easy Creamed Corn

Cheesy Corn Casserole

Cheesy corn casserole
Cheesy corn casserole - Christina Musgrave/Daily Meal

This one-dish wonder uses store-bought cornbread mix as a base, enhancing the mix's flavor with canned creamed corn, sour cream, and shredded cheddar cheese. Its luxurious, fluffy texture is the perfect elegant side dish for salmon, accentuating the fish's naturally firm, flaky, rich flesh.

To add some pizazz to this dish, consider throwing in some chopped red pepper or canned green chilies. Swap the shredded cheddar with another cheese, like pepper Jack or smoked mozzarella, for a more complex flavor. Lastly, enhance the seasonings with garlic powder, chili powder, and dried oregano for a hint of Latin flair.

Recipe: Cheesy Corn Casserole

Spanish Rice

Spanish rice
Spanish rice - Catherine Brookes/Daily Meal

The idea of pairing Spanish rice with salmon is not particularly far-fetched. One need not look further than a classic paella recipe to know that rice and fish or seafood are a match made in heaven. This version features tomatoes and several seasonings for color and flavor.

The one ingredient it lacks that is indispensable in paella is saffron. For a hint of additional fragrance, color, and a floral note that will elevate this dish, consider adding a couple of threads of this spice. Additionally, while any long-grain rice will suffice, jasmine and basmati are preferred for their nutty flavor and somewhat intoxicating exotic aroma.

Recipe: Spanish Rice

Classic Creamy Scalloped Potatoes

Creamy scalloped potatoes
Creamy scalloped potatoes - Kristen Carli/Daily Meal

Scalloped potatoes are a luxurious, indulgent side dish that can take a meal from simple to sublime. This recipe is relatively easy to assemble but requires some time to bake in the oven. While a mandoline is the best way to achieve uniformly sliced potatoes, you can also use a box grater or a sharp chef's knife.

This is not the time to skimp on quality parmesan cheese. An authentic Parmigiano Reggiano is worth the splurge to give this a rich, nutty flavor and golden, crunchy crust. Lastly, if you cannot find Yukon gold potatoes, russets will work but have a less firm texture.

Recipe: Classic Creamy Scalloped Potatoes

Classic Oven-Baked Potato

Oven-baked potato
Oven-baked potato - Catherine Brookes/Daily Meal

A simple baked potato is hardly mundane. There is a reason people love to eat one as a side dish for virtually any meal. This recipe is practically foolproof, only requiring the potatoes to be washed and dried before they are oiled, seasoned, pricked with a fork, and baked.

For an extra crisp skin, try placing the potatoes directly on the oven rack and putting the baking sheet below to catch any runaway juices. You may need to rotate the potatoes halfway through baking to ensure even cooking. Lastly, don't forget the toppings. Consider more unusual garnishes, like feta, horseradish, or pesto.

Recipe: Classic Oven-Baked Potato

Classic Mexican Rice

Classic Mexican rice
Classic Mexican rice - Catherine Brookes/Daily Meal

Though Mexican rice shares similar components to its Spanish counterpart, it has a few notable differences. This recipe has two kinds of tomato for flavor and color. It gets finished with some fresh cilantro for a bright, herbaceous component.

If cilantro is not your cup of tea, consider substituting it with fresh Italian parsley or sliced green onions. You can also infuse this dish with a bit more heat by chopping up a couple of chipotles in adobo sauce or adding a minced jalapeño to the aromatics at the beginning of the cooking process.

Recipe: Classic Mexican Rice

Easy Sautéed Asparagus

Sautéed asparagus
Sautéed asparagus - Christina Musgrave/Daily Meal

If you have only eaten steamed asparagus, you may have been underwhelmed by this vegetable's somewhat mushy, stringy texture. When cooked properly, such as being roasted or sautéed, asparagus can develop an intense, nutty flavor and a delicate al dente texture that perfectly complements most proteins, including salmon.

The key is to trim your asparagus so that the ends do not remain woody and inedible. Lay the stalks on a cutting board and find the spot toward the bottom where their color transitions from verdant to lighter. This is where you should cut the asparagus with a sharp chef's knife.

Recipe: Easy Sautéed Asparagus

Buttery Mashed Potatoes

Buttery mashed potatoes
Buttery mashed potatoes - Ting Dalton/Daily Meal

No side dish compilation would be complete without a recipe for mashed potatoes. This is a simple yet reliable recipe that yields fluffy, creamy spuds. The key is using a starchy potato, like a russet, rather than a waxy one. Starchy spuds easily fall apart when cooked, making mashing a cinch.

If you are trying to get that fluffy texture without the cream, reserve the cooking water you have drained from the potatoes. This liquid gold can be mashed back into the potatoes to give them a smooth texture. Be sure you adequately scrub and peel your potatoes before you cook them.

Recipe: Buttery Mashed Potatoes

Maple-Dijon Brussels Sprouts

Maple-Dijon Brussels sprouts
Maple-Dijon Brussels sprouts - Kristen Carli/Daily Meal

If your first experience with Brussels sprouts was boiled in water or into a soup, these tiny, mushy cabbage-like vegetables were bitter, soggy, and lacked any nuance in the flavor department. Fortunately, there is a cooking technique that can transform these cruciferous vegetables from something virtually inedible into a masterpiece — roasting.

Baking Brussels sprouts in the oven helps to caramelize their natural sugars, giving them a dark hue, crispy texture, and sweet, nutty flavor. The maple-Dijon marinade coating the sprouts helps offset residual bitterness while encouraging caramelization. Take care to stir these midway through baking to keep them from burning.

Recipe: Maple-Dijon Brussels Sprouts

Baked Mac And Cheese

Baked mac and cheese
Baked mac and cheese - Jessica Morone/Daily Meal

While some culinary traditions swear that cheese should never be consumed with fish, we beg to differ. This baked mac and cheese dish is an ideal accompaniment for salmon. Some delicate fish may be overwhelmed by pungent, salty cheeses, but salmon has a more robust flavor and texture that can easily withstand a little fromage.

Cream cheese is the secret weapon to making this mac and cheese gooey by emulsifying the sauce and binding it to the noodles. Lastly, don't swap the panko bread crumbs with plain ones. They do not have the same crisp, flaky texture that gives the top of this dish a satisfying crunch.

Recipe: Baked Mac And Cheese

Easy Baked Kale Chips

Baked kale chips
Baked kale chips - Miriam Hahn/Daily Meal

If you want to incorporate more leafy greens into your diet, kale chips are a great way to sneak this superfood into a meal. The crisp chips have a satisfying texture and salty, nutty flavor that is notably more yummy than green juice or a smoothie.

The key is using the correct kale. There are dozens of different types, each suited to a different preparation. The curly variety is ideal for chips because of its ribbed texture and slightly more toothsome leaves. Just be sure to soak and dry the kale properly before baking to clean it and eliminate some inherent bitterness.

Recipe: Easy Baked Kale Chips

Easy Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Mediterranean pasta salad
Mediterranean pasta salad - Miriam Hahn/Daily Meal

Pasta salad is a staple at summer barbecues. Its simplicity and balanced combination of carbohydrates with vegetables make it an ideal accompaniment to grilled salmon. This iteration is particularly satisfying thanks to classic Mediterranean ingredients like artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives, feta, and pine nuts.

Cool the pasta thoroughly before adding the dressing to this salad, or it can become gummy and difficult to combine with the remaining ingredients. If raw onions are not your jam, leave them out or substitute them with another crunchy vegetable, like sliced fennel or radishes. Lastly, assemble this salad in advance to allow the flavors to marinate.

Recipe: Easy Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Green Beans Almondine

Green beans almondine
Green beans almondine - Jennine Rye/Daily Meal

Though you could use any green bean for this recipe, if you can get them, French haricots verts, or filet beans, are thinner, more delicate, sweeter, and cook up faster. The key is to blanch the beans and "shock" them in ice water to help maintain their verdant hue and give them a tender but not mushy texture.

This recipe uses sumac, which, for the uninitiated, is a ground, dried berry with distinctive lemony notes. This spice often features in Middle Eastern dishes. It is valued for its crimson color and tart flavor, accentuating the flavors of seafood and fish. It makes this side dish even more well suited to pair with salmon.

Recipe: Green Beans Almondine

Perfectly Seasoned Quinoa

Cooked quinoa
Cooked quinoa - Susan Olayinka/Daily Meal

Quinoa has become quite the fad of late. This whole grain is not only tasty but gluten-free and a complete protein. In other words, it has all nine essential amino acids that the body needs and cannot manufacture itself. Quinoa's inherent flavor is somewhat nutty, with a hint of bitterness. When cooked with plenty of seasonings, this flavor is tempered. The result is a fluffy textured side dish perfect for salmon.

Quinoa can be cooked in water, but chicken stock will confer a more robust, umami-rich flavor. I recommend opting for low-sodium chicken stock so you can adjust the salinity to taste.

Recipe: Perfectly Seasoned Quinoa

Baked Spaghetti Squash

Baked spaghetti squash
Baked spaghetti squash - Miriam Hahn/Daily Meal

Spaghetti squash gets its moniker from its uncanny resemblance to the pasta when cooked. This unique texture makes this squash highly versatile and capable of transforming into something akin to a noodle as a side dish. Though it retains a squashy flavor, it is receptive to sauces and seasonings, absorbing them like a sponge.

What makes this recipe so distinct is how the squash is roasted. Rather than being roasted in halves, it is cut into rings, each seasoned and baked. This gives them a more nutty, caramelized flavor. Though marinara is a good topping, try using an herbaceous pesto or chimichurri sauce atop this squash.

Recipe: Baked Spaghetti Squash

Smoky Grilled Mexican Street Corn

Grilled Mexican street corn
Grilled Mexican street corn - Jaime Bachtell-Shelbert/Daily Meal

Mexican street corn, or elotes, can instantly transform your next salmon dinner into a fiesta. This recipe follows a "go bold or go home" mentality surrounding seasonings. The fresh sweet corn is marinated in a spicy chipotle lime blend before being grilled to charred perfection.

Once the corn is removed from the grill, it is coated in a crema made from sour cream, mayo, and more chipotles before it is generously topped with cotija cheese and cilantro. The result is nothing short of mouthwatering. Try pairing this with a simple pico de gallo, guacamole, and Mexican rice.

Recipe: Smoky Grilled Mexican Street Corn

Lemon-Roasted Rutabaga

Lemon-roasted rutabaga
Lemon-roasted rutabaga - Jennine Rye/Daily Meal

Many are not familiar with the humble root vegetable known as rutabaga. This vegetable evolved as a hybrid between turnips and wild cabbage. It has a yellowish, starchy flesh that tastes sweeter and less bitter than either cabbage or turnips.

Though rutabaga can be a bit of a beast to peel and cut into chunks, once that part is done, the rest of this recipe is quite simple, making it an ideal side dish. It involves a twice-baked approach, first softening the rutabaga before coating it in a sweet and tangy dressing that will help to caramelize it and crisp up its edges.

Recipe: Lemon-Roasted Rutabaga

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