Tilapia is a popular, mild white fish that cooks up in about ten minutes! Add on some quick and easy ideas for what to serve with tilapia to make weeknight dinner a breeze! Discover more than 30 of the best side dish recipes to serve with tilapia for simple meals everyone will love!
I’m all about quick and easy meals these days! Who’s got the time to spend hours in the kitchen on a hot day or after working all day long.
Sometimes I rely on kitchen tools such as the instant pot or air fryer to help save time but some recipes, like this tilapia recipe or spicy honey chicken, are simple preparations that don’t require tons of time to cook.
For more side dish ideas, explore What to Serve with Clam Chowder and What to Serve with Baked Potatoes.
❓ FAQ About Tilapia
Tilapia is a budget-friendly, freshwater fish with a mild flavor. In the United States, it is the fourth most often eaten type of seafood. What makes it so popular is that it is easy to find, is fairly affordable, doesn’t have an overly fishy flavor, and is easy to prepare.
Tilapia is a healthy source of protein, providing 26 grams of protein in just a 3.5-ounce serving. It is also low in fat. Due to unsafe farming practices, try to avoid tilapia produced in China.
The mild flavor of tilapia makes it go with just about anything! When it comes to seasoning tilapia, citrus, black pepper, fresh herbs, garlic, dijon mustard, and chiles all work well. For side dishes, choose from just about any type of rice, potatoes, vegetables, and salad.
It cooks quickly but the exact time depends on the thickness of the tilapia fillets you are cooking. I generally recommend starting at about 5-7 minutes per fillet. Flip them over at about three minutes and then continue cooking until the fish easily flakes with a fork.
😋 Lemon Butter Tilapia
The true beauty of pan-seared tilapia with lemon butter is it only takes 10 minutes to cook!!
I find everyone loves this mild-flavored fish recipe that's infused with a hint of tart lemon, cilantro, and sweet, creamy butter. In my house, it's a regular meal I serve for weeknight dinners!
⭐ Hint: Invest in a fish spatula to make flipping tilapia over in the pan so much easier. The long thin shape of the spatula allows you to turn it without it breaking into pieces.
💭 Tips for Cooking Meals With Tilapia
- Consider the color. Tilapia is white in color so adding on sides with some color will make for a more attractive presentation on the plate.
- Timing. Tilapia cooks quickly, so keep that in mind when timing the side dishes. I generally recommend preparing the sides first and then cooking the fish.
- Don't be afraid of flavor. Tilapia is pretty mild in flavor which you can alter by adding seasonings, but you can also add flavor to the plate by choosing good side dishes.
If you're looking for a good tilapia recipe, here’s a visual story of my favorite best lemon pepper tilapia!
Best Side Dishes for Tilapia
When planning to serve tilapia for a healthy meal, here are some simple sides to consider.
The perfect side dish will complement the seasonings used to prepare the tilapia main dish and jazz up the colors on the plate. It doesn't need to be complicated and I recommend choosing simple ingredients you can easily find at the grocery store.
- Rice: Brown or white rice make the perfect side dish or even a low-carb version such as cauliflower mushroom rice. Switch up the type of rice. Choose from basmati or jasmine, and consider swapping out the rice for quinoa instead! It cooks in only about fifteen minutes!
- Oven-roasted vegetables: The sky is the limit when it comes to serving up simple roasted vegetables.
- Grilled vegetables: Cooking veggies on the grill saves time and eliminates a bit of cleanup making it perfect for this quick meal. In this recipe for a grilled vegetable sandwich, learn all you need to know to cook the perfect grilled vegetables.
- Potatoes: Really just about any type of potato including sweet potatoes works great as a flavorful side dish for tilapia.
Popular Side Dishes For Tilapia
When it comes to the most popular side dishes for tilapia, these are the ones I serve that get the biggest rave reviews!
Healthy Sides For Tilapia
Since tilapia is such a nutritious option for meals, pair it with a couple of healthy side dishes to create a meal with excellent nutrition and great flavor!
Salads and Vegetable Side Dishes
Add on a colorful vegetable or salad to round out the meal! Not only are these packed with great taste but they also add a splash of color to the dinner table.
Salads are a great option for side dishes since they are not only healthy but generally require no cooking and only a little bit of time to prepare.
Onions are an often ignored veggie, but let them take the center stage and you will be amazed at the outcome!!
Take boring old green beans to the next level with these two easy green bean recipes! You won’t be disappointed and just the addition of a few ingredients transforms this plain green veggie into something amazing!
Potato Side Dishes
Fluffy, perfectly cooked potatoes are an amazing side dish for tilapia. Choose from a variety of ways to serve them up, just about any way you prepare them works well.
Don't forget to add some yummy fun toppings for baked potatoes a more tantalizing side dish.
French fries of all different shapes, sizes, and preparations go great with tilapia. Here are a few of my favorite variations!
Rice Side Dishes
Rice of all types and flavors is one of my favorite side dishes to serve with tilapia. There's a variety of ways to cook it and it usually cooks easily so it works great for easy weeknight meals.
Other Side Dish Ideas
More Round Up Ideas
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Wow you have amazing choices here Gina!!!! I can't wait to try a few of them along with your amazing Tilapia recipe. Thanks for sharing!