Have you ever had a craving for fish sticks? You might want to read this first before you answer.
Fish sticks are not made of fish; they’re made of starchy whitefish like pollock, hake or cod.
The pollock is the most popular whitefish among manufacturers.
Others will mix it with other types of seafood like crab, cod, and salmon.
But they’re all the same thing – a processed, breaded fish stick.
Fish sticks are not the best dinner choice for kids because of their high-fat content, normally from hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil.
These oils have trans fats that aren’t good for your heart.
The whitefish is frozen first, then battered and breaded before they’re deep-fried.
It’s no surprise that fish sticks don’t have a long shelf life.
They usually carry expiration dates of about 2 to 3 months.
Does this mean you shouldn’t eat fish sticks? Not necessarily.
You can find brands that bake or air-fry their fish sticks, and some manufacturers like Gorton’s even use canola oil.
Those options would be a healthier bet.
Serving fish sticks with something on the side is always a good idea.
Read on to learn the best sides to serve with fish sticks.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Fish Sticks?
Fish sticks are a favorite among most children, but these foods tend to be rather heavy and greasy.
The good news is that alternatives can make this food healthier and more enjoyable for everyone.
Fish sticks can be very tasty, but they also contain too much fat and not enough fiber.
To make fish sticks healthier for your family, serve them with a side dish.
This way, everyone can still enjoy their meal, and there will be fewer greasy fish sticks floating around in the house after dinner.
Some good choices for side dishes include healthy and delicious vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Many people usually add vegetables to other meals anyway – so including veggies with fish sticks is an easy way to ensure vegetables on the dinner table.
One of the best things about vegetables is that they can be added to just about any meal without greatly changing the flavor or texture of the dish.
This means that fish sticks with vegetable sides could taste better than if served alone.
Not only are vegetables healthy, but they can also be easily enjoyed in combination with other meal choices.
What to Serve with Fish Sticks? 8 BEST Side Dishes
Here is a list of 8 side dish options that would be healthy and delicious with fish sticks.
1 – Baked Beans
Baked beans are a classic side dish for meat, but they also work well alongside lighter meals like fish.
In this recipe, the savory flavor of the beans is accented by apple cider vinegar and fragrant rosemary.
If those flavors aren’t your thing, you can easily omit them.
This meal gets a boost in flavor and heartiness when you add a side of rice or potatoes to it.
The beans make a hearty, satisfying meal on their own.
2 – Cauliflower with Hot Pepper Relish
Cauliflower is a delicious alternative to heavy carb choices like rice and potatoes.
Plus, it’s just as simple to prepare.
This recipe calls for cumin and chives to give your cauliflower some extra flavor.
This simple side dish is full of powerful antioxidants, making it a healthy addition to any meal.
Even better? It provides plenty of fiber, which will make you feel fuller on fewer calories.
If cauliflower isn’t your thing, try swapping in broccoli or Brussel sprouts instead.
3 – Garlic Roasted Radishes
Radishes get a bad rap for being an acquired taste.
In these garlic roasted radishes, that flavor is greatly enhanced by cutting the radishes in half and adding garlic cloves to them while roasting.
This way, the heat from the oven opens up their pores and allows more of their natural flavors to come out while cooking.
When you add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and thyme, these radishes are sure to become a favorite side dish.
Make sure to cut the radishes before placing them in the oven.
Otherwise, they won’t cook evenly.
4 – Fried Green Tomatoes
Here’s a recipe for fried green tomatoes that you can enjoy even if you aren’t living in the South.
They’re crispy and crunchy on the outside while being packed with flavorful veggies on the inside.
This dish works well when served alongside any protein, from fish to meat to tofu.
If you want a healthier breading for your green tomatoes, try using whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs instead of refined all-purpose flour.
5 – Zucchini Saute with Garlic and Parmesan Cheese
The best thing about this recipe is that it uses 90% of the zucchini.
This means you only have to use a very small portion to make your dish, leaving you with plenty of leftovers for later.
With this recipe, you can take advantage of both fresh and frozen veggies.
No matter which ones you choose, the cheese sauce is sure to make them taste delicious.
6 – Broccoli Salad
Served alongside fish fillets or salmon, this broccoli salad is the perfect alternative to coleslaw.
The creamy dressing goes well with the crunchy veggies.
Here, you’ll use cheese (or vegan cheese) and fresh tarragon to give your extra salad flavor.
This dish is very simple to put together, even though it contains several different ingredients.
It’s also great because you can use it as a side dish or eat the whole thing yourself.
The best part about this dish is the crispy texture of the broccoli.
The brown butter adds another depth of flavor to an already tasty veggie.
7 – Buffalo Sauce or Blue Cheese Sauce
These baked potatoes will add more flavor and protein to your meal, no matter which sauce you choose.
The buffalo sauce gives a spicy kick, while the blue cheese sauce adds creaminess and some sharpness.
Whichever one you go with, they’ll be delicious.
The best part of this side dish is that it’s very customizable.
You can add in your choice of protein and toppings, making it easy to change up the taste for different meals.
8 – Buttery Parsnip Fries
Parsnips look like white carrots and have a similar taste to them.
They also have a delicate but satisfying crunch to them.
This makes them a great side dish for any meal, especially when they’re topped with butter and chives.
Try grilling the parsnip pieces instead of baking them to make this dish perfect for fish nights or other light meals.
These fries are very simple to make, especially if you already have the fish fillets prepped.
You can also make them ahead of time by double-baking them in the oven.
Fish sticks are easy to make, but it’s also important to know what sides go with fish sticks.
The eight sides listed above are delicious and easy to make, making them perfect sides to go with fish sticks.
They are easy to make, they are flavorful, and most importantly – they are delicious.
So next time you’re in the mood for fish sticks, give one of these dishes a try.