So you’re planning a fish feast?
When it comes to sides, fish can be a tricky subject. Because they’re so lean and healthy, there are only so many ways to go about making sides for fish.
While you can always order a few vegetable sides as the main course, it can get a bit tedious to eat nothing but veggies for the rest of your meal.
Here are some of the best pasta dishes you can serve with fish, whether it’s a seafood platter or a hearty salmon entrée.
From simple side dishes to more elaborate dishes, these pasta dishes are so good, they’ll have you reaching for seconds (or thirds!).
So, today I’m bringing you 21 pasta side dishes that are perfect for pairing with fish.
Why Consider Serving A Pasta Side Dish for Fish?
Fish is one of the most popular types of seafood in the world, and most people enjoy eating it.
If you’re looking to make your fish more appealing, then consider serving pasta side dishes.
While pasta might not be considered a side dish by many people, it can be the perfect complement for many kinds of seafood.
However, choosing the right side dishes can be tough because there are so many different varieties out there.
For example, what would you pair with salmon?
Pasta or even polenta might seem like obvious choices, but they’re not always the best options.
Instead, consider serving pasta side dishes that complement or contrast the meal.
For instance, a pesto sauce might go really well with the meal if it contains other ingredients that you’d like to eat along with the fish.
Alternatively, consider pairing it with a sweet or savory pasta sauce if the meal isn’t too heavy.
However, it doesn’t matter what dish you choose as long as you pick something that complements the meal.
21 Pasta Side Dishes for Fish
If you’re looking for a side dish to match a fish dish, then look no further than this list of pasta side dishes.
Here’s a list of pasta side dishes that will match up perfectly with fish:
1. Creamy Garlic Shells
When it comes to pasta, it’s all about presentation! So if you want to impress your dinner guests, you might want to go for a colourful pasta dish that looks great on a plate.
I love a bright red shell that has been cooked in a creamy, slightly spicy tomato sauce that is laced with garlic and herbs.
The pasta should be fresh and have a nice bite to it, and should be served hot. A good choice here would be shells cooked in a red, white, and green sauce.
2. Garlic Parmesan Pasta
It’s no secret that I love garlic, but garlic parmesan is an extra special treat. It works particularly well with a fish dish, so I would definitely recommend it here!
If you want to make it even better, you can try sprinkling over some extra parmesan cheese too.
3. Pasta Primavera
Pasta primavera is probably my personal favourite side dish when eating at a fish restaurant. It’s a pasta salad that’s made with pasta, vegetables, and a creamy tomato sauce.
You can really get creative with the vegetables that you add, so you could even include some cheese if you want to make it a little more indulgent!
4. Creamy Low-Sodium Mac and Cheese
This is a great option if you want to stay on the low-salt train when it comes to side dishes. All you need to do is mix in a couple of tablespoons of low-sodium milk, and you’ve got yourself a healthy, tasty, and filling side dish for your fish.
You can vary the flavours of the mac and cheese by adding grated Parmesan, chopped garlic, or black pepper.
5. Cheesy Taco Pasta
If you’re looking for an easy side dish to accompany fish, then try this cheesy taco pasta. You can use any type of pasta you like here, though I recommend something that’s more chunky in texture rather than thin spaghetti.
This means that it will absorb more of the sauce, which is what you want when you’re eating fish. You can easily make this one in a slow cooker, but if you don’t have time for that, just put all the ingredients into a large pan and cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat.
6. Pasta Carbonara
Pasta carbonara is another option if you’re looking for a pasta dish to serve with your fish. It’s really quick to make, and a great way to use up leftover pasta.
It’s a simple combination of bacon, cheese, and eggs cooked in a pan with lots of garlic, and served topped with fresh parsley and black pepper.
7. 5-Cheese Marinara
The classic marinara pasta sauce is something that everyone should have in their repertoire. It’s simple to make, and you can vary the ingredients depending on what you have in the fridge or cupboard. I always use tomatoes, garlic, chilli, and oregano, but you can use whatever you like!
The key is to ensure that the pasta absorbs as much flavour from the sauce as possible. This will allow you to enjoy the taste of the fresh, seasonal ingredients without compromising the flavour of the pasta itself.
8. Tortellini Pasta
Sometimes, when you want a lighter option for a side dish to accompany fish, it can be tempting to go for the traditional risotto or pasta dishes. However, a bowl of tortellini in a light tomato based sauce is also a really tasty option.
I like to add a splash of extra virgin olive oil here as it makes the dish creamy, which helps to disguise any dry or overcooked pasta taste. For added health benefits, you could try using gluten-free pasta or adding some finely chopped vegetables such as mushrooms or peppers.
9. Italian Pasta Salad
You’ll find this salad a really easy option if you’re in a rush, as it’s usually made with pasta, bread, and salad fixings, and it can be served cold or hot.
Add whatever vegetables you fancy to your chosen pasta shape. Some of my favourites here include peppers, courgettes, and cherry tomatoes. It’s always nice to have something crunchy to balance out the soft, melty cheese!
10. Lobster Mac and Cheese
If you want to serve up something super decadent with fish, then lobster mac and cheese is the way to go! A quick and easy dish to make, it’s great fun to serve up, and it’s the perfect recipe for a last minute meal.
Just buy a ready-made bag of pasta (I like to use penne) and then pop in a handful of ready-to-eat prawns along with some crumbled feta cheese, and a generous splash of cream.
You’ll need to cook the noodles in boiling water until al dente, then drain them before tossing them with the rest of the ingredients. If you prefer, you can add a little butter or oil to the sauce if you wish.
11. Shrimp Pasta
If you’re after a tasty pasta dish for fish, I’d recommend this one as it works really well with any kind of fish. To make this, boil a pot of water, add the shrimp, and cook until they turn pink, then drain them and set aside.
Once your pasta is cooked, add the shrimp back to the pan to warm through. Add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese to finish and your meal is ready to serve!
12. Creamy White Sauce Pasta
Another option for pasta dishes for fish is creamy white sauce pasta. To make this, boil a pot of water, add the penne, and cook until they turn al dente (about 10 minutes).
Then drain them, place them back in the saucepan, and add a couple of spoonfuls of cream and some grated cheese. This is a super quick and simple dish to make, and tastes great hot or cold.
13. Parmesan Orzo Pasta
If you’re making a pasta side dish for fish, a delicious option is to serve it with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Orzo pasta is a great choice because it’s super healthy, low in fat, and packed with fibre and protein.
Just make sure that you serve it with a little butter and freshly ground black pepper to go with the flavours, rather than a packet of flavoured tomato sauce. If you’re feeling fancy, you can add some diced tomatoes to the dish for a little extra colour!
14. Pesto Pasta
Another popular option for fish side dishes is pesto pasta. Pesto is full of fresh basil and garlic flavour, and is the perfect accompaniment to seafood dishes like prawns, salmon, and squid. Just be careful not to overcook the pasta, as you want it to remain firm and al dente.
A good tip is to cut the pasta into bite sized pieces so they cook evenly. If you’re not a fan of pasta, there are lots of other tasty fish side dishes you could try instead. Just be sure to choose something healthy and low in fat that’ll go well with the flavours of your fish dish.
15. Angel Hair Pasta
Pasta dishes are great for fish as they soak up all the delicious juices that are left behind after the fish is cooked. Angel hair pasta works perfectly here.
Just add a small handful of basil leaves to the sauce and toss through the freshly cooked pasta for a fresh and flavourful dish. It’s also great to serve alongside the fish if you’re cooking fish and chips, as it offers the perfect balance of starchiness and crunchiness.
16. Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Bacon, cheese, and tomatoes are three of the most popular flavours in the world, and they’re the perfect combination for a pasta salad.
If you’re using cherry tomatoes, choose ones that are on the smaller side as they’ll cook down in the dressing a bit more. Topped with freshly chopped basil, you’re guaranteed to have a delicious, filling salad that’s healthy and simple to make.
17. Fettuccine Alfredo
This one is really easy to make and so delicious! Fettuccine Alfredo is traditionally made using a creamy, milk based sauce, but I have made this recipe dairy free using cashew cream.
You’ll need to soak the cashews overnight, and you’ll then blend them until they turn into a creamy, rich almond sauce. It’s really quick and easy to prepare, and will make the best side dish you’ve ever eaten.
18. Garlic Butter Mushroom Pasta
Mushrooms are great for adding extra flavour and texture to pastas, and here, they’re combined with garlic and butter for a delicious, aromatic side dish that is both nutritious and very filling.
It’s such an easy dish to make and it’s super versatile as well. You can use any pasta shape you like, but I tend to use fusilli as it takes just minutes to cook!
19. Orzo with Mushrooms, Scallions, and Parmesan
This side dish is all about having a bit of fun with flavour combinations! You can use whatever fresh herbs you like, or even add some chilli for a kick!
Mix up your pasta shape as well – if you’re having penne, you could try adding a bit of finely chopped zucchini and spinach, or a pinch of dried oregano and basil.
20. Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta
Goat cheese and pasta is an easy pairing that always works well. Just be careful to use one that isn’t too firm – you want it to be creamy rather than claggy.
It’s a classic combination that never fails to satisfy, so you can serve it to your guests straight from the packet.
21. Creamy Cavatappi Pasta
This is a classic dish that you can serve alongside a fish meal. The cavatappi pasta noodles are really thin and delicate, so they work particularly well as a ‘pasta’ side dish when you’re looking to avoid a heavy, meaty meal.
The creaminess of the cheese sauce means it pairs well with the fish, but you can use it with chicken too, or even as a base for a more traditional tomato sauce. It’s also easy to make and reheat, so it makes a great dinner party option.
21 Pasta Side Dishes for Fish
- Creamy Garlic Shells
- Garlic Parmesan Pasta
- Pasta Primavera
- Creamy Low-Sodium Mac and Cheese
- Cheesy Taco Pasta
- Pasta Carbonara
- 5-Cheese Marinara
- Tortellini Pasta
- Italian Pasta Salad
- Lobster Mac and Cheese
- Shrimp Pasta
- Creamy White Sauce Pasta
- Parmesan Orzo Pasta
- Pesto Pasta
- Angel Hair Pasta
- Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- Fettuccine Alfredo
- Garlic Butter Mushroom Pasta
- Orzo with Mushrooms, Scallions, and Parmesan
- Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta
- Creamy Cavatappi Pasta
- Pick any of these delicious pasta sides to serve with your fish dinner.
- Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
- Enjoy your meal in no time!