Mackerel is often considered less significant than other seafood.
But don’t let their abundance and inexpensiveness prevent you from making them a part of your everyday meals; they can just be as delicious as any other seafood dish.
What matters is how you cook your fish and the side dishes you pair it with.
Once you know what to serve with mackerel, you’ll have no trouble bringing together a flavorful meal that impresses you and your guests every time.
So, let’s turn the tide for mackerel.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Mackerel?
The distinct smell of mackerel often gives it away as a not-so-important dish.
So, your side dishes need to have refreshing elements to balance the flavors and aroma.
Mackerel are generally protein and vitamins, so you want side dishes that have complementary nutrients like carbs and fiber.
When your meal has side dishes that balance the flavor and nutrition, they will turn out healthy and suitable for your palate.
Best of all, you’ll have zero chances of disappointing dinner guests.
What to Serve with Mackerel? 10 BEST Side Dishes
Whether you’re looking for ways to extinguish the fishy smell or balance the nutrients, here are ten side dishes that can make any mackerel dish more flavorful.
1 – Sweet Red Bean Soup
Red beans are a classic when it comes to healthy sweet food.
Although there are many ways to cook them, nothing beats a heart-warming and sweet soup to slurp alongside a savory mackerel dish.
Flavor aside, you will receive a balanced dose of essential nutrients by pairing this combo.
The red beans are packed with carbs, protein, and fiber, so you will feel energetic and undergo healthy digestion.
Meanwhile, mackerel is a rich source of vitamins, healthy fats, and additional protein.
Besides, mackerel is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary for the well-being of many body functions.
2 – Spiced Candied Yams
Not many people would want to have yams with fish.
After all, they have a bland taste; but this is exactly what makes them perfect for pairing with savory fishes like mackerel.
While mackerel has a flaky meat texture, yams have a starchy bite, similar to potatoes.
And when candied in honey and brown sugar, they become satisfyingly caramelized on the exterior, giving a crackling sensation at each bite.
But sweetness isn’t the only flavor that you’ll receive; the yams are spiced with cinnamon to give the perfect concoction of sweetness and warmth.
Garnishing the candied yams with roasted crushed nuts makes the presentation even better.
3 – Vegetable Pot Pie
A vegetable pot pie is a perfect way to make a veg-based side dish exciting.
It is flavorful, has a rich sauce, and complements the taste of mackerel by balancing the savory flavors.
After all, eating veggies should never be boring.
Changing the way you cook and present your meals is not only exciting but can also change the opinion of picky eaters as well.
Vegetable pot pies can contain any vegetable in your pantry, but the most common ones include potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and onions.
It’s always a great choice to include a variety of colors and textures.
4 – Melting Potatoes
This side dish works well with any mackerel dish because its complex flavor enhances the overall meal without overpowering the entrée.
The crust is crunchy, while the inside is moist and melts in your mouth the moment you bite into it.
The trick to achieving this melting effect is letting the potatoes sit in a vegetable/chicken broth before the final bake.
Waxy potatoes like the Yukon Gold work best for this dish as they retain their texture even after multiple cooking processes.
Since melting potatoes require dry and moist baking, you want to ensure that the heat does not affect the final visual.
5 – Green Spaghetti
Spaghetti doesn’t always have to be creamy and reddish.
For something as savory as mackerel, you can flavor it with fresh cilantro and poblano peppers; they add a refreshing, spicy taste and a vibrant visual to the meal.
A green spaghetti dish delivers sweet and spicy flavors to contrast the salty fish.
If you want more spicy flavors in your pasta, consider roasting the peppers before adding them to the dish.
Like all pasta dishes, you can rely on cheeses to make the spaghetti to give it its rich flavor, but don’t go overboard with it.
The goal is to make a dish that helps highlight mackerel flavors without overpowering them.
6 – Quinoa Stuffed Avocadoes
Avocado stuffed with fluffy, cooked quinoa and mashed avocado flesh is a high-protein and high-carb dish perfect for an instant energy boost.
It is a fun way to include healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids into your diet.
This dish adds nutty and earthy flavors to your meal.
Among the many types of quinoa, consider using white quinoa for this dish, as it is versatile and suitable for most cooking methods.
Both quinoa and avocadoes are rich sources of fiber, so you have everything in your meal to make it rounded without using too many ingredients.
You can use Greek yogurt to combine all the ingredients into a uniform mixture.
7 – Radicchio Salad
This side dish adds a bright vibrancy and texture to your meal.
It predominantly contains bitter, tangy, and spicy flavors that help refresh your palate.
The crunchy texture of radicchio contrasts with the tender and flaky mackerel.
A radicchio salad is rich in vitamin K and antioxidants, making it delicious and healthy.
The salad dressing alone contains sweet, tangy, spicy, and aromatic flavors to heighten the meal.
Other ingredients like sweet and fleshy fruits, crushed nuts, feta cheese, and Greek honey gives the salad a depth of flavor.
8 – Pickled Cucumbers
If you’re serving mackerel on a hot day, you need something refreshing, like cucumbers, to refresh your palate.
It is crunchy, refreshing, and contains plenty of antioxidants.
Pickled cucumbers are a quick side dish that can make excellent last-minute meal options.
The pickling brine can be as simple as vinegar and kosher salt/sugar mixture or contain something flavorful like peppercorns and bay leaves.
Since pickled cucumbers are high in sodium, they are best served with mild mackerel dishes like baked dishes or soups.
This combination helps balance the flavors without having one flavor overwhelm the others.
9 – Brown Rice Noodle Salad
Brown rice noodles are a great way to add refreshing elements to a savory meal.
They are gluten-free and a rich source of carbs.
Besides, rice noodles can be a great alternative to regular pasta.
Since they taste like cooked rice, they pair well with mackerel, especially those with rich gravies like fried dishes.
The secret to getting a flavorful rice noodle salad is to marinate the ingredients in a rich sauce.
The best thing about this side dish is that it can contain as many or as few ingredients; shredded chicken and crunchy veggies are some of the best additions.
10 – Spinach Gnocchi Soup
When choosing sides to pair with salty seafood, mild flavors help balance the flavors.
So, a creamy gnocchi soup is perfect as it provides comforting elements to prevent your palate from being overwhelmed by the flavor of fish.
The broth is creamy, while the gnocchi gives a chewy bite to the soup.
The spinach, on the other hand, has a soft mushy texture that makes the soup easier to take in.
Spinach gnocchi soup is a rich source of carbs and vitamins, so it is a great choice if you’re looking for an energizing side dish.
It is also a kid-friendly dish that carefully incorporates veggies without making it seem obvious.
There’s no limit to what you can serve with a mackerel dish.
You can complement the fishy flavors with a hearty soup and refreshing salad.
Or, consider serving pickles to cleanse your palate now and then.
You can even create healthier versions of some ‘unhealthy’ foods, like zucchini noodles or green spaghetti.
Whatever ingredients you choose, remember to enjoy the process and consider your family and guests’ preferences before settling on one.