Food Pairing 101: The Best Foods to Eat with Seafood

When you’re making a nutritious seafood meal, fish and chips just won’t cut it. Luckily, there are plenty of healthy foods that pair well with seafood by offering something different from the fish, such as a complementary texture, flavor or nutrients. Create a balanced meal that the whole family will enjoy by pairing one of the following foods with your next fish dish.

Grilled or Sautéed Vegetables

Grilled zucchini, mushrooms and asparagus

Vegetables are a great pairing with seafood because they’re a light, healthy option that have a whole host of nutritional benefits. In the summer, try grilling veggies such as zucchini, asparagus, bell peppers and eggplant. The crunchiness of the vegetables complements delicate seafood dishes such as baked Tilapia or broiled fish.

If you’re grilling your seafood, a side of sautéed summer squash, broccoli, peas and mushrooms makes for a side that’s not only a powerhouse of nutrients, but is a mild, savory addition to a bold, barbecued dish.

Nutritious Grains and Pulses


If your seafood dish is topped with a delicious sauce, soak up the extra flavor with a healthy grain. While white rice may be the most common option, quinoa and brown rice are healthier alternatives. Quinoa is one of our favorite grains to serve with seafood because of its mild flavor and superfood status. Just one serving of quinoa is filled with antioxidants, iron, manganese and dietary fiber. Brown rice is another healthy grain that pairs nicely with fish and is super easy to prepare. It offers a host of nutrients including immune-boosting selenium, protein and B vitamins.

Pulses (part of the legume family) are another great option. Like fish, pulses are packed with healthy protein, so you’ll stay full until your next meal.

Leafy Greens

Leafy Greens Kale Seafood Pairing

Nutrient-rich leafy greens like kale, spinach and Swiss chard are a great pairing for summer seafood dishes like ceviche or scampi because they often have complementary flavors and textures. Leafy greens are filled with nutrients like Vitamins A, C and K, potassium, calcium and fol.

If you’re having a cold seafood dish such as ceviche for dinner, you may want to pair it with a refreshing cold, leafy salad of kale, spinach, your other favorite assorted vegetables and a homemade vinaigrette. Follow this video for an easy ceviche recipe:

However, if you’re serving a warm seafood dish such as shrimp scampi, try steaming your greens with a bit of olive oil and garlic before topping them with a light sundried tomato dressing.

Next time you’re cooking up a delectable seafood dinner and aren’t sure what to serve alongside it, why not try one of the foods mentioned above? The extra boost of vitamins and minerals will increase the nutritional content of the meal, while the variations in flavor will make your dinner taste even better.

Photo Credits: Regal Springs, Dmitry Zuev / Flickr, Or Hiltch / Flickr, Imsosomg / Shutterstock Inc.