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What To Serve With Branzino – 15 Best Side Dishes

This article was updated on the 13th of September 2023 for clarity and freshness.

If you’re wondering what to serve with your branzino (or Mediterranean sea bass), you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I list 15 of the most popular side dishes for branzino.

In a rush? Here’s the short answer.

The best side dishes to serve with branzino are Greek lemon potatoes, Mediterranean chopped salad, and onion rings. Other salad options include a kale and quinoa salad, a Greek salad, or a mango slaw. If you want a vegetable side, go for something simple like grilled bok choy or roasted tomatoes.

For each side dish, I’ve provided alternative options to cater to various diets and lifestyles, including vegan, quick and easy, and health-conscious options.

Starchy Sides

Lighter proteins like branzino are the perfect opportunity to whip up a heavier, starchy side dish without feeling too guilty!

Lemon Rice

4.3 ⭐️ (150 ratings) | 25 mins

Lemon rice is a vibrant alternative to plain rice.

The zesty citrus flavors complement the sweet branzino fish wonderfully, and you’ll have a substantial meal that doesn’t feel heavy.

Most importantly, it’s such a breeze to make. It starts off the same way as regular white rice, and you only need to add lemon juice and zest to get that citrusy kick.

Psst long-grain rice is best for this recipe and yields a fluffy texture, but if you prefer a stickier texture, go for short-grain rice.

What readers are saying…

“Scrumptious! Very delicious! It was a delight!

“This is incredible…I made it for dinner tonight and will make it again….wonderful rice!”

“Easy and delicious; my favorite kind of recipe.”

Oven-Baked Rice
😇 Lemon Garlic Cauliflower Rice

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

5.0 ⭐️ (1 rating) | 1 hr 15 mins

Do you have a go-to side dish? For me, it’s this garlic mashed potatoes recipe. It goes with everything, even a delicate fish like branzino.

It’s convenient for busy days, but you can also dress it up for fancy dinners or any special occasion. For example, if you want to add some Mediterranean flavors to it you can mix in some Greek yogurt (like in this recipe).

I personally like swirling a tablespoon of basil pesto for a subtle zesty kick.

What readers are saying…

“We made these for Thanksgiving and OMG – so good! A new family favorite.”

The flavor was amazing... My husband and I ate them! It was my first attempt at any mashed potato.

🍠 Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes
🧘‍♀️ Dairy-Free Parsnip Puree

Pasta Pomodoro

5.0 ⭐️ (27 ratings) | 40 mins

Pasta Pomodoro is one of my favorite pasta dishes to serve with pan-fried branzino.

It’s incredibly simple, with the sauce only requiring about five ingredients. But the sweet acidity from the San Marzano tomatoes is exactly what you need with a delicate, mildly sweet fish such as branzino.

Dinner at the Zoo uses regular spaghetti noodles for this recipe, although I love using bucatini — they have a hollow middle that the Pomodoro sauce can hold onto, making each bite an absolute delight.

What readers are saying…

“I was craving Italian last night and this was the perfect cure for those cravings! The sauce was so flavorful. The kids and I really enjoyed it.”

“I love spaghetti in any form. But the fresh basil on this really puts it over the top. So good!”

“Simplicity at its best! We love a complex dish, but sometimes an easy pasta dish that lets ingredients speak for themselves is what is needed!”

🍅 Penne Alla Vodka
😇 Brown Butter Spaghetti Squash

Leek and Pea Risotto

5.0 ⭐️ (10 ratings) | 30 mins

I know it’s another rice dish, but I have to include risotto on the list!

This Italian classic is a fabulous accompaniment to branzino. Its creaminess is just right and won’t overpower the fish. And the addition of leeks and peas not only brings a vibrant color but also a fresh bite.

Just a heads up, though — this risotto needs continuous stirring so prepare your arm muscles!

What readers are saying…

“Love this! So creamy but fresh at the same time.”

“This is such a great take on spring risotto! I love the pretty color the peas added. Everything tasted so fresh.”

“I can’t wait to try this! The leek and peas add so much flavor and so many health benefits. This is the best risotto I’ve seen in a while!”

🍄 Mushroom Risotto
🌱 Dairy-Free Risotto

Vegetables and Salads

Want to keep your branzino light and lean? Skip the starchy side and head straight for vegetables and salads instead. Not only do these sides add a pop of color to the plate, but they bring vitamins and nutrients to complete the meal.

Roasted Tomatoes

5.0 ⭐️ (10 ratings) | 30 mins

Sometimes the simplest sides are the best, and these roasted tomatoes are too sweet to turn down. I love propping them alongside my pan-seared branzino.

They look great on the plate, and making them is as easy as popping the tomatoes in the oven. But I follow Spend with Pennies’ lead and drizzle the toms with balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese for extra flavor.

I like to use on-the-vine tomatoes because they add a little sophistication to the meal, but cherry and grape tomatoes work just as well.

What readers are saying…

This was so easy to make and it really brightened up the plate! Thank you for sharing.”

“So easy and so tasty. A great way to us up fall tomatoes.”

“Terrific, easy recipe and great flavor. I threw in some chopped cauliflower with the tomatoes. Think the ingredients would go with anything.

🔥 Blistered Tomatoes
🇮🇹 Caprese Salad

Air Fryer Onion Rings

4.3 ⭐️ (81 ratings) | 30 mins

How about a crunchy side for your branzino? You’ll get a beautiful clash of two textures: delicate, soft fish contrasted with the satisfying bite of a crispy onion ring.

But unlike traditional recipes, Lemon Tree Dwelling’s version involves cooking the onion rings in the air-fryer. Don’t worry, you won’t lose out on the crunch, thanks to the combination of bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Plus, you’ll use a lot less oil, making these treats slightly healthier.

Pro-tip: Use Vidalia or any sweet onions for the best results.

What readers are saying…

“These air fryer onion rings will not last long at our house!! SO delicious!”

“These Onion Rings sound delicious! Dangerously good…”

“These came out perfect, amazing directions and everyone loved them!”

🤩 Onion Petals
Quick Pickled Red Onions

Grilled Bok Choy

4.8 ⭐️ (5 ratings) | 24 mins

If you’re already firing up the grill for your branzino, make things easier for yourself and grill some bok choy too.

Grilled bok choy is both fresh and smoky at the same time, and it’s perfect for a mild fish because it’s not overpowering.

It can get a little plain, though, so I like following Pinch and Swirl’s lead and drizzling a quick chili garlic sauce over the grilled bok choy for a bit of a kick. You can also use this for your grilled branzino too!

What readers are saying…

This is a very delicious recipe.”

I made this yesterday and it was amazing!

“I’ve grilled lots of things, but I don’t think I’ve ever put bok choy on the grill. I’m curious about this one now! The flavors sound excellent, and the presentation is spot-on, too.”

🍋 Creamy Lemon Tahini Bok Choy
🥬 Grilled Romaine Lettuce

Mango Slaw

4.4 ⭐️ (77 ratings) | 20 mins

This mango slaw is perfect for fish tacos, but I also love serving it over a freshly pan-seared branzino.

Not only does it add a splash of vibrant colors, but its sweet-zesty flavor is exactly what you need with a mildly flavored fish. Plus, you can customize it to your preference! I personally love adding jalapenos for a bit of a kick, and you can also go with corn, avocados, or even cucumber.

This slaw can be served immediately, but it’s even better once the flavors have melded so try leaving it to rest for about 30 minutes to an hour.

What readers are saying…

“This is the best recipe ever! Love it and it makes me feel good after eating! Super healthy”

“I made this pretty much following directions. It was delish. Definitely making again- it was all gone.”

“I LOVE this mango slaw! So fresh and flavorful! Try adding lime zest if you love the taste of lime. Or chopped parsley…”

🌿 Mango and Jicama Slaw
🤩 Classic Southern Coleslaw


4.5 ⭐️ (5 ratings) | 35 mins

Want a warm, colorful side dish for your branzino? You can’t go wrong with a classic succotash.

Feasting At Home uses a medley of summer veggies for this dish, but the fun thing about succotash is you can use any veggie you want — as long as you have the corn kernels and butter beans! It’s a tasty way to clean up your fridge of any leftover veg.

Finish off this vibrant dish with your choice of freshly chopped herbs (I love basil!).

What readers are saying…

“This recipe looks so seasonal and great. I’m sensitive to onion and garlic so will be trying it with garlic infused olive oil and green onion tops. Can’t wait!.”

This is really good, so delicious and flavourful! Made it with two additions, bell peppers as suggested and some vegan cheese crumbles.”

I decided to give this one a chance. I am glad I did. Even my reluctant vegetable eater enjoyed it..”

🌞 Summer Sweet Corn Saute
🇲🇽 Calabacitas

Kale and Quinoa Salad

5.0 ⭐️ (68 ratings) | 25 mins

Searching for a green salad to pair with your delicate branzino?

Look past the classic arugula or lettuce-based salads and try out this kale and quinoa salad instead. Aside from the two listed ingredients in the dish’s name, this salad is packed with chickpeas, broccoli, and red bell peppers all of which will leave you feeling full but not sluggish.

And you know what all those veggies mean — a huge dose of vitamins and nutrients, all essential for a healthy diet!

What readers are saying…

“Scrumptious! Very delicious! It was a delight!

“This is incredible…I made it for dinner tonight and will make it again….wonderful rice!”

“Easy and delicious; my favorite kind of recipe.”

🍎 Apple Spinach Farro Salad
😋 Quinoa Arugula Salad

Mediterranean-Inspired Dishes

Branzino is a popular protein in Mediterranean cuisine, so it makes sense to pair it with similar flavors. These dishes bring a burst of fresh, zesty goodness that complements the mild flavor of branzino.

Mediterranean Chopped Salad

5.0 ⭐️ (443 ratings) | 15 mins

If you’re flavoring your branzino in the classic Mediterranean way with fennel and tomatoes, it’s only right to do the meal justice by serving it alongside a Mediterranean salad.

Bright and refreshing, this chopped salad is a colorful addition to your spread. And it features a tangy mustard and lemon dressing that pairs well with the slightly sweet flavor of your branzino.

Psst… this salad is best enjoyed immediately, so only add the dressing when you’re ready to serve.

What readers are saying…

“So glad I found this recipe. It is my new favorite. Thank you!”

“This is my favorite salad and dressing…I have made again today for about the 10th time!”

“Doubled this for a family party. Looked like a caterer made it. Great salad and the dressing has a nice light flavor. Everyone enjoyed it!”

🥗 Mediterranean Couscous Salad
🥣 Mediterranean Hummus Bowl

Greek Lemon Potatoes

5.0 ⭐️ (443 ratings) | 15 mins

These aren’t your regular roasted potatoes! They’re roasted with a lemony flavored broth, which infuses them with loads of flavor and keeps them nice and moist.

The end result is halfway between mash and a roast potato (sounds weird I know, but it’s true). They aren’t as crispy as the usual version, but they’re every bit as satisfying, especially when paired with a pan-seared branzino.

What the chef says…

I like to check the potatoes midway through the second phase of the cooking to make sure there’s still a little bit of stock in the pan. If all the liquid is absorbed you might want to add a bit more and give the potatoes another turn.

😎 Baked Potato
Air Fryer Potato Wedges

Preserved Lemon Gremolata

4.9 ⭐️ (7 ratings) | 10 mins

This classic Italian condiment will be a fine addition to your branzino feast. It’s bursting with flavor and looks amazing drizzled over the white, flaky fish. 

The sauce is made with parsley, preserved lemons, olive oil, and some chili flakes for a kick of heat. I typically stick to only a pinch of red pepper flakes, but you can always add more if you want a bolder kick.

Got leftovers? No worries! This gremolata lasts up to 4 days in the fridge and tastes fabulous with other kinds of fish, chicken, and veggies You can even use it as the base for a pasta salad.

What the chef says…

“Proportions were perfect. I almost always substitute preserved lemon, easily made, for raw lemon. We put this over grilled pork loin and grilled salmon.”

“2 guests monopolized the mason jar of this that I put on the table. The other 2 guests complained for days afterwards that they didn’t get enough of it. It’s genius!”

“Tasty! Used as a dressing for grilled fish.”

🇮🇹 Basil Pesto Sauce
🇦🇷 Chimichurri Sauce

Warm Potato Salad

5.0 ⭐️ (9 ratings) | 50 mins

When you’re serving light fish for dinner, a flavorful salad is a must.

I especially love potato salads for the summer, but the mayonnaise can be too heavy for fish. Instead, I’d go for something like this warm potato salad with spinach and feta.

The feta adds creaminess to the dish and the spinach adds more earthy notes. And in true Greek fashion, recipe creator Fotini adds a small amount of lemon juice for that bright flavor. And no worries, you can always add more if you want a tangier kick.

What readers are saying…

 “…What a fresh and nutritious salad.

“Looks fabulous, making later today will grilled chicken and dolmadakia on the side. I know it is a double starch but the flavors will mix so well…”

🥒 Tzatziki Potato Salad
🌿 Dill Pickle Potato Salad

Traditional Greek Salad

5.0 ⭐️ (8 ratings) | 10 mins

Delicate branzino is practically begging for a Greek salad on the side — good thing it’s one of the easiest sides you can make.

You simply have to chop all the veg, throw everything into a large bowl, add the seasoning, olive oil, and dried oregano, toss everything, and you’re done! Place a slice of crusty bread on the plate to mop up all the juices, and you have a tasty meal.

Psst… this salad is best served chilled, so make this salad about an hour ahead of serving.

What the chef says…

This looks so delicious and healthy and perfect for summertime!

Love the balance of flavors and how easily this comes together! This will make a great side dish with dinner tonight; yum!

I do love a good Greek salad – the flavors are simple but so tasty, with plenty of crunch!

🥑 Greek Salad with Avocado

What To Serve With Branzino

In this short recipe, I show you exactly what to serve with your branzino.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: branzino side dishes, what to serve with branzino
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 97kcal


  • 1 portion branzino


  • Prepare your branzino according to your favorite recipe.
  • In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
  • Side dishes include: lemon rice, Mediterranean chopped salad, Greek lemon potatoes, roasted tomatoes, onion rings, grilled bok choy, kale and quinoa salad, garlic mashed potatoes, preserved lemon gremolata, potato and spinach salad, mango slaw, and traditional Greek salad.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!


Serving: 100g | Calories: 97kcal

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