Cedar Plank Salmon is a favorite for grilling season. There’s nothing like that smoky flavor and aroma of the charred wood on piping hot grill grates. What to serve with the delicious salmon is the question! And we’ve got some great side dish choices you’ll love!
Cedar plank salmon grilling is a highlight of summer dining. The subtle cedar flavor adds a sweet flavor to the delicious salmon. Pairing it with fresh ingredients like lemon juice and fresh dill makes for perfect light and satisfying hot weather dining.
Not sure what side dishes to serve? Fresh salads are always a classic side dish but that’s just the start.
Cedar Plank Salmon Recipe
Let’s start with the favorite way to make a salmon fillet. If you’ve never grilled salmon on cedar planks, it’s easy and absolutely delicious! As the salmon cooks it picks up some of the woodsy flavor from the cedar wood plank. The flaky salmon stays moist and is the perfect main dish.
We’ve got a secret. Most recipes will tell you to use soaked cedar planks. We don’t soak cedar planks (or bamboo skewers either)! After working with a grill master we learned charring the planks before grilling works just as well as a soaked cedar plank. In fact in some experiments they’ll catch fire in a similar amount of time.
Follow our cedar plank salmon recipe, cook the fresh salmon over indirect heat and keep a water spray bottle handy for flare ups and you are good to go! We actually have a spray bottle of white wine to spritz the salmon while it cooks for more flavor too.
You can find cedar planks at grocery stores, hardware stores or online (wherever grilling supplies are sold) during the grilling season. They are reusable too!
How to pick a Perfect Side Dish
Salmon is a light main dish both in flavor and texture. Picking what sides go with cedar plank salmon requires consideration of two things:
Lighter side dishes. Because cedar plank salmon is a lighter dish picking an assortment of side dishes that don’t weigh down and overtake the salmon is key is key. Rice dishes, vegetables or lighter salads are great choices.
To keep it quick and easy Air Fryer recipes are another great choice. The vegetables tend to be lighter and you can adjust the seasonings to complement the salmon.
Flavor. The other consideration is flavor. Most cedar plank salmon recipes do not add loads of spices or zesty flavors. Don’t be afraid of adding exciting flavors in the side dishes but be careful not to make them so bold that they drown out the delicate salmon flavor either.
Cedar Plank Salmon Sides
You won’t go wrong with any of these easy side dishes! Pick one or a few for a perfect meal. You may find some new favorite side dishes too!
Rice, potatoes or pasta. Adding a starch makes a meal more filling and something the whole family loves. Don’t pick dishes with heavy sauces or flavors that will overwhelm the salmon.
For an effortless option microwave a packet of rice. They are done in 90 seconds and available in several flavor combinations. We have some tasty options below too. To keep it even lighter add a cauliflower rice dish.
Vegetables. Adding in vegetables is always a great choice whether it be simple green beans, or a combination of roasted vegetables with fresh herbs. Almost any vegetables dish is a good choice with easy recipes to choose from.
Salads. A simple salad is great but that’s just the starting point. Since this salmon is typically served during hotter months avoid heavy mayonnaise-based potato salad; both for the heaviness and risk of food poisoning if left out too long in the heat.
Rice and Potato Recipes
These recipes not only add flavor but make a meal more filling. They are a great way to add complementary flavors to the salmon.
Pasta is another great choice as a side dish. It can be a main dish pasta served in smaller portions to round out the meal. Pick a simple pasta that’s not loaded with heavy-handed flavors and not to heavy with sauce.
Fresh vegetables abound in the summer months are are so easy to throw on the grill. Just a little oil, salt and pepper is often all that’s needed. But they don’t have to be grilled either.
Vegetables cook quickly, add color and nutrients to round out a perfect meal.
A fresh green salad is easy and delicious (especially with homemade dressing) but there are other salad recipes perfect for salmon too!
Tayler Ross says
I love cedar plank salmon, so all of these ideas are so helpful to me! They all look amazing- I’m not sure which one I’ll try first!
Amanda Wren-Grimwood says
So many delicious side dishes for summer here. I can’t wait to make the lavender potatoes this week.
Brilliant selection of the recipes (some of which I already make regularly). Cannot try to try a few more on our traditional Friday fish nights! 🙂
Yummy, what a great round up! I do love a rice + veggie side for salmon myself!
These are all great ideas! We usually do a salad or a potato – going to have to try those grilled asparagus next time!
Jacque Hooper says
Salmon is a staple in our home during the summer months and all of these pairings look fantastic! Excited to give these a try!
Sara Welch says
Adding this to my dinner line up for the week! I love salmon and this looks too good to pass up, indeed!
katerina @ diethood.com says
These are all fabulous! Such a fantastic list!!
Beth Sachs says
So many delicious sides to try with cedar plank salmon. Loving the sound of the coconut rice.
Oh wow, these look so delicious. My family is going to devour them!