What to Serve with Pickled Herring? 15 BEST Side Dishes

Pickled Herring

Picture this: You've just popped open a jar of tangy, briny pickled herring. The aroma of the sea fills your kitchen and your taste buds are eager to indulge. But wait! What should you serve with it?

Fear not, because I've got you covered with these 15 amazing side dishes that perfectly complement the unique flavor profile of pickled herring.

Pickled Herring

Looking for a quick answer?

The best side dishes to serve with pickled herring are smoked cod, gluten-free bread, ranch crackers, ricotta, watermelon cucumber salad, rosemary bread, avocado salad, hard-boiled eggs, potato salad, pickled beets, rye bread, creamed spinach, coleslaw, roasted almonds, and sour cream.

Now, let's get cooking!

1. Smoked Cod

smoked cod

Smoked cod is a culinary delight that can balance the briny flavor of pickled herring beautifully. The smokiness brings a depth of flavor, creating a contrast against the tanginess of the herring. Enjoy chunks of this flavorful fish with your pickled herring for a sea-food lover's dream come true.

2. Gluten Free Bread

Gluten-free bread

Gluten-free bread is a healthy alternative to regular bread and pairs wonderfully with pickled herring. The hearty texture of the bread is perfect to absorb the vinegary pickling liquid, providing a balance of flavors. You can toast it lightly and spread a bit of butter or cream cheese for an added touch of indulgence.

3. Ranch Crackers

Crunchy, flavorful ranch crackers can be an unexpected but enjoyable companion to pickled herring. The herby, tangy flavor of ranch complements the pickled fish, and the crispy texture adds a delightful contrast. Plus, this is a fantastic no-fuss side option if you're in a hurry.

4. Ricotta

Creamy ricotta is an excellent side to serve with pickled herring. Its mild, slightly sweet flavor can tame the strong, sour notes of the herring, making it more palatable for those not used to its intense flavor. Try serving a dollop of ricotta on the side, or spread it over a slice of rustic bread topped with herring.

5. Watermelon Cucumber Salad

Watermelon Cucumber Salad

For a refreshing side, try a watermelon cucumber salad. The juicy sweetness of watermelon and crisp, mild cucumber make a light, hydrating salad that can cleanse the palate between bites of pickled herring. Toss in some mint leaves for extra freshness and a drizzle of olive oil for a finishing touch.

6. Rosemary Bread

Rosemary Bread

Rosemary bread is aromatic and flavorful with a hearty texture that stands up well to pickled herring. The bread's earthy, slightly piney flavor is a nice contrast to the herring's tanginess. Toast slices of rosemary bread and serve them warm on the side, or use them for a gourmet herring sandwich.

7. Avocado Salad

Avocado Salad

Creamy, rich avocado salad is another great companion to pickled herring. The avocado's natural creaminess can balance the acidity of the herring, and a simple salad of avocado, lettuce, and cherry tomatoes dressed with olive oil and lemon juice creates a well-rounded meal that's satisfying yet light.

8. Hard-Boiled Eggs

A classic accompaniment to pickled herring, hard-boiled eggs offer a mild, creamy counterpoint to the herring's intense flavor. Slice them up and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper, or mash them with a little mayo and herbs for a simple egg salad.

9. Potato Salad

The creamy, earthy flavors of a traditional potato salad work brilliantly with the acidity of pickled herring. The potatoes absorb some of the herring's flavor, making the salad moreish and addictive. Add some diced pickles or capers for an extra tangy kick.

10. Pickled Beets

Pair one pickle with another by serving pickled herring with pickled beets. The earthy sweetness of the beets complements the tangy herring, creating a balanced and flavorful plate. Slice them thin for a quick, easy side dish.

11. Rye Bread

Rye bread and pickled herring are a classic pairing. The hearty, slightly sour flavor of rye stands up well to the strong, tangy herring. Spread a little butter on a warm slice of rye bread and top with a piece of herring for a simple, satisfying bite.

12. Creamed Spinach

Creamed spinach is a side dish that can tame the tang of pickled herring with its creamy, mild flavors. The earthy taste of the spinach combines with the cream to provide a lush and comforting accompaniment.

13. Coleslaw

Coleslaw new

The refreshing crunch of coleslaw provides a contrast to the soft texture of pickled herring. The creamy, tangy dressing mirrors the flavors in the herring, making this a harmonious pairing that's perfect for summer meals.

14. Roasted Almonds

For a surprising but delicious pairing, try roasted almonds with pickled herring. The nutty crunch of the almonds complements the tender herring, and their mild flavor provides a pleasant contrast to the herring's tangy marinade.

15. Sour Cream

For a rich, creamy accompaniment, serve a dollop of sour cream with your pickled herring. The creaminess of the sour cream balances the vinegar punch of the herring, while its slight tang ties the flavors together perfectly.

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Pickled Herring

What To Serve With Pickled Herring

Looking for the best sides to eat with your flavorful pickled herring? We have 15 delicious ideas for the perfect meal.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: dinner, lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: German
Keyword: pickled herring
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Corrie


  • 1 pickled herring


  • Buy pickled herring or make yourself using your favorite recipe.
  • Make a side dish from the list above. You can eat pickled herring with smoked cod, gluten-free bread, ranch crackers, ricotta, watermelon cucumber salad, rosemary bread, avocado salad, hard-boiled eggs, potato salad, pickled beets, rye bread, creamed spinach, coleslaw, roasted almonds, and sour cream.
  • Serve and enjoy a wonderful meal 🙂
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