Sea Bass Substitutes: 10 Healthy Alternatives


Sea bass is a popular fish but there may be reasons someone would want to find a substitute. It may be availability, price or just wanting to try something different. Therefore, what are sea bass substitutes?

The following are the best substitutes for sea bass:

  1. Haddock
  2. Lingcod
  3. Monkfish
  4. Wahoo
  5. Mahi mahi
  6. Grouper
  7. Striped bass
  8. Flounder
  9. Tilapia
  10. Atlantic salmon

This article will list the replacements and compare their tastes and textures. In addition, I’ll examine and include a side-by-side comparison of their nutrients.

Sea Bass Substitutes

Sea bass is a term shared by many different species of fish. The more common ones are Black Sea bass, White Seabass, European sea bass and the Patagonian toothfish. The Patagonian toothfish is also known as Chilean sea bass.

Since “sea bass” is a broad class of fish, a number of alternatives can be used. The following are the best substitutes.

1. Haddock

Haddock has a very different appearance to sea bass. It has three dorsal fins and a longer and narrower body. However, the flavor and texture of the fillets of haddock are very similar to sea bass.

Similarities in flavor and texture between haddock and sea bass

Sea bass has quite a mild flavor compared to other fish and the texture is fairly firm. Haddock shares this similar mild flavor. The texture of haddock is also above average.

Here’s a table showing the texture and flavor rating for both fish out of 5 points, where a higher rating is better.

  Sea bass Haddock Haddock difference
Flavor (how fishy tasting)  1.4 / 5.0 1.4 / 5.0 No difference
Texture (how firm) 3.8 / 5.0 2.9 / 5.0 -0.9 points

The flavor of haddock is similar to sea bass. The texture is about 20% firmer and more delicate. Therefore, they make a great sea bass substitute.

Difference in nutrients between haddock and sea bass 

Each kind of fish has a different fat content, amount of calories and protein. Here’s a table showing a comparison of these nutrients found in sea bass and haddock: 

Nutrient per fillet (7 oz, 200g) Sea bass Haddock Haddock difference
Fat (g) 4 1.3 -2.7
Calories 194 174 -20
Protein (g) 36.8 37.8 +1.0
  • Haddock has less fat and calories than sea bass.
  • Haddock has a tiny bit more protein.

Therefore, haddock is interestingly a better option if you’re trying to keep your calories down.

haddock dinner in a bowl
Sea bass substitutes – Haddock dinner

2. Lingcod

Lingcods have a large mouth similar to catfish and look much different on the outside to sea bass. They have a patchwork pattern on their skin and spiky fins.

In regards to flavor and texture they are virtually identical, making them a great substitute for sea bass.

Similarities in flavor and texture between lingcod and sea bass

The fishy flavor of sea bass and lingcod are both fairly mild. Lingcods have a slightly better texture than sea bass, which is a bit more delicate and tender.

Here’s a table showing a qualitative rating for both fish out of 5 and how they differ.

  Sea bass Lingcod Lingcod difference
Flavor (how fishy tasting) 1.4 / 5.0 1.4 / 5.0 No difference
Texture (how firm) 3.8 / 5.0 2.9 / 5.0 -0.9 points

Difference in nutrients between lingcod and sea bass 

Each kind of fish has a slightly different diet, feed pattern and habitat. Therefore, the nutrients in their flesh differ. Sometimes the difference is quite pronounced, whereas, other times they are virtually identical.

For example, white bass and striped bass have the exact same nutrient profile. I looked into the difference in nutrients between sea bass and lingcod.

Nutrient per fillet (7 oz, 200g) Sea bass Lingcod Lingcod difference
Fat (g) 4 1.1 -2.9
Calories 194 170 -24
Protein (g) 36.8 35.4 -1.4
  • Lingcod has 5% less calories.
  • Lincod has about 80% less fat than sea bass.
  • Lincod and sea bass have very similar protein content.

If you’re looking to consume less calories then lingcod has the added bonus of containing fewer than sea bass.

3. Monkfish

Monkfish are unattractive in appearance and can be downright scary looking. They are bottom dwellers that live on the seafloor and have a flat and wide body similar to flounder.

They’re very good eating, and have a flavor and texture similar to sea bass.

Similarities in flavor and texture between monkfish and sea bass

Here’s a table showing the difference in flavor and texture between sea bass and monkfish. The score is out of 5, with a 5 being the strongest fishy flavor and a 5 for texture being the firmest.

  Sea bass Monkfish Monkfish difference
Flavor (how fishy tasting) 1.4 / 5.0 1.4 / 5.0 No difference
Texture (how firm) 3.8 / 5.0 3.6 / 5.0 -0.2 points

As you can see from the ratings out of five, they are virtually identical, making it a great substitute for sea bass.

Difference in nutrients between monkfish and sea bass 

Monkfish have a slightly different feeding pattern and diet to sea bass, and this is reflected in the nutrients found in their flesh.

Here’s a table showing the difference in nutrients between monkfish and sea bass.

Nutrient per fillet (7 oz, 200g) Sea bass Monkfish Monkfish difference
Fat (g) 4 1.5 -2.5
Calories 194 152 -42
Protein (g) 36.8 29.0 -7.8
  • Monkfish have less calories.
  • Monkfish have less fat than sea bass.
  • They significantly have less protein.

This makes monkfish better for keeping your calories down. But, sea bass is better if you go to the gym regularly to build muscle.

4. Wahoo

Wahoo is long, thin and grows much larger than sea bass. They have a distinctive beautiful blue stripes on their skin. Interestingly, despite their differences in appearance, they have a similar flavor and texture to sea bass.

Similarities in flavor and texture between wahoo and sea bass

  Sea bass Wahoo Wahoo difference
Flavor (how fishy tasting) 1.4 / 5.0 1.4 / 5.0 No difference
Texture (how firm) 3.8 / 5.0 2.9 / 5.0 -0.9 points

Wahoo has a slightly more delicate texture than sea bass, but they have a milder fishy taste relative to other fish. This makes them almost identical in flavor to sea bass and a great substitute.

Difference in nutrients between wahoo and sea bass 

Wahoo has quite a bit more protein than sea bass. They also contain about 5% more calories. Here’s a table showing the differences:

Nutrient per fillet (7 oz, 200g) Sea bass Wahoo Wahoo difference
Fat (g) 4 2.0 -2.0
Calories 194 225 +31
Protein (g) 36.8 44.0 +7.2

Nutrient resource 1

wahoo fish dinner
Sea bass substitutes – Wahoo fish dinner

5. Mahi mahi

Mahi mahi are a unique looking fish, with a green/blue colored skin, and a characteristic square shaped forehead. They grow much larger than sea bass but have a similar flavor and texture.

Similarities in flavor and texture between mahi mahi and sea bass

Mahi mahi have a slightly fishier taste than sea bass but not by much. They also have a slightly firmer texture. Here’s a table that shows this information:

  Sea bass Mahi mahi Mahi mahi difference
Flavor (how fishy tasting) 1.4 / 5.0 2.1 / 5.0 +0.7 points
Texture (how firm) 3.8 / 5.0 4.3 / 5.0 +0.5 points

Difference in nutrients between mahi mahi and sea bass 

Mahi mahi have a significantly lower fat content than sea bass. They also have slightly less calories but a little more protein.

Here’s table showing a side by side comparison:

Nutrient per fillet (7 oz, 200g) Sea bass Mahi mahi Mahi mahi difference
Fat (g) 4.0 2.0 -2.0
Calories 194 180 -14
Protein (g) 36.8 38.0 +1.2

Nutrient resource 2

Mahi mahi is not the most similar in flavor as some of the other substitutes. Although it is still close enough making it a good substitute.

6. Grouper

Groupers have a wide, fat body and a large mouth giving them a different appearance to sea bass. They also grow incredibly large and can grow to the size of an adult man.

Apart from these differences they have a similar flavor and texture to sea bass.

Similarities in flavor and texture between grouper and sea bass

Grouper are slightly more fishy tasting than sea bass. The flesh of groupers is also slightly firmer. However, both of these differences are very slight.

Here’s a table showing a side by side comparison using a score out of five, 1 being the lowest, and 5 being the highest.

  Sea bass Grouper Grouper difference
Flavor (how fishy tasting) 1.4 / 5.0 2.1 / 5.0 +0.7 points
Texture (how firm) 3.8 / 5.0 4.3 / 5.0 +0.5 points

Difference in nutrients between grouper and sea bass 

The nutrient profile of sea bass and grouper are quite similar. But, groupers have half the fat content of sea bass. The calories and protein content are only slightly different.

  • Groupers have slightly less calories.
  • Groupers have slightly more protein.

Here’s a table showing the differences:

Nutrient per fillet (7 oz, 200g) Sea bass Grouper Grouper difference
Fat (g) 4.0 2.0 -3.0
Calories 194 184 -14
Protein (g) 36.8 38.8 +1.2

Nutrient resource 3

Groupers are fairly close in flavor, texture and calories making them a great substitute for sea bass.

7. Striped Bass

Striped bass are originally from the Atlantic Ocean coast and the Gulf of Mexico. They range from the western Atlantic St. Lawrence River down to northern Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico.

They’re very good eating, and have a flavor and texture similar to sea bass.

Similarities in flavor and texture between striped bass and sea bass

Here’s a table showing the difference in flavor and texture between sea bass and striped bass. The score is out of 5, with a 5 being the strongest fishy flavor and a 5 for texture being the firmest.

  Sea bass Striped bass Striped bass difference
Flavor (how fishy tasting) 1.4 / 5.0 1.5 / 5.0 +0.1
Texture (how firm) 3.8 / 5.0 3.6 / 5.0 -0.2 

As you can see from the ratings out of five, they are virtually identical, making it a good substitute for sea bass.

Difference in nutrients between striped bass and sea bass 

Striped bass have a slightly different feeding pattern and diet to sea bass, and this is reflected in the nutrients found in their flesh.

Here’s a table showing the difference in nutrients between striped bass and sea bass.

Nutrient per fillet (7 oz, 200g) Sea bass Striped bass Striped bass difference
Fat (g) 4 4.5 +0.5
Calories 194 192 -2
Protein (g) 36.8 35.0 -1.8

Nutrient source 4

  • Striped bass have almost the identical number of calories.
  • Striped bass have slightly more fat than sea bass.
  • Sea bass and striped bass have similar grams of protein.

Bass didn’t make my ground beef alternatives list. Check out which 12 foods did in my article, Ground Beef Alternatives: 12 Healthy Substitutes.

8. Flounder

Flounder is the name used to describe many species distantly related. The following are the better-known flounder species:

  • Atlantic Ocean
    • Gulf flounder (Paralichthys albigutta)
    • Summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus)
    • Southern flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma)
    • Winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus)
    • Atlantic Halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus)
  • European waters
    • European flounder (Platichthys flesus)
    • Witch flounder (Glyptocephalus cynoglossus)
  • North Pacific Ocean
    • Halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis)
    • Olive flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus)

They’re very good eating, and have a flavor similar to sea bass. Flounder’s texture is delicate and less firm.

Similarities in flavor and texture between flounder and sea bass

Here’s a table showing the difference in flavor and texture between sea bass and flounder. The score is out of 5, with a 5 being the strongest fishy flavor and a 5 for texture being the firmest.

  Sea bass Flounder Flounder difference
Flavor (how fishy tasting) 1.4 / 5.0 1.6 / 5.0 +0.2
Texture (how firm) 3.8 / 5.0 2.9 / 5.0 -0.9 

As you can see from the ratings out of five, the flavor is more similar than texture but it’s still a good substitute.

Difference in nutrients between flounder and sea bass 

Flounder have a different feeding pattern and diet to sea bass. This, along with habitats, is reflected in the nutrients found in their flesh.

Here’s a table showing the difference in nutrients between flounder and sea bass.

Nutrient per fillet (7 oz, 200g) Sea bass Flounder Flounder difference
Fat (g) 4 3.8 -0.2
Calories 194 138 -56
Protein (g) 36.8 24.5 -12.3

Nutrient resource 5

  • Flounder has significantly fewer calories.
  • Flounder and sea bass have almost the same fat.
  • Flounder has fewer grams of protein.

9. Tilapia

Tilapia is a common name for numerous species of cichlid fish. Since 2002, tilapia is the 4th most consumed fish in the United States. 

Similarities in flavor and texture between tilapia and sea bass

Here’s a table showing the difference in flavor and texture between sea bass and tilapia. The score is out of 5, with a 5 being the strongest fishy flavor and a 5 for texture being the firmest.

  Sea bass Tilapia Tilapia difference
Flavor (how fishy tasting) 1.4 / 5.0 1.6 / 5.0 +0.2
Texture (how firm) 3.8 / 5.0 2.5 / 5.0 -1.3 

As you can see from the ratings out of five, the flavor is more similar than texture but it’s still a good substitute. Tilapia has a similar mild to sweet flavor but its texture is more delicate and falls apart easily.

Difference in nutrients between tilapia and sea bass 

Tilapia has a different feeding pattern and diet to sea bass. This, along with habitats, is reflected in the nutrients found in their flesh.

Here’s a table showing the difference in nutrients between tilapia and sea bass.

Nutrient per fillet (7 oz, 200g) Sea bass Tilapia Tilapia difference
Fat (g) 4 3.3 -0.7
Calories 194 191 -3
Protein (g) 36.8 40.1 +3.3

Nutrient resource 6

  • Tilapia and sea bass have almost the same number of calories.
  • Tilapia and sea bass have a similar amount of fat.
  • Tilapia has a few more grams of protein.

Find out what fish are good substitutes for trout in my article, Trout Replacements: The 12 Best Substitutes.

10. Atlantic Salmon

Despite being named after an ocean, Atlantic salmon are born in freshwater streams. They spawn and are born in the stream. When they grow old enough and large enough, they migrate to the ocean.

Similarities in flavor and texture between Atlantic salmon and sea bass

Here’s a table showing the difference in flavor and texture between sea bass and tilapia. The score is out of 5, with a 5 being the strongest fishy flavor and a 5 for texture being the firmest.

  Sea bass Atlantic salmon Atlantic salmon difference
Flavor (how fishy tasting) 1.4 / 5.0 1.7 / 5.0 +0.3
Texture (how firm) 3.8 / 5.0 3.5 / 5.0 -0.3 

As you can see from the ratings out of five, the flavor and texture is similar making salmon a good substitute. Atlantic salmon is slightly milder than Pacific salmon which is why it was chosen.

Difference in nutrients between Atlantic salmon and sea bass 

Atlantic salmon has a different feeding pattern and diet to sea bass. This, along with habitats, is reflected in the nutrients found in their flesh.

Here’s a table showing the difference in nutrients between Atlantic salmon and sea bass.

Nutrient per fillet (7 oz, 200g) Sea bass Atlantic Salmon Atlantic Salmon difference
Fat (g) 4 12.5 +8.5
Calories 194 282 +88
Protein (g) 36.8 39.2 +2.4

Nutrient resource 7

  • Atlantic salmon has many more calories than sea bass.
  • Atlantic salmon has more fat, although it’s healthy and loaded with omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Atlantic salmon has a few more grams of protein.

Find out what fish are good substitutes for Cod in my article, Cod Alternatives: The 12 Best Substitutes.

Additional article resources 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Read Next – More Sea Bass Articles

Sea Bass vs Chilean Sea Bass – Is There A Difference?

Sea Bass vs Cod – Is One Better? Let’s Compare

Sea Bass vs Salmon: Which is Better?

 

Article Resources: Foods For Anti-Aging follows strict guidelines to ensure our content is the highest journalistic standard. It's our mission to provide the reader with accurate, honest and unbiased guidance. Our content relies on medical associations, research institutions, government agencies and study resources. Learn more by reading our editorial policy.
  1. Nutrition Value: Wahoo[]
  2. Nutrition Value: Fish, raw, mahimahi[]
  3. USDA: Fish, grouper, mixed species, raw[]
  4. USDA: Fish, bass, striped, raw[]
  5. Nutrition Value: Flounder, raw[]
  6. USDA: Fish, tilapia, raw[]
  7. USDA: Fish, salmon, Atlantic, wild, raw[]
  8. NOAA Fisheries: Summer Flounder[]
  9. NOAA Fisheries: Winter Flounder[]
  10. NOAA Fisheries: Yellowtail Flounder[]
  11. NOAA Fisheries: Witch Flounder[]
  12. NOAA Fisheries: Windowpane Flounder[]
  13. NOAA Fisheries: Arrowtooth Flounder[]
  14. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Striped bass[]
  15. NOAA Fisheries: Red Grouper[]
  16. NOAA Fisheries: Atlantic Mahi Mahi[]
  17. NOAA Fisheries: Pacific Mahimahi[]
  18. Wikipedia: Wahoo[]
  19. Wikipedia: Tilapia[]
  20. Oceana: Atlantic Salmon[]

Kevin Garce

Kevin Garce is a Certified Health Coach who encourages people by informing them on nutrition and food topics important to them. His years of research and knowledge inspire people to achieve their goals. Read more here About Me

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