Sea Bass Substitutes: 11 Healthy Alternatives

During my health coaching sessions many of my clients often ask about alternatives for different types of fish, including sea bass. 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
  11. Chilean Sea Bass

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.

In addition to coaching clients about them, I’ve purchased, researched and used the alternatives in this article prior to, during and sometimes after writing this article.

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 options.

Sea bass and lingcod.
Lingcod on the left Sea bass on the right

1. Haddock

The flavor and texture of the fillets of haddock are very similar.

Similarities in flavor and texture:

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.

When I tried haddock for the first time I was impressed and use it more often as an option when it’s available.

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 and the texture is about 20% firmer and more delicate. Therefore, they make a great choice.

Difference in nutrients: 

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

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.
  • 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
Haddock dinner

2. Lingcod

In regards to flavor and texture they are virtually identical, making them a great choice.

Similarities in flavor and texture:

The fishy flavor of sea bass and lingcod are both fairly mild. Lingcods have a slightly better texture, 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:

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 and striped have the exact same nutrient profile. I looked into the difference in nutrients.

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.
  • Lincod has very similar protein content.

If you’re looking to consume less calories then lingcod has the added bonus of containing fewer. I found this useful the first time I purchased and cooked lingcod.

The following is an excellent video which informs you how to cook lingcod.

3. Monkfish

Monkfish are good eating, and have a similar flavor and texture.

Similarities in flavor and texture:

Here’s a table showing the difference in flavor and texture between the two fish. 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 option.

Difference in nutrients:

Monkfish have a slightly different feeding pattern and diet. This is reflected in the nutrients found in their flesh.

Here’s a table showing the difference in nutrients.

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.
  • They significantly have less protein.

This makes monkfish better for keeping your calories down.

The video below explains how to cook monkfish.

4. Wahoo

Wahoo have a similar flavor and texture.

Similarities in flavor and texture:

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, but they have a milder fishy taste relative to other fish. This makes them almost identical in flavor and a great choice.

Difference in nutrients: 

Wahoo has quite a bit more protein. 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

I’m not a big fan of fishy flavor. Therefore, wahoo is one my favorite options to buy when I can find it in the market.

wahoo fish dinner
Wahoo fish dinner

5. Mahi mahi

Mahi mahi have a similar flavor and texture. They have a slightly fishier taste than sea bass but not by much. They also have a slightly firmer texture, less flaky. Here’s a table showing 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:

Mahi mahi have a significantly lower fat content. 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 option.

Mahi mahi cooked dinner on a plate
Mahi mahi dinner

6. Grouper

Apart from physical differences they have a similar flavor and texture.

Grouper are slightly more fishy tasting. 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:

The nutrient profiles of both fish are quite similar. But, groupers have half the fat content. 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 addition to this list.

On my first trip to Clearwater, Florida, grouper was available in every restaurant up and down the road near the beach. We were happy to order the grouper and eat it with some crab legs.

red grouper dinner
Red Grouper Dinner

7. Striped Bass Fish

Striped bass are very good eating, and have a flavor and texture similar to sea bass.

Similarities in flavor and texture:

Here’s a table showing the difference in flavor and texture. 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.

Difference in nutrients:

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

Here’s a table showing the differences.

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.
  • They both have similar grams of protein.

Bass didn’t make my ground beef 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 similar flavor. Flounder’s texture is delicate and less firm.

Similarities in flavor and texture:

Here’s a table showing the difference in flavor and texture. 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 decent choice.

Difference in nutrients: 

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

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 has almost the same fat.
  • Flounder has fewer grams of protein.

The following video explains a great way for you to cook flounder.

9. Tilapia

Here’s a table showing the difference in flavor and texture. 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 decent choice. Tilapia has a similar mild to sweet flavor but its texture is more flaky and falls apart easily.

Difference in nutrients:

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

Here’s a table showing the difference in nutrients.

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

I like to eat tilapia and often choose it when I see it’s available in the fish section of the market.

Tilapia with roasted potatoes and vegetables.
Tilapia with roasted potatoes and vegetables

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

10. Atlantic Salmon

Here’s a table showing the difference in flavor and texture. 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 choice. Atlantic salmon is slightly milder than Pacific salmon which is why it was chosen.

Difference in nutrients:

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

Here’s a table showing the differences.

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.
  • 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.

Salmon is my favorite fish because of its omega-3 fatty acids. I always try to purchase and eat wild caught which is hard to find with the Atlantic variety.

11. Chilean Sea Bass

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

The flavor of chilean sea bass is similar and the medium flaky texture is almost the same. Therefore, they make a good replacement.

Atlantic salmon dinner with white rice and vegetables.
Atlantic salmon dinner with white rice and vegetables

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

Substitute Sea Bass Poll

To conduct some original research and get the opinions of real people like you, I polled my readers, clients and members of some food groups. I asked them the question, what was the best sea bass alternative?

  • 33% said the best one was haddock which was the winner of the poll.
  • 11% said monkfish which came in 2nd place.
  • 8% said striped bass which came in 3rd place.

If you have any questions about this substitute sea bass article don’t hesitate to email us. You can find an email on our contact page.

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[]

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