There are two schools of thought when it comes to writing dialogue tags. There’s the opinion that you should never use anything other than “said”. Elmore Leonard famously said ‘Never use a verb other than said to carry dialogue’.
And then there’s the opinion – that you should use anything but said. He replied. She gasped. He recalled. She muttered.
I’m of the opinion that these are different styles, and that a writer can opt for whichever style they please.
In either case, using “said” is definitely the easy option. If you want to avoid it, you need a list of alternatives.
Here’s a good list:
Writing Aid – Instead of Said