If you are wondering what to serve with scallops, you are not alone. Many people wonder what is best served next to scallops. Luckily, we can help you! We have found 25 delicious side dishes to serve with scallops.
Scallops have a wonderful buttery flavor that goes well with so many things. Many describe the taste of scallops as being slightly nutty, too.
The flavors of scallops are important to think about when deciding what side dish to choose. Scallops are fairly mild, so you do not want a bold, heavy side to overpower your seafood.
Scallops also have a springy texture. They are a little bit chewy but also quite easy to eat. You should think about how you are preparing your scallops when deciding on a side dish.
Choose a grilled side when grilling your scallops, or opt for a sauteed dish when cooking scallops on the stovetop. Cooking methods can guide you toward your ideal, cohesive meal.
What is a Good Side Dish For Scallops?
A good side dish that pairs well with scallops will not taste stronger than the scallops themselves. A side should complement the subtle fish flavor of the scallops but also taste good on its own.
Vegetables are always a good side to pair with this seafood protein. A light pasta dish can also be quite delicious. Rice, couscous, and other mild starches make for good sides as well.
Take a look at all these fantastic sides that you can serve with your scallop dinner. There is something on this list for everyone and for every occasion.
1. Simple Sauteed Brussels Sprouts
Scallops taste amazing when paired with simple vegetables. Our sauteed Brussel sprouts are cooked in coconut oil and zesty lime juice. Try serving these sprouts with lemony scallops for a wonderful summertime meal. You can replace the lime with lemon juice if needed. The Brussel sprouts and scallops both taste delicious with lemon or lime. Add some extra salt and pepper to suit your personal tastes.
2. Cauliflower Puree
This delicious cauliflower puree from Skinny Taste is a great way to add a vegetable to your scallop entree. This cauliflower puree has the texture of mashed potatoes but the strong taste of cauliflower. It is also low carb, making it perfect for those on a keto diet. Serve your sea scallops on top of the cauliflower puree to make a picture-perfect meal. Be sure to add lots of butter, salt, and pepper to make the puree extra creamy. This dish may taste like starch, but it is actually a very healthy vegetable. Cauliflower is one of those things that can be transformed into lots of different dishes.
3. Summer Squash Salad
We adore this light, summer squash salad. It is delicious when served as a side to seared scallops. The char on the scallops is great with the fresh, ribboned squash. The lemon Citronette dressing in this recipe from Cookie and Kate is also incredible. You may want to double the dressing and pour it over the cooked scallops too! It makes a wonderful sauce that you can add to almost everything. We like to add a few toasted pine nuts to the salad to give it an extra crunch. The crunchy nuts, fresh squash, and tender scallops are like a match made in heaven.
4. Lemon Asparagus Risotto
The combination of the fresh taste of lemon and the earthy flavor of asparagus are great sides for scallops. We love this delicious side dish of lemon asparagus risotto from Food52. It is very filling and will help round out your scallop meal. Place the scallops right on top of the risotto and enjoy everything together in one bite. Asparagus is in season in the springtime, so consider this dish when the weather starts to warm up. Fresh asparagus is always the most flavorful and best!
5. Pasta with Garlic Butter Caper Sauce
Pasta is always a good side dish to serve with scallops. This recipe from Iowa Girl Eats features a delicious and creamy butter, garlic, and caper sauce that tastes fantastic with seafood. Salty capers in the lemon caper pasta complement the flavors of the scallops. Scallops can be seared, baked, steamed, or pan-fried and then served alongside this simple pasta side dish. Use regular noodles to make the lemon caper pasta or stick with the gluten-free spaghetti as directed in the recipe.
6. Lentil Salad
Lentil salad is a wonderful side dish to pair with scallops. This recipe from Budget Bytes is loaded with incredible ingredients. The lemon garlic dressing really makes the dish pop. The feta cheese that is mixed into the red lentils adds a nice salty flavor and creamy mouth feel.
Make this side dish ahead of time, and your meal prep will be very simple! Just whip up a few seared scallops, and dinner is ready! Try making the salad with pink, red, or brown lentils. Each kind of lentil has its own set of health benefits and slightly different tastes.
7. Sugar Snap Peas
A healthy sugar snap pea side dish can be made in just 5 minutes. Next time you are wondering what to serve with scallops, grab this recipe from Cafe Delites to show you exactly how to make this great side.
Fresh, crunchy snap peas are sauteed in butter and olive oil. Add some salt, pepper, and also a little cayenne if you’d like more spice. Serve the hot vegetable alongside a plate of baby bay scallops, and you will have a healthy, light meal. This easy dinner is especially great in the summer when snap peas are in season.
8. Pasta Primavera
This one-pot recipe from The Kitchn may be the prettiest side dish to use when you are wondering what to serve with scallops. The bright vegetables make the pasta picture perfect. Tomatoes, peas, bell peppers, broccoli, and so much more are mixed into this delicious, flavorful dish.
You can actually use any veggies you have on hand, and the pasta will be just as fantastic. Use asparagus if you have it, or add in some steamed kale. This is one of those side dishes that can be made in many ways! Everyone in your family will be a fan of this pasta primavera dinner and love how it tastes with some fresh seared scallops placed on top.
9. Mango Avocado Salsa
It is incredibly easy to make mango avocado salsa. You only need five ingredients to make this version from Natasha’s Kitchen. Ripe avocado, fresh mango, cilantro, red onions, and lime juice are all mixed in a bowl. Add a little salt and pepper if you’d like. Scoop the salsa on top of seared scallops to add a bright, fresh taste to your seafood dinner.
This simple recipe makes a perfect summertime meal. The mango salsa and scallops would also be great when served alongside some simple white rice. That would be a fantastic way to bulk up your dinner.
10. Garlic Sauteed Spinach
Sauteing a bag of baby spinach is the perfect way to make a tasty, healthy side dish to serve with scallops. It is always a good idea to serve a vegetable alongside your scallops. Spinach cooks quickly and is one of the healthiest veggies out there! It is loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.
We love this tasty garlic-sauteed spinach from Downshiftology. Add a squirt of lemon to the wilted spinach to add even more flavor to the side dish. You can use frozen spinach in place of fresh spinach if needed. Try to thaw the frozen spinach first and squeeze out as much water as possible. This will help the final dish be more flavorful.
11. Stuffed Butternut Squash
Our recipe for stuffed butternut squash is perfect for the fall and winter. Warm, tender squash is packed with a sweet filling. The cranberries, apples, and chopped pecans will add a wonderful, sweet taste to your scallop meal.
The salty and nutty flavors in your seared scallops will go with the squash perfectly. Half a butternut squash alongside some scallops is sure to fill you up! The spicy fall flavors are a unique and interesting companion to go with your favorite scallops recipes.
12. Creamy Polenta
Seared scallops placed on top of a bed of creamy polenta is the perfect meal. Polenta is very easy to make and only requires a few ingredients. To make this recipe from Simply Recipes, you need cornmeal, cream cheese, salt, water, and butter. Try searing the butter in a skillet before you mix it in. A brown butter polenta will have a slightly nutty taste that matches the flavors in scallops. We give this polenta five stars for being easy, versatile, and taste great with scallops!
13. Cauliflower Rice
Use this very simple recipe from the Minimalist Baker to make cauliflower rice. Consider the flavor and sauce you used to cook your scallops, then add a few ingredients to the cauliflower rice to match. Some soy sauce mixed into the rice will make for a perfect Asian-inspired dish, while some simple butter and garlic will pair well with any kind of scallops. This recipe is versatile and also quite healthy.
14. Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes go well with almost everything. They definitely taste good when served alongside scallops! We love these potatoes from Just a Taste which are made with a secret ingredient. Can you guess what the secret ingredient is? Cream cheese! It makes the mashed potatoes extra creamy and adds a nice tangy taste that goes well with scallops.
15. Lima Beans
Lima beans are a delicious and unexpected side dish to serve with scallops. Lima beans do take a while to cook as the beans need to soften. This dish from Ahead of Thyme uses lots of tasty seasonings in the lima bean mix. The Italian seasoning is especially tasty with your scallop meal. Try seasoning the scallops with some Italian spices as well to match the beans.
16. Cherry Tomato Salad
Fresh cherry tomatoes are a great side dish to serve with scallops. Dinner At The Zoo has a great, straightforward salad dish. The homemade red wine vinegar dressing is light and refreshing. Add a little lemon zest to brighten the salad even more. Big sea scallops will be perfect when served next to this tomato salad.
17. Baked Farro Risotto
Baked risotto is very tasty with scallops. This hearty grain will sure complete your scallop meal. Farro risotto from 101 Cookbooks is made with tomato sauce and also parmesan cheese. It has a nice Italian flair. Consider cooking your scallops in garlic to enhance the flavor of the tomato sauce.
18. Roasted Baby Potatoes
Scallops, some baby potatoes, and a vegetable would make a complete scallop dinner. Jo Cooks has a great method for making simple roasted baby potatoes. The small size of the potatoes would go well with small bay scallops. The crispy texture of the potatoes is delicious with tender seafood. Use some of the same seasonings in the pan of scallops to match the flavors in the dish even better. Try cooking in the air fryer to give the starch even more of a crunch.
19. Southern Succotash
Succotash is a mix of sweet corn, beans, and cherry tomatoes. This version from The Seasoned Mom requires the veggies to be cooked with salty bacon and rich butter. The result is a scallop side dish that your whole family is sure to love. The salty bacon and sweet scallops are a match made in heaven. Use frozen, fresh, or canned corn kernels.
20. Easy Grilled Veggies
Grilled vegetables, like these from Foodie Crush, are great for summer cooking. The flavors in the veggies grow stronger as they are seared on the grill. Consider using the grill to cook the scallops as well. Large sea scallops will grill best. Marinate the scallops in some lemon juice or dressing for even more flavor.
21. Wild Rice
A Couple Cooks will show you how to make the perfect wild rice side dish. Keep the rice vegetarian and use vegetable broth as directed. You can also use chicken broth to make the rice have a meatier flavor. Any kind of broth will taste great with the scallops! Try adding a few diced mushrooms to the rice to give it an earthy flavor.
22. Coconut Curry Soup
You should definitely consider soup when choosing what to serve with scallops. This coconut curry soup from The Woks of Life is a great side dish. The spicy curry sauce and sweet coconut are amazing with simple, seared scallops. You can float small bay scallops right in the soup. A bite of soup and scallop is something no one will expect, but all will love.
The sweet taste of scallops is surprisingly perfect when served alongside salty bacon. The crunch of bacon is also quite complementary to the soft, chewy scallops. We love baking bacon in the oven like Well Plated By Erin. You can also wrap the raw bacon around each scallop then bake them together. Bacon-wrapped scallops would be perfect to pop into your mouth as an appetizer as well.
24. Crispy Fried Shrimp
Crispy fried shrimp from Spicy Southern Kitchen and soft-seared scallops makes an incredible surf and turf meal. The two seafood dishes are both full of interesting seafood flavors. Try coating the scallops in bread crumbs and frying them as well. Look for breaded scallop recipes to pair with this fried shrimp.
25. Asparagus, Goat Cheese, and Lemon Pasta
We are crazy about serving this pasta dish from Smitten Kitchen with scallops. The goat cheese melts as it’s mixed into the hot pasta and creates a creamy, thick sauce. Asparagus adds a nice, fresh taste. The lemon juice is bright and vibrant. All of the flavors blend together and match with almost any kind of scallops.
Try sauteing your scallops in some simple butter, salt, and pepper, then piling them onto this lemon pasta dish. The basic scallop flavor will shine through!
The Best Side Dishes for Bay Scallops or Sea Scallops
Scallops have such a subtle flavor that almost anything will go well with the fresh seafood. From bright lemon recipes to rich, creamy sauces, we know there is something on our list that you will love. Anytime you wonder what to serve with scallops, pull up these recipes, and you are sure to find a few dishes you want to try.
Always think about the different ways to cook the scallops and decide that before choosing a side dish. Let the flavors and texture of the scallops guide you toward what to serve with scallops. If you are grilling your scallops, try side dishes that are also grilled. If you are turning on the oven, choose oven-baked sides as well. There is no wrong way to cook scallops as long as they aren’t overcooked!
We hope that you now know what you want to serve with scallops. Hopefully, you found a few different recipes you’d like to try. Make it scallop night every night! Just keep it fresh by using all different side dish ideas.
Send us a photo of your favorite scallop meal. We love to see your home cooking. Leave any questions you may have in the comments below, and we will answer ASAP! You can always send an email with your favorite scallop side dishes. We are always looking for new ideas. Enjoy.
Leave a Reply