What To Serve with Scallops (23 Side Dishes +Recipes)

A tasty seafood, scallops are a scrumptious dish loved by many all over the world. With the combination of subtle flavors to set your palate singing, the buttery, nutty, and sweet flesh always has you reaching for more. Scallops that have been cooked to perfection are incredibly addictive.

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However, scallops on their own aren’t really enough to fill you up as a hearty meal. So you’ll want to choose the right side dish to go with them which is able to complement the flavors perfectly. So whether you're making pan seared scallop, grilled scallops in lemon butter sauce, or bacon wrapped scallops, we've got your scallop recipe covered.

Thanks to the subtler flavors of scallops, they actually pair well with several different dishes. Whether you prefer vegetables, pasta, or salad, there’s the ideal side dish below to suit your preferences as well as your favorite scallops.

This subtle flavor also means that you need to think carefully about which dish to pair the scallops with. You don’t want to pick a dish that will overpower the tasty shellfish! You’ll want to choose a dish that brings out the best in your favorite seafood.

Haven’t got a clue what will work well with scallops without overpowering them? There’s no need to panic. We’ve put together a list of 24 tasty dishes that you can pair with your scallops.

Every single one of these dishes below will be the perfect compliment for fresh scallops.

Asparagus and lemon risotto

Source: https://www.skinnytaste.com/spring-asparagus-risotto/

Lemon makes the perfect alternative to classic tomato dishes as it freshens up scallops without being too overwhelming. This tasty asparagus and lemon risotto gives you the perfect bed for your scallops and allows them to become the star of the dish. In fact, risotto is the ideal accompaniment for virtually any white fish.

Just make sure that you cook the risotto just right so that the rice doesn’t let your beautiful scallops down!

Avocado and mango salsa

Looking for the best way to serve scallops as an appetizer? Then look no further than this fruity avocado and mango salsa! This is the perfect side dish to serve with scallops if you want them to have a fresh, flavorful accompaniment.

Simply slice up a baguette, then top with fried scallops and the fruity salsa. Voila! You’ve created a tasty appetizer that will have your guests reaching for more.

Browned butter polenta

Love classic southern dishes such as shrimp and grits? Then browned butter polenta will be your favorite side dish to serve with scallops. This particular dish combines butter and seasonings to give it a beautifully rich flavor.

Browned butter polenta is the perfect crowd pleaser dish that will have everyone coming back for seconds. Even better than that - it’s super easy to make at home. This tasty side dish can fool your family and friends into thinking it took you hours to make, when actually you can cook it in less than an hour.

Brussels sprouts in a creamy lemon sauce

Source: https://www.redbookmag.com/food-recipes/recipes/a31921/lemon-cream-brussels-sprouts-bacon-sage-recipe-rbk1110/

A whole wealth of flavors combine in this tempting side dish to really make your palate sing. Scallops are accompanied by fried Brussels sprouts and salty pancetta, which is then smothered in a divine lemon sauce. These flavors combine incredibly well without overpowering the tasty scallops themselves.

What’s even better is that you can make this dish in just 25 minutes. To make a real evening of it, pair this tasty dish with a crisp glass of white wine.

Couscous

A super easy side dish to prepare is of course couscous. This particular side dish will give an extra heartiness to your scallops to make the dish even more filling. The best thing about couscous is how versatile it is. You can easily flavor it with different ingredients such as curry powder to give it a little extra kick.

Creamed corn

Looking for a more saucy dish to complement your scallops? Then this creamed corn recipe is the ideal side dish for you. Even though this is a lighter alternative, it’s still packed full of flavor. The creamed corn will be a perfect bed for your seared scallops, and is accompanied by steamed stem broccoli. You can put this dish together in as little as 30 minutes!

Creamy fettuccine

Source: https://www.modernhoney.com/fettuccine-alfredo/

Creamy fettuccine, or fettuccine alfredo as it is sometimes known, makes a wonderful accompaniment to scallops. This particular dish combines rich cheesy flavors which beautifully contrast with the sweet scallops. It’s also a side dish that you can put together in no time at all because of how easy it is to cook!

Fried bacon

A classic accompaniment with scallops is of course beautifully fried bacon. Nothing quite beats scallops wrapped in salty bacon! This isn’t technically a side dish of course, but it still allows the scallops to shine on your plate. Bacon and scallops are a match made in heaven, and you’ll be able to appreciate the beautiful flavors of both ingredients.

To create this unparalleled dish, all you need to do is wrap your scallops in bacon. Then you’ll want to either cook it on your stovetop or put it under the grill. To get the most out of this flavor combination, you can put the bacon-wrapped scallops in the oven.

Fried corn and chorizo

Searching for a side dish that comes with a little extra kick? This fried corn and chorizo is the ideal thing for you and your scallops. It’s smoky, creamy, and complements the subtle flavors of the seafood. You won’t find a side dish more satisfying than this!

When you’re preparing the chorizo, ensure that you chop the meat into thin pieces. Because it’s such a punchy ingredient you won’t want it to completely overpower the scallops. Fry the corn with the chorizo and you’re done! Keep hold of the cooking oil as you can use this to sear the scallops.

Grilled shrimp

Source: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/quick-healthy-dinner-20-minute-honey-garlic-shrimp/

You can’t go wrong with seafood. If you love scallops, chances are you’ll love pairing them with grilled shrimp. This is the perfect dish to opt for if you’re a passionate seafood lover! Remember to cook the shrimp just right so that they’re not too rubbery.

What’s really great about using shrimp as a side dish is that you don’t have to just grill them. You can also sear or fry them depending on how you enjoy your shellfish. However you enjoy your shrimp, it will be the perfect side dish for using with scallops.

Grilled vegetables

Sometimes it’s best not to overcomplicate things if you really want to taste the best from your scallops. Instead of worrying about finding a more convoluted side dish, opt for something simple like this grilled vegetable recipe. Even something as simple as grilled vegetables will be more than enough to let you make the most of your scallops.

The best vegetables to use are red peppers, eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes. Not only do they pack a flavorful punch, they bring a wonderful splash of color to your plate. The zesty flavors give a beautiful contrast to the sweet scallops.

Another great thing about this simple side dish is that it’s super easy to prepare and cook. All you need to do is slice up your veggies, coat them in olive oil, season with salt, pepper, and any herbs you want to use, then put the tray in the oven. Your veggies will be cooked in no time at all!

It’s also worth remembering that vegetables tend to cook quicker, so you’ll want to have them under the grill for around half an hour before you want to sear your shellfish.

Lemon caper pasta

Scallops and pasta are a combination made in heaven. However, it can be tricky trying to find a pasta dish that doesn’t include tomatoes as a base sauce. Tomato-based pasta often overwhelms scallops because of its strong flavor. 

This lemon caper pasta gives you the ideal alternative. It complements the palate without detracting from the beauty of the scallops themselves. This particular dish is wonderfully light, and won’t be too heavy. And most importantly it will allow your beloved scallops to shine!

The crucial thing to remember is to use thin noodles. Angel hair pasta will be ideal! This is because the thinner the noodles are, the more the sauce will be absorbed. This will in turn give you a much tastier, richer dish overall!

Mashed potatoes and roasted shallots

Source: https://www.finecooking.com/recipe/mashed-potatoes-with-caramelized-shallots

You may not immediately think of mashed potatoes as the ideal side dish for scallops, but you’d be surprised how well these two dishes gel together! These mashed potatoes are complimented with roasted, caramelized shallots to give you even more flavor.

The creamy, rich flavors of the mashed potatoes, roasted shallots, and scallops work so well together. The mashed potatoes also allow you to enjoy the wonderfully briny tastes of the seafood without overpowering it.

Pan fried steak

This is a delicious flavor combination that you won’t regret making. It may be on the heavy side, but the flavor combination will be worth it. The meatiness of the steak combines with the sweetness of the scallops to create a truly sinful dish that will quickly have your mouth watering.

What’s really great about this side dish is that you can choose to flavor the steak with whichever seasonings you want to. You can use simple salt and pepper, or opt for something bolder such as spicy Cajun seasoning. Remember not to use too much seasoning in case it overpowers the scallops, though!

Parmesan tomato bisque

Searching for a tasty soup that will pair well with your scallops? Then this parmesan tomato bisque is the perfect choice. This particular side dish is the only exception when it comes to the rule of avoiding tomatoes as a side dish.

The sun-dried tomatoes in this bisque recipe will balance well with the sweetness of the scallops. Top with parmesan cheese for some added indulgence and you’ve found the perfect weeknight meal.

Pomegranate and spinach salad

Source: https://wholefully.com/spinach-pomegranate-salad-10/

Seared scallops on a bed of pomegranate and spinach salad is the perfect way to cook restaurant quality food right from the comfort of your own kitchen. This salad will be the perfect light accompaniment for your scallops to help you celebrate in style.

This healthy salad packs a punch without overwhelming the delicate flavors of your seared scallops. It’s also packed full of antioxidants, so it’s a great choice for those who want a healthier option.

Pureed cauliflower

Opting for a puree gives you the perfect accompaniment to scallops. This particular pureed cauliflower recipe will be the perfect side dish for your shellfish, combining a velvety texture with some nutty flavors.

To give your pureed cauliflower that little extra something, top it with raisins, capers, and pine nuts. This dish can be prepared within as little as 25 minutes and will make the ideal bed for your scallops.

Quinoa and rice

Another fantastic pairing for scallops is quinoa or rice. This is also a great way to add some more carbs and protein into your diet.

Want a starchy rice to go with your shellfish? Then you should opt for something like savory chicken rice pilaf. This is a recipe that’s simple to make but comes with impressive flavor. Ensure that you cook the rice properly so that you get the right consistency.

Need something that’s even quicker to make? An easy steamed white rice will be the perfect side dish for scallops. You can even flavor the rice with cardamom, cloves, star anise, and butter.

Want a healthier alternative? Quinoa is the answer to your side dish search. Cook your quinoa in a lemon garlic butter sauce to give it extra flavor. This will give you a wonderfully rich side dish that works well with scallops.

Roasted butternut squash

Source: https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/roasted-butternut-squash/

Another fantastic side dish that can work well with scallops without overpowering their subtle flavors is roasted butternut squash. This colorful side dish will not only give your plate a pop of color, but it will also give it a flavorful vibrancy. Roasted butternut squash is also one of the healthier alternatives you can opt for.

This dish is super easy to make and can be on your plate within an hour. All you need to do to prepare it is combine peeled, chopped butternut squash with butter, brown sugar, and sage, then pop it in the oven. 

Sauce

If you’re really stuck for what to put with your scallops without overwhelming them, then opting for a classic sauce is the perfect alternative to other side dishes. You can easily adjust your sauce recipe to suit your preferences, which makes it one of the better choices.

The subtle flavor of scallops means that you can choose pretty much any sauce to go with them. Why not try a sweet chutney? Or opt for a citrus flavor to make the scallops sing?

Southern succotash

Looking for a hearty Southern dish to complement your scallops? Then look no further than this delicious southern succotash! Succotash is a classic dish that combines fresh cherry tomatoes, butter, corn, lima beans, and of course spices.

What’s really great about succotash is that you can adjust the ingredients to suit your preferences. So you can add plenty more of your favorite vegetables if you want to give your side dish a little extra flair. Why not try adding bacon to the succotash?

No matter what ingredients you choose to include in your succotash, it will be a wonderful side dish for seared or pan fried scallops.

Summery squash salad

Source: https://cookieandkate.com/summer-squash-salad-with-lemon-citronette/

The perfect summer dish for your scallops will be this summery squash salad. This particular dish gives you a lighter, refreshing dish to pair with your favorite seafood. Perfect for enjoying on a warm summer’s evening!

This summery squash salad is super easy to make at home, and will give you a whole wealth of flavor with every bite. All you need to do is combine squash strips with zucchini strips, feta, and prosciutto. Next you’ll want to coat the ingredients with lemon juice, oil, mint, and pepper. 

Voila! A tasty summer dish to perfectly complement your seared or pan fried scallops.

Tuscan beans

Want to give your scallops a little Mediterranean flavor? Warm Tuscan beans will be the ideal side dish to serve with them. It will also add a heartiness to your meal that will leave you fuller for longer.

The sauce is packed full of flavor that will satisfy your palate without overwhelming the scallops. Basil, garlic, crushed red pepper, and white wine combine in a mouthwatering sauce to bring the Tuscan beans and scallops together.

If you want to upgrade your dish even more, you can add some tasty grilled garlic bread into the mix. This will give an added heartiness to your meal, and you can even use the bread to mop up that beautiful sauce.

Warm lentil salad

Rounding off our list of 24 side dishes to serve with salad is this beautiful warm lentil salad recipe. This is another hearty option that works well with scallops. The combination of the tasty ingredients helps to bring out the best from your favorite shellfish. This warm lentil salad will give you the perfect contrast to your beautifully sweet scallops.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community.
She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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