Scallops are scrumptious and delicious offerings from the ocean that have subtle flavors but taste amazing. With that said, serving scallops on their own isn’t as filling, which is why you need a few side dishes to accompany this delicate seafood. The best side dishes for scallops include risotto, quinoa, pasta, and more.
I made this list based on the complementary flavors of the many possible side dishes there are to choose from. So if you’re wondering what to serve with scallops, wonder no more!
My list is all about bringing out the wonderful taste of scallops and all the side dishes I chose pair really well with this exquisite sea-born delicacy.
1. Fettuccine Alfredo
Scallops go rather well with pasta, especially fettuccine Alfredo. Because the pasta is served with a deliciously rich and creamy cheese sauce, the sweetness of the scallops is contrasted in a very yummy manner.
Fettuccine Alfredo doesn’t take hours to prepare and is easy to make if you’re in a hurry.
2. Creamy Parmesan Pasta
Another pasta side dish that pairs well with scallops is creamy parmesan pasta. Thanks to the full flavor and creaminess of the sauce, the scallops are complemented and their taste enhanced. As if it’s not enough that this recipe only calls for a handful of ingredients, it’s also quick to make!
3. Spinach and Pomegranate Salad
If you’re entertaining guests and want to wow them with a side dish that looks like it came from a restaurant, this spinach and pomegranate salad is the way to go. It requires only a little bit of preparation and the flavors go well with seared scallops.
4. Southern-Baked Mac and Cheese
If you love comfort and soul food, you’ll love serving scallops with Southern-baked mac and cheese. It’s cheesy and creamy (you use three types of cheese for this recipe!) and the perfect companion for scallops.
5. One-Pan Lemon Caper Pasta
Pasta is definitely one of the best side dishes for scallops because it complements their flavors and is super easy to prepare. Lemon caper pasta doesn’t overwhelm the flavor of scallops and is extremely tasty too!
6. Honey Sriracha Brussel Sprouts
Brussels sprouts may not be a fan-favorite in many homes, but when served with scallops, they’re bound to be surprised. The sweet-and-spicy flavor of the roasted brussels sprouts really complements the delicate flavor of scallops.
7. Mango Avocado Salsa
Need a really interesting side dish to serve with scallops that won’t overpower its flavors? Then mango avocado salsa is the way to go! This side dish is perfectly flavorful and fresh, and tastes fantastic when served with seared scallops.
8. Chicken Fried Rice
You’d be surprised how well chicken and scallops can go together. Serve freshly seared scallops with chicken fried rice (with garlic, red onions, and carrots) and you have a filling, healthy, and absolutely finger-licking good meal worthy of royalty!
9. Baked Asparagus with Parmesan
If you want a side dish for scallops that offers a contrast in color and shape, baked asparagus is a fantastic option. The lemon that is used to flavor the asparagus and the parmesan cheese complement the scallops wonderfully.
10. Garlic Parmesan Risotto
Risotto is another dish that goes very well with scallops and it takes only about 20 minutes to prepare despite being an impressive meal. With arborio rice, heavy cream, chicken stock, and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, your scallops will taste fantastic.
11. Brown Butter Polenta
Brown butter polenta has a unique and delicious flavor that pairs superbly with scallops, especially when they’re freshly seared. Although this can be a brilliant side dish for scallops, brown butter polenta is fairly easy to prepare.
12. Fennel Orange Salad
Fennel orange salad is an elegant side dish that goes well with anything you can think of, especially freshly-prepared scallops. Thanks to the vibrant color and lovely citrus flavor, the scallops’ taste and appearance are greatly enhanced.
13. Spinach Apple Salad
Fruit tends to pair really well with fresh scallops, and a spinach apple salad is a delicious side dish for those warm days when you’re not in the mood for a heavy meal. Add a tangy balsamic dressing and you have a wonderful flavor combination!
14. Garlic Quinoa
Garlic quinoa makes a really awesome side dish in general and is really tasty when served with seared scallops. The quinoa is protein-rich, filling, and delicious, and makes for a brilliant companion to fish dishes like scallops.
15. Brussels Sprouts with Creamy Lemon Sauce
I added another Brussels sprouts side dish to this list because these veggies are just so delicious with scallops. Add to that the citrus ‘yumminess’ of lemon sauce and you truly have a delicious side dish.
16. Boiled Potatoes
Okay, boiled potatoes aren’t the most interesting vegetables to serve as a side dish, but they go really well with scallops.
Boil baby potatoes, toss them in parmesan cheese and butter and you have a delicious yet simple side dish that complements the scallops without overpowering their flavor.
17. Fried Bacon
Fried bacon is a classic side dish for scallops and if you wrap the scallops in the bacon, you’ve got a yummy dish. Serve these two together and your family will think you’ve prepared food of the gods for them!
18. Sautéed Green Beans
Getting kids (and some adults) to eat healthy veggies like green beans can be quite a task, but when they’re sautéed and served with freshly prepared scallops, you have a delicious meal with many health benefits.
19. Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts and bacon make another appearance on my list because they just pair so well with scallops.
When preparing the bacon-wrapped Brussels sprouts, make sure the bacon is nice and crispy. Add maple syrup on top and you have a wonderful side dish for scallops any time of the day!
20. Pan-Fried Steak
Steak doesn’t immediately come to mind when you think about the best side dishes for scallops, but they’re actually delicious together. Although this meal is a bit on the heavy side, it offers amazing flavor combinations that you’ll want to enjoy again and again.
This hearty and delicious Southern dish is one of my favorites to serve with scallops because it makes a complete and filling meal. With corn, lima beans, and tomato sauce, there are many wonderful flavors that pair brilliantly with scallops.
22. Parmesan Broccoli
Crunchy and crispy Parmesan broccoli tastes amazing as a side dish for scallops. The roasted broccoli is quite sweet and when combined with the savory flavor of the cheese, you get the perfect companion for your freshly-prepared scallops.
23. Tomato Bisque
Bisque is a thick soup, and tomato bisque complements scallops without overwhelming their lovely flavors. Although most people try to avoid tomatoes as a side dish for scallops, this is the one exception that you won’t regret trying.
Serve Scallops with Your Favorite Side Dish
There you have it—the best side dishes for scallops! You can choose your favorites from the list and serve your deliciously-prepared scallops with them, making a feast of an ordinary meal. This is an extensive list, so you’ll have side dishes for your scallops, no matter what your food preferences!