Scallops are an amazing culinary delight due to their exquisite taste and unique texture. Their deliciousness can be attributed to several factors. They have a sweet, mild flavor that naturally pairs with many other ingredients. This list of easy scallop sides will show you just how varied those food items can be!
Scallops are buttery in texture, and often able to be cut with just a spoon. The texture is their key element, so we want to pair them with food textures that complement the butteriness. They can be enjoyed with citrusy sauces, creamy risotto, garlicky butter, or even in seafood pasta dishes. This luxurious mouthfeel is highly appealing to many food enthusiasts. Sea scallops are very easy to prepare. Just a quick sear on both sides creates a golden-brown crust while still allowing the inside to stay tender. These scallop sides will help any picky eater nail down the perfect dish to serve alongside delicious, buttery scallops.
Garlic Butter Green Beans are a quick and easy side dish that requires just 3 ingredients plus salt and pepper. The garlic pairs well with the scallops, just like most seafood. The slight crunch of the green beans helps add the needed texture to the overall dish. And of course, who says no to more butter?!
When you spiralize zucchini, you get a delicious low-carb, keto-friendly substitute for pasta in less time than it takes to bring a pot of water to boil. Pasta and scallops definitely go together as far as scallop sides go, but if you want to keep things light, zoodles are a fantastic option.
Grilled vegetables like asparagus, zucchini, or bell peppers add a smoky, charred flavor that complements the sweetness of scallops. Drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper for a simple yet delicious accompaniment. These grilled asparagus are paired with a balsamic drizzle that pairs perfectly with mild scallops.
A creamy, flavorful risotto makes an excellent side dish for scallops. You can try variations like lemon and asparagus risotto, saffron risotto, or this mushroom risotto for added depth of flavor. It’s comforting, creamy, and packed with umami flavors, which can also be said about scallops. Mushroom risotto and scallops make a fantastic date night dinner.
If English potatoes are good enough for Emily Blunt, they’re good enough for us! These crispy, roasted potatoes are made with just four simple ingredients - salt included. It doesn’t get easier than that. While these roast away, you can quickly sear your scallops and have an elegant dinner ready in no time.
Yes, the classic green bean casserole pairs perfectly with scallops! It’s creamy, light, has great texture, and above all, is easy to make. This recipe comes straight from Ina Garten, so we know it’s delicious and easy. It needs to be paired with a strong meat like scallops, otherwise, it will take over as the star of the show.
We know scallops go with creamy dishes as well as potatoes, so why not combine them? Creamy alfredo gnocchi will bring the best out of the tender scallops. It’s decadent, elegant, and only takes 15 minutes to make. As far as amazing scallop sides go, creamy alfredo gnocchi should be at the top.
To brighten things up, let’s add some tangy tomatoes and fresh zucchini to the mix. Orzo pasta helps bulk up the side dish so that everyone leaves satisfied. This recipe for Orzo Pasta with Tomatoes and Zucchini is made with starchy pasta water and parmesan cheese and finished with ground pepper and fresh basil.
Like most seafood, lemon enhances the flavor of the scallops. Using lemon as the main flavor of this couscous creates the perfect option when searching for scallop sides. It’s easy to make and is filled with bright, fresh flavors. It only takes about 20 minutes to make, so you can have a full meal done (scallops included) in less than 30 minutes.
Let’s not skip over the magic of brown rice when adding flavor and texture to a side dish. This garlic parmesan brown rice recipe resembles risotto but is half the work. Win win! In under an hour, with four simple ingredients, you can have this garlic parmesan brown rice done to serve your seared scallops over.
Kale pairs amazingly with sweet potatoes, and both pair perfectly with buttery scallops. Each item brings something unique to the table. Kale has a peppery, bitter taste that keeps the dish from being too sweet. Sweet potatoes offer the bit of sweetness needed to balance out the buttery scallops and crunchy kale. And scallops add a meaty texture that completes the entree.
Imagine it’s autumn and you’re searching for easy scallop sides that work well with the season. Well, here you are. An absolutely perfect, autumn side dish that can be made all in one pot. This hearty, comforting butternut squash quinoa will serve 4, and is vegan and gluten-free! It packs on the flavor while still being healthy.
Scallops can be combined with pasta in dishes like linguine with scallops in a white wine and garlic sauce or fettuccine with a creamy Alfredo sauce. This pumpkin carbonara is a great example of that. And it’s amazing during the fall and winter months. The crispy sage really adds a unique, fun flavor and texture to the overall entree. Guests will love it!
Honey balsamic roasted carrots are sweet, tangy, creamy & everything in between. Pair them with some goat cheese and scallops and it's like heaven. They make a beautiful presentation as well. This dish is perfect for a date night or special occasion. It's easy to make and is sure to impress!
Creamy mashed potatoes provide a comforting and hearty contrast to the delicate texture of scallops. Consider adding roasted garlic or herbs for extra flavor. This recipe shows you how! Even if you’re not making scallops, this herb and garlic mashed potato recipe should be on standby anytime you need a creamy, buttery side dish.
Rice pilaf is a classic seafood side dish, and this recipe is so simple and delicious. Long grain white rice and orzo are cooked in a savory chicken broth until tender. The addition of butter, parsley, salt, garlic, and onion brings all the flavors together and makes this a delicious side.
We’ve seen orzo a few times on this list of scallop sides, but this creamy version is worth taking another look at. It’s perfectly rich and cheesy with a little kick of flavor from fresh garlic. A mixture of mozzarella and parmesan keep it creamy, but with a bite so it’s not too rich.
This sweet potato gratin is decadent, and should absolutely be served with something as tender, buttery, and unique like scallops. The presentation is a gorgeous showstopper, so reserve this for your next dinner party. This sweet potato gratin, some seared scallops, and crisp white wine will have your dinner party guests swooning.
A fantastic twist on the classic green bean casserole is this asparagus casserole. It’s still absolutely delicious and creamy, but it’s made with small, tender asparagus spears instead of green beans. There’s nothing wrong with the classic, but an update never hurts! Instead of French fried onions, this casserole gets a Ritz cracker topping which goes great with the buttery scallops.
Asparagus and rice both pair well with scallops, as we’ve discussed. So let’s put them together in this perfect side dish. Asparagus really brightens up the rice, giving it a fresh burst of flavor. Onions, garlic, and cheese round out the dish, keeping it creamy, and the perfect side dish for pairing with seafood such as scallops.
Scalloped potatoes are the best of both worlds when you think of potato side dishes. It’s creamy like mashed potatoes would be, but you also get a crisp topping that reminds you of crispy roasted potatoes. Boursin cheese is a great choice as it brings in a ton of flavor that will make the potatoes stand out even more. Especially when paired with mild scallops.
Quickly sautéed spinach with garlic and a squeeze of lemon offers a vibrant and nutritious side that pairs well with scallops. It keeps things light and fresh if you’re not in the mood for a heavier side dish like pasta or rice. It’s amazing served in the spring or summer when you can get fresh spinach from a local farmer’s market.
If you want to keep things simple, look no further than these air fryer baked potatoes. Baked potatoes can make a great option for scallop sides, as they offer simplicity but also a lot of flavor. The air fryer keeps things easy, so you can have dinner on the table in no time.
Similar to potatoes, cauliflower is a lower-carb alternative that pairs well with scallops. It's tender, and dense and can be seasoned with herbs or roasted garlic for added flavor. You can grill or roast these cauliflower steaks. Either way, they’re easy yet flavorful sides. They’re beautiful when grilled and covered with the spice mixture. It makes a fun, but varied dinner!
Roasted vegetables develop a delightful caramelized exterior and a nutty flavor that complements the sweetness of scallops. These are super easy to make and you can use any veggies that you’d like. It’s a great recipe to use when cleaning out the fridge, and wanting something quick to make.
Scallops are a versatile seafood delicacy that pairs well with a variety of side dishes, depending on your preferences and the flavor profile you want to create. Grab this list of scallop sides, and dig right in to create a delectable, flavorful meal that will impress!
And I'll leave you with one of my favorite underrated scallop sides: air fryer chinese style green beans!
What To Serve With Scallops: 25 Easy Scallop Sides
- 1 Air fryer
- 2 cups green beans, ends trimmed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Chinese Five-spice powder
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Thoroughly combine the green beans, garlic, Chinese Five-spice powder, oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and red pepper flakes.
- Transfer green beans to the air fryer cooking basket.
- Cook your green beans at 380 degrees for about 10 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through to promote even cooking. Work in batches, if needed.
- Serve warm, garnished with sesame seeds. Enjoy!