Scallops are a great source of protein and B vitamins, and they’re also low in fat. But if you want to make your scallops even more nutritious, serve them with a side dish that complements their flavor and texture. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite side dishes to serve with seared scallops.
18 best side dish to serve with scallops
1. Roasted Asparagus
Asparagus is an easy vegetable to roast, and it’s full of fiber as well as vitamins C and A. To make this dish, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and toss 1 pound of fresh asparagus spears with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread the spears out on a baking sheet in an even layer, then bake them for 10 minutes until they start to brown around the edges.
2. Sautéed Mushrooms
Mushrooms are packed with antioxidants like selenium, which is good for your immune system; try sautéing them in butter with garlic or thyme for a hearty side dish that goes well with meaty scallops like diver scallops or bay scallops. You can also use portobello mushrooms or oyster mushrooms instead of button mushrooms if you prefer.
3. Grilled asparagus with roasted garlic butter
Grilled asparagus with roasted garlic butter is the perfect side dish to serve with scallops because it brings out all the rich flavors of both ingredients while adding a hint of sweetness from the honey. Plus, it’s super quick and easy to make, so you don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen on that special day!
4. Mashed potatoes
Scallops go well with mashed potatoes because they complement the texture of each other. Make sure you use whole milk instead of skim milk so that your mashed potatoes have a rich flavor.
Rice is a great side dish to serve with scallops, especially if you are making them as part of a full seafood meal. It’s also a good choice if you’re serving scallops as an appetizer or on top of pasta or gnocchi.
The best rice for pairing with scallops is long-grain white rice. This type of rice is nutty and mild, so it doesn’t overpower the delicate flavor of the scallops. Brown rice is another option, but it has a stronger taste that can overpower the delicate flavor of the scallops.
7. Spinach & Pomegranate Salad
This salad provides a nice contrast to the richness of the scallop main dish. The spinach provides some crunch and freshness while the pomegranate seeds add sweetness and texture to this light side dish. Again, make sure you serve this dish on the side so that it doesn’t overpower the main course.
8. Eggplant Parmesan with Marinara Sauce
This dish is another option for serving a scallop main dish. To prepare it, cut eggplant into slices and bread them lightly in seasoned breadcrumbs before cooking. You can also serve your scallops atop a bed of eggplant parmesan if you are looking for a low-carb option.
9. Brussels Sprouts with Creamy Lemon Sauce
This dish combines the best of fall and winter: Brussels sprouts, lemon, and garlic. The creamy sauce is made from a base of coconut milk and cashews (or other nuts), which gives it a rich and creamy texture similar to that of traditional dairy-based cream sauces.
10. Mango Avocado Salsa
Salsa can be served as a dip for tortilla chips or as a topping for grilled fish or chicken. This recipe is especially delicious because it combines fruit with vegetables and uses lime juice instead of vinegar as its acid component. It’s also very easy to make!
11. One-Pan Lemon Caper Pasta
This is one of my favorite one-pan pasta dishes. It’s super easy to make and only requires a handful of ingredients. The fettuccine noodles are tossed with olive oil and garlic, then cooked until they begin to soften. Next comes the white wine, capers, and lemon juice, which add brightness to the dish. Once the pasta is cooked al dente, it’s tossed with Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley for added flavor.
12. Fettuccine Alfredo
Fettuccine Alfredo is a classic Italian pasta dish that everyone loves — kids included! The recipe is simple enough for an everyday meal but elegant enough for company as well. The key ingredient in Fettuccine Alfredo is butter — lots of it! You start by melting unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium heat until it begins to foam and brown slightly (about 5 minutes). While the butter browns, you will whisk together heavy cream (or half-and-half), grated Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper in a small bowl until smooth; set aside until ready to serve. Next, cook your fettuccine noodles according to the package directions (usually 10 minutes). In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While the water is heating, pour in 1 tablespoon olive oil and add the garlic and sliced lemon; sauté for about one minute. Next, add the warm fettuccine noodles. Once the noodles are al dente and just beginning to soften, drain them and place them into your large skillet with the remaining butter (plus 2 tablespoons cream) that has been reduced. When the cream mixture has been absorbed, add the parsley and Parmesan cheese as well as ⅓ cup of fresh lemon juice. Toss everything together until well-combined.
13. Brown Butter Polenta
Polenta is an Italian cornmeal dish that is cooked until it’s creamy and smooth. It’s often served as a side dish, but it also makes a great base for other ingredients to rest on top of. For instance, brown butter polenta is made by cooking polenta with butter until the butter starts to brown and take on a nutty flavor. Brown butter is one of those ingredients that can be used in so many recipes because it has such a rich flavor.
14. Warm Tuscan Beans
Tuscan beans are large white beans that have been cooked with tomatoes and garlic until tender. They’re served warm as an accompaniment to grilled meats or seafood dishes like scallops since they’re already cooked, which makes them perfect for parties where people may be eating at different times or just want something simple to eat without having to worry about heating up their food before serving it.
15. Lentil Salad
The combination of lentils, beets, and red cabbage makes this salad especially colorful. The flavors are bright and fresh and the dressing is light and flavorful. The recipe uses a mixture of red wine vinegar and lemon juice for the dressing, which adds a little extra tanginess to complement the earthy lentils.
16. Summer Squash Salad
This easy summer side dish is made with summer squash, tomatoes, basil, feta cheese, and a simple vinaigrette. It’s perfect for bringing to summer picnics and cookouts!
Summer squash is often used in salads, particularly when paired with other vegetables like corn, tomatoes or almonds. It’s best to use yellow summer squash, which has a sweeter flavor than green summer squash.
17. Lemon Asparagus Risotto
If you’re looking for a light, springy dish, this lemon asparagus risotto is the perfect side to serve with scallops. It’s made with Arborio rice, chicken broth, and Parmesan cheese, which gives it tons of flavor without being too heavy. Plus, the lemon zest and juice add a hint of sweetness that keeps things interesting. The risotto cooks up in about 20 minutes, so it’s perfect for a weeknight meal.
Succotash may sound like an odd choice as a side dish but it actually goes great with seafood — especially scallops! This healthy version uses fresh corn kernels and lima beans in place of buttery limas and bacon. You can make it even healthier by swapping out regular olive oil for avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). You can also use frozen corn instead of fresh if you don’t have time to cook fresh corn on the cob!
The best side dish to serve with scallops is mashed potatoes.
Mashed potatoes are an excellent choice for serving with scallops because they are easy to prepare, can be made ahead of time, and have a smooth texture that will complement the lightness of the scallops. The starchiness of potatoes also helps to coat the tongue and make it easier for you to enjoy your meal without feeling like you need a nap afterward.
The only downside to mashed potatoes is that they tend to be heavy on the stomach—but if you’re looking for a side dish that’s going to fill you up and make sure you don’t miss out on any of your meals, this is definitely one option worth exploring!