Wondering what to serve with scallops? Here are all the best side dishes that pair well and are easy to whip up.
What’s better than the buttery crunch of a pan seared scallop? Scallops are perfect for special dinners; they have an air of sophistication vs the standard shrimp or salmon. But what to serve with them? It can be hard to figure out just the right side dish that contrasts in color, shape, flavor, and nutrition. It’s got to contrast their mild, delicate flavor, but complement it just enough. It’s also got to be easy enough to whip up while you’re searing up the seafood.
Here are 15 ideas for what to serve with scallops! From pasta to asparagus to green beans to salads, we’ve got all the best options that pair seamlessly to make a perfect meal. Ready to get started?
And now…top ideas for what to serve with scallops!
Favorite scallop recipes
Of course, we couldn’t leave you with only what to serve with them! Here are some of our favorite scallop recipes:
- Pan Seared Scallops Here’s how to sear them up perfectly every time!
- Grilled Scallops They’re easy to grill and need minimal seasoning to taste irresistibly tender and savory.
- Lemon Herb Sauce for Scallops This quick pan sauce makes seafood taste divine.
- Scallop Pasta Impress everyone around the table with this elegant recipe seasoned with lemon, garlic and herbs.
This scallop pasta makes a stunning dinner! Impress everyone around the table with this elegant recipe seasoned with lemon, garlic and herbs. Accessorize with some of the side dishes in the list above!
For the scallops
- 8 ounces linguine noodles or other long noodles (gluten-free or legume pasta if desired)
- 1 pound sea scallops, thawed if frozen
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil
For the sauce
- Thaw the scallops, if frozen (see above).
- Cook the pasta: Start a pot of well salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until it is just al dente. Start tasting a few minutes before the package recommends: you want it to be tender but still a little firm on the inside; usually around 7 to 8 minutes. Drain the pasta. (If it finishes before the sauce, add it back to the pot with a drizzle of olive oil so it doesn’t stick.)
- Brine the scallops (10 minutes): Meanwhile, in a shallow dish, mix together 4 cups room temperature water and 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Place the scallops in the water and wait for 10 minutes.
- Sear the scallops: Remove the scallops and dry thoroughly. Lightly season with a several pinches kosher salt. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. If using a medium skillet, cook the scallops in two batches. Once the oil is hot, add the scallops and cook without turning for 2 to 3 minutes, until an even brown crust clearly forms on bottom.
- Flip scallops with tongs. Cook additional 2 to 3 minutes on the other side, until a crust just forms on bottom and the center of the scallop is almost opaque. Remove the scallops from the skillet to a plate.
- Make the sauce: Reduce the heat to medium. Add the butter, lemon juice, minced garlic and chopped herbs. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to release flavor from any browned bits stuck to the pan. Cook 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add the milk, pasta, kosher salt, and greens and cook until greens are wilted. Return the scallops to the pan and cook for a few seconds until just warm. Add lots of fresh ground black pepper. Taste and add additional salt if necessary. Serve with drizzle of olive oil and lemon zest.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Seafood
Keywords: What to serve with scallops
More sides to go with…
Need more side dish ideas? We’ve got you covered:
- Sides to Serve with Soup
- What to Serve with Stuffed Peppers
- What to Serve with Mac and Cheese
- Best Sides to Serve with Enchiladas
- What to Serve with Lasagna
- What to Serve with Fajitas
- Sides to Go with Salmon
- Best Sides to Go with Tacos
- Sides to Go with Pizza
- What to Serve with Chili
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.