Scallops are some of the most popular seafood out there. These tender, delicately flavored shellfish are great seared or sauteed, and are the perfect dish to serve at a dinner party or special occasion.
But as delicious as scallops are on their own, they move into a whole other league when paired with the right side dishes!
Luckily, we’ve done all the hard work for you, and gathered some of the best side dishes to serve with scallops in this handy list!
Here, we’ll take you through 27 of the tastiest side dishes to serve alongside scallops for a perfect meal that everyone is sure to love!
27 Sides To Serve With Scallops
Scallops are a delicately flavored shellfish that is easy to overpower with strong flavors.
This simple pasta recipe adds its own delicious taste while still letting the flavor of the scallops shine through front and center.
Quick to make and using only a handful of ingredients, this lemon caper linguine recipe adds a citrusy hit of lemon juice and the salty tang of capers for a delicious side that pairs perfectly with tender scallops.
There isn’t a recipe out there that can’t be improved with bacon!
These crispy strips of salty bacon might seem like they would overpower the subtle taste of scallops, but instead the two are a match made in heaven.
Wrap the bacon strips around the scallops and cook in the oven for a juicy, salty, and buttery side or main!
These creamy mashed potatoes make a perfect platform for your scallions, but are just as delicious on their own!
This recipe uses floury Yukon gold potatoes for an extra-fluffy mash, which are boiled in chicken broth for a richer flavor.
Sprinkle some roasted shallots on top for a sweet and slightly smoky taste. This creamy mash is rich, smooth, and the perfect side for scallops.
It’s hard to go wrong with some good old roasted veg, and this selection of carrots, parsnip, beets, and Brussels sprouts is a great addition to your scallops.
Roasted with some rosemary, thyme, and garlic, these vegetables are fragrant and tender.
Add a brush of honey before roasting to give them a delicate sweetness to match the scallops, or a dash of balsamic vinegar for a sharp yet delicious contrast.
5. Lentil Salad
This easy lentil salad packs a lot of bold flavors while still staying light and refreshing.
Green lentils are combined with a mix of diced vegetables and fresh herbs, along with some crumbled feta cheese and a drizzle of honey lemon dressing.
Don’t worry about the strong flavors here, though – the scallops are still the star of the show and are elevated by the hints of lemon and nutty lentils.
Succotash is a type of vegetable salad that mainly consists of sweetcorn and beans (typically lima beans) along with other mixed vegetables.
This fresh and light side dish is a great pairing with scallops, and its vibrant flavors are matched only by its bright colors.
This recipe also includes sliced zucchini and cherry tomatoes for some extra depth and a hit of acidity.
Another tasty pasta dish, this Fettuccine Alfredo recipe brings a creamy texture and the delicate taste of parmesan cheese.
Using only four ingredients and taking hardly any time to cook, this simple recipe can be whipped up in no time for a subtly-flavored, creamy pasta dish to serve with your scallops.
You can also add some heavy cream for a richer, saucier pasta, along with a pinch of nutmeg for a more complex flavor.
Polenta is a type of Italian porridge made with cornmeal that is commonly used in place of pasta, rice, and potatoes. Smooth, creamy, and with a delicate sweetness, polenta is a great side for adding to your scallops.
Grind the cornmeal finely and serve the polenta while it’s still wet for an irresistibly creamy and sauce-like side, or let it set into a block and cut into slices, serving with a scallop on top.
Couscous is a Northwest African dish made of durum flour. These tiny balls are technically a type of pasta, and they have a light and fluffy texture with a slight bite.
On its own, the gentle sweetness of couscous is a great pair with scallops.
However, throw in some spices or a squeeze of lemon juice for a subtle hint of flavor that accentuates the delicate flavor of your scallops.
Normally, you wouldn’t pair tomatoes with scallops.
However, the cream and parmesan in this creamy bisque take some of the boldness away from the tomatoes and removes their acidity, making it a delicious and rich side to pair with your scallops.
Some fragrant herbs and fresh basil leaves add a twist of flavor that balance out this tasty soup.
As we’ve already established, bacon is a tasty side that works great with scallops.
It’s not just great wrapped around the scallops, however, and bacon is also perfectly at home in this delicious salad alongside avocado, tomatoes, and crumbly feta cheese.
Don’t go overboard on this salad, though, as it can overpower the scallops if you have too much on the side.
12. Parmesan Risotto
While risotto is often considered tricky to make, this simple parmesan risotto recipe couldn’t be easier!
Flavored with chicken broth and mixed with butter and parmesan cheese, this delicious risotto is rich and creamy, with a delicate taste that is perfect for serving with your scallops.
It might seem silly to pair scallops with steak, but this decadent take on surf and turf is too good for us to care!
The fragrant herbs and garlic butter in this mouth-watering recipe gives the steak some extra richness to further elevate the scallops, while the meat itself is tender inside with a tasty crust on the outside.
Fluffy and fragrant rice is one of the best side dishes out there, period – whether it’s for scallops or something else, rice just works!
Brown rice is the best for scallops, as its slightly nutty flavor and firmer texture perfectly compliments the tender shellfish. White rice is also a good choice, especially if you flavor it with seasonings or chicken stock.
Add some spices like cloves, cardamom, star anise, and nutmeg to your rice while it boils for a subtle taste and fragrance that brings your rice to the next level.
Sometimes simple is best, and this basic salad with spinach and pomegranate seeds gets straight to the point.
The slightly bitter spinach leaves and tangy pomegranate balance out the gentle sweetness of scallops, while a sharp balsamic vinaigrette and creamy feta cheese tie the whole side dish together.
If you want to switch things up from rice, then why not try quinoa? This grain is a common replacement for rice or seeds in recipes, and offers a great source of fiber and protein.
It also has a great taste to match, with a gentle nuttiness and mild flavor that makes it a great base for your scallops.
Add a squeeze of lemon juice for a hit of citrus, or cook it with some herbs in chicken stock for a richer flavor.
Quinoa also has a unique texture – light and fluffy, but with a bit of chewiness that makes an interesting match to the tender scallops.
If you’re stuck for inspiration when it comes to pairing a side with your shellfish, why not just add more shellfish?
This tasty honey garlic shrimp brings some bold and vibrant flavors to your scallops, along with the meatier taste of the shrimp.
Don’t think this overpowers the scallops, however – the honey garlic glaze is designed to pair with seafood and is perfect for the scallops too!
Artichoke often goes underappreciated, but this tasty vegetable packs plenty of healthy nutrients, as well as a creamy texture and plenty of subtle flavors.
Creamy, nutty, and earthy, artichokes are great when paired with scallops.
This recipe roasts the artichoke with a simple mix of fragrant herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice to let the vegetable’s flavors shine through.
Tender, creamy, and rich, this recipe makes a great addition to tender scallops.
Warm white Tuscan beans are a favorite side to serve with scallops.
These soft and hearty beans might not be anything fancy, but they make a satisfying addition to scallops, with a creamy texture and dense interior.
Simmered with garlic, sage, and bay leaf for a subtle flavor, this simple yet tasty recipe is incredibly easy to make and is largely hands-off.
This makes it great for preparing when the kitchen is busy, as you can just leave the beans to simmer while sorting everything else out.
Butternut squash is a great roasting vegetable. Crispy skin, tender and fluffy interior, and a delightfully sweet flavor, this tasty squash is so good you might just forget about the scallops!
Cover cubes of butternut squash with a mix of herbs and a brush of honey, and roast until lightly browned.
It might be simple, but this roasted squash packs far more flavor than it might seem!
21. Chorizo And Corn
This Mexican-inspired recipe pairs spicy chorizo with juicy sweetcorn. Some fresh chopped cilantro and a generous squeeze of lime juice add a zesty hit that really brings this tasty side to life.
Easy to cook and absolutely packed with flavor, it’s easy to think that the chorizo will overpower the scallops.
But just like with bacon, this bold side dish actually accentuates the delicate scallops and elevates them well above their original taste. This recipe is the definition of “greater than the sum of its parts”!
22. Grilled Halloumi
Scallops don’t go with stronger cheeses, making halloumi a no-brainer as a pairing.
Not only does the more subtle flavor of halloumi go great with scallops, but the firm texture also makes it a great way to serve the two.
Add a scallop to a slice of this smokey, salty grilled halloumi for a delicious and well-balanced side.
If you want, marinate the halloumi in some lemon juice, honey, and herbs for a vibrant hit of flavors to go with your scallops.
Crunchy, juicy, and cheesy, these broccoli florets are dusted with parmesan for flavor and roasted until tender.
The fresh and juicy broccoli brings out the sweetness of the scallops, while parmesan cheese adds some creaminess and nuttiness to balance out the dish.
Swap out half of the broccoli for kale if you want a more interesting and nutrient-packed version of this tasty dish.
This creamy and silky cauliflower puree recipe makes a great base for your scallops.
With its subtle cauliflower flavor and silky-smooth texture, this tasty puree provides a sauce-like bed to lay your scallops on.
It’s also super-easy to make; cook some onion and garlic until tender, add your cauliflower florets along with cream and stock, and simmer with some herbs until the cauliflower is soft and tender.
Then, simply blend it with a blender until it reaches that gorgeous velvety consistency.
25. Creamed Corn
Like cauliflower puree, this simple creamy recipe makes the ideal bed for your scallops. This tasty dish uses only a handful of ingredients, cooks in just 15 minutes, and tastes far better than any canned version.
The creamy corn adds some sweetness and texture to the scallops, while its creamy sauce leaves the corn buttery and tender.
A sprinkling of herbs and spices adds a hit of flavor to this tasty side that is perfect for serving with your scallops.
26. Caprese Salad
This basic Italian salad is based around three main ingredients – tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella. That’s it!
With its simple flavors and fresh ingredients, this salad is a great side dish for scallops as well as a great addition to any Italian meal.
The juicy tomatoes bring a hit of acidity balanced out by the creamy mozzarella cheese and herby fresh basil.
The fresh flavors are great with scallops, which benefit from the bit of acidity and sweetness along with the balance from the mozzarella and basil.
Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste, and this simple salad is ready to serve!
27. Grilled Veggies
These brightly-colored veg add some vibrant and fresh flavors to scallops.
Grilled until tender, they have a delicious smoky taste and just a hint of char to them that turns these basic veg into a wonderful medley that puts their natural flavors in the spotlight.
This recipe uses mushrooms, bell pepper, squash, eggplant, zucchini, and asparagus, although you can switch these out for any other veg that you prefer.
Season with some salt and pepper to taste, or add a splash of balsamic vinegar for a deliciously tangy glaze.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Scallops Serves One Person?
While it might be tempting to eat an entire platter of these delicious scallops by yourself, the typical portion of scallops is generally 3-4 each.
While scallops are packed with plenty of healthy protein, they are also rich in fatty acids and sodium so it’s important to stick to a normal portion size. However, we don’t blame you if you go back for seconds!
Are Scallops Healthy?
Compared to most shellfish, scallops are actually fairly healthy. They are full of protein and low in fat, and are also bursting with healthy vitamins and minerals like sodium, magnesium, B12, and zinc.
While these can be unhealthy and even harmful when ingested in too high quantities, you’re unlikely to have any problems even if you go higher than the recommended portion size.
What Wine Goes Best With Scallops?
Wine is one of the best drinks to accompany seafood, especially one as rich and delicate as scallops.
In general, you want to avoid any wine with particularly bold flavors; these can overpower the taste of the scallops.
Mild, lightly sweet wines are the best choice for scallops.
White wines are typically better than reds, though a light, low-tannin red can also be a great choice depending on what sides you’re serving with the scallops.
Chardonnay, white Burgundy, champagne, or even a sweeter Pinot Noir.
It’s not hard to see why scallops are so popular when there are so many great side dishes that they can be paired with!
With all the recipes on this list, you’re sure to find something that everyone can enjoy – just use these simple recipes and let the great flavor speak for itself!
So now that you’ve taken a look at 27 of the best side dishes to serve with scallops, all you have to do is try these delicious combinations for yourself!