scallops sides

20 Side Dishes for Scallops: Perfect Pairings Unveiled

In a nutshell: The delectable side dishes that harmonize perfectly with scallops include Carrot, Feta & Pistachio Salad with Orange Blossom Toss, Asparagus and Pea Spinach Pesto Quinoa Salad, Lemon Swiss Chard Pasta, and more. You need to select suitable side dishes that complement the scallops’ sweet and buttery flavor without overpowering them.

The scallop is a saltwater clam found in the ocean worldwide. Pan-fried until golden and until just cooked; you want to keep them tender and not overcook them.

They have a sweet buttery flavor with the taste of the ocean but without tasting fishy. They are juicy and delicious. In Japanese cuisine, scallops are even served raw as sashimi. 

Be careful when choosing sides with scallops. Strong flavors will overpower the delicate seafood morsels. It would be such a shame not to taste the sweetness of the scallops. So be careful when choosing what scallop sides to serve.

Are you wondering what goes well with scallops? Here are my suggested sides for scallops.

Here’s What to Serve With Scallops:

#1. Carrot, Feta & Pistachio Salad with Orange Blossom Toss

This carrot salad is packed full of flavor. The sweet and salty flavors work perfectly as a side dish for scallops. 

The ribbons of carrots are dressed in a sweet vinaigrette flavored with orange blossom and spiced up with cumin and cardamom. Tossed with fresh chopped mint and topped with some salty, creamy feta and pistachios. 


#2. Asparagus and Pea Spinach Pesto Quinoa Salad

This is a fresh, green, vibrant salad with all the flavors of summer vegetables. The earthy taste of the asparagus and the sweet bursts of broad beans and peas work wonderfully. 

Toss in some basil pesto with a squeeze of lemon and a cup of quinoa for some extra protein, and we have got a winning side dish.


#3. Lemon Swiss Chard Pasta

What goes well with scallops? This lemon swiss chard pasta dish. Lemon is a great flavor to have with scallops, as the citrus tartness works well with the sweet butteriness of the sea scallops. 

Linguine pasta tossed with wilted chard and lemon, with the addition of some bitter olives and salty capers, finished off with some aged parmesan- we are on to a real winner of a side dish. 


#4. Spring Pea Puree

This is an absolute classic side to serve with seared scallops. The simple sweet earthy flavor of the pea just works perfectly with the delicate nutty flavor of the scallops. The onions are sautéed with garlic and flavored up with chopped tarragon. 

The peas are then added and cooked until tender, then cream and parmesan are added before being blended into a smooth puree. This is one of the best scallop side dishes. 


#5. Roasted artichoke and marinated white bean salad

If you can get your hands on some fresh artichokes, then be sure to use those; otherwise, the canned ones will work just fine. The artichokes are roasted until golden brown. 

In the meantime, the white beans are marinated in a shallot and red wine vinaigrette and tossed all together with chopped fresh mint and parsley. This is a superb side dish to serve with seared scallops.


#6. Easy Creamy Lemon Pasta

This creamy lemon pasta is ready in 15 minutes and the perfect side to serve with your scallops which take just as quick to cook. Angel hair pasta is the best to use with this recipe. 

The pasta is cooked to perfection and tossed into a creamy lemon sauce with grated parmesan and chopped parsley, and the citrus lemon flavor will complement the sweet scallops perfectly. Be sure to give this side a go. 


#7. Fresh Mango Salsa

Salsa’s are straightforward to make, and this is no exception. Mango and avo are great flavors to pair with scallops. This salsa is made up of avo, mango, tomatoes, red onion, and fresh coriander, all chopped up finely.

The addition of jalapenos brings a subtle heat to the salsa, and it’s all dressed with a squeeze of lime. It is seasoned with salt and pepper to bring out all the flavors. The perfect salsa to go with some seared scallops. 


#8. Rice Noodle Salad w/ Spicy Peanut Sauce

This salad is full of flavors that will work perfectly with the scallops. I would hold back on the chili sauce, maybe just 1 tablespoon, so as not to lose out on the delicate flavor of the scallops.

The fresh vegetables bring great texture to this salad, and it’s dressed with a sweet peanut sesame dressing, finished off with green jewels of edamame beans.


#9. Sicilian Style Fennel Salad

Fennel works very well with seafood, and scallops are no exception. With its mild liquorice flavor, it works perfectly with the delicate sweetness of the scallops. This salad is made with shaved fennel, orange, mint, and red onion. 

The salad is dressed simply with good quality olive oil. It’s a fresh and light salad with sweet and savory flavors that work well together.


 #10. Buttered Cabbage

This dish is so simple but delicious. There is not much to say about it as it’s simply cabbage sautéed in butter and seasoned generously with salt and pepper. White pepper would be the first prize over cracked black pepper. 

#11. Mashed Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic

Cauliflower and scallops are a classic pairing and are often found on menus in the finest restaurants. This cauliflower mash has been flavored with garlic and sage. The cauliflower is boiled until tender, then blended with roasted garlic and flavored with sage butter.

The cauliflower mash is then seasoned with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. The nutmeg enhances the subtle flavor of the cauliflower, and it’s finished off with some sour cream. This cauliflower mash is deliciously creamy and great served with seared scallops. 


#12. Roasted Fennel Tomatoes and White Beans

Fresh fennel works well with fish, and so does roasted fennel, and the caramelized version is sweeter and even better. If you wonder what to eat with your scallops, this is a great side dish. Caramelized fennel, tossed together with roasted cherry tomatoes, oregano, and cannellini beans. 

The dish is seasoned with salt, dressed in extra virgin olive oil, and finished with chopped fresh parsley. 


#13. 5-Minute Sautéed Spinach with Garlic and Lemon

Wilted greens are also a great side to serve with scallops or any fish for that matter. This sautéed baby spinach is quick and easy to make; you could even use the same pan for cooking the scallops afterward. 

The spinach is simply steamed in a pan with some garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice and seasoned with a good pinch of salt. It only takes 5 minutes to prepare.


#14.  Lemony Asparagus Risotto

Lemon and asparagus are the perfect flavors to pair with scallops- stirred through some creamy risotto and topped with seared scallops, and it’s a real show stopper.

Half the asparagus is cooked and then blended with basil, lemon zest, and juice- this is the flavor base that is stirred through the risotto rice. The risotto is finished off with spears of asparagus and grated pecorino. 


#15. Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Sizzled Scallions

This sweet potato is slightly different from the usual roast sweet potato rounds. Roast whole until soft and tender. The flesh is then scraped out and blended with some soy, honey, and butter in the food processor. 

The sweet and salty flavors work with the potato. Then it’s topped off with some crunchy walnuts and fried scallions.


#16. Crunchy Asian-Inspired Chopped Salad

This salad is vibrant in color and full of crunch. The colors from the purple and green cabbage, orange carrot, green edamame beans, and yellow mango- are like a rainbow on a plate. Let alone a plate full of sweet and savory flavors. 

If you are thinking about what to eat with scallops?  This salad has a good contrast in flavor and texture and a slightly Asian flair with a soy and honey dressing.


#17. Grilled Cabbage Steaks with Jalapeño Chimichurri Lentils & Maple Mustard Tahini

The slightly charred cabbage from the grill gives these cabbage ‘steaks’ great flavor. They are topped with lentils that have been marinated in the chimichurri sauce- which they have for sure soaked up all the flavor. 

The dish is finished with a maple mustard and tahini dressing- a combination of sweet, sour, and nutty flavors. 


#18.  Briam (Greek Baked Zucchini and Potatoes)

This is a traditional Greek dish; it creates the perfect side dish with just a few ingredients baked together. The potato, red onion, and zucchini are thinly sliced and tossed in a fresh tomato puree until nicely coated. 

The vegetables are baked in a large tray with a good seasoning of salt and pepper and a glug of olive oil, baked in a hot oven until the potatoes are soft. It can be served hot or at room temperature.


#19 Easy Fried Rice

This easy fried rice is a great side for scallops. You can add what you like to the rice, but this recipe calls for green onions, peas, and carrots; they can even be the frozen packet mix in your freezer. 

The vegetables are fried in a bit of sesame oil, and an egg is added and scrambled. The rice is then tossed in and mixed with some soy sauce at the end. It’s that easy, not to mention tasty too.


#20 Summer Corn Chowder

This thick corn soup would be the perfect side for scallops on a chilly day. 

The corn soup is spiced up with jalapenos, paprika, and cumin, then blended until smooth with a few tablespoons of sour cream stirred through and finished with chopped chives and cilantro. Serve in a shallow bowl with the seared scallops, perfect! 



Do you sear the sides of scallops?

Yes, searing the sides of scallops is a common cooking technique to achieve a golden brown crust while keeping the inside tender.

How are scallops usually served?

Scallops are often served seared to achieve a caramelized crust and tender interior. They can be plated as an appetizer, on salads, or as a main course accompanied by various sauces, risotto, pasta, or vegetables.

*image by Cavan/depositphotos

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