What To Serve With Scallops – 20 Side Dishes

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Sea scallops are a sweet and tender sea food that almost everybody loves. They’re super versatile and can be prepared in so many different ways.

But what goes well with scallops? Vegetables? Pasta? Scallops call for side dishes that won’t overpower their rich flavor and delicate texture.

There are so many choices for what goes well with scallops. I’ve divided it into three main categories to help make browsing easy – vegetables, grains and beans, and purees.

Here’s a variety of the best scallop side dishes for a flavorful meal any day of the week.

Vegetable Side Dishes

1.Corn Succotash Salad

Wondering what to serve with pan seared scallops? Try this succulent succotash! It’s a light and flavorful dish that uses fresh vegetables and fresh herbs, so is ideal for summer. Definitely an easy, entertaining dish to wow your guests.

This gourmet dish can be made in about thirty-minutes flat with a dash of salt and pepper to taste. Check out our favorite recipe at HallmarkChannel.

2. Roasted Potatoes With Radicchio And Snap Peas

Buttery Yukon potatoes are one of the best side dishes for scallops. The sweetness of the snap peas and the bitter tang of the radicchio adds bursts of flavor and color. The vinegar helps dress the dish, but it also helps tenderize your sea scallops.

This inexpensive seafood side dish comes together in about 20-minutes. Check out a great recipe at RealSimple.

Related | Do Potatoes Go Bad?

3. Spiced Pomegranate and Baby Spinach

pomegranate with baby spinach

Pomegranates are both delicious and sophisticated. Using the juice and pre-packaged seeds makes for quick and easy preparation of the pungently sweet sauce.

Sautéed baby spinach – a favorite with scallops – adds color and a deeper flavor profile. For the spice, add a pinch of red pepper.

Make this elegant but filling dish in only thirty-minutes. We love the pomegranate salad recipe featured at BHG.

4. Brussel Sprouts With Creamy Lemon Sauce

brussels sprouts with lemon

Salty pancetta and Brussel sprouts are a no-fail combination, especially with sweet and tender sea scallops. The creamy lemon sauce adds a much-needed tang of flavor. We decided to use lemon zest instead, and it turned out just as tasty.

There’s a lot of prep work and advanced technique, so it’s best for an at-home date night, not a busy weeknight.

The total time for this vegetable scallop side dish is about 25-minutes.

5. Bacon and Spinach Sauté

This recipe uses bacon, garlic and onion to flavor the scallops. The simple seared scallops get a nice crust from a hot pan and olive oil, which is then used to make the salty, sautéed spinach with bacon, so you only have to worry about washing one pan.

Quality bacon and creative add-ins like raisins or nuts will give this plain dish an extra dimension of flavor.

It’ll take only thirty-minutes to make this dish. We are fans of the recipe at MyRecipes.

6. Mango Avocado Salsa

You may be wondering what to serve with pan seared bay scallops as a starter. Try this flavorful, fresh and fruity salsa.

The recipe suggests serving with a slice of baguette, but you could take small slices of baguette, top them with a seared scallop and garnish with the mango avocado salsa for a perfect appetizer. Ripe but firm mangoes and avocados yield the best results.

This simple and summer-ready dish can be made in 20-minutes and can be seen over at BlogLovin.

7. Maple Balsamic Pomegranate Kale Salad

Pomegranate Kale Salad

Rather than searing scallops with no added flavor, you actually sear them in the sauce, featuring butter, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and pomegranate. Use leftover sauce to drizzle on top of the salad.

Although it’s not mentioned in the recipe’s ingredient list, the chef behind this recipe suggests you serve this all over a kale and goat cheese salad.

Whip up this colorful and elegant dish in only 15-minutes! Learn how with the recipe at Cotter Crunch.

Grains and Beans

8. Aromatic Rice

Double the spiced butter sauce recipe so that you have enough to make the rice and even sauté some fresh vegetables for another side. You can always add red pepper to taste and fresh herbs to lighten it later rather than storing them together.

Be sure to watch the video to learn how to toast the cardamom, cloves and star anise in the butter. Stir in already cooked rice, and you have a flavor-packed dish that is a great way to use up leftovers.

You can prepare this recipe in only about 15-minutes. Check out the recipe at today.com.

9.  Lemon Caper Pasta

caper pasta

The pan used to sear the scallops is the same pan used to make the sauce with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, which means less mess.

This dish is even complete with tomatoes for a pop of color and veggie goodness. No one has to know how easy this elegant Italian dish is to make.

You’ll have the pasta prepped in about 30-minutes. Follow this great recipe at JessicaGavin.

10. Parmesan and Brown Butter Risotto

brown mushroom risotto

Butter. Garlic. White wine. Parmesan cheese. Need I say more? This risotto smells fantastic and tastes even better. The risotto is a very hands-on dish, but the payoff is worth it. Add some sautéed greens for a complete meal.

thirty-minutes is all this date-night perfect dish needs. Follow the delicious recipe over at PinchOfYum.

11. Brown Butter Polenta

This is an upscale swap for shrimp and grits, using bay scallops and polenta for a fancier finish. The butter sauce and seasoning perfectly complement the nutty polenta. Use regular polenta instead of quick-cooking for the tastiest results.

The polenta needs time to cook, so this recipe does take about one-hour. We recommend the recipe at GourmetGourmand.

12. Spicy Curry Couscous

This curry sauce will be your new Indian influence go-to, especially when generously drizzled on a bed of fluffy couscous and seared scallops. Make extra curry sauce so you don’t run out.

If you are a good multitasker, you can be searing scallops and boiling couscous at the same time, for a great weeknight dish.

You’ll spend only 25-minutes making this dish following the recipe at TableForTwoBlog.

13. Creamy Mozzarella Pasta

mozzarella pasta

Light is nice, but what to serve with scallops as a main course? This hearty pasta! It’s creamy, it’s thick, it’s full of flavor. Make sure you cook the scallops last to keep them tender. And don’t be shy with the salt – it’ll bring out the flavor of the sun-dried tomatoes and basil.

It only takes 40-minutes for this pasta to come together. We are big fans of the recipe at JuliasAlbum.

14. Soy Citrus Soba Noodles

Soy Citrus Soba Noodles

This dish is quick and complete – it has protein, grains and vegetables all packed together in one saucy dish. This has the right amount of sweet and spice, but the scallops don’t get very crusty. Sear them before marinating and cooking as stated, for that golden crunchy crust.

This quick Asian stir fry takes 20-minutes to make.

15. Warm Lentil Salad

warm lentil salad

Leftover lentils get put to good use in this warm salad. Don’t have French lentils? No problem, any lentil in your pantry will substitute nicely. The sauce uses refrigerator staples for quick prep. Throw in the kale and carrot and you have a complete, hearty, and satisfying supper.

You’ll spend only 20-minutes on this guaranteed tasty dish. Take a look at the recipe at GoodHouseKeeping.

16. Warm Tuscan Beans

warm Tuscan bean salad

Most people don’t think beans when they wonder what to serve with seared scallops, but they’re actually delicious! The Mediterranean flavors of this complete dish go well with the scallops and don’t overpower them.

The recipe even includes a grilled garlic bread, which is great for soaking up the yummy sauce.

20-minutes is all it takes to create this dish.


17. Cauliflower Puree with Pine Nuts and Raisins

The power of potatoes and cauliflower combine to make an airy puree. Don’t be intimidated by the fancy toppings – they’re easy to find and use.

We suggest making the puree first, frying the capers and toasting the pine nuts next, then searing the scallops last. You won’t run the risk of overcooked scallops if they’re the last thing on the plate.

This gourmet dish needs 30-minutes to cook.

18. Tomato Parmesan Bisque

tomato bisque soup

Still wondering about what to serve with scallops as a main course? Soup is a creative answer. Removing all the oil from your sun-dried tomatoes will keep the dish from getting too greasy.

For those short on time after work, the simmering can be done all day in a crock pot while you’re away.

You’ll need 25-minutes active time and about one hour of cook time to simmer your soup on the stove.

19. Creamy Parsnip Puree

parsnip puree with carrot

Here’s another recipe for those who want to know what to serve with seared scallops as a starter. A small portion of this is perfect as an appetizer. Or a larger portion and a warm salad make a great dinner.

The milk mellows out the sometimes-overpowering parsnip flavor. When seasoning, the more nutmeg, the better.

You need 30-minutes to cook this dish. We really like the recipe at ViktoriasTable.

20. Creamed Corn Puree and Broccoli Florets

creamed corn with broccoli

Grilling scallops can be easier than chasing the perfect sear. Fresh or dried thyme makes the creamed corn a great base for the dish, and roasting the broccoli while the scallops and puree cook gives it better texture than steaming.

Chunkier texture is better, so don’t over puree the corn.

An easy weeknight meal, this clocks in at only 30-minutes to finish. Check out the recipe at BrokenTeepee.

Written By Tara Williams

Tara is a food writer that has been editing and authoring articles for KitchenSanity since its founding. Her writing offers personal experience from experimentation with food and recipe creation. If you’re looking for simple tips, she will make your journey in the kitchen straightforward with a dash of fun.