Tender and sweet, scallops are the perfect seafood for a light and wholesome meal. Cooked in a variety of ways, this delicate shellfish is often served with a light sauce or broth.
The mild yet distinct flavor of scallops leaves room for creativity when it comes to side dishes. Pair this with a glass of chardonnay and you have a meal to behold.
With so many flavor options that complement scallops, we’ve chosen a few that will tickle your tastebuds and impress your foodie friends.
17 Side Dishes to Serve With Scallops
Scallops are the filet mignon of the sea. If you have had them, you probably want to know how you can incorporate these tender nuggets of goodness into your next meal. Here are some great ways to serve scallops.
1. Scallop Salad
Look no further than this salad for a light, refreshing yet sophisticated starter. Made with scallops, endives, avocados, and a light vinaigrette, a scallop salad will get the chef many compliments and make bellies happy as a starter or main course.
Lightly batter your scallops with a combination of cornmeal and spices and fry, to make it a crispy scallop salad.
2. Scallops Over Rice
Rice lovers have a ton of choices these days. You’ll be pleased to know that scallops pair perfectly with all varieties of rice.
Whether you are a fan of white rice, brown or wild rice, pan-fried scallops over a bed of the fluffy stuff will satisfy and fill you up at dinner time. Be daring and try some scallops over cauliflower rice.
3. Peas and Bacon
The sweetness of peas combined with the briny flavor of bacon simply works with the buttery light taste and texture of scallops.
After cooking your peas blend them with spices and lemon juice to create a puree. Serve your pan-seared scallops over this with a sprinkle of whole peas and bacon for a mouth-watering dish.
4. Scallops with Flavored Brown Butter
Scallops seared in butter are to die for but if you’re in the mood for something trending try serving your scallops with a brown butter amalgamation.
The “brown” comes from browning the butter just right so to create a nutty flavor. You can add herbs or lemon and capers depending on your taste to make this sauce even more palatable.
5. Scallops with Spinach and Leeks
A good meaty scallop, seared and sprinkled with a heavy pinch of sea salt, is great just on its own. But if you’re looking to create a meal out of your scallops try serving them atop spinach.
Quickly stir fry your spinach with leeks and olive oil and serve with scallops. Remember these vegetables, along with your scallops, should not be overcooked.
6. Bacon-Wrapped Scallops
These are classic and easy for first-timers when it comes to scallop eating. The salty bacon complements the light flavor of the scallops. You’ll be surprised when even the kids take notice of this one.
Grab some toothpicks as they will work as mini skewers. Wrap your scallop in bacon and use the toothpick to secure it all together. Bake or grill these and you have a seriously delicious snack or appetizer on your hands.
7. Grilled Veggies with Seared Scallops
Grilled vegetables are always a crowd-pleaser. If you need to add some protein to your veggies, why not try scallops!
Choose summer vegetables such as tomato, zucchini, squash, and orange bell peppers. Toss these in olive oil and bake them in the oven before serving them with cast iron seared scallops.
8. Scallops Over Corn and Couscous
Couscous is a dish that has its roots in Algeria, Turkey, Israel, and France. The warm pearly grains are a perfect match for pan-seared scallops.
Cook your couscous with corn in a chicken or vegetable broth. Add your spices and cook until the couscous is tender. You’ll have a wonderful bed to serve your scallops over.
9. BBQ Scallops
For a real change of pace this summer, throw some hearty scallops on the grill during your next BBQ and savor a surprisingly delicious treat.
They’ll only take a minute to cook so make sure to slather your favorite BBQ sauce on top of your scallops right before they’re ready. Serve these with corn on the cob or cornbread.
10. Lemon Butter Scallops
Lemons go hand in hand with many kinds of seafood. The citrusy punch gives fish an added layer of flavor that wards off fishiness.
Once you’ve seared your scallops in butter, give them a hearty squeeze of lemon. Serve this as is or with other shellfish for a classy ocean-inspired meal.
11. Scallops au Gratin
Everything goes well au gratin, meaning baked with cheese. But if you have never thought of having cheese with your scallops, think again.
Grab your scallops and your favorite melty cheese, a combination of cream cheese and parmesan works well. After marinating your scallops for a few minutes in a cream sauce, bake, and voila, a new family favorite!
12. Surf and Turf Revisited
A classic surf and turf pairs a perfectly cooked steak with a lobster tail. Why not switch out your lobster tail for some meaty scallops.
Scallops grow up to two or more inches. Adding a side of seared jumbo scallops to your filet mignon will offset it perfectly. Try bay scallops, a smaller version, if you want to top your steak with your scallops.
13. Linguine and Bay Scallops
Don’t reserve all your pasta meals for marina sauce and meatballs. Try it with some seafood!
A classic Frutti de mare, an Italian seafood spaghetti, is not made with scallops but why not throw some in for an extra special tomato-based pasta dish. This comfort food will keep you full of vitamins, minerals, and protein to get you going.
14. Breaded Scallops
Needless to say, you can bread and fry anything and people will take notice (think fried Oreo’s). That being said, fried scallops are a real treat.
Breading scallops and giving them a quick flash fry will leave them juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Serve this with a marina dipping sauce or lemon and tartar.
15. Grilled Scallops with Citrus Dressing
Citrus flavor makes your scallops stand out. And it’s as simple as grabbing an orange, a lime, and a juicer to make.
Combine your dressing ingredients (olive oil, your citrus juices, shallots, and cilantro) and pour over warm pan-seared scallops. Add a side of steamed asparagus or green beans for a healthy meal.
16. Scallops with Fruit Sauce
If you’re in the mood for something on the sweet side, try making a warm fruit sauce topping for your scallops.
Scallops are light and tender when cooked right so they go really well with fruit. While many fruits go well with scallops, be a little “extra” and try a red wine cherry reduction.
17. Spicy Mango Scallops
This sweet and spicy masterpiece uses sea scallops as opposed to the smaller bay scallops. Grab a ripe and juicy mango and go to town!
The tender scallop meat is delicate enough to allow your mango chutney to shine while making a perfectly filling meal. If you need a little more to be truly full, serve this over basmati rice.
Chock full of sea minerals and protein, scallops are a great ingredient in your next meal or as a main course for your next culinary creation.
Whether you are an avid fan of seafood or not, scallops are definitely worth a try. Pair them with your favorite side dish if you are hesitant but don’t forgo sampling this delicious shellfish.