5 Best Side Dish Recipes to Serve with Scallops

Seared scallops are one of the most mouth-watering dishes you can make. The easy-to-make seafood is popular at expensive restaurants, and you can make it at home yourself in just minutes. In fact, more people are making succulent seared scallops right at home, and they are getting restaurant-worthy results. If you want to know how to make scallops, it may be even easier than you think. The entire process of cooking scallops on the stovetop can be completed in under 8 minutes, however, if you want to make a main dish out of your scallops more time may be required. 

If you want to know what to serve with scallops it is best to start with a basic recipe for pan-seared scallops. Then you can get creative from there with different flavors that you enjoy, and develop your own recipes. 

How To Cook Scallops At Home

Cooking scallops at home is simple, and easy to do. Here is a basic recipe that you can use to sear scallops on the stovetop. Then, once they are prepared, the sky’s the limit for side dishes for scallops. But for now, this is a great place to start in the kitchen with seafood.

You will need:

  • Pan for searing (with a lid)
  • Oil, or butter (Extra Virgin Olive Oil is recommended)
  • Fresh sea scallops
  • Paper towels
  • Metal utensils turning

Preparing the scallops:

Searing the scallops starts with setting the pan on the stovetop, and adjusting the temperature to a low-medium heat setting. As the pan heats up, you can take the scallops out of the container, and pat them dry with a clean paper towel. Then, you can drizzle the oil into the pan, and turn the heat up to a medium heat setting. After the oil has heated up, place each scallop into the pan and start frying them on one side. After two minutes of cooking on one side, flip each scallop to cook the other side. After two minutes on the other side, you can start to rotate the scallops in the pan, adding more seasoning, or oil if necessary. When the outside of the scallops has a golden, crispy crust around the edges, you can take the pan off the burner, and plate the scallops. 

What to Serve With Scallops? Top 5 Side Dishes to Pair With Seafood

Side Dishes of Yellow Rice, Roasted Potatoes and Root Vegetables, Green Beans, and Tomatoes

If you are looking for the best sides for scallops – we’ve got you covered! Check out these top five side dishes to serve with scallops. 

  1. Rice. You may already know that rice is a simple, and easy side dish that goes with just about anything. What you may NOT know is that there are so many different styles, and flavors of rice to choose from and that every one of those pairs differently with seafood. In fact, some of the most delicious meals can include only three ingredients: scallops, oil, and rice. The natural flavors of jasmine rice and brown rice work well as a bed for seared scallops, working in the flavors from the oil, and the seafood to take on a flavor all its own. When combined with rice, seared scallops offer a filling, and balanced meal ideal for people on-the-go, as well as families, and gatherings of any occasion. 
  2. Pasta. There are oh-so-many ways to use pasta as a side dish. Consider the many varieties of small pasta noodles like elbow macaroni, bow ties, and shells that work well to make pasta salad. You can use any type of pasta as a bed for your scallops, or make a pasta side dish that is completely separate to compliment your meal. It’s up to you! Some of the most popular pasta noodles for scallop side dishes include linguine, angel hair, spaghetti, and vermicelli. Regardless of the type of cooking method you use, if you pair the pasta with sauce, or add a glass of wine into the mix – it’s all good!
  3. Potatoes. Scallops work well with side dishes that are able to absorb some of their fishy flavors. Potatoes offer a range of options for color, flavor, and texture so go ahead, and get creative with them. You can use all types of ideas to complement your scallops including mixed mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, potatoes au gratin, french fries, medallions, or any other style of potatoes you like. Using a variety of potatoes as a side dish for seared scallops is the best way to use them in your kitchen. Try a blend of colors including red, golden yellow, white, and purple potatoes. 
  4. Greens. Leafy green vegetables are so nutritious, however, most people do not get enough of this type of food into their diet. You could be eating a salad that includes any type of lettuce, cabbage, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, and cauliflower as a side dish, every day. Every season there is a new way to make salads that pair well with seared scallops. This season, it might be the time for a summer salad with walnuts, feta cheese, and strawberries on the side of your scallops. Some of the most popular greens include iceberg, romaine, red leaf lettuce, kale, collard greens, and broccoli. 
  5. Peas & Beans. Packed with protein, and loaded with flavor peas, beans offer a wide range of options for side dishes. Eat them alone, seasoned, cold, or heated, and as a salad to eat with your scallops. Some of the most popular peas and beans for pairing with scallops include sweet peas, snap peas, chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, and white beans. 

Seared scallops make a scrumptious snack or a light appetizer, but they can also be the star of your menu as a main dish. Use the basic recipe for pan-seared scallops at home, and then try pairing the cooked scallops with these top 5 side dishes for seafood. Bon appetit!