What to Serve with Scallops: Perfect Pairings for Scallops Dinner

Who knew that playing matchmaker with your dinner could be so satisfying? You’re about to discover the power of pairing, and we’re not talking about wine and cheese. We’re diving deep into the ocean’s bounty to bring you the ultimate guide on what to serve with scallops, including Seafood Recipes.

Whether you’re orchestrating a gourmet seafood pairing or hunting for the most divine scallops side dishes, the culinary matchmaking begins here. Buckle up, because your scallops are about to swipe right on some exquisite scallop accompaniments you never knew they needed.

Key Takeaways

  • Explore vibrant succotash to add color and sweetness to your plate.
  • Combine off-season vegetables with scallops using preservation techniques like canning.
  • Unleash your culinary creativity with starchy sides like rice and potatoes.
  • Seek out gourmet seafood pairing advice for next-level dining experiences.
  • Grasp the essentials of what to serve with scallops for an unforgettable meal.

The Art of Pairing a Scallops Feast

As you delve into the world of gourmet scallop pairings, you’ll soon realize it’s less about following a recipe and more akin to conducting a symphony. Every flavor note must harmonize, creating a taste experience that’s truly more than the sum of its parts.

Scallops Feast in a plate placed on a table

It’s an artistic endeavor that, with the right scallop preparation, elevates your dish to a masterpiece status. Consider this: your choice in exquisite seafood sides is not merely a supporting act but the core of what makes a scallop dish truly memorable.

  • Bay Scallops: These small, sweet treasures are best accompanied by sides that mirror their delicate flavors. A citrusy, herb-infused quinoa salad, perhaps?
  • Pan-Seared Scallops: Craving a caramelized crust with a tender middle? Balance that rich depth with something bright, like a vibrant, peppery arugula salad dressed lightly with lemon and olive oil.
  • Bacon-Wrapped Scallops: Amp up the indulgence with creamy parmesan polenta, a side that’s as luxuriously smooth as your bacon-wrapped morsels are crispy.

And let’s not forget the brass tacks of culinary harmony. Aligning the sides to the primary ingredient ensures every bite is a journey to nirvana. Picture lemon-infused risotto resting under lemon caper scallops; each spoonful is a nod to the other, a shared secret between dish and side that speaks of moreish indulgence.

Scallop StyleSide Dish SuggestionFlavor Profiles
Bay ScallopsCitrus Quinoa SaladLight, Bright, Herbaceous
Pan-Seared ScallopsPeppery Arugula SaladRich, Zesty, Peppery
Bacon-Wrapped ScallopsParmesan PolentaIndulgent, Creamy, Smoky

Whether your evening calls for a quiet dinner or a soiree that’s the toast of the town, let the mélange of flavors from your exquisite seafood sides elevate your scallop soirée from memorable to unforgettable. Remember, the art of pairing is one that speaks to both the palate and the soul. Embrace it, and let the feast begin!

Fresh From the Garden: Vegetable Sides to Complement Scallops

Envision biting into a perfectly cooked scallop, its succulent flavor dancing on your tongue. Now, pair that with a side that’s just as impressive and garden-fresh. Yes, we’re talking about a selection of fresh vegetable sides that’ll make your scallop feast a symphony of tastes.

But not just any veggies – we mean the cream of the crop that not only provides a stunning plate presentation but also harmonizes with your precious scallops.

Scallops with vegetables in a tray placed on the table

Imagine the marriage of succotash with scallops, a colorful medley where every bite is a burst of freshness. Or perhaps you lean towards something with a bit of char – enter seasonal grilled veggies. And for a zesty touch that cleanses the palate, there’s nothing like a tomato cucumber salad. Get ready to turn your scallops dinner into a garden gathering!

Classic Succotash with Fresh Corn and Bell Peppers

You see, succotash isn’t just about nostalgia; it’s a vibrant side that breathes life into your main. Fresh corn kernels add sweetness, bell peppers bring the crunch, and your favorite beans tie it all together. And if you’re feeling frisky, add a little bacon for that smoky undertone. Who knew eating your colors could taste so good?

Seasonal Grilled Vegetables for a Smoky Twist

Nothing speaks of summer like the sultry scent of seasonal grilled veggies. Be it zucchini, squash, or asparagus, grilling them adds complexity to their earthy flavors, giving them a smoky edge that stands up to the delicate flavors of scallops. Picture it: your plate is a canvas, and these grilled beauties are the bold strokes of color and taste you’ve been craving.

Bright and Tangy Tomato Cucumber Salad

For a fresh finish, envisage a heaping helping of tomato cucumber salad – it’s the bright, tangy sidekick your scallops deserve. Dressed in a light red wine vinaigrette, this salad is the ultimate palate cleanser, ensuring each scallop bite feels like the first. Mediterranean vibes right at your table—talk about a flavor getaway!

Now, your mission, should you choose to accept, is to transform your scallops into a meal that’s not just mouth-watering but downright unforgettable. Pair them with these fresh from the garden sides, and watch the magic happen, bite after vibrant bite.

What to Serve with Scallops: Starchy Companions

When you’re plotting to impress with a plate of succulent scallops, you know you need starchy sides for scallops to complement your shellfish showstopper. Let’s dive into the gratifying world of starches where the perfect risotto sidles up to your scallops with consummate ease, and pasta twirls its way into becoming the ideal pasta accompaniments.

 Scallops with rice in a plate

The beauty of starches lies in their chameleonic ability to adapt to your main attraction – the scallops. Ever thought risotto could whisper sweet nothings to scallops? Oh, it can! The creamy, dreamy grains become perfect risotto pairings when they’re kissed with a hint of Parmesan and a zest of lemon.

But don’t let rice have all the fun! The pasta realm stands ready with backdrops ranging from the delicate strands of angel hair to the heartier embrace of linguine. Tossed in a simple garlic butter sauce or a robust marinara, these pasta accompaniments don’t just fill the plate; they complete the canvas of your culinary masterpiece.

Imagine a bed of jasmine rice – its perfumed steam rising to mingle with the golden crust of seared scallops. Or envision the earthy tones of a mushroom risotto, providing a rich haven for each tender mollusk to rest. That’s the magic of starchy sides!

Now, if we’re talking comfort, let’s talk potatoes. This versatile veggie transforms from silky mashed to a gratin’s crispy decadence, offering a homey hug to the refined scallop. Whether you lean towards the rustic charm of roasted spuds or the elegance of a fondant potato, each one becomes a cornerstone of cozy sophistication on your plate.

  • Jasmine or Brown Rice – A sweet, nutty fragrance that cradles the delicate flavors of scallops.
  • Risotto – Creamy and comforting, taking on any character you wish, from saffron-spiked to herby freshness.
  • Pasta – Whether you’re in the mood for light angel hair or robust linguine, it’s the canvas for your sauciest creations.
  • Potatoes – Mash them, bake them, scallop them – the world is your spud.

If the idea of risotto has you thinking it’s too complicated, think again! This starchy side is not only forgiving but also willing to flirt with various add-ins. From the earthy tones of wild mushrooms to the brightness of spring peas, your risotto can match the mood of your evening – refined romantic dinner or a casual feast among friends.

Starchy SideTextureFlavor ProfileScallop Pairing
Classic RisottoCreamyCheesy with a hint of white wineBrowned-Butter Bay Scallops
Angel Hair PastaLight and delicateButtery with notes of garlicGarlic Lemon Scallops
Mashed PotatoesSmoothRustic with a touch of creamHerb-Crusted Scallops
Jasmine RiceFluffy and fragrantSweet and nuttySeared Scallops with Citrus Glaze

Remember, your starchy sides are the co-stars to your scallops’ shining moment. They’re there to support, uplift, and ensure that every forkful is a harmonious blend of sea and land, of lightness and satisfaction. So go ahead, make some starch magic, and let those scallops bask in the glory of their perfect companions.

Nailing the Perfect Risotto and Pasta Pairings

Imagine this: every forkful of silky scallops is met with a sidekick that’s just as persuasive in taste. Yes, we’re talking about the ideal entourage of perfect risotto sides and pasta that bring your seafaring fare from mere sustenance to absolute symphony. Let’s dive into the art of coupling these delights.

Risotto bowl topped with mint placed on a table

Lemon Risotto: Creamy and Citrus-Infused Masterpiece

You’ve seared your scallops to golden perfection, and now they’re begging for a companion that sings of sun-kissed citrus groves. Enter Lemon Risotto—a harmonious blend of creamy, al-dente Arborio rice brightened by the zesty allure of lemon. It’s the yin to your scallop’s yang, the pinnacle of pasta and scallops harmony.

Italian Classics: Angel Hair Pasta and Linguine Options

Travel to the cobble stoned streets of Italy with your tastebuds through the timeless classics of angel hair pasta or linguine. These pastas provide a beautifully subtle base that won’t overpower but will amplify the delicate flavor of scallops. Dress them in garlic and olive oil or a butter-based seafood sauce, and brace yourself for ovations.

Exotic Twists: Israeli Couscous with Tomatoes

Calling all flavor adventurers! Behold the pearl-like grandeur of Israeli couscous tossed with ripe tomatoes—a side dish that’s not merely a side note but a headline act. Its pearl-shaped temptations offer a delightful pop, creating a side that’s as charmingly exotic as it is delectable, completing the trifecta of superior Israeli couscous side dish allure.

Risotto & Pasta SidesNotesPerfect With
Lemon RisottoCitrus-infused, creamy textureButter-seared Scallops
Angel Hair PastaLight and delicateGarlic Scallops
LinguineVersatile, hearty textureScallops in Seafood Sauce
Israeli CouscousNutty flavor, unique texturePan-seared Scallops with a Tomato Garnish

Feel free to immerse yourself in the culinary rapture that these perfect risotto sides and pasta pairings promise. Each is a love letter to your taste buds, an irresistible liaison for your main attraction: the ever-elegant scallops.

Going Low-Carb: Creative Cauliflower and Salad Sides

Steering your scallops towards the low-carb harbor? Look no further. Landing on your dinner table are sides that won’t weigh you down. It’s all about buoyancy here – flavor that floats without the carbs that sink.

So go ahead, dive into the world of low-carb scallop sides, and let your taste buds do the breaststroke through a sea of keto-friendly cauliflower mash and crisp green salad pairings.

Scallop with cauliflower salad in a plate placed on the table

Keto-Friendly Mashed Cauliflower with Flavor Variations

Imagine mashed potatoes, but with a cruciferous twist. Mashed cauliflower brings the comfort to your plate without the carb concern. And the beauty of cauliflower? It’s a chameleon in your kitchen, effortlessly taking on flavors that range from garlic and herbs to the audacity of truffle oil or zesty cheese. This side dish promises pure, guilt-free indulgence.

Refreshing Green Salads to Balance the Palate

Ever felt that eating salad was as exciting as watching paint dry? Not anymore. By tossing in elements like peppery arugula, crunchy romaine, or the licorice hint of fresh fennel, and perhaps a sprinkle of savory seeds or nutty accents, you’re no longer just “having a salad.”

You’re conducting a symphony of crispy, zesty, bite-sized delights that clean the palate and prep it for the next round of luxurious scallops.

IngredientMashed CauliflowerGreen Salad
BaseSteamed CauliflowerGreens (Arugula, Romaine, etc.)
TextureCreamy & SmoothCrunchy & Crisp
FlavorsCheese, Garlic, ChivesFennel, Citrus, Nuts
Keto-FriendlyYesYes, if dressing carefully chosen
Scallop PairingRich complementLight & Fresh contrast

Whether you favor a classical two-step or a foxtrot of flavors, your scallop sides can waltz right into a low-carb fete. The mash is rich; the greens are sprightly. Both invite your palate to a ball, leaving you feeling svelte and satisfied, not overstuffed. So tuck in your napkin, and let the flavors dance.

Bean There Done That: Perfect Peas and Beans Pairings

So you’ve got your scallops on deck, ready to impress, but maybe you’re pondering over what to pair with these oceanic gems? Look no further! Beans and peas are not merely the understudies to your sea-faring stars; they’re protein-rich sides ready to share the spotlight.

Let’s face it, when it comes to nutritious side options, these legumes aren’t humble brags; they’re bona fide showstoppers.

Imagine the succulent beans and peas with scallops—a match made in culinary heaven. We’re not just talking about a monotonous mishmash of greens here. We’re championing a cavalcade of colors, flavors, and textures that’ll make your taste buds sing a sea shanty.

Snap peas add a crisp, sweet note, while the earthy tones of kidney beans anchor the dish in robust richness. And chickpeas? Those creamy little marvels are like buttery clouds that dance in harmony with the scallops’ tender flesh.

Feeling creative? Go on and integrate these powerhouse pulses into salads for a multi-textural experience. Or, let them shine solo as a testament to their versatility. Here’s a little inspiration to get the ball, or shall we say bean, rolling:

  • Sprinkle a dash of smoked paprika over roasted chickpeas for a smoky whisper that complements seared scallops.
  • Freshen up with a minty pea puree that acts as a bright bed for those golden-browned beauties.
  • If you’re looking to keep it classic, a warm bean salad adorned with fresh herbs can be just the comforting hug your plate needs.

Lest we forget, these protein-rich sides are not just a pretty face in the culinary crowd. They’re champions of nutrition, bringing both a protein punch and a fiber-filled fiesta to the table, all while keeping things interesting for your palate. Now let that marinate as you plan your next scallops soirée.

In the end, when your guests dive into the delightful ensemble you’ve curated, they’ll realize that when it comes to scallops, it’s not just about the star of the sea; it’s also about those beans and peas. And that, my friend, is how you make a meal memorable.

Unbeatable Classics: Rice and Potato Dishes for Scallops

Thought you’ve tried all the sides? Think again. Picture this: your perfectly seared scallops nestled next to the crowning glory of classic rice sides and heartwarming roasted potato dishes. Imagine the oohs and aahs as you unveil these comforting yet elegant pairings to your dinner guests.

Scallops with Rice bowl on a table

Jasmine Rice: A Fragrant Bed for Succulent Scallops

Let’s start with jasmine rice, the aromatic darling of rice varieties. Its floral scent seduces the senses, making it the ultimate bed to lay your tender scallops on. Just like that sophisticated friend who gets along with everyone, jasmine rice complements the delicate flavors of the sea without stealing the spotlight.

Rustic Roasted Potatoes with Herbs and Spices

On the other hand, we have roasted potato dishes—these spuds don’t lie. Roasted to golden perfection and seasoned with a harmonious mix of herbs and spices, they bring a rustic charm to your plate. Their crisp exterior and fluffy insides might just make your scallops served with rice jealous.

Side DishMain IngredientsPreparation StylePerfect For
Fragrant Jasmine RiceJasmine rice, Butter, Chicken stock (optional), SaltSteamed to fluffy perfectionAccentuating seafood’s natural flavors, such as scallops
Rustic Roasted PotatoesPotatoes, Olive oil, Rosemary, Garlic, Sea saltOven-roasted until golden and crispA hearty complement to a seafood symphony

So, there you have it, the classic duo that will not only fill your stomach but also warm your heart. With these unbeatable sides, your scallops will feel like they’re getting the royal treatment—and so will your taste buds. Ready to dive in?

International Inspirations: Unique Global Flavors to Explore

Welcome to the table where borders don’t exist and each plate is a passport to a world of unique scallop pairings. As you embark on this culinary journey, let your taste buds dive into a sea of global flavors and savor the company of international side dishes that echo the tales of far-off lands.

Verities of scallops with global flavors and coriander in a plate

Imagine the crispy leaves of an Italian radicchio salad lightly dressing your palate, the bold, peppery taste providing a flawless backdrop to the delicate scallops. Or how about unwrapping the gift of sweetness with some Kung Pao Brussels sprouts, where the punch of spice meets the caramelized crunch?

There’s no journey too far for your dinner plate, not when Thai cucumber salad can make a surprise visit, with its refreshing crunch and a tangy dance of flavors.

  • Italian Radicchio Salad – a bitter-sweet contrast with nutty parmesan
  • Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts – a spicy kick that enlivens the tender scallops
  • Thai Cucumber Salad – a refreshing mix that cleanses the palate
  • Hawaiian Coleslaw – a tropical twist of tangy and sweet
  • Burst Tomato Israeli Couscous – a burst of warmth and vibrancy

Fancy a luau on your plate? Let a tangy Hawaiian coleslaw sway to the rhythm of the islands alongside your scallops. Or perhaps, let the burst tomato Israeli couscous sprinkle your dining experience with pieces of the Mediterranean sun. Each side dish invites you on a different excursion, from the rolling hills of Tuscany to the bustling markets of Bangkok.

Your pursuit of global flavors is more than a search for exoticism—it’s a toast to the diversity that’s within arm’s reach, a celebration of how the world can come together, one scallop at a time. So here’s to breaking bread, or rather, clinking forks, across continents!

The Coastal Touch: Seafood Enhancers and Complimentary Sides

Invoke the essence of the sea as you pair your succulent scallops dinner with coastal flavor enhancers that resonate with the very spirit of the ocean. These aren’t just sides; they are a tribute to the maritime bounty, bringing out the best in your main course. Let’s dive into two sides that are as refreshing as a gentle sea breeze and as flavorful as a walk on the beach.

Fennel and Citrus Salads for a Refreshing Crunch

Picture the vibrant colors of a fennel citrus salad gracing your table. The marriage of sweet and tangy citrus with the subtle licorice-like flavor of fennel offers a delightful palate cleanser. It’s a culinary nod to coastal living that brightens each scallop’s taste with a refreshing crunch. It’s not just a side; it’s a sensory experience.

Seaweed and Quinoa Salad for Oceanic Nuance

Next on your plate is something a little unconventional – a seaweed quinoa pairing, where the earthiness of quinoa meets the brine of seaweed. This salad echoes the serene green hues of seagrass swaying beneath the waves, offering a textural delight that’s both nutritious and full of oceanic nuances.

Seaweed and Quinoa Salad bowl on a table

These complementary sides are not just afterthoughts, your choice of them speaks of an appreciation for the breadth of the sea’s flavors. A fennel citrus salad or a seaweed quinoa pairing will not only honor the scallops’ delicate profile but enrich your entire dining experience with their distinctive coastal charm.

Sweet Endings: Concluding Your Scallops Dinner

Just because the scallops have been savored doesn’t mean your taste buds don’t get a final encore. Picture this: a Sweet dessert so light and refreshing, it floats off your fork, yet so delectably sweet, it lingers in your memory. Here’s the scoop on slipping into the sweet finale of your sumptuous seafood soirée.

Seasonal Fruit Compotes for a Light Dessert Option

You’ve tickled their taste buds with the salty kiss of the ocean; now it’s time for Mother Nature’s sweets. A spoonful of seasonal fruit compote might just be the ballet in your mouth after the bold opera of flavors. And let’s face it, light desserts are the way to end on a high note without weighing down the symphony of the sea you’ve just performed on the dinner plates.

Assorted seasonal fruits strawberries, watermelon, peaches, and blueberries placed on the table

Decadent Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries: A Luscious Finale

Who can resist the allure of chocolate? Pair those juicy berries with the silken robes of chocolate, and you’ve got yourself a chocolate dessert pairing worthy of a standing ovation. Chocolate-dipped strawberries are the lovers’ dance, the sweet whispers saying goodnight to a meal that will be reminisced about for days to come.


As your scallop soiree reaches its crescendo, you find yourself savoring the ultimate scallop dining experience. The array of pairings you’ve engaged with dance across your palate, each bringing its own note to this seafood symphony.

The vegetables brought earthy comfort, the grains a foundational satisfaction, and the salads a light touch of zest. In this journey, you’ve discovered how the subtle, sweet nuances of scallops can either stand in bold contrast or tango tenderly with their sidekicks.

Reflecting on the night, a scallop pairing recap is in order: the succotash bursting with its rainbow-colored tapestry, the creamy risotto lending an air of Italian elegance, and those international flavors that whisked everyone’s taste buds on a world tour.

As the evening wanes, your selection has achieved more than just culinary satisfaction; it has demonstrated a sense of adventure and care in each chosen accompaniment, validating why your gatherings are always a notch above.

Even as the plates are cleared, the seafood dinner conclusions are met with smiles and the quiet buzz of delighted conversation. Sweetness lingers last on the menu and in memory, encapsulating the rich tapestry of tastes that have graced your table.

Your guests leave not just fed, but truly nourished with the elegance and embrace of a perfectly crafted meal at sea. Indeed, you’ve spearheaded more than dinner—you’ve curated an experience.


What are the best scallop accompaniments for a gourmet seafood pairing?

Elevate your seafood game with fresh vegetable sides like a vibrant succotash or smoky grilled veggies. Starchy companions such as a creamy risotto or a warm pasta dish also make for exquisite seafood sides when wondering what to serve with scallops.

How do I master gourmet scallop pairings?

The secret is to consider the scallop preparation. Pair pan-seared scallops with a tangy lemon risotto or serve bay scallops with a refreshing tomato cucumber salad for a blend of textures and flavors that will impress even the most sophisticated palates.

Can you suggest fresh vegetable sides that complement scallops?

Absolutely! Classic succotash with fresh corn and bell peppers is a colorful choice. Or, bring a seasonal twist with grilled veggies like zucchini or asparagus. If you’re feeling adventurous, shake up your greens game with a bright and tangy tomato cucumber salad!

When considering starchy sides for scallops, what are some winning choices?

Starches are the ultimate cozy-up-to-scallops choice. Think buttery jasmine rice or a bed of angel hair pasta, just waiting to embrace those succulent seafaring morsels. And nothing says comfort like a scoop of creamy mashed potatoes or an inventive cauliflower mash if you’re going the low-carb route.

What are some perfect risotto or pasta pairings with scallops?

For risotto, lemon is your citrusy sweetheart that brings out the scallops’ own ocean-kissed sweetness. And pasta? Go for classics like angel hair or linguine to twirl around your fork—perfect foils for rich, garlic-infused sauces or simple, buttery goodness. Don’t forget to stir in some flair with an exotic Israeli couscous side dish!

What are some low-carb scallop sides that don’t skimp on flavor?

Dive into the guilt-free indulgence of mashed cauliflower, exploding with flavor possibilities to match your keto lifestyle. Or, toss up a refreshing greens salad, adding fennel or a citrusy twist to balance the richness of scallops.

What are some protein-rich sides that go well with scallops?

Team up your ocean delights with land-loving legumes! Sweet peas, snappy snap peas, or a medley of hearty beans can add a nutritious punch to your plate. Whether solo or tossed into a salad, these protein-packed gems are more than ready to stand alongside your scallops.

Are there classic rice and potato dishes you recommend for serving with scallops?

Who can resist the classics? The floral notes of jasmine rice are a match made in heaven for buttery scallops, while rustic roasted potatoes, flirtatiously seasoned with herbs and spices, offer a comforting counterpoint to their delicate flavor.

Can you recommend some international side dishes to pair with scallops?

Oh, let’s take your taste buds on a global tour! How about Kung Pao Brussels sprouts for a spicy kick or a Thai cucumber salad for a juicy crunch? Explore Italian radicchio salads, tropical Hawaiian coleslaw, or a burst tomato Israeli couscous for a splash of international intrigue.

What seafood enhancers and complimentary sides bring a coastal touch to a scallops dinner?

To channel those seaside vibes, try a fennel and citrus salad or a unique seaweed and quinoa salad. These coastal flavor enhancers resonate with the marine essence of scallops, weaving in an oceanic nuance that upgrades your dining experience.

Any suggestions for light desserts to conclude a scallops dinner?

Certainly! After savoring those mouthwatering scallops, cleanse the palate with a seasonal fruit compote or indulge just a tad with chocolate-dipped strawberries for a luscious and elegant end to your marine feast.