Seared scallops are a popular and mouth-watering dish that can be easily made at home. Cooking scallops on the stovetop is a quick process, taking under 8 minutes. To start, sear the scallops in a pan with oil or butter until they have a golden, crispy crust. Now the question is, what to serve with seared scallops? Check out this guide for the best side dishes to complement your scallops and elevate your seafood dish. From rice and pasta to potatoes and greens, there are plenty of options to choose from that will enhance the flavors of your scallops and create a balanced and satisfying meal.
Table of Contents
- Pair seared scallops with versatile and complementary side dishes like rice, pasta, potatoes, greens, peas & beans, and salads.
- Consider using jasmine rice or brown rice as a bed for your scallops or as a separate side dish.
- Create delightful pasta dishes with linguine, angel hair, spaghetti, or vermicelli.
- Explore the versatility of potatoes by trying mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, or french fries.
- Add nutrients and freshness to your scallops by incorporating greens like lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, or cauliflower.
Rice: A Versatile and Complementary Side Dish for Scallops
Rice is a versatile and simple side dish that pairs well with seared scallops. The natural flavors of jasmine rice and brown rice work particularly well with the oil and seafood flavors of scallops. You can use rice as a bed for your scallops or create a separate rice side dish to complement your meal. Regardless of the type of rice or cooking method you choose, combining rice with seared scallops creates a filling and balanced meal that is perfect for any occasion.
One popular option is to serve the seared scallops on a bed of jasmine rice. The fragrant jasmine rice enhances the delicate flavors of the scallops and provides a light and fluffy base for the dish. Simply cook the rice according to package instructions, season it with a bit of salt and butter, and plate it before adding the perfectly seared scallops on top.
If you prefer a separate rice side dish, consider making a flavorful rice pilaf. Sauté some diced onions and garlic in a pan with butter or oil, then add the rice and stir until it’s coated in the mixture. Pour in chicken or vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and let the rice simmer until it’s cooked through. Fluff the rice with a fork, and you’ll have a delicious and fragrant pilaf that perfectly complements the seared scallops.
|Jasmine Rice with Seared Scallops
|– 1 cup jasmine rice
|– 1 cup long-grain rice
|– 2 cups water
|– 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
|– Salt and butter to taste
|– 1 small onion, diced
|– Seared scallops
|– 1 clove garlic, minced
|– Salt and pepper to taste
|– Butter or oil for sautéing
Whether you choose to serve scallops on a bed of jasmine rice or alongside a delicious rice pilaf, rice is a versatile and complementary side dish that adds texture and flavor to your seafood meal. Experiment with different types of rice and seasonings to create a dish that perfectly suits your taste.
Pasta: A Delightful and Flavorful Accompaniment for Scallops
Pasta is another fantastic option to serve with seared scallops. With a wide variety of pasta shapes and flavors to choose from, you can create a pasta salad, serve the scallops on top of pasta, or make a separate pasta side dish. Linguine, angel hair, spaghetti, and vermicelli are popular pasta noodles that pair well with scallops. Consider adding sauce or a glass of wine to enhance the flavors even further. Pasta dishes can be simple or elaborate, but they always complement the delicate flavors of scallops.
When serving scallops with pasta, you have the flexibility to combine different ingredients to create a unique and delightful dish. You can add fresh herbs like basil or parsley, vegetables such as cherry tomatoes or asparagus, and even seafood like shrimp or clams. The possibilities are endless, allowing you to experiment and find the perfect combination of flavors that will elevate your scallop dish.
One popular pasta dish to pair with scallops is linguine with white wine garlic sauce. The lightness of the pasta and the richness of the sauce create a harmonious balance that enhances the flavors of the scallops. Another option is to toss angel hair pasta with olive oil, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes for a simple yet zesty accompaniment to seared scallops. Whether you prefer a creamy sauce or a lighter vinaigrette, pasta provides a delightful and flavorful backdrop for your scallops.
Table: Top Pasta Pairings for Seared Scallops
|Linguine with White Wine Garlic Sauce
|A classic pasta dish with a rich and flavorful sauce that complements seared scallops perfectly.
|Angel Hair Pasta with Lemon and Red Pepper Flakes
|A light and zesty pasta dish that adds a tangy kick to the delicate flavors of seared scallops.
|A creamy and indulgent pasta dish with pancetta, eggs, and Parmesan cheese, providing a luxurious pairing for seared scallops.
|Pasta Salad with Fresh Vegetables
|A refreshing and colorful pasta salad with a variety of vegetables that adds texture and freshness to seared scallops.
As you can see, pasta offers a wide range of options to enhance the flavors of seared scallops. Whether you choose a classic pasta dish or get creative with your own unique creation, combining pasta with scallops will result in a delightful and flavorful meal that is sure to impress.
Potatoes: Absorb the Flavors of Scallops for a Perfect Pairing
Potatoes offer a range of options when it comes to serving with seared scallops. Potatoes can absorb the flavors of the scallops and create a satisfying side dish. You can use different types of potatoes, such as mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, or french fries. Mixing different colors of potatoes, like red, golden yellow, white, and purple, can also create a visually appealing side dish. The versatility of potatoes makes them a great choice to pair with seared scallops.
When it comes to choosing the potato preparation, mashed potatoes are a classic option. The creamy texture and mild flavor of mashed potatoes provide a perfect canvas for the delicate flavors of the scallops. You can customize your mashed potatoes by adding garlic, herbs, or cheese to enhance the overall taste. Another option is scalloped potatoes, where thin slices of potatoes are layered with cream, cheese, and seasoning, then baked until golden and bubbly. The rich and cheesy scalloped potatoes complement the seared scallops beautifully.
If you’re looking for a lighter alternative, consider roasting potatoes. Roasted potatoes have a crispy exterior and tender interior, making them a delicious accompaniment to seared scallops. Toss the potatoes in olive oil, salt, and herbs like rosemary or thyme, then roast them in the oven until golden brown. The earthy and savory flavors of roasted potatoes pair well with the delicate sweetness of scallops.
Table: Potato Preparations for Seared Scallops
|Creamy and mild, perfect for absorbing the flavors of scallops
|Layers of potatoes with cream, cheese, and seasoning, baked to perfection
|Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, with savory flavors
Overall, potatoes are a fantastic choice for serving with seared scallops. Whether you prefer mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, or roasted potatoes, they have the ability to absorb the flavors of the scallops and create a satisfying and complementary side dish. Experiment with different potato preparations to find the perfect pairing for your seared scallops and elevate your seafood dining experience.
Greens: Add Nutrients and Freshness to Your Scallops
Adding a touch of green to your scallop dish not only adds a vibrant pop of color but also brings in a burst of freshness and essential nutrients. The crispness and earthy flavors of greens create a delightful contrast to the delicate taste of seared scallops. Whether you opt for a simple salad or incorporate leafy green vegetables into your meal, these healthy side options will complement your scallops perfectly.
Salads: Light and Refreshing Options
Salads offer a light and refreshing option to serve alongside seared scallops. They provide a great opportunity to experiment with different flavors and textures to find the perfect combination for your taste buds. Consider adding ingredients like walnuts, feta cheese, strawberries, or various types of lettuce, such as iceberg, romaine, red leaf lettuce, kale, collard greens, and broccoli. The diverse range of ingredients ensures you can create a salad that pairs well with scallops throughout the year, no matter the season.
Leafy Greens: Nutritious and Flavorful
If you prefer a more straightforward approach, adding leafy greens as a side dish is an excellent choice. Vegetables like spinach, Swiss chard, and arugula not only bring a burst of green to your plate but also offer a wide array of essential nutrients. These greens can be lightly sautéed or steamed to preserve their freshness and natural flavors. Their mild bitterness complements the buttery taste of scallops and makes for a well-rounded and nutritious meal.
The Benefits of Greens
The inclusion of greens in your scallop dish provides a host of health benefits. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support overall well-being. Greens are also low in calories and high in fiber, making them an excellent option for those looking to maintain a healthy weight or improve their digestion. By incorporating greens into your meal, you not only enhance the flavors of your scallops but also create a balanced and satisfying dish.
Peas & Beans: Protein-packed Side Dishes to Enhance Scallops
When it comes to serving seared scallops, peas and beans make excellent protein-packed side dishes that not only add flavor but also enhance the overall dining experience. These legumes provide a satisfying and nutritious complement to the delicate flavors of the scallops, creating a well-rounded meal. Whether you prefer sweet peas, snap peas, chickpeas, or a variety of beans, there are plenty of options to choose from that will elevate your scallop dish to new heights.
One delicious way to enjoy peas with scallops is to sauté them lightly with garlic and olive oil. This simple yet flavorful combination adds a burst of freshness to your meal and pairs perfectly with the seared scallops. Additionally, snap peas can be blanched and served as a crisp and refreshing side dish, adding a delightful crunch to each bite.
If you’re a fan of beans, consider creating a protein-packed salad with a mix of black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, or white beans. You can season them with herbs, spices, and a tangy vinaigrette to complement the richness of the scallops. Another option is to heat the beans and toss them with some lemon zest and a drizzle of olive oil, creating a warm and comforting side dish that balances the flavors of the seared scallops.
In summary, peas and beans are versatile and flavorful side dishes that pair exceptionally well with seared scallops. They offer a protein-packed option that adds depth and texture to your meal. Whether you choose to sauté peas, blanch snap peas, or create a bean salad, these legumes will enhance the overall dining experience and leave you satisfied.
Table: Comparison of Peas and Beans for Scallop Accompaniments
|Provide a burst of freshness
|Add depth and richness
|Quick and easy to prepare
|Options for both cold and warm preparations
|Light and crisp texture
|Versatile for salads, sautés, and more
|Pair well with garlic and olive oil
|Can be seasoned with herbs and spices
|Sweet peas and snap peas
|Black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, and white beans
Peas and beans are excellent options for side dishes that are packed with protein and flavor. The combination of these legumes with seared scallops adds nutritional value and creates a satisfying and well-rounded meal.
So, the next time you prepare seared scallops, don’t forget to include peas or beans as a delightful and protein-rich accompaniment. Your taste buds will thank you!
Salads: Light and Refreshing Sides to Complement Scallops
Salads offer a light and refreshing option to serve alongside seared scallops. With a wide variety of salad options, you can create a salad that pairs well with scallops during any season. Consider adding ingredients like walnuts, feta cheese, strawberries, or various types of lettuce, such as iceberg, romaine, red leaf lettuce, kale, collard greens, and broccoli. Salads not only provide a burst of fresh flavors but also add a vibrant and colorful element to your meal.
One popular salad option to consider is a strawberry spinach salad. The combination of sweet strawberries, tangy feta cheese, and fresh spinach creates a delightful contrast to the rich and buttery flavors of seared scallops. Toss the ingredients together and drizzle with a light balsamic vinaigrette for a refreshing and healthy side dish.
If you prefer a heartier salad, try a Mediterranean-inspired salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, black olives, and feta cheese. The briny flavors of the olives and feta cheese complement the tender flavors of the scallops, while the crisp vegetables provide a satisfying crunch. Finish the salad with a lemon herb dressing for a zesty and flavorful finish.
|Strawberry Spinach Salad
|A refreshing combination of sweet strawberries, tangy feta cheese, and fresh spinach. Drizzled with a light balsamic vinaigrette.
|A hearty salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, black olives, and feta cheese. Tossed in a lemon herb dressing.
|Watermelon Feta Salad
|A summer salad with juicy watermelon, crumbled feta cheese, fresh mint, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a burst of flavors.
Another refreshing option is a watermelon feta salad. The juicy watermelon pairs beautifully with the creamy and salty feta cheese, while fresh mint adds a refreshing touch. Drizzle the salad with a balsamic glaze for a tangy and sweet finish that brings out the natural sweetness of the scallops.
When serving salads with seared scallops, it’s important to choose dressings that complement the flavors of the dish. Light vinaigrettes, lemon herb dressings, or even a simple squeeze of lemon juice and olive oil can enhance the flavors without overpowering the delicate taste of the scallops. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different salad ingredients and dressings to find the perfect combination that suits your taste.
Other Delicious Side Dishes to Pair with Scallops
While rice, pasta, potatoes, greens, and salads are popular choices, there are many other delicious side dishes that can be paired with seared scallops to create a memorable meal. These dishes offer unique flavors and textures that complement the delicate flavors of scallops, making them a perfect addition to your dining experience.
One option to consider is lemon risotto with mascarpone. The tangy lemon flavor adds a refreshing twist to the creamy risotto, while the rich mascarpone cheese creates a luxurious and velvety texture. This dish pairs beautifully with seared scallops, creating a combination of flavors that is both indulgent and satisfying.
Another delightful side dish is sautéed zucchini and squash. The tender and slightly caramelized vegetables provide a subtle sweetness that balances the savory flavors of the scallops. With a touch of garlic and herbs, this dish adds a burst of freshness to the meal, creating a well-rounded and flavorful plate.
If you’re looking for something lighter, a shaved Brussels sprout salad is an excellent choice. The crispness of the Brussels sprouts, combined with the nuttiness of toasted almonds and the sweetness of dried cranberries, creates a refreshing and vibrant salad. Tossed with a tangy vinaigrette, this salad adds a delightful crunch and a burst of flavors to your scallop dish.
Table: Scallop Pairings
|Lemon Risotto with Mascarpone
|A creamy and tangy risotto with a touch of lemon and rich mascarpone cheese.
|Sautéed Zucchini and Squash
|Tender and caramelized zucchini and squash, seasoned with garlic and herbs.
|Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
|Refreshing salad with crisp Brussels sprouts, toasted almonds, and dried cranberries, tossed in a tangy vinaigrette.
These side dishes, along with others like roasted delicata squash and grilled bell peppers, offer a range of flavors and textures that enhance the dining experience when paired with seared scallops. Whether you’re looking for bold and indulgent flavors or light and refreshing options, there is a side dish to suit every palate. Get creative in the kitchen and experiment with different combinations to find your favorite scallop pairing.
Seared scallops are a versatile and delicious dish that can be paired with a variety of sides to create a memorable meal. From rice and pasta to potatoes, greens, and unique options like lemon risotto and roasted delicata squash, there are endless possibilities for serving scallops. Whether you prefer light and refreshing salads, protein-packed peas and beans, or hearty side dishes like mashed potatoes, the key is to find flavors that complement and enhance the delicate flavors of the scallops.
So next time you cook seared scallops, try one of these side dishes to create a truly incredible dining experience. With the right side dish, you can elevate your scallop dish from ordinary to gourmet. Experiment with different combinations, textures, and flavors to find your favorite pairings.
Remember, scallop accompaniments are not just about adding variety to your meal, but also about enhancing the overall taste and presentation. Consider the seasonality of ingredients and make use of fresh produce to create a harmonious balance of flavors and textures. Whether you’re cooking for a special occasion or a casual weeknight dinner, seared scallops with the perfect side dish will surely impress your guests and create a memorable dining experience.
What is the best way to cook scallops?
To cook scallops, sear them in a pan with oil or butter until they have a golden, crispy crust.
How long does it take to cook scallops on the stovetop?
Cooking scallops on the stovetop takes under 8 minutes.
What are the best side dishes to serve with seared scallops?
Some great options for side dishes to serve with seared scallops include rice, pasta, potatoes, greens, and peas and beans.
What type of rice pairs well with scallops?
Jasmine rice and brown rice work particularly well with the flavors of scallops.
Can I serve scallops on top of pasta?
Yes, serving scallops on top of pasta is a fantastic option that pairs well with the flavors of both dishes.
What types of potatoes can I serve with scallops?
You can serve scallops with mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, or even french fries.
How can I add freshness to my scallop dish?
Adding a salad or leafy green vegetables to your meal can provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of the scallops.
What are some unique options for serving scallops?
Some unique options for serving scallops include lemon risotto with mascarpone, sautéed zucchini and squash, shaved Brussels sprout salad, roasted delicata squash, and grilled bell peppers.
What is the key to pairing scallops with side dishes?
The key to pairing scallops with side dishes is to find flavors that complement and enhance the delicate flavors of the scallops.