Are you looking for the perfect side dish to pair with your scallops and pasta dinner?
If so, you’re not alone; many of us have scoured our cookbooks and glossy food magazines trying to find a meal that screams perfection.
Luckily for you, I’m here to take out all of the guess work – below are 10 of my favorite sides that make this dinner complete.
From fresh salads to cheesy veggie casseroles, each dish is bursting with flavor and sure to be an instant hit!
Read on for all of my tried-and-true recipes and ideas that will perfectly compliment your delicious seafood supper.
What to Serve with Scallops and Pasta? 10 Side Dishes
1 – Garlic Bread
Garlic bread is the perfect side dish for scallops and pasta.
It’s simple, but flavorful and pairs well with both dishes.
Plus, it’s easy to make.
The key to great garlic bread is in the quality of the bread.
You want to use a good, crusty bread that will hold up to the garlic and butter.
For the garlic, you can either use fresh cloves or jarred minced garlic.
If using fresh, be sure to mince it very finely so that it distributes evenly throughout the bread.
When it comes to buttering the bread, don’t be shy.
You want to really slather on the butter so that each bite is nice and rich.
If you’re feeling extra indulgent, you can even add some grated cheese to the mix.
Bake the bread until it’s nice and crusty on the outside but soft in the middle.
Serve warm and enjoy.
2 – Grilled Asparagus
Who doesn’t love asparagus? This healthy, delicious vegetable is perfect for grilling.
Asparagus has a unique taste and texture that is perfect for any BBQ or outdoor meal.
Here are some tips on how to grill asparagus and make it even more delicious:
- First, start with fresh asparagus. You don’t want to use frozen asparagus for grilling, as it will not have the same flavor or texture.
- Next, coat the asparagus in olive oil. This will help to prevent it from sticking to the grill and also add some flavor.
- Grill the asparagus over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until it is cooked to your liking.
- Finally, season the asparagus with salt and pepper to taste. You can also add other seasonings like garlic powder or Parmesan cheese.
Grilled asparagus is a great side dish for any grilled chicken, steak, or fish.
It is also delicious on its own.
3 – Wilted Spinach Salad
A wilted spinach salad is a dish that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
It is simple to make and can be served as a side dish or a main course.
The taste and texture of the spinach leaves are what make this dish so special.
The taste of the wilted spinach leaves is both earthy and slightly sweet.
The texture of the leaves is tender and slightly chewy.
The flavor of the leaves pairs well with the sweetness of the dressing and the saltiness of the bacon.
There are several things that you can do to elevate this dish.
One way is to use fresh spinach leaves instead of frozen ones.
Another way is to add some chopped nuts or seeds to the salad.
You could also add some crumbled cheese on top of the salad.
4 – Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Roasted Brussels sprouts are a delicious and easy way to elevate your side dish game.
These little green veggies are packed with flavor and can be easily roasted in the oven with just a few simple ingredients.
Brussels sprouts have a naturally nutty and earthy flavor that is amplified when they are roasted.
Roasting also brings out a slight bitterness in Brussels sprouts, which is balanced by the sweetness of roasted garlic or onions.
The texture of roasted Brussels sprouts is slightly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
To make roasted Brussels sprouts even more delicious, try adding some bacon or pancetta to the mix.
You can also top them with Parmesan cheese or a balsamic glaze for an extra special touch.
5 – Garlic Mashed Potatoes
There’s nothing quite like a plate of creamy, dreamy mashed potatoes.
They’re the perfect comfort food and can be easily dressed up or down depending on your mood.
But if you’re looking to elevate your mashed potato game, garlic is the way to go.
Garlic mashed potatoes are rich and flavorful, with a beautiful creamy texture.
The key to getting the perfect consistency is to use starchy potatoes like Russets or Yukon Golds.
You’ll also want to make sure you mash the potatoes until they’re totally smooth – no lumps allowed.
As for the garlic, you can either roast it beforehand for a more mellow flavor or saute it in some butter for a bit of a bite.
Whichever route you choose, be sure to add plenty of it.
These mashed potatoes are all about that garlicky goodness.
Looking to really impress your guests? Top your garlic mashed potatoes with some crispy roasted sage leaves or shaved Parmesan cheese.
Trust us, they’ll be begging for seconds.
6 – Sweet Potato Fries
There’s nothing quite like a basket of hot, fresh fries.
But why settle for the ordinary when you can have something even better? Sweet potato fries are the perfect way to elevate your fry game.
Sweet potato fries are deliciously sweet and savory, with a crispy exterior and a soft, fluffy interior.
They’re the perfect side dish to any meal, or even a meal in themselves.
And the best part is, they’re so easy to make at home.
Here are some tips for making the best sweet potato fries:
- Start with good quality sweet potatoes. Look for ones that are firm and free of blemishes.
- Cut the sweet potatoes into even pieces so that they cook evenly.
- Soak the sweet potatoes in cold water for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This will help to remove some of the starch and make them extra crispy.
- Use a high quality cooking oil such as avocado oil or olive oil. This will help to prevent sticking and ensure that the fries get nice and crispy.
- Season the sweet potato fries with salt, pepper, and any other spices you like. Some great options include paprika, garlic powder, or cumin.
- Bake the sweet potato fries in a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crispy.
7 – Sauteed Mushrooms
Sauteed mushrooms are a classic side dish that can be served with scallops and pasta.
They are simple to make and can be made in advance.
Mushrooms have a earthy, umami flavor that pairs well with rich, creamy sauces.
They are also relatively inexpensive and easy to find at most grocery stores.
To elevate this dish, try using a variety of different mushrooms.
Portobello, shitake, and oyster mushrooms will all add different flavors and textures.
You can also experiment with different cooking techniques, such as grilling or roasting the mushrooms instead of sauteeing them.
Whether you are looking for an easy side dish or something a little more impressive, sauteed mushrooms are a great option.
Serve them with your favorite scallops and pasta recipe for a complete meal.
8 – Caramelized Onions
Caramelized onions are a delicious way to add sweetness and depth of flavor to any dish.
The process of slowly cooking the onions in a bit of fat until they turn a golden brown color brings out their natural sugars, resulting in a rich and mellow taste.
Caramelized onions also have a lovely soft texture that can really elevate a dish.
When cooked properly, they should be meltingly tender without being mushy.
One tip for getting them just right is to cook them over low heat so that they have plenty of time to soften and caramelize without burning.
If you’re looking for a way to add some extra wow factor to your next meal, try serving caramelized onions on the side.
They make an excellent addition to scallops and pasta, and can really elevate the dish with their sweetness and depth of flavor.
9 – Baked Parmesan Zucchini
This baked parmesan zucchini dish is the perfect side to accompany scallops and pasta.
The zucchini is lightly coated in olive oil and Parmesan cheese, then baked until it is tender and slightly browned.
This dish is packed with flavor and easy to make.
The taste of this dish is savory and slightly sweet from the Parmesan cheese.
The texture of the zucchini is tender but still has a little bite to it.
The dish is also enhanced by the crispy edges of the Parmesan cheese.
There are a few tips that can help you elevate this dish.
First, make sure to use fresh Parmesan cheese for the best flavor.
Second, you can experiment with different seasonings such as adding garlic or red pepper flakes.
Finally, if you want a little more color on your plate, you can top the dish with some chopped parsley or basil before serving.
10 – Summer Squash Salad
This summer squash salad is the perfect side dish to scallops and pasta.
The light, refreshing flavor of the squash is a perfect complement to the richness of the scallops and pasta.
The salad is also incredibly easy to make, which makes it an ideal choice for a busy weeknight meal.
The key to making this salad great is to use fresh, in-season summer squash.
The flavor of the squash will be much better than if you use out-of-season squash.
You’ll also want to make sure that you slice the squash very thinly so that it cooks evenly and doesn’t end up being mushy.
To elevate this dish, you could add some fresh herbs like basil or mint.
You could also add some crumbled feta cheese or shaved Parmesan cheese.
If you’re looking for a bit of a crunch, you could add some chopped nuts like pistachios or almonds.
Here are 10 side dishes that go great with scallops and pasta.
I hope you find this list helpful and that you’ll try out some of these dishes the next time you’re looking for something to make with scallops and pasta.
Let me know in the comments what your favorite side dish is.
What to Serve with Scallops and Pasta? 10 Side Dishes
- 1 – Garlic Bread
- 2 – Grilled Asparagus
- 3 – Wilted Spinach Salad
- 4 – Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- 5 – Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- 6 – Sweet Potato Fries
- 7 – Sauteed Mushrooms
- 8 – Caramelized Onions
- 9 – Baked Parmesan Zucchini
- 10 – Summer Squash Salad
- Select your favorite sides from the list above.
- Prepare the side dish according to the recipe instructions.
- If you’re short on time, some of these can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving.
- Serve and enjoy!
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!