what to serve with shrimp scampi

What to Serve with Shrimp Scampi: 14 Simple and Classic Sides

Shrimp scampi is a savory Italian dish initially made with scampi or Norway lobsters, hence the dish’s name. However, recipes evolved to include other seafood, with shrimp and prawns becoming the most popular. Thus, it came to be this simple and luxurious shrimp dish you know and love!

While shrimp scampi is delicious, it’s more satisfying when paired with the right foods. So what to serve with shrimp scampi? Experience that feeling of gusto by trying out any of these 14 classic yet simple side dish recipes.

1. Zucchini Noodles

As bizarre as the concept may seem, zucchini noodles are precisely what they sound like. They are strips of noodles or pasta made entirely from zucchini. The fresh, plain flavors make them a perfect side to shrimp scampi, and you can even cook them with the sauce! Or, if you want something easier, turn them into a serving bed for the shrimps!

2. Garlic Butter Pasta

Plain pasta is another classic side dish for shrimp scampi; indeed, they’re such a popular pairing that many recipes have incorporated the two. But if you want a separate pasta dish with similar savory flavors, you can go for this recipe. It’s delicious yet simple, made from six ingredients only: butter, garlic, parmesan, parsley, salt, and your favorite pasta!

3. Gnocchi

There’s hardly anything better to serve with shrimp scampi than a classic Italian dish like gnocchi. Gnocchi is a traditional dumpling dish made from potatoes, flour, eggs, and, sometimes, ricotta. You make it by hand and mold it into many shapes using a fork, paddle, or your fingers. Cook it plain to suit the scampi sauce.

4. Garlic Bread

Garlic bread is a classic accompaniment to shrimp scampi because of their similar, savory flavors, which are buttery and garlicky. Moreover, the bread does an excellent job absorbing the sauce, so you get more of it with every bite. It’s also quite customizable – you can opt for soft or crispy bread, more buttery than garlicky, or add more herbs.

5. Homemade Breadsticks

Many Italian dishes go well with breadsticks, and shrimp scampi is no exception. These fluffy, soft dough treats also come in many variants, like garlic butter, cheesy, cinnamon, or gluten-free. But if you’re going for something plain and traditional to suit your meal, you can give this recipe a try.

6. No-Knead Crusty White Bread

If you want to highlight the fantastic flavors of your shrimp scampi, a side of homemade, crusty white bread is perfect! Like garlic bread, it absorbs the sauce, but there are no other intense flavors to contrast or overwhelm the scampi sauce. Also, there’s a satisfying feeling to having that wonderful sauce and soft bread melt together on your tongue.

7. Basmati Rice

Shrimp scampi on a bed of warm, white rice is impeccable. But with wide rice varieties out there, what should you go with? Basmati rice is a cut above the rest with its incredible lightness, wonderful fluffiness, and nutty aroma. It is characterized by slender grains that are typically longer than the usual white rice. This recipe teaches you how to cook basmati rice perfectly!

8. Creamy Polenta

Another classic rendition of shrimp scampi is to have the dish served right on top of creamy polenta, a cornmeal-based treat. Despite the natural coarseness of cornmeal, polenta is very creamy and smooth. It consists of light, buttery, and sweet flavors harmonious with the scampi. Polenta usually has a porridge-like consistency, and the longer you let it sit, the thicker it gets.

9. Cauliflower Rice

If you want to avoid the heavy amount of starch and carbs regular rice brings, consider this cauliflower rice. It’s a creative way to serve light vegetables with other dishes, such as shrimp scampi. Also, the prep is effortless and quick – food process a cauliflower head, then saute for a few minutes!

10. Steamed Cauliflower

If you want to cut on the carbs and load on the nutrients, a serving of steamed cauliflower is best with your shrimp scampi! You only need 10 minutes to make this dish, which is packed with subtle and crisp flavors. If you want more character, you can add olive oil, butter, salt, pepper, or garlic; otherwise, it’s good and plain, especially with shrimp scampi.

11. Steamed Broccoli

Steamed broccoli is another excellent yet simple option for the health-conscious. This nutrient-packed dish takes only 15 minutes to prepare and cook. Although you can have it plain, you can season or flavor it with other ingredients like black pepper, lemon zest, and toasted almonds. The reipce also shares tricks and tips on how to keep your broccoli a catchy, vibrant green color!

12. Cauliflower Au Gratin

This cauliflower au gratin is an unconventional but interesting pairing with shrimp scampi. Unlike other recipes, it’s loaded with rich and creamy flavors from the cheese sauce that covers a layer of sliced cauliflower. It may seem overwhelming, but it works together and helps make the meal much more filling and flavorful.

13. Tossed Salad

A simple tossed salad brings much to your shrimp scampi meal because it has a lot of nutrients, fresh flavors, bright colors, and crisp textures. It’s pretty contrasting to shrimp scampi, but it’s what you need to bring something new yet still complimentary to your main meal. Ensure you get the freshest ingredients to get the best out of this recipe.

14. 3-Ingredient Mediterranean Salad

Plain or buttery dishes pair well with shrimp scampi because of their simplicity or flavor similarity. But if you want to break the mold, have a side dish that brings a pop of freshness, color, and taste, nothing fits that description more than this basic Mediterranean salad consisting of cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, and a lemon dressing.

AboutRibana Hategan

Ribana is a certified pastry chef and passionate home cook who curates and develops recipes that are high on nutrition. She develops and tests cost effective, nutritious meals using quality ingredients to help people better their everyday eating experiences.