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Shrimp scampi is a wonderful way to enjoy the delicious taste of shrimp within an incredibly flavorsome sauce that can be drizzled over pasta, rice, and even bread! If you’re wondering what to serve with shrimp scampi, then let’s take a look at some of the great-tasting sides to go with it.
Table of Contents
- What is Shrimp Scampi?
- What is Shrimp Scampi Sauce Made of?
- How to Add More Flavor to Shrimp Scampi?
- How to Thicken Shrimp Scampi Sauce?
- What to Serve with Shrimp Scampi?
- So Shrimp Scampi, Anyone?
What is Shrimp Scampi?
As the name suggests, the main and key component of shrimp scampi is, of course, the shrimp. Traditionally, Italian cooks would use small lobster-like crustaceans called scampi. Presently it is more commonly made with tender shrimp encased in a simple sauce of garlic, butter, and white wine.
What is Shrimp Scampi Sauce Made of?
This shrimp scampi recipe is one of the simplest yet elegant ways of making shrimp. Drowning in a garlicky, lemony sauce that tastes especially amazing when served alongside your favorite side dishes. For those wondering how to make this shrimp dish, take a detour of the ingredients you’ll need.
- Frozen Shrimp: For the best flavors, always opt for wild-caught shrimp whenever possible, preferably the sweet-flavored Key West pink shrimp. Choose the frozen shrimp with their head and tail intact so you can shell and devein them at home yourself. If you prefer to keep the tail, that is entirely up to you. Shrimp have more flavor when they remain in their shell and are fairly cheaper. For the freshest shrimp you can find, always look for a bag of flash-frozen shrimp in the freezer aisle. You can thaw them yourself by soaking them in a bowl of water for 10 minutes.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic is always the best option for this kind of recipe. You can press or opt for minced garlic, depending on the type of potency you desire.
- Red Pepper Flakes: This is entirely up to you, but red pepper flakes are great at providing a balanced heat.
- Olive Oil: You can go for any type of olive oil that suits your taste, but my personal favorite is extra virgin olive oil.
- White Wine: opt for a wine that is both drinkable and dry, such as sauvignon blanc or chardonnay.
- Butter: Both salted and unsalted butter work a treat
- Lemon Juice: Always use fresh lemons to squeeze lemon juice for this recipe
- Kosher Salt: Kosher salt is milder in comparison to standard table salt
- Parsley: Mince flat leaf or regular parsley
How to Add More Flavor to Shrimp Scampi?
Layers of flavor are what make great dishes like shrimp scampi delightful. Here are some ways to enhance the already incredible flavors of this seafood dish.
- Marinate the shrimp in some olive oil and pressed garlic with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. This allows extra flavors to seep into the shrimp before cooking
- You can also attempt to produce extra flavors from the shrimp by allowing it to sit in the oily mixture for at least 20 minutes atop the kitchen counter or overnight in the refrigerator
- Try not to incorporate any type of acid into the shrimp marinade, i.e. lemon juice, lime juice, or vinegar.
How to Thicken Shrimp Scampi Sauce?
Once cold butter is added to the warm wine and lemon juice, the shrimp scampi begins to thicken. Whisking cold butter into the sauce thickens it as the butter melts, inevitably creating a silky smooth textured sauce that is perfect for layering over pasta and other side dishes.
What to Serve with Shrimp Scampi?
When it comes to choosing the perfect shrimp scampi side dishes, the possibilities are endless. From fresh vegetables to fluffy mashed potatoes, let’s take a look at some of the great-tasting sides to go with this shrimp dish.
- Roasted Parmesan Asparagus
- Pesto Zoodles
- Greek Veggie Salad
- Grilled Kabobs
- Mango Guacamole
- Pascagoula Potato Salad
- Caprese Salad
- Grilled Corn
- Coconut Rice
- Caesar Salad
- Cheesy Zucchini Rice
- Zucchini Noodles
- Fluffy Mashed Potatoes
- Au Gratin Potatoes
- Steamed Eggplant
- Popeye’s Cajun Fries
- Garlic Butter Boiled Potatoes
- Vegetable Lasagne
- Fresh Vegetable Salad
- Microwave Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Parmesan Asparagus
Asparagus is the perfect vegetarian side dish, complementing almost any main meal when perfectly cooked. This roasted parmesan asparagus is delicious when served as a complimentary side dish for shrimp scampi; it’s just insanely healthy, not to mention incredibly tasty!
Using fresh asparagus, combine the green stalks with garlic, olive oil, sea salt, and grated parmesan cheese, popping it straight into your oven to roast. This recipe beats the heavy, greasy food many of us doze into; the moment we serve up some oily appetizers to go with our main dish, it’s all downhill from there!
You won’t regret serving shrimp scampi with a side of light, crunchy, and refreshing roasted asparagus because it’s absolutely delicious!
If you’re looking for a healthier and lower-calorie alternative to pasta, zucchini noodles are your best bet. They also happen to be gluten-free and full of nutrients, with a single cup containing more than half of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C!
This wonderful side dish will serve five, so it can be served as a side or main course when sitting down to dinner with friends or family members. For those who don’t normally eat a lot of vegetables, you’ll be surprised at the outcome of these veggie noodles. Bursting with flavors, once drenched in your shrimp scampi sauce, it’ll have you licking your plate in no time.
Simply slice your zucchini into noodles, so it looks a lot like pasta or spaghetti, then toss the zoodles with some fresh basil pesto and some sliced cherry tomatoes, and you’re all set!
Greek Veggie Salad
This simple Greek veggie salad is the perfect accompaniment to your shrimp scampi. It’s quick and easy to make and can be served cold, so there’s no last-minute cooking required.
This exciting and delicious salad is essentially a blend of sliced hard-boiled eggs, vibrant bell peppers, and celery encased in a wonderful, creamy dressing.
How about some tasty fruity and veggie kabobs to accompany your shrimp scampi? It’s so simple, you’ll only need the grill you were using for your shrimp! The ideal vegetables for grilled veggie kabobs are squash, zucchini, onions, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers. You can also include pineapple for that juicy, fruity punch releasing a quick, beautiful sweet flavor.
Or how about some fruit kabobs? If you’re not a fan of pineapple, then you can swap it out for some strawberries, melons, or peaches and bananas. This delicious and healthy side dish can also be eaten after your main course, saving it for last to be enjoyed as a dessert.
Have you ever tried coconut shrimp? Paired with mango guacamole, the flavors are simply to die for! The sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy flavorful mango guacamole makes the perfect summertime side dish for all meals. Grab a few tortilla chips to have on the side, dip your shrimp into the mix, and combine the flavors to bring forth lip-smacking discoveries!
Pascagoula Potato Salad
Of the many potato salad recipes, this Pascagoula potato salad provides a fun twist on the usual ingredients. This recipe calls for a combination of cheddar cheese, bell peppers, and sliced celery. To top it all off, make this salad extra tastier by combining all these ingredients with a tangy honey mustard dressing.
Serve this with some deliciously saucy shrimp scampi; why not layer a few shrimp in your salad to create a heavenly combination?
You can’t go wrong with this classic Italian salad. The ingredients are simple, but the combination of tomato and mozzarella is simply delicious. If you don’t have time to make your own balsamic vinegar, try a few drops of store-bought on top for a quick fix that will still taste great!
Grilled corn is a must-have on this list. One of my favorite side dishes to go for when I’m in a pinch is always trusty grilled corn on the cob. It’s sweet, juicy, and crunchy what more can you ask for? Plus, it’s so versatile that you can pair it with almost any main dish. Although I prefer to eat them alone, try to incorporate this fun and easy side with most of your shrimp recipes; trust me, you won’t be disappointed!
You can also grill your corn on an outdoor grill with your shrimp if you’re trying to be efficient. Simply remove the husks from both sides of each cob, and then rub generously with butter or margarine. Sprinkle with some salt and ground chipotle pepper before grilling over medium heat for 10-15 minutes per side until golden brown.
Saucy shrimp scampi with a side of steamed white rice is almost perfect, but why not shake it up a bit and swap your plain rice for some eloquent coconut rice instead? Make this coconut rice side dish with chicken broth and coconut milk, combined with some thick slices of mangoes and pistachios. For a rice dish that eliminates the plainness of ordinary rice, instead, transform your rice dish into a unique bowl of flavored heaven.
Many of us can agree on the fact that salad is a good accompaniment to any seafood recipe, including shrimp scampi. It doesn’t matter what kind of salad it may be, there’s always that refreshing aftertaste that has you reaching for more in no time.
In this particular Caesar salad, you’re going to need some greens, and we’ll be using romaine lettuce, followed by croutons and, of course, the dressing.
Caesar salad relies on a well-formulated salad dressing, typically made from ingredients like Worcestershire sauce, anchovies, Dijon mustard, garlic, black pepper, eggs, lemon juice, olive oil or extra virgin olive oil, and parmesan cheese.
Toss in your shrimp scampi for a finished and scrumptious shrimp scampi salad.
Coleslaw is a classic side dish that pairs well with so many dishes. If you want, you can make it in advance so that it’s nice and cold once you’re shrimp scampi is ready. Coleslaw will last for days in the refrigerator and is normally served as a salad, but it can be served on its own or added to tacos, burgers, and more.
It’s super easy to make your own coleslaw at home, with some of the ingredients already in your kitchen. Use mayonnaise, shredded cabbage, and whatever vegetables you like! Most people like to add some shredded carrots into the mix. Sprinkle some salt, followed by a little splash of lime juice and fresh herbs for a fantastic finish.
Cheesy Zucchini Rice
Shrimp scampi pairs well with lots of side dishes, but it’s especially delicious when paired with rice, like this cheesy zucchini rice. If you’re a cheese lover, then you’re going to love this one! With a texture that’s beautifully creamy, smooth, and velvety, you’ll find that the elements of zucchini take a small step back, allowing the gooey cheese to take the reins and impress your guests in just one bite!
For this cheesy zucchini rice recipe, you’ll need jasmine rice (or white rice), chicken broth, shredded cheddar cheese, milk, and garlic powder to create a quick and easy but sticky side dish that’ll pair perfectly with your shrimp scampi.
Cornbread is a staple in southern cuisine, and it’s a quick bread. Quick bread is made from flour and baking powder, which makes them leavened with air instead of yeast. Some people add sugar to their cornbread, making it sweet, while others don’t and prefer a savory bite. Cornbread can be served as an appetizer with butter or honey on top or as a side dish served alongside other dishes like chili or barbecue chicken.
Cornbread also happens to pair exceptionally well with creamy main courses, much like shrimp scampi. Simply dip the fluffy bread into the scampi sauce and watch as the delectable juices seep into the pillowy softness of the cornbread. You can even layer a few shrimp atop your cornbread, along with a dribble of sauce for a fun-packed meal.
To prepare your cornbread, you’ll need to preheat your oven, prepare the cornbread mixture, pour it into a skillet, and bake until it has achieved a nice golden brown color.
Since shrimp scampi seems to go with just about anything, let’s try to pair it with some zucchini noodles (or zoodles). Zucchini noodles are typically spiralized using a spiral vegetable slicer to pull off that incredible noodle-like appearance.
Serve this delicious side dish by sautéing garlic, tossing your zucchini noodles, and sprinkling grated parmesan cheese over the lot. Don’t forget your salt and pepper!
Much like ordinary noodles, zoodles happen to absorb all sorts of flavors impeccably. Drizzle your shrimp scampi sauce generously over your zucchini noodles, add your shrimps to the mix, and let it sit for several seconds before diving for the kill!
Fluffy Mashed Potatoes
I wonder if there’s a single main dish that couldn’t possibly include a side of fluffy mashed potatoes. The perfectly baked potato has a beautiful fluffiness on the inside a beautifully crisp skin on the outside. Sea salt is the secret ingredient to the deliciousness of most mashed potatoes. Adding salt to the skin of fluffy baked potatoes pulls out the moisture achieving a crisp finish.
Au Gratin Potatoes
Au gratin potatoes are definitely a crowd pleaser. This perfect side dish consists of Yukon gold potatoes, plenty of cream, lots of cheese, and a touch of garlic and spices to turn it into cheddar scallion mashed potatoes; and incredibly delicious with certified satisfaction. This side dish pairs beautifully with most main dishes, including shrimp scampi.
Eggplants are the perfect addition to any meal. Their rich, earthy texture works well with many different types of food. Their thick skin and fleshy insides can be roasted or fried to soften them up before being added to soups or stews.
So how about shrimp scampi with your favorite eggplant dish? This tender vegetable, coupled with any main dish you can think of, doused in a tangy Korean soy sauce, is simply wonderful, especially if you’re looking to experiment with some new cuisine!
Popeye’s Cajun Fries
We’re aware of the creaminess emanating from shrimp scampi, so why not choose a side that happens to compliment such flavors?
Popeyes Cajun fries, though a copycat version, carry the incredible taste and feel of the original. Dangerously addicting, these crispy fries will have you devouring them one after the other in a matter of minutes, so if you’re planning to host a party, make sure there’s plenty!
Garlic Butter Boiled Potatoes
Boiled potatoes with a hint of garlic and butter slathered in a creamy depth and cooked to perfection. Boiled potatoes may taste amazing on their own, but you’ll never want to go back after you’ve tried these garlic butter potatoes. When boiling potatoes, the element of perfect, fluffy potatoes is to cook the potatoes until they’re tender and the skin breaks from the flesh.
Add your shrimp scamp, sauce, and all to the fluffy mix, and enjoy
Many may assume the oddity of serving lasagne with shrimp scampi as a side dish, let alone vegetable lasagne. However, ideally, pasta is a great accompaniment to most sauce-dominated dishes, such as luscious and tender shrimp scampi.
Vegetable lasagne is an Italian dish made with pasta sheets layered with vegetables, cheese, and béchamel sauce (a white sauce made from butter, flour, and milk). The flavors meld together to create a flavourful dish that is sure to please everyone at your table.
You can purchase pre-made or frozen lasagne sheets with all sorts of flavorings such as spinach, tomato basil, and cream cheese.
Fresh Vegetable Salad
Fresh vegetables are the ideal accompaniment for shrimp scampi. You can use any vegetables that you like, but try to aim for a variety of colors and textures. Caramelized onions, sautéed bell peppers, and roasted zucchini are all tasty choices.
To make your dish even more impressive, serve it with a side salad featuring a contrasting flavor (such as balsamic vinegar), or add some lemon juice to your dressing to lighten up the dish if you’d like. Another option is to add some protein such as chicken breast or tofu cubes into the salad itself, so there’s enough food on your plate. As long as it goes well with shrimp scampi, then go ahead and do it!
Microwave Mashed Potatoes
A simpler way to prepare your mashed potatoes is with the help of your handy kitchen appliance. There’s nothing better than creating a special side dish of Yukon potatoes, milk, olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste, perfect for lazier days where you’d prefer a quick and simple accompaniment for dinner.
You can spice things up by grating some garlic and incorporating it into the mixture, together with some scallions and cheddar cheese, topped with crispy bacon bits; delicious!
So Shrimp Scampi, Anyone?
And there you have it! If you’re looking for some delicious side dishes to serve with your shrimp scampi, we hope we’ve given you some ideas. We know that sometimes it can be hard to think of what to pair with these types of meals but don’t worry—with these recipes in hand, you’ll never run out of options again!
What Vegetable to Serve With Shrimp Scampi?
If you’re looking for a good veggie dish to serve with shrimp scampi, then try these: Roasted asparagus, steamed broccoli, green beans, brussels sprouts, zucchini, vegetable kebabs, sautéed mushrooms, and more!
What is Traditional Scampi?
In Italy, scampi traditionally refers to the peeled tail of any kind of prawn, though in the UK, it refers to a specific prawn called the langoustine.
What Kind of Wine Goes With Shrimp Scampi?
Shrimp scampi tastes best when paired with wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Vermentino, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Soave, Rioja, and Champagne.
Can You Substitute White Wine Vinegar for White Wine in Shrimp Scampi?
Dry white wine can be replaced with similar ingredients to white wine, which is why the initial replacement would be white wine vinegar. You should neutralize the acidic taste with a sweeter juice, like apple juice for shrimp scampi.