Buttery, garlicky, and delicious, shrimp scampi is a favorite way to prepare shrimp. Almost everyone living in a coastal town has “the perfect” shrimp scampi recipe. You can keep it classic and simple, sticking to the traditional garlic, white wine, parsley, and lemon, or you can switch things up in a number of ways.
Heat things up by adding some cayenne pepper, give a nod to New Orleans with some Cajun seasoning, make it Tex Mex with some lime, chili powder, and cilantro.
Whatever your favorite shrimp scampi recipe is, a delicious dish needs a perfect complimentary side to complete the meal. You may want something super simple like a baked potato on a busy weeknight, but special occasions and slower days call for a little something extra. Here are some ideas for the best side dishes to go with your shrimp scampi recipe, or any shrimp recipe, for any occasion.
It’s Monday night, and you’re already ready for the weekend. A good night to whip up something quick and easy, and shrimp scampi is the main dish. Baked potatoes are great in the microwave, or put them in the oven for that crispy skin and fluffy inside you love. Mashed potatoes are a perfect addition to your meal as well, and both baked and mashed are just the thing to soak up the extra sauce from your scampi. If you are dreading all the peeling and chopping for mashed potatoes, try instant or frozen for something easier. White or wild rice goes great with scampi as well. When you’ve had a stressful day, nothing goes better with a buttery dish, than a side of carby goodness.
Date Night In
Seafood is one of the most romantic dishes for date night, and you know your sweetheart will love your shrimp scampi. Woo them even more with a side dish sure to delight. Try a delicious broccoli dish. Tender broccoli in season has a sweetness to it that complements the saltiness of your shrimp scampi recipe without taking away from it.
A refreshing salad won’t weigh you and your date down, and you will have plenty of energy for an after dinner stroll around the block. Try slicing some cucumbers and halving cherry tomatoes, then toss with salt, pepper, and olive oil. A Caprese salad is another light dish that will not steal the show. Just slice some ripe tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, tear some fresh basil to sprinkle on top, drizzle olive oil, and finish with a dash of salt and pepper.
It’s a special occasion and everyone is coming to your house hungry. Impress the in-laws and all your extended family with your favorite shrimp recipe accompanied by the perfect side dish. You could go easy on yourself and cook a big, boiling pot of pasta to feed a crowd on a budget. Toss the pasta with some olive oil after cooking, and pile your shrimp scampi on top.
Roasted redskin potatoes are another simple but filling idea that won’t outshine your scampi. Toss with your favorite cooking oil, and add some garlic and fresh rosemary for a flavorful accompaniment. For your carb-conscious family, roasted brussels sprouts are another inexpensive side that you can cook in no time.
Halve the sprouts, coat in cooking oil, and season. Roast at 425° for 25-30 minutes and they will come out crispy and savory.
Okay so we all want to eat healthier, and you may have even found a way to lighten up your shrimp scampi recipe. Even if you haven’t, maybe you want to be able to thoroughly enjoy your shrimp without feeling guilty about all the extra calories a rich side dish is going to pack in. Roasted or steamed vegetables are the answer. You can make them as light as you want, really, with light oils for roasting or no oils for steaming.
Asparagus is a classic side that goes beautifully with seafood, and kids love the shape. Let them eat it as finger food if you don’t mind them “playing” with their food a bit. Carrots are another light but filling option, and their natural sweetness when cooked adds a delightful flavor to your meal.
For an extra sweet treat that is still healthy, drizzle just a little honey on them before they roast. The sugar will caramelize and the kids will love it.
Dinner on the Patio
Summer evenings are the perfect time to eat on your patio. You may grill your entire meal, or you may be the type to focus on grilling the meat and preparing your sides indoors. Either way, you can cook your sides on the grill and make your scampi on the stove, or try making grilled shrimp scampi.
Toss some corn on the cob, asparagus, zucchini, or any other veggies you like to cook outside on the grill, and you’ve got yourself a meal as good as a summer sunset.