Indulging in the delightful flavors of shrimp scampi is a culinary treat, but finding the perfect accompaniments can elevate this classic dish to new heights. Whether hosting a special dinner or craving a delectable homemade meal, knowing what to serve with shrimp scampi can make all the difference.
From refreshing salads that complement its savory notes to buttery garlic bread that soaks up every last drop of the flavorful sauce, we’ve curated a selection of mouthwatering side dishes that will complete your shrimp scampi dining experience. Let your taste buds embark on a journey of culinary excellence as we explore an array of enticing options to serve alongside this beloved seafood favorite.
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What Is Shrimp Scampi?
Before we figure out what side dishes to make, let’s dive deeper into what it is. Shrimp scampi is a variation of an Italian dish called “scampi.” Scampi is named after a type of shellfish typically found in Italy. These crustaceans are MUCH larger than the shrimp that we know!
The American shrimp scampi first appeared around the 1920s and gained popularity in the U.S. and abroad after World War II. It migrated from Italy over that period, and since traditional scampi couldn’t be found, shrimp became a substitute. It was a rousing success, and the dish became popular shortly after.
Best Salad To Serve With Shrimp Scampi
Salads are an easy, crowd-pleasing answer to what to serve with shrimp scampi. They scale easily, making it easy whether you are serving a couple or a crowd.
Green Salad — Shrimp Scampi has a lot of flavor, and a simple salad is the perfect complement. We love this salad from Love and Lemons. Instead of tamari almonds, we suggest a simpler crouton added in.
Arugula Parmesan Salad — We love this recipe for its simplicity. But don’t let the short ingredient list fool you; it’s packed with flavor. The peppery arugula is a great complement to the garlicky shrimp.
Frisee Salad — If you want something light and airy, try this Frisee Salad. The texture is a bit crunchy and looks beautiful next to the scampi. It comes together in a snap, too.
What To Serve With Shrimp Scampi — What Pasta Goes With Shrimp Scampi
Two main types of pasta work well with shrimp scampi, long, thin strands and short pieces.
Short pasta types like Farfalle, Penne Ziti, Shells, and Penne Rigate are small enough to grab by the forkful. They allow you to catch bits of the flavorful, garlicky sauce in every bite.
Strands of pasta like Bucatini, Capellini, Linguine, Spaghetti alla Chitarra, and Thin Spaghetti allow for twirling. They are an excellent base for shrimp scampi as the sauce clings to the pasta well.
For an out-of-the-box, low-carb option, try zucchini noodles. The flavors are perfect together. We use this spiralizer from Amazon. It’s cheap, easy to use, small enough to store in a drawer, and dishwasher safe. Simply make the noodles and add them to the sauce at the end to warm.
What Meat Goes With Shrimp Scampi?
While Shrimp Scampi has protein from the shellfish, we’ve got great options if you wish to serve the dish with meat.
- Meatballs — A side dish of meatballs adds heartiness to this meal. We like the Costco version if you aren’t up for making them from scratch.
- Spicy Sausage — Kick up the flavor and add chorizo, andouille, or even kielbasa. Cook it in the same pan before making the sauce, and add it back to warm.
- Chicken Cutlets — The coating of the chicken is an excellent contrast to the delicate sauce. You can even serve the sauce on top of the chicken.
- Scallops — It’s not meat but scallops are an excellent addition to shrimp scampi. They take on the flavors of the sauce well. Ensure you get a good sear outside to create a great texture and caramelized flavor.
What’s A Good Vegetable To Serve With Shrimp Scampi
If you want a tremendous low-carb shrimp scampi side dish, try veggies! Here are a few we love.
- Spinach — Sauteed in a little olive oil and garlic.
- Asparagus — Lightly steamed or roasted
- Broccoli — Steamed or roasted
- Zucchini — Sauteed until tender-crisp
- Cauliflower — Roasted
- Mushrooms — Sauteed in butter
- Kale — Sauteed in olive oil and butter and baked into crispy chips.
Appetizers To Go With Shrimp Scampi
- Babagnoush — Going with a Mediterranean theme, try this popular eggplant dip. The Mediterranean Dish’s Baba Ganoush is excellent with pita chips.
- Caprese — A simple tomato, fresh mozzarella, and basil stack is fresh and the perfect appetizer to go with shrimp scampi. Don’t forget a drizzle of balsamic.
- Fried Zucchini — Fried zucchini is a family favorite. Dip in egg and then breadcrumbs and then fry for a few minutes. Serve with ranch dressing or marinara sauce.
- Bruschetta — Take advantage of your garden and make Bruschetta. We love using leftovers, so if you have stale bread, toast it up to serve alongside.
- Fried Ravioli — I’ve only recently come across this fabulous appetizer and quickly wondered where it had been all my life. This recipe from the Food Network is excellent, but please don’t use olive oil for frying. It’s so expensive, and since you are using it a lot, it adds up. Vegetable or Canola oils work just as well.
- Spanakopita —These are some of our favorite Costco appetizers. Pop these triangles of spinach-stuffed phyllo dough in the oven for a short time, and you have the perfect appetizer to go with shrimp scampi.
Side Dishes For Shrimp Scampi
- Garlic Bread
- French Bread
- Zucchini Noodles
- Mashed Potatoes
- Roasted Vegetables
What Do You Think?
Have we given ideas for what to serve with shrimp scampi? What’s your favorite shrimp scampi side dish? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to read it.
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