Side Dishes

What to Serve With Shrimp Scampi: 21 Side Dish Ideas

Make small shrimp into a big meal!

Elen Rustick By Updated July 26, 2022

With these shrimp scampi side dishes, you can turn a delicious appetizer into a full meal. Try veggies, pasta, potatoes, or rice to complement your main course.

shrimp scampi side dishes

Shrimp scampi is an Italian-American dish of shrimp in garlic-butter sauce. But “scampi” actually refers to a different kind of shellfish.

In Italian, “scampi” means the tiny crustaceans that we sometimes call langoustines. And Italian chefs prepare this seafood with garlic butter.

However, Italian chefs in America started making the same dish with shrimp instead. And then both names stuck.

In restaurants, you’ll often see shrimp scampi served with long noodles, such as angel hair or linguini. But these succulent shrimp are delicious with all sorts of side dishes.

In my opinion, you can never go wrong with a fresh green salad or cooked vegetables. So, try a Caprese salad or zucchini noodles for a refreshing complement to the shrimp.

I also like to serve a starch with my shrimp. For example, coconut rice or loaded mashed potatoes are decadent options.

Whatever way you mix and match your sides, you’re sure to create a delicious meal.

01. Caprese Salad

Go full Italian by making this delicious salad to serve with shrimp scampi. It’s simple and refreshing!

To make this salad, all you need are cherry tomatoes, mozzarella pearls (or chopped buffalo mozzarella), and fresh basil leaves. Then toss everything in olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and salt and pepper. Yum!

While I love the flavor of balsamic vinegar, I sometimes opt for white wine vinegar instead. This vinegar is clear, so it won’t affect the colors of the tomatoes and cheese.

02. Steamed Broccoli

I promise you, this steamed broccoli is anything but boring! With olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and thyme, the flavors pop.

This tasty dish comes together in under 10 minutes if you steam it in the microwave. But you can also roast it in the oven for a more caramelized flavor, and that only takes about half an hour.

This is an easy way to add vitamins and minerals to a shrimp scampi dinner. Boil a pot of pasta, too, and you’ll be stuffed!

03. Zucchini Noodles

If you don’t eat pasta, or simply want to add more veggies to your meal, try zucchini noodles. They’re extremely versatile and you can season them any way you want.

While you can eat these noodles raw, I love to saute them with some olive oil and add garlic and grated parmesan cheese.

To make these noodles, you will need equipment other than a kitchen knife. But this recipe gives you a few options, including a mandoline, julienne peeler, and spiral vegetable slicer.

04. Coconut Rice

You might think coconut milk belongs with an Asian meal, but this jasmine rice is also a wonderful side dish for shrimp scampi. Because both the rice and shrimp are lightly flavored, they complement one another.

The trick for getting the right rice texture is to rinse the grains before cooking. And to keep the dish from tasting bland, add a bit of sugar and salt.

You can also add chopped fruit or other veggies to this rice dish for extra color and flavor. For example, try diced pineapple!

05. Caesar Salad

Caesar is the king of salads, and this homemade dressing is divine. The lemon, garlic, Dijon mustard, and anchovy paste create a tangy sauce to lift the romaine lettuce.

Note that this recipe does use raw egg. If you prefer, you can always use pasteurized bottled dressing instead.

I love this as a side dish for dinner one night, and then with leftover shrimp on top for lunch the next day.

06. Cheesy Zucchini Rice

This cheesy zucchini rice recipe is like a meal in itself! You can get your veggies and carbs in one delicious side.

First, you cook the rice in chicken broth, which gives it a lot more flavor than just boiling with water. Then you add grated zucchini, cheddar cheese, and seasonings.

If you make the rice with veggie broth instead, this is a great main course for vegetarian guests who won’t eat the shrimp scampi.

07. Ultimate Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Make a surf n’ turf special with these cheddar-scallion mashed potatoes. They’re next-level good because you add bacon!

Spoon buttery Yukon Gold potatoes into a baking dish, slather them with grated cheese and crispy bacon bits, and then melt everything together in the oven. It’s a rich side for luscious and tender shrimp.

For fluffy mashed potatoes, don’t over-mix. And never try to mash them in the blender because they’ll turn gloopy.

08. Angel Hair Pasta

A one-pot side dish? Yes, please!

This creamy angel hair is a delicious side for any seafood dish. It’s rich and flavorful, but it won’t take away from the delicate taste of shrimp scampi or other shellfish.

Since you cook the pasta directly in the sauce, you don’t have any extra dishes to do; that’s a time-saver on a busy weeknight. And if you use frozen shrimp, your prep time for the rest of dinner will be really quick!

09. Grilled Corn Salad

Take advantage of summer’s delicious corn and go south of the border with this yummy recipe. The crunchy, savory salad will make you think you’re on a Mexican street corner.

Top grilled corn with mayo, lime juice, crumbly cotija cheese, and other seasonings. When you mix everything together, you get a creamy, tangy dressing over crisp veggies.

For an extra kick, add some ground chipotle pepper. You’ll want to eat this delicious salad all year long!

10. Steamed Eggplant

Most Italians wouldn’t steam eggplant, but in China chefs do! This flavorful eggplant dish has a soft texture and spicy ginger-garlic sauce.

You can also adapt this recipe to be gluten-free and vegan, so it works for most diets. And while there are some authentic ingredients that may be hard to find, there are easy substitutions.

Even if eggplant isn’t normally your favorite vegetable, the sweet and sour sauce will keep you coming back for more!

11. Roasted Parmesan Asparagus

The seasonings for this roasted asparagus recipe share a similar flavor profile to shrimp scampi. And this is especially true if you use butter instead of olive oil.

I love this dish with fresh asparagus, but if you can’t find it (or it’s too expensive), frozen asparagus will work in a pinch.

For a zingy twist, squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top. Or, swap feta cheese for the parmesan.

12. Green Beans

Like the asparagus dish above, these beans have a similar flavor to shrimp scampi, so they make a perfect side.

Just a few zesty ingredients like lemon, garlic, and parmesan bring this recipe to life. So, even if you use frozen green beans, your side dish will still taste fresh and flavorful.

This recipe is easy to prepare and ready in only 20 minutes. That makes it a great complement to any main course, including a chicken, pork, beef, or shrimp dish.

13. Macaroni Salad

Take your pasta in a different direction with this classic macaroni salad. Rather than serving a hot noodle side, try this cool, creamy dish for hot days.

You can add diced fresh vegetables, such as carrots or radish to make your salad healthier. And you can even chop your shrimp scampi and throw it right into the salad for a 1-dish meal!

If you prefer a lighter dressing, skip the mayo and make a vinaigrette with extra virgin olive oil.

14. Baked Potato With Sour Cream and Chives

Don’t bake once, bake twice! In this delicious recipe, you stuff baked potatoes with sour cream and butter, and then re-bake them in the oven.

But don’t stop there — you can add your own fillings like cheddar cheese or bacon. And a sprinkling of chives on top adds a pop of color.

This is a great multi-tasking recipe because you can bake the potatoes in the oven while you cook shrimp on the stove. Or, bake the potatoes the day before, and then assemble and heat them right before serving.

15. Mexican Street Corn (Elote)

Dress up your corn on the cob with Mexican flavors! This classic street food takes American grilled corn to new heights of deliciousness.

Smother your corn with mayo and sour cream, and then add lime juice, cheese, garlic, chili powder, and cilantro. After this, you’ll never go back to just butter and salt.

Also, keep lots of napkins on hand because it’s quite messy. But worth every bite!

16. Garlic Butter Boiled Potatoes

Tiny potatoes make this side dish picture-perfect. Plus, you can serve these spuds hot or at room temperature, so they’re the perfect accompaniment to any meal.

Don’t skip the herbs in these potatoes because they liven up the recipe. The author calls for fresh parsley and chives, but you can substitute your favorites.

Also, dried herbs won’t taste nearly as good, but they’ll work in a pinch.

17. Pascagoula Potato Salad

Hailing from Mississippi, this potato salad makes a hearty side for any meal. It tastes a bit like a mix of potato and egg salad, but with a rich cheese flavor.

I prefer dill pickles to bread-and-butter, but you can use any pickles you like. Or, add olives or capers for a different twist.

And if you have extra dressing, it’s really good over a regular green salad. So, you might want to make double the amount!

18. Vegetable Lasagna

Create an Italian feast with this quick and easy vegetable lasagna. It’s another recipe that combines veggies and pasta, so it perfectly rounds out a meal of shrimp scampi.

The key to this recipe is cooking the veggies first, which helps get rid of moisture. If you don’t, they might not cook through, and they’ll make your lasagna very runny.

So, pop open a bottle of red wine, and say buon appetito!

19. Coleslaw

When you’re short on time, you can still make a delicious side dish. This coleslaw comes together in only 5 minutes when you use a bagged mix.

While you can serve this right away, it’s much better if you let it sit for at least 2 hours. That way, the cabbage has a chance to soften and the flavors will meld.

As a different serving option, you could make a sandwich with your shrimp scampi, coleslaw, and a slice of cheese on a hard roll.

20. Au Gratin Potatoes

Craving creamy comfort food? These rich, tender potatoes will melt in your mouth!

This recipe calls for cheddar cheese and gruyere, but you can use any combination of cheese you like. I like adding a bit of pepper jack for a kick, and some goat cheese would add a really interesting flavor.

No one will be able to resist the golden-brown, fragrant potato slices, so make a big batch!

21. Popeye’s Cajun Fries

You don’t need to go out for awesome French fries. These copycat Cajun fries taste even better than the ones at Popeye’s restaurants.

Make sure you soak the potatoes overnight because that will get rid of a lot of starch. And that, in turn, will make your fries really crispy!

Also, you can season these fries however you like. Try different spice mixes, or just plain salt and pepper — they’ll be delicious any way you make them.

What to Serve With Shrimp Scampi: 21 Side Dish Ideas


  1. Pick a selection of side dishes.

  2. Get busy in the kitchen.

  3. Serve an incredible shrimp scampi dinner!