There are so many excellent ways to cook shrimp. In fact, shrimp is one of the foods that can be cooked in nearly every way imaginable. From boiled shrimp to fried shrimp, and shrimp scampi to grilled shrimp, there is a shrimp recipe for you on this list.
There are few things we love more than a big shrimp dinner, and you won’t see many people turning down the chance to attend a shrimp boil. There are classic shrimp side dishes, but it’s also fun to get creative and try something different when we’re enjoying our shrimp.
While most of us can make a meal of shrimp right by itself, if you’re serving guests or family, you may wonder what to eat with shrimp.
What are some of the best side dishes for shrimp? When it comes to sides for shrimp, the possibilities are endless. Let’s dive into this diverse list of yummy side dishes for one of the world’s favorite seafood.
1. Elote-Style Corn
Are there people in the world who don’t absolutely love grilled corn on the cob? If so, we don’t know them!
When it comes to delicious corn on the cob, it’s hard to beat Mexican-style elote for a spice shrimp side dish.
Elote uses mayonnaise, Mexican crema, chopped cilantro, garlic, ground chipotle pepper, lime juice, and crumbly cotija cheese or goat cheese. Sour cream works if you can’t find Mexican crema.
If you’re making grilled shrimp, you can cook your corn on the grill also. However, you can also bake this delicious corn in the oven. Garnish with juicy lime wedges for squeezing onto the corn.
2. Caesar Salad
When asking what goes good with shrimp, one of the first things to come to mind is a delicious salad.
While a fresh green salad or iceberg salad is amazing, there’s just something slightly decadent about a Caesar salad. This salad originated with a chef named Caesar Cardini.
The greens are romaine lettuce and the salad is dressed with special Ceasar salad dressing and croutons.
What really makes a Ceasar salad is the dressing, which is made with things like Worcestershire sauce, anchovies, Dijon mustard, garlic, black pepper, egg, lemon juice, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese.
We love a salad with shrimp scampi.
3. Greek Veggie Salad
Do you want to make your shrimp dinner super unique? Toss together this decadent Greek-inspired vegetable salad.
This vegetable salad is especially nice if you’re serving your shrimp with a heavy sauce or cheese pasta entree. Light veggie salads give you something light on the side to balance it out.
Featuring an English cucumber, bell pepper, halved cherry tomato, red onion thinly sliced, Kalamata olives, this salad is a meal by itself. Oh, and don’t forget the feta cheese.
The herbs and spices are what really send this salad over the top. It has classic seasonings like garlic and oregano, but the Dijon mustard and fresh mint leaves make it super unique.
You can even toss some small cooked shrimp into this salad to make a delicious shrimp salad. This works great with frozen shrimp.
4. Mango Guacamole
Also read: Grilled Shrimp Salad – Eating Bird Food
Are you serving up a delicious dinner of coconut shrimp or elegant shrimp scampi? Keep the tropical vibe going with this fresh and vibrant mango guacamole.
What is it about avocado and mango? They’re both so lively and creamy.
The epitome of what goes good with shrimp, this wonderful cold dish is especially yummy when served with homemade tortilla chips.
However, good-quality storebought tortilla chips are fine, too.
Make sure your mangos and avocados are both nice and ripe. Also, instead of the customary lemon juice, make this guacamole with lime juice for a surprising twist of flavor.
The jalapeno pepper adds some zest, but you can omit this if you have sensitive eaters.
5. Caprese Salad
What happens when you take a juicy garden-fresh tomato, creamy mozzarella cheese, flavorful basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, and a sweet and zesty balsamic reduction?
A gorgeous Caprese salad.
This is an elegant salad that is easy to make. It also keeps well for the next day’s lunch.
We recommend taking the extra step of the balsamic reduction because that really makes this salad so special.
Optionally, you can make it a tad sweet with just a bit of honey.
To change things up a bit and make this salad even more interesting, feel free to stir in avocado slices, peaches, green tomatoes, burrata, or honeydew melon.
6. Au Gratin Potatoes
Few things are as filling as potatoes, so if you want to round out your shrimp dish with some stick-to-the-ribs sides, you can’t go wrong with au gratin potatoes.
Here’s the best part: nearly everyone loves them and you can feed a crowd for very little money.
Use Yukon gold potatoes and plenty of cheese and cream to make these extra cheesy and delicious. Add a touch of garlic powder to make these even more delicious.
The trick to perfect au gratin potatoes is to slice your potatoes thin enough to cook beautifully, but not too thin.
Also, stand them upright in the pan you cook them in. This ensures nice crispy edges.
Coleslaw is an easy answer to the question of what to eat with shrimp. Any seafood restaurant you visit will have coleslaw on the menu.
The key to perfect coleslaw lies in two things: the cut of the cabbage and the creaminess of the dressing.
You can make your own homemade coleslaw dressing or buy it already made. If you want to make it yourself, rest assured that it’s super easy.
Want to change things up a bit? Try adding mangos, jicama, or carrots to your coleslaw. Another idea is to add some lime juice for a nice zing.
8. Roasted Parmesan Asparagus
Asparagus is the queen of the vegetable world. One of the priciest veggies, you can get great deals on asparagus when it’s in season.
Why have simple green beans when you can have asparagus?
You can cook asparagus in several different ways, but one of our favorite ways to cook this delicacy is to roast it in the oven
Cut the tough tips off of your fresh asparagus and mix it up with some sea salt, garlic, Parmesan, and olive oil. Then, about eight minutes later, you get to step into heaven. After finishing your asparagus, then you can make your roasted shrimp.
Here’s a pro tip: line your cookie sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean-up.
9. Macaroni Salad
For a classic pasta salad that is wonderful with seafood, toss together a quick and delicious macaroni salad.
This recipe calls for classic fridge and pantry staples, including red pepper, celery, and onion.
The dressing is deliciously creamy and mayo-based, so it’s sure to please even the pickiest eaters.
You can put diced hard-boiled eggs in this macaroni salad. Alternatively, you can stir in some shredded cheddar cheese.
With macaroni salad, you can prepare it up to two days before your big dinner. It also makes wonderful leftovers for lunch the next day.
10. Grilled Kabobs
Are you cooking some BBQ shrimp? Have you already got your grill set up and nice and hot? Go ahead and grill some tasty vegetable and fruit kabobs after you finish with your grilled shrimp skewers.
This is another light side that goes beautifully with seafood of any kind, and particularly well with grilled shrimp or boiled shrimp.
The veggies and fruit are the stars of the show in this recipe. Use mushrooms, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, chunk red onion slices, and mango. You can even throw on some chunks of pineapple to really bring out the sweetness.
Just before grilling your kabobs, drizzle them with olive oil and add a sprinkling of dry seasoning rub.
11. Pascagoula Potato Salad
Did you know that on the Gulf Coast in Mississippi, it’s customary to eat seafood or shrimp gumbo with potato salad?
This is a refreshing change of pace from the rice served with gumbo in the states Louisiana neighbors. This potato salad also works wonderfully with grilled shrimp or garlic shrimp.
Anything fun and different sounds good to us, especially when it’s a tangy cold salad served up with a nice steaming bowl of shrimp gumbo.
Pascagoula potato salad is unique because it has tons of shredded cheddar cheese. Or you can cut your cheese into tiny cubes.
Don’t forget the chopped hard-boiled eggs.
For potato salad, red new potatoes are ideal. They hold up beautifully.
12. Pesto Zoodles
If you’re watching your carbs, noodles made from zucchini are a great option for a side dish when you cook grilled shrimp.
Called “zoodles,” these delicious strands of zucchini work similarly to pasta. You can drizzle them with nearly any sauce imaginable.
These zoodles go particularly well with simple olive-oil-based sauces like pesto, and this recipe for basil-pumpkin seed pesto is divine.
Who doesn’t love oodles of fresh basil with their zoodles?
Be sure to use green pumpkin seeds (called pepitas). Also, the recipe calls for one clove of garlic, but you can use as much as you want.
The red wine vinegar gives this dish a nice zing. You can also use lemon juice if you prefer that.
13. Couscous Primavera
Savory couscous primavera borrows its unique name from the ever-popular pasta primavera. However, made with nutritious couscous, this is an incredibly healthy side dish for shrimp.
This recipe has a ton of ingredients, so it looks a bit daunting. Don’t be intimated, though. It’s easier than it looks.
The veggies are carrot, asparagus, shallots, cherry tomato, sweet peas, and bell pepper. You will also need ricotta cheese to make the whipped ricotta (which is optional).
In addition to the spices listed, consider adding fresh mint leaves and a dash of cayenne pepper to send this recipe over the moon.
14. Coconut Rice
In South Asian and Thai cuisine, coconut is a prevalent and flavorful ingredient. It’s a good idea to keep a can or two of coconut milk on hand for these delicious recipes.
Plain white rice is something that goes with nearly any meal, but you can take your shrimp meal to the next level with jasmine rice or basmati rice cooked in coconut milk and chicken broth. We love this rice under grilled shrimp with cajun seasoning.
A tiny bit of sugar gives this rice a wonderfully sweet taste, and the cilantro and soy sauce adds an interesting flavor. This rice is much more delicate than fried rice.
For even more interest, toss in some pistachios and chopped mango.
15. Baked Potato
What goes with shrimp? Is there any meal that doesn’t work with a fluffy baked potato or mashed potatoes? Naturally, the humble baked spud is one of the best side dishes for shrimp.
The perfect baked potato has a nice crispy skin and light fluffiness on the inside.
Here is the secret to making the best baked potatoes: a crust of salt, preferably sea salt.
The salt on the skin makes all of the difference because it draws the moisture out of your baked potato.
To achieve this crispy skin, brush olive oil on the outside of your potatoes before baking after you poke holes in them. Then sprinkle fine sea salt all over them.
Be sure to serve your baked potato with all of the trimmings, including an option of savory garlic butter.
For more information please see the list of What to serve with shrimp salad