In some ways, a seafood boil is a meal all on its own, with a rich flavor and plenty of salt or freshwater delicacies for your bowl. But if you’re looking to add something to complement this seafood classic, there are no shortage of options to choose from.
If you're wondering what to serve with a seafood boil, look no further. On the list below, you can find a few classic options like bread or corn, or some more creative ones. Luckily, when it comes to a seafood boil, there are more right answers than wrong ones.
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Sometimes, the best solutions are the most obvious ones. If you’re looking for a side that will help you fully enjoy your boil’s rich broth, sourdough bread is a natural choice.
The slightly tangy flavor is a perfect accompaniment to seafood, while the light and fluffy texture will help you sop up your extra broth. Just make sure to take a nice thick slice, so you can soak up every last drop.
If you’re looking for an alternative way to get your carbs, you can’t go wrong with mashed potatoes. Everyone loves them, and their mild, buttery flavor is a natural match for a seafood boil. Best of all, mashed potatoes are easy to customize to your taste. Add in some cheese, sour cream, or your favorite blend of herbs to liven up the flavor.
If you want a healthy side to pair with your seafood boil, Brussels sprouts are a delicious option that is packed with vitamins and minerals. They are especially high in vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber, which will give your body the extra pep it needs. Brussels sprouts also have a robust flavor that is a nice complement to the dominant flavors in a seafood boil.
Corn on the Cob
Many seafood boils already include a few ears of corn on the cob, but if yours doesn’t, be sure to have some on the side. The reason it pairs so well is that corn and seafood both have a subtle sweetness that matches perfectly. Corn also adds a nice textural element that contrasts with shrimp, lobster, and fish.
The other great thing about corn is that there are a variety of ways to cook it. Boiling it is one of the easiest, but you can also grill it over an outdoor barbecue for extra flavor. Be sure to include some salt, pepper, and butter on the side!
There’s a reason why coleslaw makes a perfect side for everything from fried chicken to seafood boil. It’s delicious, easy to make, and delivers a satisfying crunch. With just some mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, and shredded cabbage, you can have the perfect side ready to go.
There is an endless variety of ways to customize coleslaw too. You can mix in citrus juice, chili sauce, or your favorite blend of herbs and spices for an extra kick of flavor.
Hush puppies are corn-based fritters with a long history in Southern cuisine. Their yumminess isn't the only thing that makes them ideal seafood boil companions. They're also great for dipping into the flavorful broth. They’re a natural choice for seafood boils and soups of all kinds.
Hush puppies are usually deep fried, but if you’re making them at home, you can also shallow fry them to save on oil. Just fill a pan with a half inch of oil and be sure to flip them once they are halfway through their cook time.
Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries are an excellent solution for families who want the crispy bite of french fries but also want to add some extra nutrients to their meal. Sweet potatoes are loaded with B vitamins, fiber, potassium, and other nutrients, meaning they’ll leave you feeling great.
Of course, french fries are a classic pairing for seafood. They add the perfect amount of crispy, salty flavor, which goes perfectly with the more mild taste of shellfish.
While roasted asparagus might not be the most traditional side for your seafood boil, it’s a simple, nutritious, and delicious option worth considering. To make easy asparagus at home, simply preheat your oven to 400, coat your stalks in oil and salt, and bake for 15 minutes. Once you take them out, they should have a bit of blackening on the bottom for a rich and hearty flavor.
The other great thing about asparagus is that you can season it any way you like. If you want to pair it with your seafood boil, try a dash of Old Bay seasoning before putting it in the oven. Otherwise, some paprika and cumin can do wonders.
Mac and Cheese
The reason mac and cheese goes perfectly with seafood boil is the same reason it goes with anything—it’s delicious! Seriously, if you can find anyone who complains about a small dish of macaroni and cheese on the side of your main dish, it's probably just because they’ve already filled up on seafood.
Cornbread is a traditional side dish for a seafood boil. It has the soft texture of sourdough bread and the sweet taste of corn. This may make it our favorite seafood boil side of all. Plus, it’s a cinch to make, as long as you have some cornmeal and 20 minutes to bake it in the oven.