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What side dish goes with seafood boil?

A seafood boil is a popular dish that consists of shellfish, sausage, potatoes, and corn (and sometimes other vegetables) boiled together in a pot of seasoned liquid. The variety of flavors and textures makes a seafood boil a fun, shareable meal. But with so much going on already in the main course, what makes a good side dish to serve alongside?

What are the most popular side dishes with seafood boil?

Here are some of the most common and recommended side dishes to pair with a seafood boil:

  • Bread – Slices of french bread, rolls, or cornbread are great for dipping in the seasoned boil broth.
  • Coleslaw – The tangy crunch of coleslaw balances out the richness of the boil.
  • Potato salad – Another classic pairing, the creaminess of potato salad complements the seafood and sausage.
  • Pasta salad – Chilled pasta salads with vinaigrette make a refreshing side.
  • Green salad – A simple green salad with a vinegar-based dressing is always a safe bet.
  • Corn on the cob – More corn! Roasted, grilled, or boiled.
  • Collard greens – Southern-style cooked greens add more comfort food appeal.
  • Beans and rice – Red beans, black beans, or hoppin’ john slide right into a seafood boil meal.

These are typical options you’ll see at seafood boils, backyard crawfish boils, crab boils, and shrimp boils. The starchy, hearty, or fresh and crunchy sides complement the seafood and spicy, buttery boil seasoning.

What are good veggie sides for seafood boil?

If you want to add more vegetables as sides for your seafood boil, here are some tasty options:

  • Corn on the cob – Grilled, boiled, or roasted corn is a classic.
  • Potatoes – Roasted red potatoes or fingerling potatoes add starchy satisfaction.
  • Carrots – Roasted carrots with herbs are simple but delicious.
  • Asparagus – Quickly grilled or roasted asparagus spears.
  • Brussels sprouts – Roast halved Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Green beans – Sauté green beans with garlic and spices.
  • Broccoli – Broccoli florets drizzled with olive oil and roasted.
  • Cauliflower – Cauliflower florets roasted with Parmesan cheese also pair nicely.
  • Squash – Grilled zucchini or roasted acorn squash slices.
  • Peppers – Roasted red bell peppers or quick sautéed peppers and onions.
  • Eggplant – Grilled eggplant rounds brushed with olive oil and herbs.
  • Tomatoes – Sliced tomatoes with mozzarella, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

Focus on quick and simple veggie sides that highlight seasonal produce. Roasting or grilling really bring out flavors. Go for olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and fresh herb seasoning to complement the seafood boil.

What kind of salad goes well with a seafood boil?

Salads make excellentseafood boil sides. The crunch and acidity of the vegetables and dressing cuts through the rich seafood flavors. Here are salad ideas:

  • Classic coleslaw
  • Broccoli salad
  • Potato salad
  • Pasta salad
  • Leafy green salad
  • Caesar salad
  • Greek salad
  • Wedge salad
  • Watermelon and feta salad
  • Cucumber and tomato salad

When making a salad to serve with seafood boil, opt for vinegar-based dressings like vinaigrettes, squeeze of lemon juice, or creamy dressings. Stay away from sweet dressings that would clash with the seafood flavors.

What kind of bread goes well with a seafood boil?

Bread is great for dipping in the juices of the seafood boil. Crack open some crab legs or peel shrimp, then dip the sweet meat in the seasoned butter broth. Sop up the flavorful liquid with slices of bread. Here are some good breads to consider:

  • French bread
  • Baguettes
  • Focaccia
  • Ciabatta rolls
  • Dinner rolls
  • Cornbread
  • Corn muffins
  • Biscuits
  • Garlic bread
  • Cheese bread

For the best flavor, go for simple breads with a bit of crust and chew but enough soft interior to soak up the sauce. Avoid sliced sandwich bread that would be too flimsy. Serve your seafood boil with a basket of freshly baked bread for dipping and soaking up juices.

What kind of rice or grains work well with seafood boils?

Rice and grains bring substantial carbs and soaking up power to a seafood boil meal. Here are tasty options:

  • White rice
  • Brown rice
  • Dirty rice
  • Jasmine rice
  • Rice pilaf
  • Quinoa
  • Couscous
  • Orzo
  • Polenta
  • Grits

Opt for plain rice or grains to let the seafood boil flavors take center stage. Season simply with herbs and spices like cajun seasoning if you want to complement the seasonings of the boil. Serve up hearty helpings of rice or grains to balance out the richness of the seafood.

What are good seafood boil dipping sauces?

Offering an array of dipping sauces for a seafood boil is a fun way to incorporate more flavors. Guests will love assembling their own sauce mixes. Consider these dip ideas:

  • Melted butter
  • Cocktail sauce
  • Tartar sauce
  • Remoulade
  • Horseradish sauce
  • Drawn butter with lemon
  • Drawn butter with garlic
  • Boil seasoning
  • Hot sauce
  • Aioli
  • BBQ sauce

Set out small bowls for dipping sauces so guests can peruse the options and mix and match. Offer classics like melted butter, lemon wedges, and cocktail sauce for crab and shrimp along with spicy picks like hot sauce and horseradish if you want to turn up the heat.

What are the best drinks to serve with a seafood boil?

Cool, refreshing beverages help cut through the heat of spicy boils. Iced tea, lemonade, and soft drinks are great options. Or enjoy beer, margaritas, and other cocktails on the side. Here are top seafood boil drink ideas:

  • Iced tea
  • Lemonade
  • Arnold Palmer
  • Soda
  • Fruit juice
  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Margaritas
  • Hurricanes
  • Mojitos
  • Moscow Mules
  • Mint juleps

Opt for refreshing, lighter drinks to wash down the seafood feast. Iced tea, lemonade, beer, and wine tend be popular pairings. Make a big batch of sweet tea, tropical fruit punch, or zesty citrus margaritas to sip alongside the boil.

What are good seafood boil desserts?

After indulging in a big seafood boil, light and refreshing desserts hit the spot. Here are dessert ideas:

  • Fruit salad
  • Pound cake or angel food cake
  • Cold fruit tarts
  • Panna cotta
  • Key lime pie
  • Lemon bars
  • Cheesecake
  • Macarons
  • Ice cream or sorbet
  • Cookies
  • Mini cupcakes

The refreshing tartness of citrus flavors or light and fruity desserts balance out the seafood. Or keep it simple with an ice cream sundae bar so guests can make their own sweet endings.


When planning sides for a seafood boil feast, bring on the bread, potatoes, corn, salads, rice, and dipping sauces. Think starchy, filling sides that can soak up broth along with bright, crunchy vegetable dishes to contrast the rich seafood. Round out the meal with iced tea to drink and a light dessert. With the right combination of sides and sauces, a seafood boil can be an easy, fun, and completely satisfying meal for a crowd.