By Mary Claire Lagroue

Mouthwatering is an understatement.

Scallops cook in just minutes over the stove, making them an excellent go-to for weeknight dinners or even last-minute hors d'oeuvres. (Shhh, no one has to know.) But there's more to these mollusks than their quick cook time. Briny, sweet, and meaty, scallops can anchor a number of sides, from bright salads to denser dishes like pasta and potatoes. Here are some ideas.

Related: Browse our entire collection of scallop recipes.

Best Side Dishes for Scallops

1. Refreshing Summer Squash Salad

Lemon peel and mint bring zest and zing to summer squash and zucchini. Crispy, chopped prosciutto and crumbled feta add some salt. All that's missing is a serving of seared scallops.

Photo by bd.weld

2. Peas and Pancetta

Fresh thyme and pan-fried pancetta elevate frozen peas. Serve with garlicky scallops for a restaurant-worthy dinner.

Photo by naples34102

3. Mom's Zucchini Pie

This zucchini pie only looks like it takes a lot of work to whip up thanks to time-saving refrigerated crescent rolls. Serve with bacon-wrapped scallops for a brunch that's sure to wow.

Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

4. Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Shallots

Never underestimate the power of mashed potatoes to complement seafood, especially briny scallops.

Photo by pelican gal

5. Delicious Creamed Kale with Mushrooms

Serving scallops over a bed of creamed kale and mushrooms would allow them to soak up some this side's rich sauce.

6. Garlic-Herb Linguine

This basic linguine pares down on ingredients, meaning it would pair oh-so-well with a simple scallops recipe (like these Broiled Scallops).

Photo by naples34102

7. Roasted Sugar Snap Peas

Simple sides? Yes, please. Scratch that. Yes, peas. Scallops and sugar snap peas share a subtle sweetness, making them a natural combo.

Photo by Soup Loving Nicole

8. Lemon Asparagus Risotto

"Excellent. Mellow but balanced flavor, colorful (I added orange bell pepper), and a beautiful side dish for the sauteed scallops I served this with. Just what I was looking for," writes naples34102. "I like a little lemon, but not too much, so I used the lemon juice but not the zest. This was perfect -- no criticisms."

Photo by Amy Rathbone Wellenkamp

9. Al's Sufferin' Succotash

This succotash would be a seamless addition to a plate of scallops bathed in butter. Green chile gives it a kick.

Photo by ReneePaj

10. Chef John's Pasta Primavera

Home cooks rave about this pasta's fresh flavor. Veggies, basil, and diced jalapenos would balance buttery seared scallops in the best way.

Related: Here's how to buy and cook shellfish, including scallops, clams, mussels, oysters, shrimp, crab, and lobster.