What are the best side dishes for lobster? The rich deliciousness of lobster is complemented by fresh, light vegetable dishes such as broccoli, spinach, and sweetcorn or a green salad. Traditional sides like coleslaw, pasta, and potato salad are best served with a tangy vinaigrette dressing, while cheesy biscuits and baked butternut are hearty alternatives.
Lobster is the ultimate in luxury seafood and can be the focus of a fine-dining experience or a casual afternoon by the grill. Either way, side dishes should complement the tender and succulent meat. Let’s look at the ultimate pairings for lobster, from traditional favorites to exciting novelties.
What would a BBQ be without coleslaw? This version is inspired by the Korean pickle, kimchee. You’ll need to make it the day before to let the salad mellow.
Shred half a head of red or green cabbage and toss in a colander with salt. To remove some moisture for increased crunch, weight the cabbage with a plate and a couple of heavy cans. Leave for three hours to drain. Rinse and drain well and pat dry.
Shred half a cup of carrots and add to the cabbage.
Whisk together half a cup of sugar, a cup of rice vinegar, a couple of tablespoons of freshly grated and peeled ginger, and a teaspoon of red pepper flakes until the sugar dissolves.
Combine the cabbage, carrots, and dressing and toss well. Cover the coleslaw and refrigerate overnight or for up to 24 hours.
Serve cold with a garnish of coriander leaves.
Broccoli’s robust herbaceousness stands up to the richness of lobster. Choose tender stem broccoli or broccolini for a quick dish with the bright flavors of lemon.
Steam the broccoli until just tender. Drain and lay out on a heated serving platter.
For the sauce, melt four tablespoons of butter and fry a quarter cup of slivered or flaked almonds until golden. Add a dash of lemon juice, pour over the broccoli, and serve.
Caprese Pasta Salad
Cookouts call for pasta salad, but a lobster tail deserves something unusual on the side. This pasta salad is easy to make in advance and is fresh, light, and flavorful.
Cook your pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water until tender. Drain and set aside to cool completely with a dash of olive oil.
Chop baby plum tomatoes and cucumbers and add them to the cooled pasta. Toss in plenty of torn basil leaves and halved mini mozzarella balls.
Make a dressing with olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, and minced garlic. Mix through and serve with a scattering of pine nuts.
Cheesy Garlic Biscuits
Since that famous seafood restaurant started serving these, no lobster dinner seems complete without cheese biscuits. This version is quick, uses a ready-mix to save time, and doesn’t require rolling out.
Combine 2 ½ cups biscuit mix, a cup of grated mature cheddar cheese, a cup of buttermilk, a teaspoon of garlic powder, and – the secret ingredient – a teaspoon of ranch salad dressing mix. Mix only until moistened as this dough doesn’t need beating.
Drop tablespoonfuls of the biscuit mixture onto a greased baking sheet and bake at 450⁰F (200⁰C) for about eight minutes, until golden.
Melt half a cup of butter and add chopped chives, half teaspoons of garlic powder, ranch dressing mix, salt, and pepper.
Top the warm biscuits with melted butter mixture and immediately serve the dripping, buttery morsels.
Grilled Corn On The Cob
Corn on the cob is a classic side for a lobster dinner. This recipe is an easy side when you’re making lobster on the BBQ.
Parboil your corn in boiling, unsalted water for 10 minutes. Remove and dry well.
Place the corn on the BBQ and grill slowly over hot coals for about half an hour. Season with salt and serve with lashings of butter.
This Middle Eastern specialty combines standard green salad ingredients with toasted pita bread and a sumac dressing – the bold, lemony flavors are a perfect pairing with steamed lobster. Plus, you’ve got your bread and salad in one bowl.
If you don’t have pita chips, cut up a large pita bread into bite-sized pieces, sprinkle with salt and sumac, and bake for about 10 minutes in a moderate oven (350⁰F or 180⁰C).
Chop radishes, scallions, lettuce, baby tomatoes, and cucumber and toss with plenty of finely chopped mint and parsley. Top with the toasted pita.
Whisk together minced garlic cloves, a teaspoon of sumac, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper for the vinaigrette. The sumac will give the dressing a tart, tangy flavor.
Drizzle the bread-topped salad with the dressing and dust with additional sumac. Serve immediately.
Spinach is an excellent side dish for any lobster presentation, adding color and a burst of vitamin C.
Scale up your usual sautéed spinach by placing a large bunch of fresh spinach in a saucepan. Cook the spinach, covered for two to three minutes until wilted. Drain.
Heat butter and olive oil in a frying pan. Toss in some minced garlic, a pinch of salt, and the well-drained spinach. Place in an ovenproof serving dish, sprinkle generously with grated Parmesan cheese, and brown quickly under the grill.
Potato Salad With Green Onions and Dill
Although the regular potato salad with a mayo dressing is always a winner, the richness of lobster calls for a lighter version of the classic salad. Try this warm potato salad with East European roots.
What makes this potato salad so easy is that you bake the potatoes rather than boil them. Wash, dry, and pierce the potatoes with a fork. Bake them at 400⁰F (200⁰C) for about an hour. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, heat a quarter cup of butter in a frying pan. Add finely chopped green onions and fry gently for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and stir in two tablespoons of chopped dill.
Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, break or chop them into chunks and pour over the buttery sauce. Serve warm.
Spicy Baked Butternut
If you’re busy in the kitchen or out at the grill, it’s handy to have a side dish that you can pop in the oven and not worry about.
With its gorgeous orange flesh, Butternut squash makes a pleasant change from sweet potatoes or yams and adds a hearty side to a simple steamed lobster.
Wash two butternuts and cut in half, but leave on the peels. Remove the seeds and lay the butternuts cut side up in a shallow pan with a little warm water to cover the base.
Coat the butternuts with soft butter and sprinkle with plenty of brown sugar, ground cinnamon, grated nutmeg, and ground ginger. Bake at 350⁰F (180⁰C) for about an hour or until tender.
Strawberry Arugula Salad
A crisp green salad is always delightful with seafood, and this delicious variation adds the sweetness of strawberries to echo the sweetness of the lobster.
Combine five handfuls of arugula leaves with sliced strawberries and a half cup of torn basil or mint leaves.
Dress the strawberry salad with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette and top with roasted pistachio nuts.
The Best Wine Pairings For Lobster
Because lobster is sweet and delicate but usually served with a buttery sauce, we recommend pairing it with a light-bodied, dry white wine to cut through the richness.
Choose a wine with citrus notes like a Chenin Blanc or Chardonnay. Sauvignon Blanc is generally too acidic for lobster.
Other excellent choices are a subtly fruity rosé, especially rosé champagne. The bubbly freshness of prosecco also works well with creamy lobster dishes.
The Best Sauces For Lobster
Whether you’re steaming or grilling your lobster, the ideal sauce is a simple lemon butter to let the rich, luscious flavor of the lobster shine.
To make lemon butter sauce, melt four tablespoons of butter in a small frying pan over medium heat. Cook slowly and evenly, stirring continually as butter burns quickly. Once the butter is light brown and nutty, stir in a teaspoon of lemon juice and season to taste.
Boiled lobster goes well with a white wine and garlic sauce. This simple sauce is made by boiling a quarter cup of white wine, lemon juice, diced shallots, minced garlic, and salt and pepper. Simmer the sauce until reduced. Stir in half a cup of butter, a little at a time, until thoroughly blended.
If you’re making a Lobster Thermidor, the typical sauce is a decadent cheese sauce made by boiling double cream for 10 minutes. Add dry sherry, remove the sauce from the heat and whisk in plenty of grated Gruyère cheese, a little Dijon mustard, and some salt.