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Perfect Pairings: 8 BEST Side Dishes for Oysters

Oysters are a type of mollusks, and they come in many different colors and sizes.

People enjoy eating oysters because of their unique flavors and textures.

There are typically three ways to eat oysters: raw, grilled, or fried.

Raw oysters are “eaten on the half shell” and are usually served with sauces like Tabasco, horseradish, or mignonette sauce.

Grilled Oysters are often charbroiled, frequently stuffed with cheese or other ingredients, and sometimes covered with a fair amount of breadcrumbs.

Finally, fried oysters are coated in a batter, usually consisting of flour or cornmeal, and then deep-fried in oil.

The flavor of an oyster depends on its size.

Larger oysters are typically meatier, while smaller oysters are saltier.

Most people tend to eat oysters by themselves, but oysters also pair well with other dishes.

Oysters’ most popular side dishes are French fries, fried pickles, garlic bread, and cornbread.

In this article, we will list the eight best foods to serve with Oysters.

These dishes are easy to prepare and taste delicious either by themselves or together.

Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Oysters?

why consider serving side dishes for oysters

Oysters are a delicious but expensive food item.

They can be very pricey and even more so when they’re in season (only once a year).

Since oysters are such proteins, it would seem like it wouldn’t make sense to pair them with heavy side dishes, but it can be a great idea.

The truth is that oysters are extremely versatile seafood items that pair surprisingly well with many different side dishes.

What’s more, they adapt to being paired with the other components in any dish – whether vegetables, starches, or meats.

While usually only used as an appetizer, oysters are a complete meal that can be served either independently or paired with other side dishes.

Of course, all of this is up to the individual eater – only they know if they’re looking for a light snack, a full meal, or something in between.

One of the most appealing aspects of serving oysters is that they pair well with nearly all types of side dishes without overpowering them.

This means they can be served alongside almost any meal – regardless of whether you’re having vegetables, seafood, meat, or some other type of delicious dish.

So, if you haven’t considered serving oysters as a side dish, it’s worth considering.

Not only is it incredibly tasty, but it’s also a great way to introduce friends and family who aren’t familiar with this type of seafood into the world of oyster eating.

What to Serve with Oysters? 8 BEST Side Dishes

what to serve with oysters best side dishes

Here are 8 of the best side dishes to look for when considering what to serve with oysters.

1 – Cocktail Sauce

cocktail sauce

This sauce is made from ketchup, hot sauce, and horseradish.

It’s usually served as a condiment alongside cooked shrimp, fried seafood, or raw oysters on the half shell.

This can be a simple option for those who want to keep their meal quick and easy without much added time in the kitchen.

Cocktail sauce is surprisingly easy to make, and it can keep in the fridge for at least a week.

It’s also great to serve with boiled shrimp or other seafood like crawfish – if you’re serving these items, don’t forget the cocktail sauce.

Note: Cocktail Sauce is different from rémoulade, which is made with mayonnaise and mustard.

2 – Hush Puppies

hush puppies

Hushpuppies are a surprising side option because it’s a corn-based meal that pairs especially well with seafood.

They’re also a fairly healthy option for those who want to keep their meal low in fat and high in fiber.

Pair hushpuppies alongside fried catfish pieces or boiled shrimp for a delicious meal.

It’s also a great way to introduce your friends and family to new flavors because it introduces the idea of pairing seafood with corn-based meals.

Hushpuppies have been around for many generations, but they’re still popular today because they taste so good.

They’re also easy to make from scratch – you only need ingredients that are likely already in your pantry.

3 – Baked Beans

baked beans

Baked beans can be a healthier side option, especially if you make them yourself with brown sugar instead of high fructose syrup or choose lower sodium options.

While they are generally thought of as more of a dessert dish, baked beans are versatile and work well alongside both seafood and meat dishes.

Beans not only taste good when served with seafood, but they also taste great when served alongside steak or pork chops.

Of course, if you’re serving baked beans as a side dish to your oysters, avoid overloading them with other flavors – the baked beans must still be noticeable even while being paired with something else.

4 – French Fries

french fries

French fries are surprising because they’re not often thought of as a dinner-time meal, but they’re quite popular with seafood.

Their crispy exterior is unique in that it offers something different from the typical breading or crumb coating that many people associate with fried seafood.

They also work well alongside most fish dishes – especially if you’re serving the meal with tartar sauce or other types of dipping sauces.

Try this option out at your next seafood dinner party to see how quickly it becomes a favorite.

You can add other ingredients to French fries to make them unique.

One popular option is to add parmesan cheese and rosemary for a savory twist.

Another great combination is adding garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, onions, and parsley flakes for something that tastes similar to pizza.

5 – Coleslaw


Coleslaw is a tasty side dish that works well alongside fried seafood.

It’s also a healthier alternative for those who want to keep their meal low in fat and high in fiber while still indulging in some delicious seafood.

You’ll need cabbage, mayonnaise, and vinegar to make coleslaw – making it a very simple side.

It’s also very customizable – you can add your favorite veggies or even substitute mayonnaise for Greek yogurt to keep the dish light and healthy.

6 – Tartar Sauce

tartar sauce

While tartar sauce is traditionally served alongside fried fish, it works well with steamed oysters too.

It pairs especially well with seafood appetizers as the breading found on fried fish helps balance tartar sauce’s sometimes-overpowering taste.

Tartar sauce is a creamy blend of mayonnaise, pickles, and spices.

While it sounds like an easy recipe, many people struggle to make a great tartar sauce because it’s a delicate dish that takes time and patience to get just right.

Tartar sauce is easy to make from scratch, but mayonnaise, pickles, and mustard can also be made quickly.

Try this recipe out the next time you’re looking for a tasty side dish that adds flavor without overwhelming your oysters.

7 – Green Beans

green beans

Green beans are a great side dish to serve with any meal, but they tend to pair especially well with seafood because of their fresh taste.

They also have a crunchy exterior and green interior that works well as part of a balanced meal because it soaks up the flavor without leaving too strong a taste in your mouth.

Beans can be served in various ways – add different spices and other flavors to give them more personality.

For example, sprinkling some Parmesan cheese over the top or serving them with a sauce made from white wine can make these beans taste similar to a meal you’d get at a high-end seafood restaurant.

8 – Mashed Potatoes

mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a classic side dish that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

They also taste great alongside meat and seafood dishes – especially those with cream sauces or other rich flavors.

Potatoes work well as a stand-alone side dish, but they’re even better when you add ingredients to them for more flavor.

Some people prefer a loaded potato approach, adding cheese and high-quality bacon to their spuds.

Others find success by going the extra mile and making their special version of garlic mashed potatoes by adding fresh garlic instead of garlic powder or simply using oil infused with garlic for a more subtle taste that doesn’t overpower the entire dish.


All in all, oysters are a delight to eat – but they can be difficult to pair with side dishes.

Not only do you need to make sure you don’t overshadow the taste of the oyster, but you also want to make sure your side dish tastes great on its own.

Fish and seafood go well with many different types of side dishes, so if you’re not sure which one to pick, go with your personal preference – you can’t go wrong.

Try pairing oysters with green beans, coleslaw, or even tartar sauce to create a memorable meal.

Of course, other foods go well alongside oysters, too – feel free to try these dishes out the next time you’re looking for something new.

what to serve with oysters

What to Serve with Oysters? 8 BEST Side Dishes

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dishes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Cocktail Sauce
  • Hush Puppies
  • Baked Beans
  • French Fries
  • Coleslaw
  • Tartar Sauce
  • Green Beans
  • Mashed Potatoes


  • Choose your favorite recipe from the list of options.
  • Organize all required ingredients and prepare a delicious meal in 30 minutes or less!
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