Seafood dinners with clam strips have a different kind of excitement; they’re one of the best ways to enjoy clams.
Because these flavorful strips are pleasantly chewy and salty, they taste their best when you serve them with various sides.
If researching side dishes seems too time-consuming, this guide will help you find the best ones.
We’ve studied ten options regarding what to serve with clam strips, and they’ll surely deliver your palate the flavors it needs.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Clam Strips?
If you’ve had clam strips before, you know they are usually prepared with batter and breading and deep-fried.
So, they are crunchy and tender yet can be dry on your taste buds, meaning your meal isn’t well-balanced.
As such, you must serve side dishes that bring contrasting elements and refresh your palate.
Doing so will prevent your palate from being overwhelmed by one flavor.
What to Serve with Clam Strips? 10 BEST Side Dishes
Whether you’re looking for something hydrating and refreshing or comforting, you will find a few favorites on this list.
1 – Corn Chowder
An aromatic and comforting corn chowder is a delightful way to add flavor to a seafood meal.
It provides a creamy broth that helps balance the dryness of fried clam strips.
The chowder has a sweet taste that blends well with the salty clams.
In addition, the cheese and cream add subtle tangy accents that bring out the clams’ taste to its best.
As regards texture, the corn kernels provide crunchy elements to your meal; they contrast the tender clam strips.
The broth, however, brings everything together, making them easier to take in.
You can dip the clam strips into it for a fun serving option.
2 – Tartar Sauce
If you don’t serve a tartar sauce with clam strips, you’ll miss out big time.
This sauce isn’t particularly loaded with flavor but has elements that make it a perfect side for almost every seafood dish, regardless of how you prepare it.
This sauce uses a mayonnaise base, and it comes together in under 5 minutes if you have fresh lemon juice, herbs, and a pickle (optional).
The result is a pleasantly sweet and tangy sauce that you can use as a dip or spread over the clams.
Tartar sauce pairs exceptionally well with fried food, so your guests would be even more impressed if your clams had that satisfying crunch.
3 – Beet Salad with Goat Cheese
Clam strips are always delicious with a vibrant and refreshing addition.
And one effortless way to do this is by using some bittersweet beetroots.
While you can use it raw for the crunchiest textures, you can also blanch them to reduce the sharp bitterness.
As regards the other ingredients, you can use a handful of leafy greens, grains, and fruits to introduce sweet and earthy flavors.
Toasted nuts also make a wonderful addition to the salad, adding a satisfying crunch.
Goat cheese makes the best garnish for this salad because its earthy, buttery flavors pair exceptionally well with the sharpness of beets.
Besides, they also contain a higher percentage of calcium than cow cheese, so they are inherently healthier.
4 – Creamy Potato Soup
Seeing a potato dish on a dinner table is always exciting because you know all too well that it can never disappoint you.
Potatoes are very familiar on our palates, so creating a dish that will bring out unexpected flavors becomes quite challenging.
Luckily, we’ve done the searching for you.
A potato soup is one dish that’ll always impress because it uses a variety of items in your pantry to bring up a concoction of hearty flavors.
Broths, aromatics, cheeses, and sour cream are the star ingredients that make this soup a culinary masterpiece.
This soup pairs exceptionally well with clam strips; it complements the fried seafood by providing contrasting textures and flavors.
It also provides a decent amount of dietary fiber, contributing to proper gut functioning.
5 – Spinach and Artichoke Dip
If eating spinach isn’t on your list of favorites, this creamy dip will change your mind; it uses artichokes to introduce earthy flavors to the bitter spinach.
The sour cream and cream cheese base give the dip a sweet and tangy taste.
This spinach and artichoke dip has a sour aftertaste despite its initial sweetness.
However, this is what makes it a favorable option for clam strips.
It beautifully balances the mild salty seafood while introducing creamy textures contrasting and complementing the crunchy and tender clams.
This side dish has a pleasant aroma when warm but is equally delicious when chilled; you can let the weather and entree decide which one to go for.
6 – Twice Baked Potatoes
Baking your potatoes twice may seem simple, but it delivers some of the most exciting textures and flavors.
These potatoes are so tender that they melt into your taste buds as you bite into them.
There’s no limit to how many ingredients you can add to this dish, but everyone knows it gets so much better with a lot of cheese and sour cream.
Because this dish has a creamy and cheesy texture, you can dip the clam strips into it for a delightful snack.
All in all, this dish has everything you need to enjoy a well-rounded meal; it all depends on the ingredients you add.
7 – Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Pasta
Zucchini pasta (also called zoodles) is one of those foods that can recreate a dish in a healthier way.
Yes, you needn’t feel guilty about eating pasta anymore because you’ll make them with zucchini.
Garlic and cheeses are some of the best flavors that pair well with fried seafood, so you’ll want to include them in your pasta dish.
While buying them at a grocery store is easy, making your zoodles is pretty simple.
All you must do is julienne them using a food spiralizer or a box grater.
The nutty and fruity taste of parmesan pairs exceptionally well with pasta dishes, so it is a suitable option for zucchini noodles.
Besides, it also adds tangy accents to the dish, which goes well with the clam strips.
8 – Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms
Stuffed mushrooms are a versatile side dish that can elevate any meal; the caps can contain all kinds of fillings, making your meals more exciting.
The neutral taste of mushrooms can achieve a wide range of flavors depending on the filling you choose.
Stuffing large mushroom caps with fluffy quinoa is a healthy and filling option; it adds plant protein and fiber to your meal, making it easy on your stomach while keeping you satiated for long hours.
If your dinner guests are somewhat picky about their food, don’t limit yourself to just one filling.
Consider multiple options that comprise meaty and vegan fillings for the mushrooms.
It will also prove helpful to include good melting cheeses for extra flavor.
9 – Lager
Consider lager if you have a more mature palate and need something to quench your thirst as you relish the marine goodness of clam strips.
It is light, crisp, and tastes very mild compared to other varieties, so it doesn’t overpower the entree.
The low alcohol content in lager also allows you to enjoy your food better without making you drunk.
Its mild, mellow flavor helps balance the subtle saltiness of clams.
Best of all, you can serve lager straight from the fridge; a chilled glass or two hits the spot, especially on a warm day.
10 – Remoulade Sauce
Mayonnaise-based remoulade sauce is one refreshing side that will further heighten the clam strips’ taste.
The exact taste may vary depending on the ingredients you add to the base, but they all comprise tangy and spicy flavors enveloped in a garlicky aroma.
If your remoulade sauce has Dijon mustard, it will also have a sharp aroma.
The tangy accents of this cold sauce contrast the textures of hot, fried food and help them attain the best possible flavor.
You should try all the different types of remoulade to explore the differences and find which suits your palate.
When considering side dishes for clam strips, you want to ensure they provide complementary flavors and nutrients to keep your meal healthy and enjoyable.
Salads and sauces are always a good option for a light meal, but if you need something more filling, consider a soup or a pasta dish.