Jerk shrimp is a flavorful, punchy way to enjoy seafood.
But what do you serve with it?
It can feel like a tough question—and it’s one that many of us home cooks ask ourselves!
We want to make sure the meal feels balanced, and we also want to keep things easy.
We’ve got you covered.
Here are ten easy, delicious sides that pair perfectly with jerk shrimp!
What to Serve with Jerk Shrimp: 10 Easy Sides
You’ll want to have a nice side dish ready to go when you’re serving jerk shrimp. The combination of sweet and spicy flavors is perfect for those who love a bit of spice in their food.
A simple baked potato or even a salad are some of the best options. If you are looking for something more complex, you can try a vegetable like asparagus or a corn salad.
Still looking for options?
Then keep scrolling down below!
1. Fried Rice
When you’re planning what to serve with jerk shrimp, fried rice is always a good bet. It’s easy to make and pairs perfectly with the spicy flavors of jerk shrimp.
Here are three tips for serving jerk shrimp with fried rice:
First, make sure you cook the shrimp before adding it to the rice. If you add raw shrimp to the rice, it will be mushy and gross.
Second, add fresh herbs to your jerk shrimp before you add them to the rice. This will give your fried rice a nice pop of color and flavor.
Consider using brown or wild rice instead!
- Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 cups of long grain rice
- 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
And here’s how to make it:
- First, cook the rice according to package directions.
- Next, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Cook the eggs in the skillet until scrambled and set aside.
- Add the frozen vegetables to the skillet and cook until heated through (about 3 minutes).
- Mix in the cooked rice and eggs and continue cooking for another 4 minutes (or until hot).
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
When you’re looking for a side dish that’s both delicious and beneficial to your health, look no further than coleslaw.
Coleslaw is a great option for receiving the nutrients your body needs while also enjoying a tasty treat. Coleslaw is typically made with cabbage, which contains vitamins A and C.
In order to make this side dish work with jerk shrimp, you simply have to be willing to get creative with flavor combinations.
The heat of the jerk shrimp combined with the cold of the coleslaw creates an interesting contrast in temperature that can be incredibly enjoyable if done right.
Here are a few tips for what to do with this side dish:
- Keep it cool—literally: Coleslaw is the perfect accompaniment to spicy jerk shrimp because it offers a cool, creamy contrast to the hot and savory flavor of the shrimp.
- Mix it up: The great thing about coleslaw is that you can make it however you like. Add your favorite herbs or spices, mix in different kinds of cabbage and carrots, or try adding fruit like apples or raisins for an extra sweet kick. You can even add jalapeños or other peppers if you’re looking to amp up the heat factor!
- Get creative: Coleslaw is a versatile dish that can be served as a salad or as a side dish (it even goes great on tacos!). It’s also easy to double (or triple) the recipe so that you have leftovers for later in case you want some more after everyone else has eaten theirs all up at dinner time.
3. Fried okra
Rice is great, but why not try something different?
Okra has a lot of health benefits.
And it can be so delicious when it’s fried—try battering it in cornmeal, then deep-frying it for about 15 minutes.
But how can you make it work as a side for jerk shrimp?
Think about how this side will taste, and what flavors will go well with it.
If your jerk shrimp is on the spicy side—and let’s face it, most jerk shrimp is—that will go perfectly with some fried okra.
The okra balances the heat from the spice, while still complementing the flavor of the shrimp.
Have you tried plantains?
In the same family as bananas, plantains are starchier and lower in sugar than bananas.
They taste great grilled! Check out this recipe for extra-crispy grilled plantains,.
Plantains are a good source of vitamin A, which is good for your eyes.
To make this work as a side dish to go with jerk shrimp, try grilling the plantains along with your jerk shrimp and serving them up together.
Corn on the cob is a great source of fiber, which helps to keep you full and satisfied for longer, so you won’t be going in for seconds (or thirds) of jerk shrimp.
Serving corn on the cob with jerk shrimp really elevates this meal from “shrimp and veggies” to a full-on dinner party.
You can roast your corn in the oven or even grill it on the barbecue—just make sure it’s tender but not too soft.
This will give you sweet, savory niblets of goodness to go along with your spicy jerk shrimp!
The health benefits of potatoes are truly incredible. They can lower blood pressure that’s just the start of it!
To make this work in your meal (or on your table), I recommend making sure you have some butter and sour cream on hand.
If you happen to have some green onions or chives, sprinkle those over the top for a little extra flavor and flair!
7. Deviled eggs
Deviled eggs are a great companion to jerk shrimp because the protein in the eggs will keep you satiated, and their creamy texture contrasts nicely with the spicy jerk shrimp.
To make this work in a meal, you can serve the eggs as an appetizer before serving your main course of jerk shrimp.
Deviled eggs can also be served as a side dish. In both cases, pair it with a light salad tossed in vinaigrette dressing to balance out the heaviness of the eggs.
Smoked chicken wings make the perfect side to jerk shrimp.
The smokey flavor really complements the spice of the jerk shrimp, so they’re both delicious by themselves and as part of a complete meal.
Our favorite way to eat smoked chicken wings is with a roasted potato salad (there’s a great recipe for that here).
If you’re looking for something a little more snappy, try this spinach and chickpea salad instead!
Macaroni and cheese is an easy, quick comfort food that you can make in just about any way.
You can use the boxed variety, or you can make it from scratch.
Either way, this dish is the perfect companion to jerk shrimp because it’s easy to make and it’s delicious!
You can make macaroni and cheese however you want—just remember that, if you’re making it from scratch, you’ll need to cook your pasta first before mixing it with your cheese sauce and toppings.
For tips on making the best macaroni and cheese around, check out this recipe here.
10. Cucumber salad
Cucumber salad is a no-brainer when it comes to sides that go well with jerk shrimp.
First of all, cucumbers are packed with minerals like magnesium and potassium, which can help you stay hydrated and reduce your blood pressure.
And they’re also low in calories, so they won’t weigh you down when you want something light to eat alongside your jerk shrimp.
But how do you make a good cucumber salad?
There are a bunch of ways to do it.
I love to add a little bit of white wine vinegar, some chopped dill and chives, salt and pepper, and just a touch of garlic powder.
Let the flavors sit for a few hours before eating—you’ll be shocked by how much better it tastes when you let the flavors soak into the cucumber slices!