Lobster tails are considered a very high-end main course, but they can be surprisingly easy to make for yourself at home or for any special occasion. If you are preparing some delicious lobster tails and want show-stopping sides to go with it, here are 27 of my favorite side dishes to complement this fancy meal.
Lobster is considered by most to be a decadent, high-end meal. It is a tender meat with a sweet flavor, protected by a hard shell that makes cooking it look a little bit intimidating.
If you have never cooked lobster before, you may be surprised by how easy it really can be. There are so many ways to cook it!
You can boil lobster, grill it, steam it, or bake it. Any option you choose, when done right, ends up as melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Once you have mastered the main course, it’s time to make it a meal!
Depending on how the lobster tails are prepared, there are so many sides that can complement this mild seafood dish. It can be served in a fancy dinner as a decadent meal or made into a quick lobster meal with a simple side.
I’m happy to share a few good recommendations for the perfect side dish to add to your dinner table!
How To Purchase Lobster Tails
Purchasing Live Lobsters
The first step to cooking lobster tails is purchasing lobster tails. If you have the opportunity to purchase fresh, live whole lobster, fresh food is always the best.
Choose a lobster that is alive. The antennae should be moving and the rubber bands on the claws should be securely attached. Live lobsters should not smell fishy, they should simply smell like the saltwater they are kept in.
If you choose to purchase a live lobster, the most valuable part is the tail. But you can save other parts, like the claws, to add flavor to soups and other dishes.
Purchasing Lobster Tails
If you are purchasing just the tail, look for consistent color and no cracks in the shell. You should also not purchase any tails that look slimy or smell fishy. Even when dead, lobster meat has a very mild smell.
You should also be aware of the size of the lobster and how much meat it produces. A one-pound lobster will produce about 3 to 4 ounces of meat and a typical serving size is 8-10 ounces so you may want to purchase more than one tail per person you plan to feed.
You can usually find lobster tails for sale in your local grocery store or at Costco. They are often frozen, which is perfectly fine. Be careful about how you defrost the lobster for the best results.
You can thaw frozen lobster tails in cold water or in the refrigerator. Do not attempt to cook the lobster until it is fully thawed or you may end up cooking it unevenly.
Leave frozen lobster tails in the refrigerator overnight to thaw.
A faster method is to put the lobster tails in a plastic bag and submerge them in cold water for 30 to 60 minutes at a time until it is thawed.
Butterflying your lobster tails allows you to add extra seasoning to the meat as it cooks, helps it to cook more evenly, and allows for a pretty presentation.
Use some sharp scissors to make a cut down the middle of the shell lengthwise. Be careful not to drop any bits of shell onto your meat. Use a spoon to separate the meat from the shell on the underside.
From here you have two options: You can cook the meat inside the shell or you can remove it, place the shell back together and put the meat on top of the shell.
Lobster tail is fully cooked when the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees.
You can tell the lobster tail is cooked just by looking at it. If the shell is bright white and red and the meat is white or pink, it is cooked. Raw lobster tail is pink or slightly gray.
If you are cooking lobster in your oven it can be broiled or cooked at a high heat between 400 and 500 degrees.
Be careful not to overcook your lobster as this will make the meat tough and chewy. You also don’t want to place lobster meat too close to the broiler or it will burn.
Lobster tails are great with a little paprika, garlic, seasoning salt and butter but you can add whatever seasonings you like. There is no need to go overboard with your seasoning. Lobster has a naturally mild flavor that you don’t want to mask.
If you made a lobster dinner and have some leftovers, you can save it to enjoy again the next night. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. On the next night, wrap the meat in some aluminum foil with a dab of butter and place them in a preheated oven for about 9 minutes.
Leftover lobster is also great for lobster rolls, lobster mac and cheese, this Vegetable and Lobster Eggs Scramble Recipe, or creamy soup like lobster bisque!
It is not a good idea to freeze cooked lobster as the texture will change when it is thawed.
- This Lobster Tail with Vanilla Sauce is so surprisingly delicious with the perfect creamy texture. It’s definitely worth a try!
- This Baked Lobster from Scrambled Chefs is an easy recipe with simple ingredients to serve lobster to your guests at home.
- Grilled Lobster from Mom’s Dish is an excellent addition to your next BBQ!
- Lemon and butter are the most popular seasonings for lobster tails.
- Citrus flavors are the perfect accompaniment for the sweetness of the lobster. If you are cooking your juicy lobster tail with lemon, do not add it to your lobster tail until you are ready to cook. The acid in the lemon juice can actually cook the lobster.
- Use a meat thermometer to correctly measure the temperature of your lobster tails.
- Lobster tails are best enjoyed right after cooking as they get tough when reheating!
What to Eat With Lobster Tails
Sides: Macaroni and cheese, crusty bread, cheesy biscuits, potato salad, pasta salad, French baguettes, Caesar salad, fresh fruit, simple baked potato, french fries, white rice, simple green salad
Garnishes: Lemon wedges, lemon juice, parsley, garlic butter, melted butter, fresh herbs
Vegetables: Asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, cauliflower, green beans, roasted sweet potatoes, veggie fries
Additional Protein: Lobster is one-half of the main dish in surf and turf. It’s great to serve with high-quality steak
Recipes to Serve with Lobster Tails
Homemade Mac and Cheesexa
White Rice in the Instant Pot
Mashed Potatoes in the Instant Pot
Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes
Filet Steak in a Cast Iron Pan
Aglio e Olio (Pasta without Sauce)
This pasta without sauce (or pasta with garlic and olive oil OR aglio e olio, it goes by many names), is basically the grown-up, gourmet version of buttered noodles. Technically, it does have a sauce. The oil, garlic, cheese and pasta water come together to create the barest of coatings for the pasta (debatable though, whether you would call it a full on sauce).
Herb Pangrattato on White Asparagus
Tasty Herb Pangrattato is a toasted seasoned breadcrumb mixture that is delicious on everything from steamed white asparagus to baked mac ‘n’ cheese. Use your favourite herbs and spices to customize it to your liking.
Grilled Asparagus with Grilled Lemon
This Easy Grilled Asparagus Recipe With Charred Lemon is sure to become your go-to summer side dish. It’s delicious, quick, and uses pantry staple ingredients!
Crispy Roasted Mini Potatoes
These roasted mini potatoes are crispy on the outside, creamy within, and seasoned perfectly. Easy enough for weeknights, and good enough for Sunday dinner!
Instant Pot Asparagus Risotto
Ready in under 30 minutes, this Instant Pot Asparagus Risotto is creamy and so easy to make! No need to babysit this risotto over the stove, the Instant Pot does all the hard work for you!
Lobster Butter Sauce
This easy lobster butter sauce can be made four different ways. Try it plain, or season with lemon, garlic or cayenne. Serve with lobster!
Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
This Creamy Mashed Cauliflower Recipe may be lower in carbs and calories but they are just as mouthwatering as regular mashed potatoes. Made with sour cream, parmesan cheese, garlic, and butter, these creamy Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes are full of delicious buttery flavor and make the perfect, keto-approved side dish!
Lemon Pepper Roasted Cauliflower
This Lemon Pepper Roasted Cauliflower tastes like sunshine! Crispy cauliflower with lemon and garlic with bursts of fun flavors.
Brussels Sprouts with Figs, Manchego & Pumpkin Seeds
The perfect healthy holiday or celebratory dinner side dish, these healthy roasted brussels sprouts with manchego, dried figs, and pepitas are savory, crunchy, salty, and just the right amount of naturally sweet.
Lemon Basil Rice
This easy 30-minute Lemon Basil Rice is perfectly fresh, zesty, and delicious. With star ingredients like butter, fresh basil, lemon juice, and lemon zest, this refreshing side dish pairs well with anything and everything!
Italian Pesto Bread
This Italian pesto bread is an easy braided bread recipe that is perfect for any occasion. Light and fluffy homemade Italian bread is braided with bright green basil pesto for not only a beautiful presentation, but delicious flavor.
This zucchini risotto recipe is a decadent yet simple entree or side dish. It’s made with creamy Arborio rice cooked with broth and white wine, then finished with salty cheese, zucchini, fresh basil, and lemon zest.
Easy Garlic Butter Sauce
Flavorful and aromatic, this easy Garlic Butter Sauce is a 4-ingredient recipe that can enhance different dishes from seafood to pasta.
A classic Tuscan Italian recipe, Panzanella is a simple mixture of crusty bread, juicy tomatoes, and an olive oil vinaigrette that makes the perfect light, summery side dish.
Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes
These marinated heirloom tomatoes capture the flavor of summer. Garden fresh tomatoes sit in a bright, bold marinade of olive oil, vinegar, fresh garlic, and oregano to create a salad or sandwich topping that looks beautiful and tastes even better!
Citrus Couscous Salad
Citrus Couscous Salad is a fresh side dish made with zucchini, tomatoes, onions, cilantro and garlic. Perfect for the hot summer days or to serve with anything.
Brown Butter Gnocchi with Sage and Walnuts
Lemon Arugula Salad
Lemon Arugula Salad with Pine Nuts is a quick and easy salad that is peppery, sweet and satisfying. Arugula is tossed with cherry tomatoes, toasted pine nuts and parmesan cheese and finished off with a lemony, olive oil dressing.
Creamy Boursin Pasta
This recipe for Boursin Pasta is the most delicious creamy pasta you’ll ever eat with just 5 ingredients and less than 30 minutes of cooking time! It’s a quick side dish or vegetarian meal that’s easy and delicious. One of the most popular recipes on this site, the 5 star reviews don’t lie!