Desserts That Go with Seafood

Pairing a dessert with seafood can be a task that requires some planning ahead. Not all dessert flavors will go well after eating different types of seafood. With a meal that is so rich and decadent, seafood flavors can overpower many desserts and leave you wanting something a little different. Many seafoods also have a slightly sweet taste that may go best with a dessert that is not as strongly sweet. Sometimes dessert flavors need to compliment rather than competes with the meal that was just eaten. Often a light dessert is a strong option after any seafood meal, bringing balance to a strong meal. A rich dessert may be a good pairing for some heavier dishes. A frozen dessert for a summer day can always be a go to choice. 

We know seafood here at Crab House, and we also know desserts. We know it can be daunting to try and pick a dessert after a delectable seafood meal. Not to worry, we have compiled all the different type of seafood dessert options in one place! For anyone looking for desserts with fish, lobster desserts, or just the best desserts that go with seafood this guide will help. No need to wonder what dessert goes with seafood, we have you covered.


How to Approach pairing Dessert with Seafood

Skillet with crab mussels and shrimp with a view of SF Bay

There are different approaches to take when trying to figure out dessert that goes with fish. We know that trying to find shrimp boil dessert options will be different from what you may want to choose for lobster desserts. 


Texture and Weight

One key in choosing the right desserts to go with seafood is to match similar texture and weightiness of your dish to your dessert. For instance, if you have clam chowder for dinner, a creme brûlée should work nicely. The lightness of a lemon sorbet would work perfectly for either hamachi crudo or seared scallops. Both which are light and bright just like citrus sorbet.


Flavor Similarities

Another approach would be to find a flavor profile in a dessert that complements the flavors in the dish you have. If eating crab with a lemon butter dip, try a lemon cake to keep a thread through all your courses. Having some fish and chips? Try a beignet that is also fried but can also feel very light, otherwise go for a donut!

You may also want to find a dish that offers a different weight, texture, or flavor than your dish to switch things up. For instance, it you have a super rich salmon or tuna dish go for something lighter for dessert like a tart pie. We love seafood’s briny and salty flavor. If you’re eating something with anchovies. Go for something sweet for dessert like a brownie. 

Remember, there are no hard and fast rules that everyone must follow. In the end it comes down to what tastes and sounds good to you. Use this blog post as a suggestion and guideline for your next meal. 


Light Desserts That go with Seafood 

Many of the desserts that go with seafood are light or airy. These lighter choices can act as a palate cleanser. This type of dessert also limits the competition with the flavors of the meal. It compliments heavy meal such as chowder or seafood pasta. A dessert for shrimp boil is well matched as something light and easy to digest. 

Some of the best light desserts include a sorbet, which can accent a rich meal with lobster or crab. It offers a cooling sensation and will not overpower the meal that was just enjoyed. Others may find that fresh fruit or fruit tarts are their preference. The sweetness that is offered from the fruits will match easily with the decadence of a seafood meal, and for desserts with fish for a meal, the experience of fresh fruit is hard to match.

Parfaits, bananas foster, pie, and other fruit based desserts are also often used for a seafood dessert. They are often used for their similarities and differences in flavor profiles. Fruit desserts remain light and airy and will not become heavy in the stomach or cause discomfort, making them ideal for a heavier meal or a companion for a lighter meal. Often they also act as the perfect palate cleanser. The perfect end to a meal and sets you up to finish the night. 

For cake lovers the angel food cake offers an ideal pairing. It’s light and airy density and simple flavors doesn’t overpower anything or vie for the top spot of the seafood meal. This in itself edges it closer to being a top contender for the best desserts, and it’s tendency to be topped with fresh fruit and light whipped cream only support that progress. 

Others may find that they feel a gelatine dessert, such as a jello or even a light mousse, will compliment their meal. They are simple with minimal ingredients yet offer a unique texture when consumed. It can add that extra dimension of both taste and texture to a meal that helps to keep it well rounded and complimentary, especially after a seafood lunch or dinner. For some a rich dessert with an already rich and somewhat sweet meal is unbalanced, but others will find they go well together and create an iconic pairing. It depends on if you are looking for something to complement or contrast your meal. 

Rich Desserts that go with seafood

If you are looking for a rich dessert that will please the tastebuds and is as strong a part of the meal as the meal itself, then there are several options. Pies are well paired with lobster or crab, and they are a traditional dessert sought out by many. Selecting a fruit based pie can partner the sweet and light characteristics of the fruit with the grounding base of the pie crust, creating an ideal end to a large seafood meal. Key lime pie offers the same effects with the lime that will brighten the meal.

Basic desserts are a wonderful match for the ending of a seafood meal. However, it you’re looking for a decadent dessert, include chocolate for that extra touch. Chocolate chip cookies may seem simple but the pair with many types of seafood and are often a low guilt way to top off an evening. Brownies and even lemon bars make this list as well, with their deceptively basic profiles that instead have layers of flavor that compliment any seafood. 

Cakes and cupcakes are also a favorite here, and they can add whimsey to the experience. Chocolate lava cake reaches a level of decadence that many desserts never will and can make any meal memorable. For an experience based in balance, strawberry shortcake, red velvet cake, and pineapple upside down cake are a go to. These options showcase a traditional pairing of fruit desserts to a seafood meal, and work well with shellfish. 

Other strong traditions include closing a meal with tiramisu, baked Alaska, and even crème brûlée. Each of these is a dessert that has earned its way into the top culinary restaurants with detailed presentations and extended prep time. Often used for celebrations and to commemorate special events, they are not your average lunch dessert. They are certain to bring any meal to a new level and create memorable dinning experiences. Their decadence and sophistication are suitable for the most extensive menus. 

Frozen Desserts with Fish Based Meals

Frozen desserts are a great option for fish based meals. They are always refreshing and bright and include fresh ingredients. Try these but add a personal touch. Frozen fruit kabobs offer the fresh and light tastes of fruit. They also have the cool and soothing approach of the frozen desserts. Making them a great fit for many seafood based meals. 

Ice cream is a traditional dessert that goes with almost any meal and is a welcome desert for shrimp boil and other seafood meals. A simple vanilla can offer layers of flavors and a richness that defines it, and chocolate, strawberry, and the other limitless flavors are all easy to pair with any seafood dish. The soothing texture and coolness that it creates is enjoyable for nearly everyone and is always welcome after any meal. 

When selecting your dessert be sure to find one that brings balance to your meal. More importantly treat yourself to something you are sure to enjoy. Whether you prefer fruit based desserts, frozen desserts, or the a richer more decadent option, there is sure to be a dessert that will pair well with your meal of seafood. From simple chocolate chip cookies or angel food cake with fruit, to a baked Alaska, there is a dessert for every different type of seafood meal.


Sometimes, you may want to stick to an after dinner coffee instead. Check out this blog post to pick what might work best!

Visit us At Crab House

A look at the exterior of Crab House restaurant. White building with a black sign

We hope that you will come visit us here in San Francisco. If you are looking for the best crab restaurant we hope you’ll visit us here at Crab House. We have the best seafood in San Francisco. In addition, we also have a wonderful selections of desserts that will go with your seafood meal. Come try our world famous sizzling Dungeness crab skillets roasted in our secret garlic sauce. Try our clam chowder, garlic noodles, and crab fried rice. Or visit us for our diverse selection of libations. We have wonderful signature cocktails, and a wine list with a focus on California wines. Crab House has incredible views of the Bay and a great front row seat to the resident sea lions that call PIER 39 home. We can’t wait to see you soon. We serve lunch and dinner daily from 11am to 9pm.