Lemon Garlic Scallop Pasta

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A Lemon Garlic Scallop Pasta is the perfect restaurant-style meal that you can make at home!

Lemon Garlic Scallop Pasta from @whatsgabycookin (@whatsgabycookin)

I think it’s safe to say we’re a bunch of pasta lovers here at WGC. It’s also safe to say we love garlic, lemon, herbs and things that are fresh and light and loaded with flavor. So this Lemon Garlic Scallop Pasta is right up our alley!

If you’ve never made scallops before – DON’T FEAR! I’m about to walk you through it. And if you’ve never had scallops before – omg let me be the first to welcome you to your new favorite seafood dish. Scallops are actually quite easy to make.

Lemon Garlic Scallop Pasta from @whatsgabycookin (@whatsgabycookin)

Here are a few rules to cooking scallops:

1: First – you need to remove the muscle from the scallop. You can ask your fish monger to show you how – I should have taken a pic to use but I forgot. So I’ll update this post as soon as I make this again!

2: Make sure your scallops are DRY. Pat both sides dry with a paper towel. That’s going to get you the best color.

3: Season liberally with salt and pepper. And I mean LIBERALLY.

4: Use a cast iron skillet and crank that heat.

5: Make sure you use plenty of oil so really get that good sear and lock in the flavor.

6: Don’t futz with them. Place them in the skillet and let them really brown before flipping. Don’t peak or move them around. They only need to be flipped once, and when it’s time to flip them, they should be so golden that it’s really easy to flip!

Okay – there you have it! The What’s Gaby Cooking School of Scallops. Now go make this for Valentine’s Day next week and thank me later.

Stuck in a dinner rut? Looking for new delicious dinner ideas?  Check out my roundup of 50+ easy dinner ideas here.

Lemon Garlic Scallop Pasta from @whatsgabycookin (@whatsgabycookin)

Lemon Garlic Scallop Pasta

4.9 from 43 votes
A restaurant style scallop pasta dish that'll make you look like an absolute kitchen stud!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 2 People


  • 3/4 pound linguini
  • 1 pound scallops
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus some for drizzling
  • 3 tablespoons butter divided
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 large shallot finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves removed and chopped
  • 1 cup white wine Sauv Blanc
  • 1 cup seafood stock chicken stock will work too
  • 1 cup fresh basil torn
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced


  • Cook the pasta to package directions. Hold off on starting the scallops until you drop your pasta.
  • Remove the muscle from the scallops and pat dry with a paper towel pat. Season the scallops heavily with salt and pepper.
  • Preheat a large skillet (I like a cast iron skillet for this) over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, once shimmering, add scallops. Sear the scallops for 2-3 minutes on each side until super golden brown. The last minute, add 2 tablespoons of butter and baste the scallops, then remove from pan and tent loosely with foil to keep warm
  • Add an additional drizzle of olive oil to the skillet and add the garlic, shallots, crushed red pepper flakes, thyme, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and sauté garlic and shallots 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine to the pan and scrape up any pan drippings. Reduce the wine for 1 minute, then add seafood stock. Continue to cook for about 1 minute. Add the basil, chives, lemon zest and juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and stir the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the cooked pasta and cook for about 30 seconds, just to combine and let the pasta soak up the sauce. Nestle the scallops back into the skillet to serve.


  1. 5 stars
    So so so good! Umami!! I served this with blk pasta, crispy bread, and asparagus. Thank you so very much.

  2. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness Gaby this was full of deliciousness! Thank you for one of the best scallop/pasta recipes ever.
    A 5 star keeper!

  3. 5 stars
    AMAZING! I love all Gaby recipes but this has to be in Top 5! The combination of ingredients is perfection. I added spinach to the shallot and garlic. This will definitely be on repeat.

  4. 5 stars
    Sooooooooo goooood!!! Would’ve used 1/2 a lemon but even still, we were licking our plates by the end of it! 😀 Recommend!!!

  5. 5 stars
    This was delicious! My husband and I both thought so, and I’ve gotten very picky. So nice to have a scallop recipe without parsley, which neither of us can bring ourselves to enjoy. Of course the prep time was way longer than 10 minutes, but still relatively easy, and made with ingredients you have in your house. We added zoodles to reduce the carbs and added in a little frozen spinach. A true winner!

    1. 5 stars
      I made it and this was a HUGE hit! easy & oh so delicious. Definitely keeping this recipe and making it again (and again!).

  6. Looks amazing! Going to try with shrimp instead of scallops tomorrow cus that’s all I’ve got! You think it would still be okay?

  7. I have to use frozen scallops..any tips on getting ALL of the moisture out? Too often my thawed frozen fish ends up being poached and chewy.

    1. ya it’s tough with frozen sometimes. I would blot them dry on a paper towel for a WHILE. Let them thaw on a paper towel to absorb even more moisture too

    1. We had leftover shrimp and scallops from a restaurant meal we had last night.
      I did everything to a T, except just adding my already cooked shrimp and scallops.
      It was delicious!
      The only thing I feel like I missed out on is those delicious pan drippings that go with having cooked the scallops in the pan.
      The way I prepared it was perfect for what I had to work with.
      Excellent recipe!
      Excellent recipe when using leftover seafood!
      Thank you, Gaby

  8. 5 stars
    This recipe is easy and very good. My husband can’t eat anything in the onion family so we left out the scallions and green chives. I had Chardonnay and not Sauv Blanc. It was wonderful and we will make this again. It was fun making it together.

  9. 5 stars
    I don’t usually comment on recipes, but this dish was simple to make and had an extraordinary flavor. Fresh scallops, blotted dry on paper towels, cooked up perfectly, and normally that would be the highlight, but the pasta flavored with all the goodies in the pan was just over-the-top delicious. I made this essentially as written, except that I was out of shallots so used red onion as a substitute. Don’t skimp on the wine or lemon.

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