Lemon Garlic Scallop Pasta


Total Time:

30 minutes



Can you believe we’ve never done a Scallop recipe here in WGC? Blasphemous! We’re changing that today with this Lemon Garlic Scallop Pasta!

Lemon Garlic Scallop Pasta from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@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.

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 and butter 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 tomorrow and thank me later.

Lemon Garlic Scallop Pasta

5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 2 People


  • 1/2 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 and 2 tablespoons of the butter. When butter melts into oil, add scallops. Sear the scallops for 2-3 minutes on each side until super golden brown, 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.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Carrie

    This looks amazing! It is hard to find fresh scallops in the Midwest. Would good quality frozen scallops work? Thank you.

  2. Freda Reed

    I ‘ve bought a bag of frozen butter nut squash in spirals. What would be the best way to season them? Thank you ,Freda

  3. Liz

    Made this tonight – very good! My liquids didn’t reduce quite enough but very tasty

  4. Sahrish

    Hi! This looks so delicious! Any recommendations for a white wine substitute that’s non-alcoholic?

    • Erin Calandra

      I used a little white wine vinegar. Not sure if that will work for you? But I didn’t have any white wine… I’m all red! 🙂

  5. Sarah Bailey

    Great recipe but mine came out over lemoned (I think), I think maybe the lemons were too big so suggest not using two large lemons!!

  6. Matthew

    I made this tonight for my wife. She said I have to make this all the time now. Thank You.

  7. Friday Finds 2.15.19 – thekayaklife

    […] This lemon garlic scallop pasta looks AMAZING. […]

  8. Ronda

    This is now my most favorite dish! It is exquisitely delightfully full of flavor…the sweetness of the scallops, a bit of fire from the red pepper flakes, the thyme and basil are sublime…the freshness pop from the lemon, the silkiness of the sauce. And it was so east and ..so so so good!!! YUM!

  9. Lisa

    A new favorite scallop recipe. Love thfresh herbs with lemon and the of the pepper flakes. Will be adding to my rotation. Great recipe for entertaining, nice wow factor with the burst of fresh flavors.

  10. The Sunday Dish 3.3.19: Indulgent Recipes | Kitchen Konfidence

    […] Lemon Garlic Scallop Pasta (photo above) by What’s Gaby Cooking. I always think of scallops as such a luxurious treat. […]

  11. Erin Calandra

    I have shared this recipe already several times! This dish is incredible!!!! Thank you for your thorough directions on how to perfectly cook the scallops! It was my first time cooking them and they turned out superb!

  12. Caroline

    Made this for dinner tonight…had to use my oven since I have a glass top. It’s amazing!

    • Karen

      Why did you have to use your oven? Cast Iron is quite fine on a ceramic(glass) cooktop. Just preheat the pan slowly and you don’t need to use the highest heat. I use my cast iron skillets on my ceramic cooktop almost everyday.

      Go to town girl! 🙂

  13. Victoria

    5 stars
    Oh my God I just made this it was sooooo good- I had to substitute onions for shallots so it would’ve been even better I think! Also I added a little bit of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano at the end—— Yum thank you!

  14. Liz

    5 stars
    Loved the recipe. I ended up adding cream at the end for a little richer flavor and it was fantastic. Thank you for sharing a great recipe!

  15. Ruth Urban

    Loved it! Used 1/2 wine and broth. Thanks for the scallop searing pointers. They came out perfect! I will use this recipe regularly. TJs frozen scallops are actually quite good.

  16. Lindsey Wu

    Would definitely sear the scallops in OIL only and add butter after. The butter made my scallops not sear well or brown :/.

  17. Shawn Alexander

    5 stars
    Excellent. Easy, delicious, not too greasy or indulgent. Great complexity and balance of flavors. This amount fed 4 of us nicely. Thank you!

  18. Louis Franzetti’s

    5 stars
    Hello all,
    My wife and I stumbled across this recipe while driving back from the beach on Sunday… We had bought some fresh scallops and we’re looking for a delicious way to make them.

    We ended up arriving home a little too late to eat pasta so I made the sauce and see how the scallops and served it without the pasta. It was absolutely delicious couldn’t wait to try it with the pasta.

    After looking at it closely and getting a sense of the test, I said let’s make this a clam sauce.. Well we made it tonight with the class instead of the scallops and we’re absolutely blown away by the delicious test.

    I would surely recommend this dish for everyone love scallops or clams.
    It’s perfect summer food… And try it with a nice Chardonnay or Arneis.
    Thnx Louis

  19. Douglas Brooks

    5 stars
    Ridiculous flavours. I don’t usually follow recipes exact but I took a chance and did with yours. I was very fortunate and had a friend ship me Digby scallops that he flash freezes when he harvests. Best in the world. Wow. Your recipe was the perfect one for them. So fantastic. Thanks for sharing it.

  20. Natalie

    5 stars
    This was supper yummy and quick and easy. I added steamed asparagus on the side and halved cherry tomatoes for some veggies. Will definitely make again!!

  21. Robert Zadra

    5 stars
    Amazing…. the pasta comes out tasting like it is in a cream sauce. The complex flavors are rich and the hint of spice at the end of tasking with the pepper is perfect.