A Lemon Garlic Scallop Pasta is the perfect restaurant-style meal that you can make at home!
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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’s what you need to make this Scallop Pasta:
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Olive Oil
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Fresh thyme
- Sauv Blanc
- Seafood Stock
- Fresh Basil
- Chopped Chives
How to Make this Scallop Pasta:
Start by cooking the pasta. Hold off on starting the scallops until you drop your pasta into a pot of boiling water.
Once the pasta is rolling, 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 cast iron skillet over medium high heat. You want the pan to be hot before you place your scallops into the pan. Add a thin coating of olive oil so really get that good sear and lock in the flavor. Too much oil will splatter. but you want the pan to be coated so nothing sticks.
Once the oil is shimmering, add the scallops. Sear the scallops for 2-3 minutes on each side until super golden brown. Don’t futz with them they should only be flipped once. A minute before they’re done, 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.
Variations and Substitutions:
- Substitute the scallops in this Scallop Pasta recipe for shrimp or even a white fish like halibut.
- This Scallop Pasta recipe can be made without the white wine, skip it and use twice the amount of stock.
- If using frozen scallops be sure to thaw them out entirely before cooking.
Expert Tips for Scallop Pasta:
1: First – you need to remove the muscle from the scallop. You can ask your fish monger to show you how! If scallops are readily available at your local markets, I’ve had a lot of luck ordering them (and seafood in general) from this Alaskan company!
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.
4: Use a cast iron skillet and crank that heat. You want the pan to be hot before you place your scallops into the pan.
5: Make sure you use a thin coating of oil so really get that good sear and lock in the flavor. Too much oil will splatter. but you want the pan to be coated so nothing sticks.
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!
Scallop Pasta FAQ’s:
What do scallops pair well with?
My favorite way to serve scallops is with with pasta or over a salad like an avocado corn salad.
Other Amazing Scallop Recipes
Additional Delicious Dinner Ideas
Stuck in a dinner rut? Looking for new delicious dinner ideas? Check out my roundup of 50+ easy dinner ideas here.
Tools Used to Make This
What you’ll need:
Lemon Garlic Scallop Pasta
- 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.
How about throwing in a little pancetta?
would be delish!
Oh my goodness Gaby this was full of deliciousness! Thank you for one of the best scallop/pasta recipes ever.
A 5 star keeper!
Like a work of art! So flavorful! Thank you!
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.
Doing spinach on the side.
Amazing! Really appreciated all the tips on cooking scallops too.
Sooooooooo goooood!!! Would’ve used 1/2 a lemon but even still, we were licking our plates by the end of it! 😀 Recommend!!!
Worth the effort
Flavourful mauve next time will try with angle hair pasta
I don’t use wine, so do I double up on the stock?
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!
Very yummy and unlike many pastas, not too fattening! Serve with bread to soak up extra juices.
The liquid did not reduce in the time specified
My BFs favorite dish is scallops & pasta! I’m making this for Valentine’s Day! Looks amazing
I made it and this was a HUGE hit! easy & oh so delicious. Definitely keeping this recipe and making it again (and again!).
OK to use halibut in place of scallops?
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?
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.
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
Is there anything I can use in place of the wine?
skip it and use twice the amount of stock.
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 when using leftover seafood!
Thank you, Gaby
Has anyone made this without the wine? I am pregnant and not comfortable with using the wine in the recipe.
I made this for a Galentine’s Dinner. I did not have basil and substituted with parsley. So, so good!
Made this last night with shrimp instead of scallops – was divine!!!
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.
Yummmmm! I would add more lemon. Did not have basil but substituted tarragon.
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.
Very Good recipe – I m always looking for a new way to prepare scallops and since I had all the herbs thriving in my greenhouse (December in WI) I thought I would give this recipe a try. The red pepper flakes are always such a great enhancer in any seafood recipe, so I appreciate those as well as all the herbs. My only tweek was that I used Dry Vermouth instead of wine (and any recipe that calls for white wine). My husband said it was the best scallop dinner he ever had and that says a lot because I am a great cook. So thanks for this quick simple Scallop recipe-Our dinner was fabulous!
Delicious. This one is staying in the recipe folder.