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! Picture it now. A nice crisp minerally white wine, this lemon garlic scallop pasta, maybe a side of this most delicious butter lettuce salad and some warm garlic bread. Sounds like a dream dinner.

A plate with 5 cooked scallops and spaghetti noodles topped with olive oil sea salt and basil.


 

I think it's safe to say we're a bunch of pasta lovers here at WGC. And based on some of everyone's favorite recipes like Creamy Lemon Cacio e Pepe or Garlic Buttered Angel Hair with Burrata 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.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Lemon Garlic Scallop Pasta Ingredients: white wine, seafood stock, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, shallots, chives, basil, butter, olive oil, linguini, thyme, red pepper flakes, and scallops measured out
  • Scallops - Substitute the scallops in this Scallop Pasta recipe for shrimp or even a white fish like halibut. If using frozen scallops be sure to thaw them out entirely before cooking.
  • Linguini
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive Oil 
  • Butter
  • Garlic 
  • Shallot 
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Fresh Thyme
  • White Wine – This Scallop Pasta recipe can be made without the white wine, skip it and use twice the amount of stock.
  • Seafood Stock
  • Fresh Basil
  • Chopped Chives
  • Lemon

*For the full list of ingredients and instructions see recipe card below

How to Make Scallop Pasta

A plate of 14 scallops with the muscle removed and that have been patted dry with a paper towel.

Step 1: For this Scallop Pasta recipe start by cooking the linguini. 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.

15 seared scallops on a cast iron skillet

Step 2: 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.

15 seared scallops on a cast iron skillet with a knob of butter that was just added and is starting to sizzle

Step 3: 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

a hot cast iron skillet with olive oil garlic, shallots, crushed red pepper flakes, thyme, salt and pepper just added

Step 4: 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.

a hot cast iron skillet with sautéed garlic, shallots, crushed red pepper flakes, thyme, salt and pepper and white wine and seafood stock just added that's beginning to simmer

Step 5: 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.

cooked linguine nestled in a cast iron skillet with a white wine lemon basil garlic sauce

Step 6: 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 the Scallop Pasta.

Tips & Tricks

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!

Lemon Garlic Scallop Pasta from @whatsgabycookin (@whatsgabycookin)

FAQs

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.

How do you know when scallops are done?

If scallops are firm to the touch then they are overcooked. If you touch them and they are mushy they are undercooked. Look for them to be golden brown on the outside and opaque in the center.

More Amazing Scallop Recipes

If you tried this recipe, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the 📝 comments below. Thanks for visiting today!

Lemon Garlic Scallop Pasta from @whatsgabycookin (@whatsgabycookin)

Lemon Garlic Scallop Pasta

Author: Gaby Dalkin
4.9 from 98 votes
A restaurant style scallop pasta dish that'll make you look like an absolute kitchen stud!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 4 People

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ 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
  • ½ 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
  • ½ cup chopped chives
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

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!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 543kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 722mg | Potassium: 614mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 930IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @WhatsGabyCookin or tag #whatsgabycooking!

104 Comments

  1. 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.

    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

  2. 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

  3. 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?

    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!).

  4. 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!

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