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Seared scallops on top of creamy garlic pasta sprinkled with parsley
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4.84 from 6 votes

Creamy Seared Scallop Pasta

This seared scallop pasta with a light creamy garlic sauce is so delicious for a simple holiday dinner or date night.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 356kcal
Author: Alicia


  • 1 tablespoon butter or ghee
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or cooking oil
  • 8 large sea scallops
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 8 oz pasta
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ⅓ cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • cup fresh Italian, flat leaf parsley, chopped


  • Prepare a pot with salted boiling water and cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water just in case you need it to thin the sauce.
  • Prepare your scallops using the tips from the post (pat them dry and don't sprinkle with salt and pepper till immediately before searing). Heat a large pan, I prefer non-stick or cast iron, with butter and oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add the dry, seasoned scallops and don't crowd them or mess with them! If they don't make a sizzle sound, your pan isn't hot enough. Leave them to sear for 2 minutes, or until a nice brown crust forms. Flip and cook another 2-2½ minutes or until you get the same crust on the opposite side. Set the scallops on a warm plate and cover with foil.
  • In the same pan, use the leftover butter/oil to saute the chopped shallot and garlic, about 2 minutes until softened and fragrant. If your pan is dry, use 1 tablespoon more butter or oil. Deglaze the pan by adding broth, scraping up any browned bits (this basically means add broth to a hot pan which should bubble up and start to simmer). Then add cream and bring to a simmer for about 3-4 minutes until the sauce has thickened (it will still be fairly thin, that's ok, it will thicken once the pasta is added).
  • Add your cooked pasta and toss with the sauce, simmering to thicken it a bit more. If your sauce is too thick or isn't coating the pasta well, add in ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water till it reaches your desired consistency. Add in fresh chopped parsley and kosher salt and pepper to taste. Top with the cooked scallops.


  • Use dry scallops instead of wet for the best sear/flavor
  • In my opinion, scallops don't need a ton of seasoning - salt them very lightly just before searing, if at all. Fresh pepper is more important.
  • I used Organic Valley Heavy Cream and the vegetable broth from my cookbook. If you have homemade seafood stock on hand, that will work here too. 
  • Use gluten free pasta for GF, and leave out the cream for a dairy free option. If you do this, I recommend adding more herbs like basil and chives for flavor.
  • Fresh squeezed lemon would be fantastic here, but not allowed in the elimination stages of a migraine diet. For those not on this diet, feel free to top with a squeeze of lemon. 


Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 910mg | Potassium: 664mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2383IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 2mg