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Scallop Pasta with Lemon & Herbs

This scallop pasta makes a stunning dinner! Impress everyone around the table with this elegant recipe seasoned with lemon, garlic and herbs.

This is a stunning dinner recipe that’s elegantly easy to whip up: Scallop Pasta! Whether you want to impress dinner guests, have a romantic dinner, or just feed your family on a weeknight: this recipe is the perfect fit. The seared scallops are sweet, buttery and delicate, set atop tender pasta and accented with flavors of lemon, garlic and herbs.

Prep Time

        Prep time: 20 minutes
        Cook time: 10 minutes
        Yield: Serves 4


For the Scallops:

    •    kosher salt
    •    2 tbsps neutral oil
    •    1 pound sea scallops, thawed if frozen
    •    8 ounces linguine noodles or other long noodles

For the Sauce:

    •    1/2 cup milk
    •    zest of 1 lemon
    •    4 tbsps salted butter
    •    2 garlic cloves, minced
    •    fresh ground black pepper
    •    1/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
    •    1 handful baby greens (spinach or kale)
    •    grated Parmesan cheese, for the garnish (Optional)
    •    2 tbsps chopped fresh herbs (tarragon, thyme, parsley, etc)


  1. Thaw the scallops if frozen.
  2. Cook the pasta: Start a pot of well salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until it is just al dente. Start tasting a few minutes before the package recommends: you want it to be tender but still a little firm on the inside; usually around 7 to 8 minutes. Drain the pasta.
  3. Brine the scallops: Meanwhile, in a shallow dish, mix together 4 cups room temperature water and 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Place the scallops in the water and wait for 10 minutes.
  4. Sear the scallops: Remove the scallops and dry thoroughly. Lightly season with a several pinches kosher salt. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. If using a medium skillet, cook the scallops in two batches. Once the oil is hot, add the scallops and cook without turning for 2 to 3 minutes,  until an even brown crust clearly forms on bottom.
  5. Flip scallops with tongs. Cook additional 2 to 3 minutes on the other side, until a crust just forms on bottom and the center of the scallop is almost opaque. Remove the scallops from the skillet to a plate and turn off the heat.
  6. Make the sauce: Turn on the heat to low. Add the butter and allow it to melt. Add the lemon zest, minced garlic and chopped herbs. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to release flavor from any browned bits stuck to the pan. Cook 1 minute until fragrant, adjusting the heat so the garlic is just sizzling but so it doesn’t brown.
  7. Add the milk, pasta, kosher salt, and greens and return the heat to medium; cook until greens are wilted. Return the scallops to the pan and cook for a few seconds until just warm. Add lots of fresh ground black pepper. Taste and add additional salt if necessary. Serve with drizzle of olive oil and if desired, grated Parmesan cheese.

This great family recipe is thanks to A Couple Cooks at


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