Scallops are versatile ingredient whose sweet, briny flavors and delicate texture can be enjoyed on their own or in a variety of dishes. Adding scallops to pasta is a common practice in both traditional and modern Italian cooking, and their light but meaty profile makes them a great addition to simple and complicated pasta dishes alike.
Scallops can be intimidating because there is a very small window when they are perfectly cooked – but have no fear! We’ve put together a list of the best scallop pasta recipes, and all of them are relatively easy for any home cook to make.
1. Fusilli Scallop Pasta Recipe
Sweet, tender scallops take center stage in this simple but delectable dish which uses only a few ingredients and comes together in about 30 minutes. Fusilli pasta is perfect for absorbing the buttery, garlicky white wine sauce, and asparagus tips provide a muted bitterness which helps to balance the dish beautifully. If you’re looking for an impressive entree that won’t take up your entire day, this is it.
The recipe calls for red pepper flakes, but you can adjust the amount based on your spice tolerance, or leave it out completely. This an easily customizable dish, so feel free to add other ingredients such as blistered cherry tomatoes, roasted red peppers, or green peas.
Get the full recipe and directions here.
2. Creamy Garlic Scallop Pasta
If you have a big appetite, this scallop pasta promises to be ever so satisfying. The cream sauce uses a combination of garlic, butter, whole milk, and a hint of crushed red pepper to perfectly complement the fresh, briny scallops.
Mixed with spaghetti or fettuccine pasta and topped with parsley and parmesan cheese, this is a well-balanced and filling meal for all.
The secret to this recipe is patting the scallops dry and letting them come to room temperature before cooking them. This ensures a nice crust without overcooking the insides.
It is best to finish the sauce and pasta first, then cook the scallops at the very end since they will only take a few minutes. Once they are cooked through, you can add them to the finished pasta and enjoy.
Get the full recipe and ingredients from Fork in the Kitchen.
3. Tomato and Garlic Scallop Pasta
It’s hard to say no to anything that combines sweet cherry tomatoes and savory, aromatic garlic, but when you add scallops to the mix, it becomes nearly impossible.
This dish utilizes another simple, light sauce that packs in a ton of flavor with just a few ingredients. After being tossed with linguine, this easy but lovely meal only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.
Because of the simplicity of this dish, you can use it as a springboard to create more complex meals. You could try adding mussels and calamari or include sun-dried tomatoes or mushrooms. The possibilities are endless with this wonderful scallop pasta.
Get the full recipe and ingredients from Feel Good Foodie.
4. Low Carb Scallop Pasta
Scallops may be a perfect match for pasta, but that doesn’t help mollusk lovers who are following a low-carb or gluten-free diet. Fortunately, those with dietary restrictions can have a very similar experience by using spaghetti squash in place of traditional noodles.
This delicious scallop pasta recipe starts with roasted spaghetti squash that is tossed in a tasty lemon cream sauce and topped with seared scallops.
If you are strapped for time, you can microwave the spaghetti squash for about 15 minutes rather than waiting for 45 minutes to roast it. You might sacrifice some depth of flavor, but it won’t be so easy to notice once you add the flavorful sauce and tender scallops.
This is a perfect weeknight dish since it is so easy, customizable, and healthy.
Get the full recipe and ingredients from JZ Eats.
5. Brown Butter Scallop Pasta
There are few things that can enhance the clean, meaty flavor of scallops, but brown butter is certainly one of them. Add sage to the mix, and you have an amazing dish that tastes like it came from the fanciest seafood restaurant in town. Despite its restaurant-worthy flavor, it is relatively easy to make this version of scallop pasta.
The most important thing is to pay attention while cooking. The scallops need to be cooked quickly, and the butter needs to brown without burning. As long as you don’t get distracted, you should have no issues putting together a mouthwatering pasta that is so much more than the sum of all its parts.
Get the full recipe and ingredients from Renee Nicole’s Kitchen.
6. Scallop Pasta with White Wine Sauce
Seafood and white wine pair wonderfully, so it’s no surprise that a white wine sauce would be a delightful match for scallops. The scallops in this dish absorb the sauce and become even more juicy and flavorful, while capers add more briny flavor and savory goodness.
Any light white wine, such as Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio will work here, but you can also substitute rice vinegar or lemon juice if you don’t want to cook with alcohol. Either way, you’ll be adding an acidic element that helps to balance out the richness of the creamy, cheesy sauce.
Get the full recipe and ingredients from Julia’s Album.
7. Fra Diavolo Scallop Pasta
Fra Diavolo is Italian for “brother devil.” When it comes to food, it seems self-explanatory that this would describe a rather spicy dish. This scallop pasta uses a generous portion of crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, onion, and tomatoes to create a rich, piquant. Optional cayenne pepper to top the scallops can intensify it even more.
If you don’t have a high spice tolerance, feel free to dial back the red pepper flakes, or to leave them out altogether. Even without the added kick, the warming, delicious sauce pairs perfectly with scallops and spaghetti.
Get the full recipe and ingredients from Champagne Tastes.
Scallops are an excellent protein source that brings an entirely new flavor profile to any pasta dish. The above recipes have proven to be successful in our experience, but just like with any dish, feel free to experiment and make them your own. Let us know what you think in the comments!
If you like this post, we think you’ll really like our Best Seafood Fettuccine Recipes post.