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pan seared scallops on a bed of linguine alla pesto on a white plate
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4.87 from 22 votes

Pan Seared Scallops with Linguine al Pesto

Pan-Seared Scallops is a delicious restaurant-style dish that's easy to prepare in your home kitchen. Fresh from the sea, and served with a basil pesto tossed with linguine!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Servings: 3
Calories: 978kcal


Classical Pesto

  • 2 bunches of Basil
  • ½ bunch of Italian Parsley
  • ¼ cup grated Romano cheese
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pan Seared Scallops

  • 1 lb fresh sea scallops
  • 1 tsp old bay seasoning
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • 1 pound linguine or your favorite pasta


Classical Pesto

  • To toast the pine nuts get a pan sauté pan very hot, then turn off the heat, and add the pine nuts to the pan. Keep the pine nuts moving around so they toast without burning.
    *If the pine nuts start to smoke take the pan off the heat.
  • Remove the leaves from the basil and parsley, do not use the stems
  • Place the basil and parsley into the food processor, Pulse it until the greens are very well minced
  • Add the garlic, toasted pine nuts, and grated Romano Cheese, pulse to combine
  • Drizzle in the Olive Oil until it has a nice smooth consistency without looking oily


  • cook linguine per instructions on the box


  • wash and clean your scallops (remove the little piece of side mussel)
  • pat dry the scallops with paper towels
  • sprinkle the old bay on both sides of the scallops
  • get your pan very hot
  • add enough olive oil to have a light coating in the pan
  • add the scallops carefully, not over crowding the pan (too many scallops will bring down the temperature of the pan)
  • most importantly once you place the scallops in the pan, do not move them!
  • allow the scallop to sear on one side for two minutes, when you turn one scallop you should begin to see a nice caramel color as a light crust forms. If your scallop looks like this continue turning them, if not let them cook a little longer.
  • after turning the scallop continue cooking, being careful not to over cook them.
  • a scallop will be just a little translucent in the center when it is done (the scallop will continue to cook after you've removed it from the pan)
  • look at the scallop from the side to determine if it is done.
  • the scallop should be a little springy when you push it with your fingers, if it is firm, its overcooked**

Linguine al Pesto

  • this is a matter of timing, while the scallops are searing, the pasta should just be getting done; you want to toss the linguine with a few large spoonfuls of the pesto (use as much or as little as you like), as soon as you drain it.
  • place the linguine with the pesto back in the pot, and hold on the back of the stove(off burner) until your scallops are done.
  • plate pasta and top with scallops, serve immediately!


** Scallops will get a little rubbery as they sit, its very important to serve them immediately when they are done.


Calories: 978kcal | Carbohydrates: 120g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 703mg | Potassium: 714mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 138mg | Iron: 3.5mg