Seared Sea Scallops over Pesto Sauce

Seared Sea Scallops over Pesto Sauce is a simple recipe for scallops!  Sea scallops are pan-seared easily with olive oil, lemon juice, and soy sauce.  Then they are served over a layer of basil pesto sauce, adding velvety and savory flavors to the scallops.  Super easy, delicious, and ready in less than 15 minutes!

Seared Sea Scallops over Pesto Sauce. by

Seared Scallops Over Pesto Sauce is simple, not complicated, yet impressive enough for a dinner party.

We love pesto sauce.   When you add a touch of pesto as a backdrop to these seared sea scallops, it is not only a lovely appearance to this dish but also it’s wonderful to the palate!

I always keep fresh basil pesto sauce in the fridge and use it as a condiment from time to time.

I know it sounds crazy but the taste and flavors are amazing when these two worlds (Asian and Italian) are combined together.

If you’re planning a seafood dinner with friends, this simple recipe for seared sea scallops over pesto sauce makes a great appetizer to start with.  It’s SO good, and delicious tasting, it makes an elegant presentation every time. 

And it’s a no-fuss recipe.



We like to buy our sea scallops at the local seafood store, or at Whole Foods.

Sea scallops are the larger ones in size and are meatier to the bite.  Be sure to dry the scallops thoroughly using paper towels before cooking them so they’ll brown nicely.

Simply place 2 sheets of paper towels on the bottom and one on top and lightly press down to absorb some of the water.



photo of Sea Scallops on paper towels by



As an alternative to the larger ones, you can use the small bay scallops.  But keep in mind, you can only saute them for just a minute or so.  They cook so quickly, there’s no time to brown them.

However, the flavor will still be delicious.


Seared Sea Scallops over Pesto Sauce. by

Seared Sea Scallops over Pesto Sauce makes a quick meal! 

These scallops are terrific to serve with your favorite side of rice, couscous, or with a side of our favorite Angel Hair Pasta with Lemon Sauce.  

An easy sea scallops recipe is a delicious choice for a light dinner on a hot summer night.

A light, acidic white wine would go perfectly with this dish.  An outstanding choice of wine to partner with the scallops would be the Sauvignon Blanc.  Together, it’s simply divine!





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Seared Sea Scallops over Pesto Sauce by

A few More Seafood Dishes for you to try…


Also, try our COD Fillet Over Pesto Risotto!  It too is an array of flavors for a very different seafood dish!  

Plus, you might enjoy our recipe for Easy Kale and Spinach Pesto Sauce,  and serve it over your favorite pasta.  It too is amazing!



Yield: 3 to 4

Seared Sea Scallops over Pesto Sauce

Seared Sea Scallops over Pesto Sauce

Sea scallops are pan-seared easily with olive oil, lemon juice, and soy sauce and served over a layer of basil pesto sauce, adding velvety and savory flavors to the scallops. Super easy, delicious and ready in less than 15 minutes!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 16 minutes


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3/4 pound sea scallops, (if large, about 8 to 9 )
  • 3 to 4 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame ginger seasonings (or ground ginger)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. homemade basil pesto sauce, heated through
  • fresh cracked pepper (optional)


  1. In a non-stick skillet or frying pan, heat olive oil over moderately high heat until very hot.
  2. Season the scallops with toasted sesame ginger seasonings (or with salt and pepper).
  3. Add the scallops to the pan and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, until the bottoms get browned.
  4. Drizzle on top with soy sauce. Then add the butter to the scallops.
  5. Turn and cook until browned on the other side, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice on top while cooking. Then turn them over again to cook for about another minute or so. About 3 minutes per side.
  6. Arrange dinner plates with a tablespoon of warm basil pesto sauce in the center of each plate.
  7. Lay 3 or 4 scallops on each plate. Optional: Add fresh cracked pepper on top.
  8. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve.
  9. Serves 3 to 4 ( with 3 or 4 scallops per serving)

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Yield: 2 cups

Recipe for the Pesto Sauce

Recipe for the Pesto Sauce
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1 bunch of basil - about 3 cups or more - packed
  • 1/2 cup (plus extra as needed) extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/8 tsp. of salt
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • optional: 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  1. First, remove only the leaves of basil, discard all the stems. Using a salad spinner to rinse fresh basil under cold water, then spin out excess water.
  2. Using a blender, or a food processor, pour in only 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil, and toss in the basil leaves, garlic cloves, cayenne pepper, and salt.
  3. Blend on high speed to puree all ingredients ( except for the grated Parmesan cheese). Then, check the mixture and use a spatula to push down on the sides. If the mixture is too thick, drizzle a little more olive oil into the mixture, do this only in small increments and blend until it reaches a nice smooth consistency.
  4. Then add in the grated cheese and blend until well combined. If you need to add more olive oil, you may do so.
  5. Taste the pesto, and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  6. Store in an air-tight jar or container. Keep refrigerated up to 4 months.
  7. Yields: 2 cups

Did you make this recipe?

Mention @2sistersrecipes on Instagram or tag #2sistersrecipes!

In case you missed it…



Finally, are you cooking with us?  If you make these amazing seared sea scallops over pesto sauce, let us know and leave a comment below!  Snap a photo and hashtag it on Instagram @2sistersrecipes and on Pinterest if you like.

We’d love to see what you cook! 

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Happy Cooking!   πŸ™‚ 

Thanks for stopping by!

 xo Anna and Liz

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  1. This sounds like such a delicious way to make scallops! We haven’t made them in quite a while so thanks for this delicious recipe.

    1. Thank you so much, Susan! I think you will enjoy this one as much as we do. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Joanne – we were inspired to make these scallops like this when we ate at a charming French restaurant in NYC- years ago. And since then, my husband and I have been making scallops like this forever! and I finally got to post it!