Appetizers/ Seafood Recipes/ Under 30 Minute Meals

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 pesto sauce, adding velvety and savory flavors to the scallops.  Super easy and ready in less than 15 minutes!

We love pesto sauce and adding a touch of pesto as a backdrop to the scallops is wonderful to the palate!  I know it sounds crazy but the taste is amazing when these two worlds (Asian and Italian) are combined together.

If your planning a seafood dinner with friends, this sea scallop over pesto sauce makes a great appetizer to start with. It’s SO good, and it makes an elegant presentation every time, while 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 more meaty to the bite.  Be sure to dry the scallops thoroughly using paper towels before cooking them so they’ll brown nicely.

An alternative to the larger ones, you can use the small bay scallops.  But only saute them for just a minute or so,   they cook so quickly there’s no time for a brown crust to form, but the taste will still be delicious.

Serve sea scallops with your favorite rice, couscous or quinoa.  This is an easy sea scallops recipe, a delicious choice for a light dinner on a hot summer night.

A light, acidic white wine would go perfect with this dish.  An outstanding choice of wine to partner with the scallops would be a good Sauvignon Blanc.  It is simply divine!



Seared Sea Scallops over Pesto Sauce

  • 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 ( I used Victoria Taylors Seasonings)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. homemade pesto sauce, heated through
  • fresh cracked pepper (optional)

In a non-stick skillet or frying pan, heat olive oil over moderately high heat until very hot.
Season the scallops with toasted sesame ginger seasonings (or with salt and pepper).
Add the scallops to the pan and cook until browned, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Drizzle on top with soy sauce.  Add butter to the scallops.

Turn and cook until browned on the other side, about 2 minutes.  Add lemon juice on top while cooking.  Turn again to cook for about another minute or so.  About 3 minutes per side.

Arrange dinner plates with a tablespoon of warm pesto sauce in the center of each plate.
Lay 3 or 4 scallops on each plate.  Optional: Add fresh cracked pepper on top.
Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve.

Serves 3 to 4  ( with 3 or 4 scallops per serving)



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  • Reply
    Marina Delio
    July 23, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    Oh my goodness, you have cooked these scallops to perfection! Perfectly browned and delicious. I love scallops – must make them again soon!

  • Reply
    July 24, 2013 at 11:02 am

    What a fabulous meal! It looks restaurant-worthy!

    • Reply
      July 24, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      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!

    Leave a Reply to Joanne Cancel Reply