Scallops with Pesto

5 from 3 reviews

Easy pan seared scallops served with a bit of pesto for a quick, delicious entree. Recipe makes enough pesto to use for a side dish of pasta.



For the pesto

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups rinsed basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts or toasted pumpkin seeds

For the scallops

  • 1/2 lb sea scallops, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of salt


  1. Make the pesto: place the garlic cloves in a food processor or blender. Pulse to chop the garlic. Add the basil, olive oil, cheese and pine nuts. Puree until the pesto is a smooth consistency. Open the lid, stir in any bits that may be stuck to the side, and briefly puree again until everything is incorporated into the sauce. Set aside.
  2. Sear the scallops: Heat a nonstick skillet on medium high. When hot, add the scallops. Cook undisturbed for 2 minutes. Then turn the scallops over, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the flesh is just cooked through.
  3. Plate the dish: Place several scallops on a plate, top with a bit of pesto, and serve with a side of pasta with pesto, if you like. Enjoy with a good glass of Chablis for best results!


  • Rinse the basil in a colander. Gently squeeze excess liquid before using.
  • We use pumpkin seeds as a nut free alternative to pine nuts, which are traditionally used in pesto.

Keywords: scallops with pesto, pan seared scallops, shellfish, pairings with Chablis

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