Easy Pan Seared Scallops + A Super Awesome Giveaway!

Who doesn’t love a quick, healthy, and fancy meal, am I right?  These Easy Pan-Seared Scallops are seared with very little oil and served over a great low carb pasta alternative. BONUS: It’s ready in less than 20 minutes! So quick, simple, and delicious!  This post is sponsored by Cristel USA.

Pan Seared Scallops | This Pan Seared Scallops recipe is a quick and healthy recipe and it includes a zucchini pasta side dish that makes it perfect for a weeknight dinner | A Sweet Pea Chef

Like most seafood, scallops are relatively low in calories. They are also low in fat and high in protein. In fact, one serving of scallops provides you with 20g of protein!  Isn’t that awesome?

So, why is it especially awesome that these scallops are in a healthy recipe IF scallops, by themselves, are already healthy, you ask?

Well, the issue is not the scallops, it’s with the preparation.

Most people don’t know what to serve with pan seared scallops so they go for the classic scallops and linguine. I know that’s what I did in the past.

Pan-seared scallops with pasta seems like a good idea…unless you struggle with weight or you wan’t to eat a clean diet, free of refined flours.

Fresh scallops ready to be used for making the Pan Seared Scallops recipe.

Sometimes, it can feel hard to eat healthy when you love to cook and when you love to eat.  But this is far from the truth.

If you adjust your recipes just a little bit and you change the way you cook, you will start to notice big differences.

My New Cristel 11-Inch Casteline Frying Pan

Friends, I have to tell you about my beautiful new Cristel Frying Pan.  I love it so much.  It’s almost too gorgeous to cook with…almost!

With this pan, you can cook with little to no oil or fat.  That means more amazing flavors with less added fats.  Big bonus!

Cristel Frying pan ready to be tested for Pan Seared Scallops.

How is this possible?

Basically Cristel created the perfect pan — one that is made of high quality stainless steel from France and that has very accurate heat control.

Yes, it is important to mention France here – you know how amazing French cuisine is (and how much butter is usually involved in French cooking) so you have to trust that a cookware manufacturer from France knows how to create the best cookware you can use without fat.

You can cook everything in this pan. Seafood, meat, eggs, potatoes, and veggies (more on that coming soon!). And the Cristel Frying Pan has a removable handle. Which means you can turn the pan into a dish that can be used to finish cooking in the oven.

How amazing is that? Think about all the pan-roasted dishes you can prepare using this pan. And all of them will be low fat and will contain fewer calories than usual.

Now let’s get back to this recipe for pan seared scallops.

Believe it or not, I was very afraid to make pan-seared scallops in the past. I searched around for different recipes and instructions on how to pan-sear scallops which…actually…started to make me worried about doing it “right.”  I read I couldn’t use a non-stick pan or it would be a waste of time.


I read, if you don’t do it right, you will overcook the scallops, which will render them completely rubbery and inedible and you will have thrown your money out the window.

Jeez!  This sounded scary.

Pine roasting in the Cristel frying pan.

I already mentioned that I used to love scallops with pasta in the past, right? Old habits die hard, am I right?  So, for this recipe, I chose zucchini noodles and roasted pine nuts.  The pine nuts were actually Dustin’s idea — they were great as they added a nice texture  to the zucchini noodles and scallops.


After making pan seared scallops a few times, I have found scallops really aren’t as scary as people like to make them.  Just be sure to keep a few things in mind:

  • Try to get uniformly-sized and large scallops.  This will help when cooking as they will all cook evenly.
  • Make sure the scallops are completely dry (patted dry with a paper towel) before searing as any liquid may cause the sear to become more of a steam.
  • Make sure the pan is nice and hot when it’s time to sear.
  • You can make sure the pan is hot enough by performing the “waterdrop test” where water will form balls that will roll and dance on the pan when it’s the correct heat,
  • Add just a little bit of oil in the pan.
  • Add the dry scallops to the hot pan and don’t move them.
  • When you can detach the scallop easily from the pan, this means it is cooked and perfectly seared — if it sticks, let it sit longer.

Follow these steps to make the best no-fail pan-seared scallops ever!  No need to be afraid of making a mistake.

Close-up of seasoning scallops on a paper towel before searing them.

Okay, let’s talk side dishes now. You know what side dish goes well with pan-seared scallops? Spiralized veggies. They make a great low carb pasta alternative, plus add fiber, and nutrients to your meal.  Aside from the zucchinis mentioned in the pan seared scallops recipe, you can use:

  • Sweet Potato
  • Beet
  • Yellow Squash
  • Carrot
  • Bell Pepper
  • Broccoli Stems
  • Jicama
  • Butternut Squash

And, if you don’t own a spiralizer, you can use a vegetable peeler or a paring knife.

Cooking zucchini noodles in the Cristel Frying Pan to serve as a side dish for Pan Seared Scallops.


A regular serving of pan-seared scallops has approximately 110 calories. Since a serving usually includes 4 or 5 big scallops, this is not bad. Not at all bad.

But when you serve pan seared scallops with pasta it’s a whole different story. One serving can go up to 597 calories. That’s a lot. And a lot of carbs. So, instead of serving scallops with linguine, try pan-seared scallops and zucchini noodles. Fewer carbs and only 326 calories per serving!  Now, that’s a good pasta!


Wondering if there is a difference between pan-seared scallops and sautéed scallops? Is there any difference? Why yes, there is.

Pan-searing scallops involves a pan and one or two tablespoons of oil or butter. The scallops are added to the pan after the oil is heated to high over the stove. The whole purpose of the pan searing is to give the scallops a crispy outside crust while maintaining the tender texture inside.

Sautéeing scallops, on the other hand, involves a little oil or butter and high heat. Sautéing can be a great way to quickly cook the scallops, but you do risk overcooking them if anything else is getting sautéed along with the scallops.  Plus, with pan-searing, you get that amazing crust on the outside of the scallops.

Close-up of searing scallops in the pan until they are browned nicely.


Not very long at all!  Like for realz.  Scallops can easily overcook and become more rubbery than tender.  So, how long does it take to cook pan-seared scallops?

The basic answer is that we want to try to cook them for as little time as possible to get the job done. Generally, scallops take no longer than 1 or 2 minutes to cook per side, depending on size.  The larger they are, the longer they’ll need to cook, and vice versa.

A serving of Pan Seared Scallops over zucchini noodles topped with roasted pine nuts.


I’m such a fan of seafood – it’s so fresh, quick to cook, and full of great nutrients and flavor.  Here are some of my other favorite healthy seafood recipes for you to try:

15 Minute Healthy Shrimp Scampi

This easy, flavorful, and healthy Shrimp Scampi recipe comes together in just 15 minutes!  Plus how to make and store spiralized zucchini noodles.

15-Minute Healthy Shrimp Scampi

The majority of shrimp scampi out there is not very healthy because the shrimp is sautéed in a LOT of butter. And then it’s accompanied by — you guessed it — pasta. That just adds tons of carb to a lot of fat.

You can make healthy shrimp scampi by replacing the butter with olive oil and using less of it. And by replacing pasta with zucchini noodles.  Get the recipe!

Pan Fried Salmon

This Pan Fried Salmon is one of my favorite easy dinner recipes.  Follow my easy steps for how to cook salmon perfectly every time.

Single fillet of salmon that has been pan fried and is plated over garlic parmesan green beans. The spice rub for the pan fried salmon can be seen in the background.

This Pan-Fried Salmon recipe makes delicious salmon. And it’s a very easy recipe, perfect for weeknight dinners.  Get the recipe!

Baked Sea Bass And Zucchini Sheet Pan Recipe

One of my absolute FAVORITE things in the world is easy, healthy, quick, and delicious dinners with little to no clean up required, and that’s what you get with this Baked Sea Bass And Zucchini Sheet Pan Recipe.

Baked Sea Bass & Zucchini Sheet Pan Meal | Easy, fast, healthy, and delicious | asweetpeachef.com

Just do a teencie weencie bit work ahead of time and let the oven do the rest.  And it doesn’t disappoint!  Get the recipe!


Remember what I said earlier – that scallops can be easily overcooked if you don’t follow the tips I shared?  So try to be careful — they’re easier than you might think to cook perfectly, but can also be overcooked which is kind of a bummer. So, how do you tell if the scallops are done and fully cooked?

Well, the scallops are cooked when…

  •  the flesh is opaque
  • the center is slightly translucent
  • they should be firm to touch
  • the crust should be golden brown.

Also, they will continue to cook once off the heat so remove them from the pan quickly.

Pan Seared Scallops with zucchini noodles and roasted pine nuts in the Cristel Frying pan ready to be plated. Near the pan you can see an already plated serving of Pan Seared Scallops.


I’d imagine most chefs would tell you there is no point in making pan seared scallops ahead of time.  But, that being said, it is still possible to prepare them ahead of time and then reheat.  Will this make them a little less tender?  Yes.  Will this lessen the crispiness of the golden-brown crust?  Also, yes.

Since searing scallops requires only 5 minutes (prep time included!), I’d recommend just waiting till it’s time to cook to sear them quickly BUT yes, you can totally cook them ahead of time and then reheat them, if needed.

Close up of pan seared scallops and zucchini noodles wrapped around a fork ready o be eaten. You can also see the roasted pine nuts used to top the zucchini noodles.


When you want to reheat the scallops, you can reheat them in the Cristel Frying Pan. Follow these simple steps to reheat pan-seared scallops:

  • Heat your pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add just a little bit of olive oil or unsalted grass-fed butter.
  • Add the scallops and cook just about one minute per side to heat though.

Reheating them on the stove is preferred because the microwave will likely overcook them.

Close up of golden brown Pan Seared Scallops on a zucchini noodles bed topped with pine nuts and parsley on a plate.

Cristel Pan GIVEAWAY!

Cristel has been nice enough to offer up one of their fabulous 11-inch Casteline Frying Pans for PLUS a set of Casteline stainless steel handles (one long and two side handles) FREE to one lucky winner.  The total retail value of which is $341.98!  This is the same pan I have and that I used to make these pan seared scallops so I know you’re gonna love it.

That means you definitely want to enter this giveaway so you get your hands on this beautiful and useful frying pan for FREE.  To enter the giveaway, check out below.  We will randomly choose a winner at 11:59 PM on 9/10/2018 and will contact the winner via email.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Fresh scallops can be stored in the fridge for a day or 2. Ideally, you should cook them on the first day to make the best use of fresh seafood. The pan-seared scallops are good for 3 days, if stored properly. Use this easy pan seared scallops recipe to prepare the scallops, and then store them as you would store cooked shrimp – in an airtight container or Ziploc bag placed in the fridge.

You can also store pan seared scallops in the freezer. They will be safe to eat for up to three months if you wrap them in foil or place them in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag.

4.95 from 18 votes
Pan Seared Scallops | This Pan Seared Scallops recipe is a quick and healthy recipe and it includes a zucchini pasta side dish that makes it perfect for a weeknight dinner | A Sweet Pea Chef
Pan Seared Scallops
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins

These easy pan-seared scallops are seared with very little oil and served over spiralized zucchini noodles, a great low carb pasta alternative.  So quick, simple, and delicious!  

Categories: 30 Minute Meal, Clean, Dairy-Free, fish, Refined Flour Free
Difficulty: Easy
Keyword: pan seared scallops, scallop recipes, scallops recipe
Servings: 2
Calories: 326 kcal
Author: Lacey Baier
  • 8 jumbo scallops, patted dry
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup raw pine nuts
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley, for topping
  1. Heat a large skillet (I use a Cristel 11-inch Casteline Frying Pan) over high heat until hot enough to make drops of water dance across the surface.

  2. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan.
  3. Dry off the scallops with a cloth and then lightly season each side of the scallops with sea salt and ground black pepper.
  4. One at a time, add the scallops to the hot pan. Take care not to overcrowd the scallops and place the scallops in the pan with at least 1-2 inches between them (so they don’t crowd and steam one another).
  5. Allow the scallops to cook for three minutes without touching them. After three minutes, the bottom should be browned nicely. Carefully, flip the scallops and cook for 2-3 minutes or until well-browned.
  6. Remove from heat and set aside.
  7. In the same pan, add the pine nuts and minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  8. Once the pine nuts are golden and the garlic is fragrant, add chicken broth and deglaze the pan, scraping off any bits from the bottom of the pan.
  9. Add the zucchini noodles to the pan and toss, cooking for just 2-3 minutes, until slightly tender and heated through.
  10. Quickly remove from the pan and serve, topped with the pan-seared scallops and garnished with minced parsley.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Pan Seared Scallops
Amount Per Serving (1 meal)
Calories 326 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 27g42%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Cholesterol 14mg5%
Sodium 844mg35%
Potassium 802mg23%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 390IU8%
Vitamin C 35.1mg43%
Calcium 31mg3%
Iron 2.2mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post is sponsored by Cristel USA.

Lacey Baier

Hey y’all, I’m Lacey Baier and I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, A Sweet Pea Chef. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Dallas, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

47 thoughts on “Easy Pan Seared Scallops + A Super Awesome Giveaway!

  1. 5 stars
    I would first make a chicken stir fry with noodles. My family loves this and could use a nice pan like this to make this recipe in.

  2. After reading this blog post, I’d honestly like to make your recipe of the pan seared scallops. I’ve never made them before but that sure looks delicious!!!

  3. 5 stars
    I will love to make a ginger stir fry with jasmine rice in the Cristel 11-Inch Casteline Frying Pan.

  4. 4 stars
    I would make Teriyaki Chicken because it’s a favorite at our house. My recipe has peas and fresh pineapple.

  5. 5 stars
    I would make Shrimp Scampi one of my family’s favorite dishes with garlic bread and sweet tea!

  6. 5 stars
    I just want to say, I love your blog and Thank you so much for teaching how to cook!! Your recipes, healthy, simple and easy to follow.

  7. I am not a huge fan of seafood but my husband loves scallops! I’ll have to try this recipe.

  8. 5 stars
    So need a skillet. Favorite breakfast is the things I’d fix first. Banana Pancakes. Just two ingredients. Banana & egg

  9. Saw this on foodgawker and used it for my first time making scallops…delicious! Thanks for the tips!

  10. Congrats on being featured on TK this week! I just followed the link to your blog and I was met with great photography and deliciously pan seared scallops! Yum. I think pan searing is the best way to make them, but the price can be hard to swallow here in Chicago ($12.99/lb or higher . . .)

    1. Hi Jenna! Thanks for the heads up about TK…I hadn’t checked it yet since I’m away from home. Very exciting!! Yes, the price of scallops can be tough to chew sometimes. They were on sale for $9.99/lb I believe when I bought them. Luckily, they don’t weigh too much. Thanks again for commenting…and welcome to my blog! 🙂

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