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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
HOW DO YOU MAKE PAN SEARED 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.
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
- Yellow Squash
- Bell Pepper
- Broccoli Stems
- Butternut Squash
And, if you don’t own a spiralizer, you can use a vegetable peeler or a paring knife.
HOW MANY CALORIES ARE IN 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!
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PAN-SEARED AND SAUTEED SCALLOPS?
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.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE SCALLOPS IN A PAN?
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.
3 MORE HEALTHY SEAFOOD RECIPES
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.
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.
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.
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!
HOW TO TELL IF PAN SEARED SCALLOPS ARE DONE
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.
CAN YOU MAKE PAN SEARED SCALLOPS AHEAD OF TIME?
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.
HOW DO YOU REHEAT PAN SEARED SCALLOPS?
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.
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!
HOW LONG ARE PAN SEARED SCALLOPS GOOD FOR?
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.
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!
- 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
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.
Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan.
Dry off the scallops with a cloth and then lightly season each side of the scallops with sea salt and ground black pepper.
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).
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.
Remove from heat and set aside.
In the same pan, add the pine nuts and minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
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.
Add the zucchini noodles to the pan and toss, cooking for just 2-3 minutes, until slightly tender and heated through.
Quickly remove from the pan and serve, topped with the pan-seared scallops and garnished with minced parsley.
This post is sponsored by Cristel USA.