Easy, quick-seared buttery scallops, nestled in a flavor-packed mixture of tomatoes and bell peppers! You’ll love the bold Mediterranean flavors in this scallops recipe–fresh garlic, shallots, capers, oregano and more. Best part? The whole thing comes together in like 20 minutes! Be sure to to grab my tips for how to cook scallops perfectly every time.
For dinner, I love serving these saucy scallops with Greek lemon rice or plain orzo. And you can serve them as an appetizer with some crostini or grilled baguette pieces.
If you’ve ever thought a meal like buttery, perfectly-cooked scallops is something you can only eat at a fine dining restaurant, this scallops recipe is about to change your mind!
Scallops are so much easier to make at home than most people think! And this recipe literally takes a skillet (okay, two skillets) and a few simple ingredients.
If you have 20 minutes, you can totally get this “fancy” scallops dinner on the table!
Mediterranean-Style Scallops Recipe
Scallops are such a prized shell fish–super delicate and sweet tasting. They’re the kind of meal that I serve on a special date night or when I want to impress some guests. But, honestly, they’re quick and easy that they can be prepared any night of the week.
And because they’re mild and sweet tasting, scallops lend themselves so easily to lots of creative flavors.
This scallops recipe takes on a bright Mediterranean twist. First, scallops are quickly seared in olive oil (we talk about this a bit more later), then nestled into a cooked mixture of grape tomatoes and bell peppers, flavored with garlic, shallots, capers and a trio of spices (oregano, cumin, and paprika.)
I’m telling you, this easy seared scallops recipe is brimming with flavor…so worth a try!
For those who may be intimated by the idea of cooking scallops–after-all, they’re not a cheap item–let’s address the question of how to cook scallops perfectly every time.
How to Cook Scallops?
There are many ways to cook scallops, from deep-fried to baked or grilled. More often than not, if I make scallops, I go for pan-seared. Quick and easy. Here’s how it goes:
1. If you are working with frozen scallops, you’ll need to have them thawed first (see instructions on this below.) Then, once defrosted, make sure they are completely dry before they hit your skillet. To do this, place them on a clean paper towel and thoroughly dry
2. To cook them in your pan or skillet, heat a bit of extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the scallops and cook on one side for about 2 minutes, then turn over and cook on the other side for another 1 to 2 minutes.
Important Tips for Cooking Scallops:
1. Do not overcook scallops or they will turn chewy and tough. Once they turn golden brown on both sides, they are done. Also look for them to break apart just a little bit around the edges.
2. Cook scallops last. Scallops need to be served immediately. In this recipe, I prepared the tomatoes and bell peppers mixture in one skillet and kept them warm while I cooked the scallops in a separate skillet. Once my scallops were ready, I simply nestled them in the ready mixture of tomatoes and bell peppers.
And, if you’re adding salads or sides or anything else as part of your meal, get those ready in advance as well.
How to Thaw Scallops Properly?
You’ll most likely find wild-caught scallops in the freezer section next to things like frozen shrimp.
To defrost, simply place the sealed bag of scallops in a bowl with cold water to defrost. It will take about 15 minutes or so, flitp the bag over halfway through.
But if you want to thaw the scallops for a longer time, just make sure to place the bowl in the fridge.
How long will cooked scallops keep?
Personally, I think it’s best to cook and eat these scallops immediately. But if you have a little leftover, you can store it in the fridge for one or two nights.
I’m against reheating scallops because they will turn rubbery. Instead, eat leftovers cold (like a seafood salad) or closer to room temperature, if you prefer.
What to Serve Along?
As a main course for dinner, this scallops recipe will serve 4. Like I mentioned at the top of this post, I love serving it on top of Greek lemon rice, but Lebanese Rice, or even plain orzo, will work
Don’t discount these saucy scallops as an appetizer to kick-start a special party. Add some crusty bread, or grilled French baguette slices to carry these saucy scallops.
More Recipes to TryPrint
Easy, quick-seared buttery scallops, nestled in a flavor-packed mixture of tomatoes and bell peppers! You’ll love the bold Mediterranean flavors in this scallops recipe–fresh garlic, shallots, capers, oregano and more.
- Extra virgin olive oil (find our olive oil bundle here)
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, cored, cut into thin strips
- 1/2 green bell pepper, cored, cut into thin strips
- 4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 10 oz grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 tbsp capers, drained
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 lb wild-caught sea scallops (thawed if had been frozen)
- Splash of fresh lemon juice
- Handful fresh chopped parsley for garnish
- In a large cast iron skillet, heat 2 to 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking.
- Add shallots, red bell peppers, and green bell peppers. Raise the heat to medium-high, and cook for about 3 minutes, tossing occasionally.
- Add minced garlic, tomatoes, and capers. Season with just a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Add oregano, cumin and paprika. Toss to combine. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep warm while you work on scallops.
- In a separate skillet, heat another 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add scallops and cook for 2 minutes on one side, turn over and cook another 1 to 2 minutes (do not overcook).
- Transfer scallops immediately to the other pan and nestle them in the tomatoes and peppers mixture. Squeeze just a little bit of lemon juice all over. Garnish with parsley.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately over a bed of lemon rice or plain orzo.
- Cook’s Tip #1: Because scallops cook quickly, be sure to have prepared other parts of your meal in advance. If serving with rice or pasta, for example, have those cooked first. Also prepare any salads or starters in advance.
- Cook’s Tip #2: For dinner, this scallops recipe will serve 4. But, you can serve it as a fancy appetizer to please a little crowd of 6 to 8. Add some crusty bread, or grilled French baguette slices to carry these saucy scallops.
- What else to serve with this meal? Antipasto skewers make a great starter here. And for a salad, try something like this simple avocado salad or this 3-ingredient Mediterranean salad.
- How long will scallops keep? Personally, I think it’s best to cook and eat these scallops immediately. But if you have a little leftover, you can store it in the fridge for one or two nights. Best to eat leftovers cold or at room temperature.
- Visit our shop to check out olive oil bundles and all-natural and organic spices and more!
- Category: Seafood
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: Scallops Recipe, Seared Scallops, Easy Scallops, How to Cook Scallops