Seared Scallops in Pesto

Seared Scallops in Pesto Recipe, Pesto Sauce Recipe

Growing up, my mom made five dishes that I loved above everything else: (1) brisket – this took a long time so we really only had it on special occasions, (2) baked ziti – see her recipe here, (3) poached pears – my favorite dessert, (4) eggplant parmesan, and (5) pasta in pesto sauce. That last one – likely the simplest out of all of the dishes she made – always put a smile on my face.

To this day, whenever I have something in pesto sauce, it reminds me of my childhood. Of sitting with my family around the dinner table, typically arguing about lord only knows what, getting into a debate about the finer points of Star Wars with my father and trying to coax information out of my ever-so secretive sister about her social life.

Recently, I decided to make this seared scallops in pesto dish for dinner with some friends at my apartment. It would be great on a bed of pasta (or zoodles!), served hot or cold. Keep reading for the full recipe!

Seared Scallops in Pesto sauce recipe Image

Seared Scallops in Pesto

Printer-Friendly Version 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Author: Glitter & Spice
Recipe Type: Dinner, Low-Calorie, Low-Carb
Cuisine: Seafood

Serves: 2-3


  • 1/2 pound of large scallops
  • 2 teaspoons of coconut oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
For the Pesto
  • 2 cups of fresh basil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of heavy cream


Combine the basil, garlic, pine nuts, and olive oil in your food processor. Process until smooth. Stir in the heavy cream until the pesto sauce reaches the desired thickness. Set aside.

Place a pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the coconut oil and allow the pan to warm on the stove for a minute or two before adding the scallops. Pan sear the scallops, cooking for a few minutes on one side before flipping all of the scallops to cook on the other side. Flip back until the scallops are cooked through.

Plate the scallops (either alone or on a pet of noodles/zooles), pour the lemon juice and spoon the pesto onto the scallops, and then sprinkle some lemon zest on top before serving. Serve hot or cold!