Creamy Seared Scallop Pasta

Creamy, flavorful and perfect for fall, this creamy seared scallop pasta is guaranteed to be a family favorite. This recipe is a riff off of my roasted chicken with creamy spinach and artichokes, except I’ve swapped scallops for the roasted chicken and added delicious Delallo Foods’ casarecce pasta.

Creamy Seared Scallop Pasta – Healthyish Foods

What I love about this creamy seared scallop pasta recipe is that it’s special enough for holidays but easy enough for weeknights. I used about ½ cup of pasta water in the sauce, but you can add more as needed. This will help prevent the sauce from getting too thick. You can also add a few red pepper flakes for flavor but be careful not to overpower the delicate scallops.

Creamy Seared Scallop Pasta – Healthyish Foods

When prepping the scallops be sure to remove the foot and pat them dry. The foot is a small rubbery / tough muscle found on the side of the scallop. It’s very easy to spot and remove. Sometimes it might even be a shade darker than the rest of the scallop. I simply used my hands to gently peel it off. 

Creamy Seared Scallop Pasta – Healthyish Foods

Additionally, you’ll want to make sure the scallops are dry before searing them. This will allow you to get a nice brown sear on the scallops. I like to hit my scallops with a pinch of salt right before I add them into the cast iron pan. Adding the salt too early will draw moisture to the surface again, which we want to avoid. 

Creamy Seared Scallop Pasta – Healthyish Foods
Creamy Seared Scallop Pasta – Healthyish Foods
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Creamy Seared Scallop Pasta

Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: creamy seared scallop pasta
Servings: 4 people

Equipment

  • saucepan
  • pasta pot
  • cast iron skillet

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. casarecce pasta
  • 1 lb. scallops
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 2 cups diced onion white or yellow will work
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Cracked black pepper to taste
  • 12 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup seasoned pasta water
  • 6-8 ounces of fresh spinach
  • 1 can coconut milk 5.46 ounces the small can
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup whipped cream cheese
  • Fresh chopped parsley – optional

Instructions

  • Boil a pot of water, season it with salt, and cook your pasta according to the package. I like to cook mine al dente because it will continue cooking in the saucepan.
  • Reserve 1 cup of the seasoned pasta water before draining the noodles.
  • Drain the noodles and drizzle them with olive oil to prevent them from sticking together. Set them aside.
  • Next, you’ll prepare the scallops. I discussed how to prepare the scallops in the paragraph section above because it would be too long to type here.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet on high heat. Once the pan is hot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and let it heat for about 1 minute.
  • Add the prepared scallops and let them sear for 3-4 minutes in the pan. Do not move them. Once they have a beautiful sear reduce the heat to medium and flip the scallops. Cook for another 3ish minutes before removing them from the pan. Set them aside.
  • Next, in a large saucepan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, minced garlic, diced onion, salt and pepper.
  • Once the onions begin to soften, you’ll add your tomatoes.
  • Once the tomatoes begin to blister, add ½ cup pasta water into the pan and deglaze the pan.
  • Add the fresh spinach and coconut milk. Stir well.
  • Once the spinach has wilted, you will add the grated parmesan cheese and whipped cream cheese. Stir until well combined. If the sauce begins to thicken too much, simply add a little more of the pasat water.
  • Add the cooked pasta into the sauce. Once the pasta is well coated, you can transfer it to a serving bowl. Nestle the seared scallops into the dish.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!
Sarah Thomas-Drawbaugh

Author: Sarah Thomas-Drawbaugh

Sarah Thomas-Drawbaugh is a recipe developer and creator of the brand, Healthyish Foods®. Sarah makes plant-based, fish and chicken recipes that are simple and delicious. Her work can be seen in Healthy-ish by Bon Appetit and Bon Appetit Magazine (digital), Women’s Health Magazine (digital) and Mind Body Green. Sarah is a Pittsburgh, PA native but currently lives in Vail, Colorado with her husband, Dan and rescue dog, Graci!

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