This lemon butter pasta with seared scallops is perfect for nights when you want to throw something delicious together but don’t have a lot of time. This recipe has the perfect mix of lemon, butter and aromatics that taste so incredible with the pasta and fish.

Lemon Butter Pasta with Seared Scallops – Healthyish Foods

I used scallops for this dish because they cook very fast. However, they can be expensive so you can swap them for chicken, salmon or tofu too. Also, I like using Delallo Foods pasta. It’s great quality, texture and cooks up perfectly every time. For this dish I used their cavatappi noodle and it tasted great!

Lemon Butter Pasta with Seared Scallops – Healthyish Foods

I love this recipe because you can really make it your own. It’s one of those dishes that your family will love, and that will be added to your “go-to dinner” rotation in no time. If you have leftover veggies from the night before simply chop them up and add them to the dish. Or if you are looking for a lighter salad to serve with the meal, try my brussel spout and kale salad with lemon ginger dressing. Ginger can help aid in healthy digestion too! 

Lemon Butter Pasta with Seared Scallops – Healthyish Foods
Lemon Butter Pasta with Seared Scallops – Healthyish Foods

Lemon Butter Pasta with Seared Scallops

5 from 1 vote
Leave a Review »


Pasta and scallops

  • 8 ounces cavatappi pasta, I use Delallo Foods brand
  • ¼ cup reserved pasta water
  • 6-8 medium-large fresh scallops , remove the foot from the side of the scallop and pat them dry using a paper towel.


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil , extra for drizzling over the pasta
  • ½ cup shallots , finely diced
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced small
  • ¼ cup white wine , something dry like sauvignon blanc
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • a few turns of cracked black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil , and some extra to garnish the dish
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • shaved parmesan cheese, for garnish


  • pasta pot
  • colander
  • skillet
  • saute pan


Prepare the pasta and sauce:

  • Boil a pot of water and season it with salt.
  • Cook your pasta according to the package. Reserve a 1/4 cup of pasta water.
    Drain off the rest of the pasta water using a colander. Drizzle the pasta with olive oil and set it aside.
  • In a large sauté pan, add the olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add the minced garlic and finely diced shallots. Sweat until it begins to brown.
  • Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup white wine. Be sure to scrape up any crispy pieces from the bottom of the pan.
  • Next, you’ll add the salt, pepper, lemon juice, basil, butter, pasta water and peas. Simmer and reduce for 5-10 minutes.
  • Once the sauce is well combined, add the cooked pasta and stir well. Reduce the heat to low.

Prepare the scallops:

  • Remove the scallops from the package and pat them dry using a paper towel or kitchen towel. Removing the excess moisture will allow the scallops to get a sear.
    Remove the foot from the scallop. It's the small tough piece on the side of the scallop. This is where the scallop adheres to the shell. It is not pleasant to eat.
  • Season them with salt and pepper right before you add the scallops to the pan with the hot oil.
  • In a separate skillet, add 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Once the pan and oil are hot, carefully place the scallops in the pan.
  • Cook for about 1.5-2 minutes per side. This may slightly vary based on the thickness of the scallop.
  • Once they have a golden-brown sear on both sides, nestle them into the pasta with the sauce.
  • Garnish the dish with some extra basil and parmesan cheese.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!