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Pan-Seared Scallops with Arugula Pesto

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Paired with an American Pale Ale

Pan-Seared Scallops with Arugula Pesto is a summer recipe to highlight fresh seafood with greens and fresh herbs! Simply put, the scallops are lightly seasoned with salt and black pepper and then seared off in a hot and oiled pan for just a few minutes. They are then topped with a very fresh-tasting pesto made of arugula, basil, pine nuts and garlic. A touch of lemon adds a necessary acidity and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil livens up those flavors! This healthy appetizer or main course is a must-have for those summer soirees!

Pan-Seared Scallops with Arugula Pesto is a summer recipe to highlight fresh seafood with greens and fresh herbs! |

I’ve told you guys before that I am obsessed with seafood right? You may have also heard me talk about how we DO NOT live near an ocean. I still can get my seafood fix though, and it’s all thanks to Zach being a crazy-good fish cook. I on the other hand am not so good. With the exception of a few fishy fish that shall remain nameless, there hasn’t been a fish or shellfish from the ocean (or river) that I will not eat.

Yeah, so I’m basically obsessed.

Since I am not the best of fish cooks, I’m tributing this post to good old Zachary. He seared off these pan-seared scallops for me, and the sizzle was enough to make my mouth water. As summer has already begun, we try to eat a lot of seafood this time of year. There is just something about a filet of halibut or a perfectly seared scallop with a cold beer that makes my heart pitter patter. The toppings for these delectables are limitless. I try to keep it fresh, light and on occasion…nutritious. ;)

The recipe for these pan-seared scallops with arugula pesto is below! Pair them with an American Pale Ale (hopefully one that is on the citrusy side), and have a fabulous day everyone! xo

Pan-Seared Scallops with Arugula Pesto is a summer recipe to highlight fresh seafood with greens and fresh herbs! |

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Pan-Seared Scallops with Arugula Pesto is a summer recipe to highlight fresh seafood with greens and fresh herbs! |

Pan-Seared Scallops with Arugula Pesto


2 -4

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 2 cups fresh arugula
  • 6 basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound completely cleaned sea scallops
  • salt and black pepper


  • To the pitcher of your blender, add the arugula, basil, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice and a dash of salt and black pepper. Pulse until the mixture just comes together. With the blender running on low, pour the olive oil in to the pitcher. Continue blending for 3-4 minutes until the pesto is completely pulverized. Adjust seasoning to taste, transfer to an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator where it will keep for about a week.
  • Preheat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the canola oil and heat until it gets a swirled effect (this means it's getting hot).
  • Season the sea scallops with a pinch of salt and black pepper, and add them to the hot pan. Sear for 2 minutes and then flip. Sear for another 2 minutes or until cooked through. Be careful as there is a fine line between a scallop being raw and overdone. This may take some practice and knowing your stove well. Remove from heat.
  • Serve immediately drizzled with arugula pesto and enjoy!

Pan-Seared Scallops with Arugula Pesto is a summer recipe to highlight fresh seafood with greens and fresh herbs! |



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I’m the voice, author, creator, and photographer behind Cooking and Beer. We started things about 10 years ago and Cooking and Beer has morphed and grown into what it is today: providing hundreds of recipes to thousands of people.

18 Responses

  1. These are beautiful and so elegant! Lucky you to have a man that is such a whiz in the kitchen! :-)

  2. Scallops are one of my favorite dishes, Justine! This looks amazing! I’ve never actually made scallops myself before, so I definitely need to try this out. I love hat arugula pesto, too! Yum!

  3. These scallops look amazing! One I’ve never eaten scallops before because I’m scared to try them and second, my hubby does all the meat and fish cooking too. I always mess it up, so I leave it in his hands. I need to try this recipe asap! Pinned!

  4. Scallops are one of my favourite things of all time. I love them so, so much. These look just fantastic and your photos made me hungry even though I just had a snack! :)

  5. Brilliant! I’ve always wondered what to do with scallops except serve them with butter. I’ll have to give this a go next time.

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Hello! I'm Justine.

I’m a blogger and web developer from the beautiful state of Oklahoma, where my loving husband, two adorable kids, and two mischievous dogs keep me on my toes 24/7. My idea of heaven includes endless summer days, getting lost in a good book, and whipping up some delicious homemade bread.


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