Tender, sweet scallops are pan seared until golden brown then served on top of a creamy Parmesan risotto for a delicious meal that's worthy of a fine dining restaurant, but simple and easy to make at home any night of the week.
Why this Recipe Works
This dish pairs sweet and briney scallops that are seared to a golden brown crust, with a creamy Parmesan risotto and makes a match made in heaven. It's a restaurant quality meal that's easier than you might think!
- Olive oil
- Vegetable Oil
- Yellow onion
- Arborio rice
- Dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc
- Chicken stock
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
How to Make Parmesan Risotto
- Begin by heating your chicken broth in a pot over medium-low heat.
- In a separate pot or dutch oven heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. After the butter has melted, add the diced onion and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until softened. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 to 45 seconds until fragrant. Be sure to stir the garlic constantly to avoid burning.
- Add the rice to the pot with the onion and garlic and cook for around 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the rice begins to look translucent. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, for around 1-2 minutes until fully absorbed.
- Next add around ¾ to 1 cup of the warm chicken stock, enough to just cover the rice. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this with the rest of the stock until you have around ½ a cup of stock remaining. Around 20 minutes in all.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining stock along with the grated Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
How to Pan Sear Scallops
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot add the vegetable oil and butter.
- After the butter has melted and the foaming subsides, season the scallops with salt and pepper then add them to the pan, leaving about 1 inch between each one.
- Cook for about 2 minutes until the edges are golden brown, then flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from the pan immediately.
Tips for Perfectly Seared Scallops
- The first and most important is to make sure you're scallops are as dry as possible. Look for dry packed scallops when purchasing them if you can find them. These have much better flavor and are not treated with preservative liquids. Rinse your scallops and thoroughly dry with paper towels.
- You'll also want to be sure to not overcrowd the pan. Scallops cook pretty quickly so you can work in batches if needed.
- Another key is to use an oil with a high smoke point such as vegetable oil and butter for flavor.
- The last key is to not move the scallops until they are ready to flip so you get a nice golden brown sear. They may want to stick at first but should release when they've developed a sear.
Serving the seared scallops and risotto
To serve the dish, spoon a serving of risotto and top with additional grated Parmesan if desired. Then place the seared scallops on top of the risotto. The dish goes great along with a simple side salad or steamed veggies.
Other quick and easy dinner ideas
- Lemon Dill Baked Salmon
- Chicken Marsala
- Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- Alfredo Pasta
- Sheet Pan Lemon Chicken and Potatoes
- Sesame Chicken
Seared scallops with Parmesan risotto
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 pound large scallops
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the chicken broth in a pot over medium heat to a simmer then reduce heat to low to keep warm.
- In a separate large saucepan or dutch oven heat the butter and oil over medium heat. When butter has melted add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes until translucent, then add then garlic and cook for another 30-45 seconds.
- Add the rice to the pot with the onion and garlic and cook for around 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the rice begins to turn translucent. Add the wine and cook until absorbed, stirring frequently, around 1-2 minutes.
- Add approximately ¾ to 1 cup of the warm stock, enough to just cover the rice, and stir occasionally until most of the liquid is absorbed, around 2-3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining stock until you have about ½ a cup of stock remaining, about 20 minutes. At that point remove your pan from the heat and add the last bit of stock and stir in the Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Rinse and thoroughly dry the scallops with paper towels then season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat add the vegetable oil and melt the butter. When the foaming subsides add the scallops to the pan. Work in batches if needed and do not overcrowd the pan. Cook for around 2 minutes undisturbed, until golden brown then flip and cook for another 2 minutes or until cooked through.
* All nutrition information we provide are estimates based on third party calculators. We encourage you to calculate these on your own for accurate results.