Basil Pesto Pasta with Scallops

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Perfectly cooked scallops. Linguine tossed in the most fresh pesto you’ve ever had. Do I need to go on?

I could not get over how simple and QUICK this meal was. Seriously, maybe it took me 20 minutes. And, for this recipe, you get to use the last of the fresh basil growing in your garden before basil growing season is over. 🙂Pesto and Scallops4

About scallops. I had never cooked scallops before this meal. I admit, I was a little scared. Me being scared in the kitchen? Yes, it happens more often than you think! But when one of my coworkers inspired me and recommended that I serve up scallops with some pesto linguine, I mustered up the courage and defrosted those buttery little things. Then I Googled “how to cook scallops perfectly”. Oh Google, what would I do without you?

After looking at 1,000 different ways to cook them, I decided that there was one common denominator. Keep it simple. So, the only seasoning on these scallops is Salt and Pepper. And of course some butter to sear them in. I couldn’t limit it to just olive oil, right? I put my timer on when I cooked these, because I tend to get distracted in the kitchen (mostly by these) and you have to be careful not to overcook scallops. 2 minutes on each side is what I did to get a perfectly seared, brown crust.

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The scallops were seasoned lightly, so when you combine them with the ever so flavorful pesto, it’s a party in your mouth. Enough said. Thanks for reading and eating!

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Basil Pesto Pasta with Scallops
Serves 4
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Total Time
25 min
Total Time
25 min
991 calories
89 g
27 g
59 g
27 g
12 g
232 g
463 g
4 g
0 g
44 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 991
Calories from Fat 520
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 59g
Saturated Fat 12g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 8g
Monounsaturated Fat 36g
Cholesterol 27mg
Sodium 463mg
Total Carbohydrates 89g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 4g
Protein 27g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  2. 1/4 cup pine nuts
  3. 3/4 cup olive oil
  4. 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
  7. 16 oz. linguine
  8. 8 scallops
  9. 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  10. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  1. Set a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Cook until al dente and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the basil, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add parmesan cheese and salt to taste to the processor, turn it on and drizzle olive oil in slowly until you get a creamy, thick consistency. Set aside.
  4. Pat the scallops dry (important!)
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Heat olive oil and butter together on medium high heat.
  7. Add scallops and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until a brown crust forms.
  8. Set aside.
  9. Drain pasta. In the now empty pot, toss pasta with the pesto.
  10. Serve on a large plate and top it off with 3-4 scallops.
  1. Make sure the garlic is already minced before you put it in the food processor. I found that when I put whole cloves in, I got big chunks of garlic in whatever I was making.
Spicy Spoonful
I say this dish deserves a close up. 

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4 views shared on this article. Join in...

  1. Trina says:

    I want to try this recipe…is the calorie count for a serving or the whole dish? Looks yummy!

    • Nadia says:

      Hi Trina! The calorie count is for the whole dish…the olive oil in the pesto makes the calories a little on the higher side. Feel free to experiment with a little less oil and parmesan cheese in the pesto if you’re looking to reduce the calories :). Enjoy (I know I did)

      • Trina says:

        Thanks! I am trying to eat healthier, but need variety! I will be checking out your site and let you know how it goes, thanks!

  2. cinderella says:

    If you drop the garlic cloves into the processor or blender while it is running, it will chop them up nicely. Turn on appliance and drop cloves in one by one thru the feed tube.

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