Sweet caramelized seared scallops with linguine and asparagus are what dreams are made of. Especially when they're served with toasted buttered breadcrumbs! Somebody pinch me!!
This easy seafood and pasta dish of caramelized seared scallops comes together quickly and with only a small handful of ingredients including one of my all-time favorite springtime veggies...ASPARAGUS!
**Please Note - The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making seared scallops with linguine and asparagus is available at the end of this post. OR you can hit the "jump to recipe" button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.
The ingredient list:
**Note - The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience. #CommissionsEarned
- scallops (thawed if previously frozen)
- extra virgin olive oil
- canola oil (or grapeseed oil)
- crushed red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
Kitchen tools and equipment needed:
- 1 large deep-sided skillet
- 1 medium skillet
- strainer or colander
- measuring cups and spoons
- chef's knife
- cutting board
- lemon zester
- wooden spoon or spatula
- paper towels
The key to caramelizing scallops:
The key to getting deeply caramelized seared scallops is in making sure the scallops are completely dry before adding them to the hot sauté pan.
Paper towels work wonderfully well for drying scallops.
After the scallops have been added to the hot pan season them with salt and pepper. Allow them to cook for at least 3 minutes (over medium/high heat) before trying to flip them.
If you get antsy and want to flip the scallops too early, they will notify you that you're jumping the gun by not letting go easily from the bottom of the pan.
It's like they're saying "NO, wait! We're not ready!" "Come back in a little while."
But, a word of caution...set a timer if you do decide to step away for a few minutes because it only takes a few minutes to go from beautifully caramelized to burned and ruined.
The story behind this recipe:
This recipe came about because I was trying to figure out a way to use a half a bag of frozen scallops that I'd had in my freezer.
Since I'm a sucker for springtime asparagus, it seemed only fitting to add to the linguine I already had in the cabinet.
And, with a wink and a nod to my grandma and dad, from the recipe I posted several years ago for Grandma's Springtime Asparagus with Seasoned Breadcrumbs, the addition of the buttered breadcrumbs just seemed fitting.
Can shrimp be swapped for scallops in this recipe?
They sure can!
Shrimp will take roughly the same amount of time to cook as the scallops, except you're not looking to sear them.
Make sure you use uncooked shrimp that have the shells removed (tail on, or tails off, it's up to you).
Cook the shrimp just until they're opaque, and a pretty salmon pink color. But be careful not to cook them much after that or they'll get rubbery.
Can broccoli be swapped for the asparagus in this recipe?
Yes! I think that would be equally delicious!
Go ahead and trim and separate the broccoli into florets and continue with the recipe as written.
Speaking of peas...(see what I did there?), If you're a fan of peas, toss some frozen peas into the pasta cooking water for the last minute or two of cooking before draining the water. YUM!!!
Hungry for more asparagus recipes?
Saucy Shrimp and Asparagus (pictured below)
Low Calorie Egg White Omelet with Asparagus (pictured below)
Couscous with Feta and Asparagus (pictured below)
Seared Scallops with Linguine and Asparagus (pictured below) THIS IS THE PLACE!!
Below is the printable recipe card along with the exact ingredient measurements and nutritional information for making today's easy yet impressive seafood pasta dish of seared scallops with linguine and asparagus.
Seared Scallops with Linguine, Asparagus and Buttered Breadcrumbs
- ½ pound scallops thawed (if frozen) and dried with paper towel. Season the scallops with salt and pepper.
- 1 pound dried linguine
- ½ pound fresh asparagus cut into 2" pieces
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2½ tablespoons butter divided
- 2½ tablespoons olive oil divided
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- pinch red pepper flakes more if desired
- ½ tablespoon fresh lemon zest
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- Cook the linguine in boiling salted water for 8-9 minutes. Add the asparagus pieces in with the pasta and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Drain. Stir in 1½ tablespoons butter, 1½ tablespoons olive oil and black pepper. Remove to a bowl, cover to keep warm.
- Wipe out the skillet with paper towels.
- Melt 1 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in the breadcrumbs, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, and the remaining 1 tablespoons olive oil. Continue to stir the breadcrumbs until they become golden in color. Remove the breadcrumbs to a bowl. Set aside.
- Wipe out the skillet with paper towels.
- Heat the canola oil to the skillet over medium/high heat. Add the scallops and cook until golden (2-3 minutes) before flipping. Flip the scallops and caramelize on the other side until golden brown. Remove the scallops from the pan and keep warm.
- Deglaze the skillet with chicken broth and lemon juice. Making sure to scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and asparagus. Stir in most of the buttered breadcrumbs.
- Plate the pasta and top with the caramelized scallops and the remaining breadcrumbs.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
I sincerely hope you've enjoyed today's easy, yet impressive seafood pasta recipe for seared scallops with linguine and asparagus as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you!