I bought some very large beautiful scallops, looked through countless videos on YouTube and started my cooking adventure. Using good quality non-stick frying pan worked best for searing the scallops.
I decided on Pasta Carbonara to pair with my scallops. This is such a quick and simple recipe with gourmet flavour, an all-time favourite of mine. This entire dish can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes; a gourmet meal that you would be proud to serve to company!
Carbonara with Pan Seared Scallops
- Ingredients for Scallops
- 12-16 large scallops 3-4 per person
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon butter
- Salt and Pepper
- Ingredients for Carbonara
- 8 slices thick cut bacon diced I try to find bacon with less fat, or cut away excess fat
- 1 shallot finely sliced
- 1 clove garlic leave whole
- 4 green onions
- 2 egg yolks
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup parmigiano reggiano grated
- fresh ground pepper
- 14 oz (400g) pasta of your choice -I used Linguine
- Pasta Carbonara
- Start cooking pasta in large stainless steel pot.
- In small bowl mix together cream, egg yolks and ¾ of cheese.
- In large skillet cook bacon until crisp, add shallots and ½ green onions.
- Smash down garlic clove a bit, add to bacon. (remove prior to adding pasta)
- When pasta is finished cooking, drain well, then add to skillet of bacon.
- Toss well, then transfer to large bowl.
- Add cream mixture to pasta and combined well. Make sure pasta is still hot in order to cook the eggs and melt the cheese.
- Arrange pasta on plate, top with seared scallops, add some fresh ground pepper, grated parmesan, and green onions.
- Perfect Pan Seared Scallops
- Blot scallops with paper towel to remove any water. Salt and pepper.
- Heat large non-stick frying pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Make sure frying pan is hot before adding scallops but not smoking.
- Add scallops leaving plenty of space between. Overcrowding the pan will drop the pan temperature and cause scallops to steam rather than sear. (may have to do in batches)
- Sear for about 2-4 minutes or when bottom is a nice golden brown. Don't move them around in the pan or you will prevent them from forming that nice brown crust. After a couple of minutes have peek under to see if golden brown.
- Turn to sear other side. (about 1-3 more minutes)
- Add 2 tablespoons of butter to pan now.
- Spoon the melted butter over the scallops as the other side finishes cooking.
- Transfer to paper towel covered plate.
- Keep warm in oven, if making in batches.
Step by Step Photo Instructions
Brown bacon, shallots, green onion and garlic.
Stir cooked pasta into bacon, onions and garlic.
Toss hot pasta together with cream, cheese, and egg mixture.
Scallops - Pat dry, sear until golden brown in hot olive oil, turn, add butter, spoon over top as other side cooks.
Made this last night and it turned out really good. No problem searing the scallops per your directions. I used a pound of pasta for 4 people but next time I may double the cheese, egg, cream mixture. It was a bit dry. Do you think doubling would be a problem?
Hi Joanne, glad you enjoyed the recipe. Doubling the recipe would not be a problem, works well.
Made this tonight for a "girl's night in". Absolutely first rate! I lightened it up slightly by completely draining the grease from the bacon before adding the onions etc, used half and half instead of cream, and only using 1 tbsp of oil and 1 tbsp of butter for searing the scallops. Perfectly sauced 1/2 pound of linguine. Plenty for 4 of us with salad and dessert. Thanks so much this is a keeper/repeater!
Thank you Chris for dropping me a note to let me know you enjoyed the recipe. Great adaptations!
This looks amazing! I've been making variations of Carbonara, my challenge is keeping the pasta hot to cook the egg mixture. What do you suggest! I have tried heatin all my bowls, I've used a large wok style pan to cook the bacon then transferred in the pasta, but was a bit too hot when I added the egg mixture as it "scrambled"and turned mealy. What is the secret? Can't wait to try this!
Thanks Sue, I think key thing is to work quickly and keep tossing the pasta after you add the egg mixture. The egg mixture must be added while pasta is still hot, but do not continue to cook on stove top. I am not sure which recipe you have tried in the past, but give mine a try and let me know if you still have problems.
Your recipe looks wonderful, will be trying it tonight...Looks similar to some meals I've created "on the fly" but it's nice to have some proportions of the ingredients as a guide. One note, you don't indicate HOW MUCH pasta should be used, I going to go with a pound. You should fix that part of the recipe!
Hey Mark you would use 400 gram box for 4 people
I used a full box of whole wheat thin spaghetti (375g). I agree with another person who posted that it was more "tight" than I would have preferred. A 500g box of pasta would have been worse. Possibly because I used dried parmigiano cheese (thats what I had on hand) and it probably soaked up more of the liquids than fresh would have. Maybe the whole wheat pasta sucked up more liquid than regular would have as well, not sure. In any event, it was delicious. But I would caution people to be careful to not have the recipe come out not creamy enough.
Much appreciated Mark, I am actually so bad at measuring my pasta, I tend to always just eye ball it. I have always served to 4, so 400 grams should work great. If you want large servings, doubling the sauce recipe would be great. I have only used fresh grated parmesan, so yes dried would change consistency.
I have to say that these pics are gorgeous and looks delicious!! Love it! 🙂
Thank you so much Jason.
Yum! I normally don't add cream to it. Just pancetta, yolks, lot of parmesan cheese and black pepper.
I will definitely trying this tonight. Never done scallops before but my husband always loves my pasta. Thanks for the inspiration.
Your welcome Roberta, I hope you and your husband enjoy the recipe.
I made this. It turned out awesome. Restaurant quality.
That is super Ginnie, thanks for dropping me a note, much appreciated!
So glad you enjoyed the recipe Gary, but sorry I don't break my recipes down into nutritional content.
Let me know how you make out, love to hear back, Diana.
Looks delicious!!! My husbands birthday is today and scallops are his favorite. I am cooking this tonight. Thanks so much for the recipe!!
Hope he enjoys it Diana, Happy Birthday to your husband.
This turned out AMAZING
Thank Josie for the comment
I substituted spaghetti squash for the pasta to cut out the carbs and it tasted incredible. My boyfriend and I both agreed this recipe is a keeper!
HI Stacey, great idea to use the spaghetti squash, I love spaghetti squash!
I made this tonight and it was amazing! Love love
Wonderful Erika, so glad you enjoyed the recipe
Wow!! This carbonara recipe was spectacular! I made this for my parents while I'm visiting them from out of country. My dad is a huge scallop lover and I think ate at least 8 of them. It was my first time tying them and personally didn't love scallops, but they were a hit with everyone else. This carbonara recipe tasted reminiscent of what I've had in Italy and my parents had never tried it. All in all, everyone loved it! Saving for sure.
Thank you so much Sarah for the huge compliment. So glad your parents loved it.
Thank you for sharing this recipe. Husband loved it, and I got to redeem myself with scallops, thanks to your directions they turned out perfect! Being vegetarian and unable to taste it, I followed the directions as stated changing only an addition of cooked peas and using minced garlic (which I left in the pasta). The scallop-fry stink was worth it, evidently. 🙂
Thank you Shoni, how special of you to make this for your Husband. Glad he enjoyed it.
This was great! I made homemade linguini. Dare I say, though, too much cheese. No complaints, but I would cut back by 1/2 cup (of a good cheese) and add more as needed at the table. Didn't like the green onion on top; switch to parsley. And add more garlic. Was interesting to get it to come all together at the same time but we did! Really, really good! Definitely on my tried and true list!
Thanks for the great feedback Cheri, I found the more times I made this the easier it was to have it all come together at the same time. Enjoy!
Made this the other night and it was a hit with the family. Followed your directions for the scallops but cooked them in a cast iron skillet and they came out perfect. Will probably use grilled shrimp next time when the scallops aren't on sale. This is a definite do over, thank you for sharing.
Hi Daryl, I've made this with shrimp and also chicken. Family loves it, so glad you enjoyed the recipe.
My husband and I made this recipe last night. The scallops came out perfect. (We purchased a 32oz frozen bag - for two people we got 3 meals out of it, but for a family of four a scallop meal could be $$.) We felt the pasta was a bit dry. Your recipe calls for 14oz of pasta, it's possible I used too much linguine (grabbed a handful out of a 16oz box). I feel like I need to double the cream sauce recipe next time. We added a handful of frozen peas to the boiling pasta water, love the color and texture it added to the recipe. Thanks for sharing your recipe - we will definitely make this one again!
Hi Kristyn, yes scallops are expensive! I have done this recipe using shrimp. Peas are a great addition! If you like it more saucy definitely double up the sauce ingredients. Thank you for your feedback.
AMAZING! Thank you for sharing! We loved it!
Thanks Athena for the comment 🙂
I have never lived a recipe enough to leave a comment but wow. I mean wow. This dish I’ve made a dozen times now. I’ve used less cream or less bacon grease, more salt or added chicken. I’ve tweaked it but ultimately the base recipe is heaven. Thank you! This recipe makes me look like an amazing cook!!!
This is one of my favourite recipes Ashley, so appreciative you took the time to leave a comment
I just came across this recipe, had all the ingredients so made this for a quick dinner. Wow, fantastic choice. I'll dump all my old Carbonara recipes. This will be my go to from now on.
Thank you Pat for taking the time to drop me a comment. So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Tastes great with chicken or shrimp as well.