Seared Scallops with Creamy Herb Sauce

Seared Scallops with Creamy Herb Sauce

The Washington PostDemocracy dies in darkness

By Ellie Krieger

This meal of seared scallops over a velvety green herb sauce is so elegant, sumptuous and nourishing that it’s hard to believe how quickly and easily it comes together.

Serve with brown rice, quinoa or bread and/or a green salad or grilled vegetables like asparagus.

Get ahead: The sauce can be prepared and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance and reheated gently over low heat.

Storage: Refrigerate scallops and sauce separately for up to 2 days.

From cookbook author and registered dietitian nutritionist Ellie Krieger.



  1. Step 1

    Separate the dark greens from the light green and white part of the scallions. Thinly slice the dark green parts on an angle until you have about 1/4 cup; set aside for garnish (reserve remaining dark green parts for another use). Chop the remaining light green and white parts.

  2. 2nd step

    In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add chopped light green and white scallions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle flour over green onions and cook, stirring, until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Slowly add the milk to the pan, stirring constantly, and bring to a gentle boil. Keep the heat low, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.

  3. Step 3

    Transfer the scallion and milk mixture to a blender. Add the basil, parsley, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and blend until smooth and pale green. Return the sauce to the saucepan, set over low heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens further and has the consistency of thin pancake batter, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm. You should have about 3/4 cup of sauce.

  4. Step 4

    Dry the scallops as much as possible on both sides. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add half of the scallops and cook, without stirring, until they brown on the bottom and release easily from the pan with a metal spatula, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until no longer translucent in the center, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer the cooked scallops to a plate, add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and repeat with the remaining scallops. Season the cooked scallops with lemon juice, the remaining salt and pepper.

  5. Step 5

    To serve, spread a few tablespoons of sauce on each serving plate. Top each with 4 scallops and garnish with the reserved scallion greens.


Instead of parsley and basil >> try dill and mint.
Green onions >> shallots.
Want to make the dish more luxurious? >> Use heavy cream instead of milk.

Nutrition Facts

Per serving (4 scallops and 3 tablespoons sauce)

  • Calories


  • Fat


  • saturated fat


  • Carbohydrates


  • Sodium

    690 mg

  • Cholesterol

    32 mg

  • Protein


  • Fiber


  • Sugar


This analysis is an estimate based on the available ingredients and this preparation. It should not replace the advice of a dietitian or nutritionist.

From cookbook author and registered dietitian nutritionist Ellie Krieger.

Tested by Olga Massov.

Published on May 7, 2024

Related Recipes



Related posts