Ready in just 10 minutes, these blackened scallops are pan-seared and full of spicy flavor. Accompanied by sweet honey butter, these scallops are delicious served over pumpkin puree, polenta or rice.
Because I love this recipe
These blackened scallops make a delicious meal any day of the week. They’re ready in just 10 minutes and bursting with flavor from the tangy spice rub and honey butter.
Browning food involves coating it with a special spice blend that often includes spices and herbs such as smoked paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, thyme, and oregano. The rub turns a very dark brown or almost black color when cooked, contributing to a bold flavor and somewhat crunchy texture.
I love making my own blackening spice mix because it’s so easy to make with spices you probably already have on hand, and you can adjust the spice level to your liking.
This tangy spice rub is smoky, a little spicy, and perfectly balanced with the sweetness of the honey butter.
I like to serve Blackened Scallops over mashed pumpkin, polenta, or rice, but the options are endless!
Oh, and did I mention these scallops are ready in just 10 minutes?! Yes please!
Materials you will need
Notes on ingredients
scallops: Scallops have a sweet and buttery flavor with a mildly chewy and tender texture. It is a type of mollusk, similar to clams, mussels and oysters. The scallops are high in protein, low in fat and provides several vitamins and minerals such as zinc, selenium, B12, copper and omega-3 fatty acids.
smoked paprika: it gives a smoky, woody flavor with hints of both spice and sweetness
Cayenne pepper: adds some heat! You can add more or less depending on the spices you prefer
garlic and onion powder: add layers of flavor to the spice mix
thyme: This aromatic herb offers a subtle minty, sweet and peppery flavor
oregano: gives a bold and spicy taste
Brown sugar: it provides a subtle sweetness that helps balance the spice level
salt and pepper: necessary flavor enhancers
olive oil: used to cover the pan and sear the scallops
butter: aromatic flavor enhancer that acts as a base for honey butter
honey: it lends a bit of sweetness to the honey butter that perfectly balances the tangy spices
Equipment you will need (affiliate links – if you make a purchase I get a small commission)
How to make blackened scallops
- Combine the spices. Whisk together the smoked paprika, onion, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, cayenne, brown sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
- Dry and scrub the scallops. Pat scallops dry, remove flank muscles if still attached and sprinkle blackened seasoning all over scallops.
- Cook scallops. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and cook the scallops, leaving 1 inch of space between them, for 2 minutes. Flip the scallops and cook until golden brown and the sides are opaque, about 2-3 minutes more.
- Prepare honey butter. Put the butter and honey in a small bowl and heat in the microwave until melted, about 30 seconds, then stir to combine.
- Serving. Serve seared scallops over winter squash puree, polenta, grits or rice and drizzle with honey butter.
Scallops cook quickly so keep an eye on them until they are golden brown and all sides are opaque. You want to avoid overcooking the scallops as this dries them out and makes them chewier.
Be sure to dry the scallops before applying the tanning spices. Absorbing any excess moisture will help the tannic rub stick to the scallops and crisp them up during cooking.
What to serve with blackened scallops?
Blackened scallops are quite versatile and go well with a variety of sides. I like to serve them with winter squash puree, mash, polenta, buckwheat, risotto or rice. Any of these would be a great choice to enjoy the delicious honey butter sauce.
What’s the secret to cooking scallops?
Scallops should be cooked quickly over medium-high heat. I usually place the scallops about 1 inch apart and cook undisturbed for about 2 minutes. After that, they should be flipped easily (if not they need more cooking time) and cook for another 2-3 minutes until they are golden brown and the sides are opaque. Be careful not to overcook them as they will dry out and become very chewy.
Can I make blackened scallops in advance?
Scallops are best cooked just before serving, and since they cook so quickly, they make a great meal any day of the week. Blackened seasoning can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Sometimes I like to make a bigger batch of blackened seasonings to have on hand and use on chicken or fish when we’re craving that bold flavor.
Storage and Preparation
Leftover blackened scallops can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Blackened seasoning can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Recipes that pair well
Butternut Squash Instant Pot Risotto
Fried garlic bread
Holiday Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pomegranate
Vegetarian rice pilaf
For more blackened food inspiration, check out my other recipes below!
Tanned Mahi Mahi
Blackened Salmon Tacos with Corn Avocado Salsa
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Ready in just 10 minutes, these blackened scallops are pan-seared and full of spicy flavor. Fill with a sweet honey butter, serve over pumpkin puree, polenta or rice.
- 2 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tbsp Brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1 pounds of scallops
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- In a small bowl, whisk together the smoked paprika, onion, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, cayenne, brown sugar, salt, and pepper until combined.
- Pat scallops dry, remove flank muscles if still attached and sprinkle blackened seasoning all over scallops.
- Working in two batches, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the scallops, leaving 1 inch of space between them, for 2 minutes. Flip the scallops (they should flip easily, otherwise they need more cooking time) and cook until golden brown and the sides are opaque, about 2-3 minutes more.
- While the scallops are baking, place the butter and honey in a small bowl and heat in the microwave until melted, about 30 seconds. We beat them to unite.
- Drizzle the honey butter over the scallops and serve with winter squash puree, polenta, grits or rice.
- Scallops cook quickly, so cook until golden brown and opaque on all sides. You want to avoid overcooking the scallops, as this dries them out and makes them chewier.
- Be sure to dry the scallops before applying the tanning spices. Absorbing any excess moisture will help the tannic rub stick to the scallops and crisp them up during cooking.
- Blackened seasonings can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Leftover shells can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
- Preparation time: 5 minutes
- Cooking time: 5 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Tanned
- Kitchen: Cajun
Keywords: blackened scallops, blackened scallops with honey butter