23/06/2024

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Blackened Scallops | Kara Lydon

Blackened Scallops | Kara Lydon

Ready in just 10 minutes, these blackened scallops are pan-seared and full of spicy flavor. Topped off with a sweet honey butter, these scallops are delicious served over squash puree, polenta, or rice.blackened scallops atop squash puree and garnished with fresh chopped chives served with a glass of water

Why I Love This Recipe

These blackened scallops make for a delicious meal any day of the week. They’re ready in just 10 minutes and are loaded with flavor from the blackening spice rub and honey butter.

Blackening food involves coating it with a special spice blend that often includes spices and herbs like smoked paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, thyme and oregano. The rub takes on a very dark brown or almost black color when cooked, contributing to a bold flavor and somewhat crisp texture.

I love making my own blackening spice blend because it’s so easy to do with spices you likely already have on hand, plus you can adjust the spice level to your liking.

This blackening spice rub is smoky, a little spicy, and perfectly balanced with the sweetness from the honey butter. 

I like to serve Blackened Scallops over squash puree, polenta, or rice but the options are endless!

Oh, and did I mention these scallops are ready in just 10 minutes?! Yes, please!

Ingredients You’ll Need

graphic of ingredients for blackened scallops on marble surface with black text overlay

Notes on Ingredients

scallops: scallops have a sweet and buttery flavor with a mildly chewy and tender texture. They are a type of mollusk, similar to clams, mussels, and oysters. Scallops are high in protein, low in fat, and provide several vitamins and minerals like zinc, selenium, B12, copper and omega-3 fatty acids. 

smoked paprika: gives a smoky, woodsy flavor with hints of both spice and sweetness

cayenne pepper: adds some heat! You can add more or less depending on your spice preference

garlic and onion powder: add layers of flavor to the spice blend

thyme: this aromatic herb provides a subtle minty, sweet, and peppery flavor

oregano: gives a bold and pungent flavor

brown sugar: provides a subtle sweetness to help balance out the spice level 

salt and pepper: essential flavor enhancers 

olive oil: used to coat the pan and sear the scallops 

butter: aromatic flavor enhancer that acts as the base for the honey butter

honey: contributes some sweetness to the honey butter which balances out the blackening spices perfectly

Equipment You’ll Need (affiliate links – if you make a purchase I receive a small commission)

Nonstick or cast iron pan

Mixing bowl

How to Make Blackened Scallops

step by step graphic of how to make blackened scallops

  1. Combine spices. Whisk together smoked paprika, onion power, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, cayenne, brown sugar, salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl. 
  2. Dry and coat scallops. Pat scallops dry, remove side muscles if still attached, and sprinkle blackened seasoning over all sides of scallops.
  3. Cook scallops. Heat olive oil in nonstick sauté pan or cast-iron skillet over medium high heat and cook scallops, leaving 1-inch of space in-between, for 2 minutes. Flip scallops and cook until golden-brown and sides are opaque, about 2-3 more minutes.
  4. Prepare honey butter. Place butter and honey in a small bowl and heat in the microwave until melted, about 30 seconds, then whisk to combine.
  5. Serve. Serve blackened scallops over winter squash puree, polenta, grits, or rice and drizzle honey butter on top.

Expert Tips

Scallops cook quickly so keep an eye on them until they turn golden-brown, and all sides are opaque. You want to avoid overcooking the scallops as this dries them out and makes them extra chewy. 

Be sure to pat the scallops dry before applying the blackening spices. Absorbing any excess moisture will help the blackening rub stick to the scallops and crisp up while cooking. 

Recipe FAQs

What to serve with blackened scallops?

Blackened Scallops are pretty versatile and go well with a variety of sides. I like to serve them with winter squash puree, mashed potatoes, polenta, grits, risotto or rice. Any of these would be a great option to soak up the delicious honey butter sauce. 

What is the secret to cooking scallops?

Scallops should be cooked quickly at a medium to high heat. I typically place the scallops about 1 inch apart and cook them undisturbed for about 2 minutes. After that, they should flip easily (if not they need more cooking time) and cook an additional 2-3 minutes until golden-brown and the sides are opaque. Be careful not to overcook them as they will dry out and become extra chewy.

Can I make blackened scallops in advance?

Scallops are best cooked right before serving and since they cook so quickly, they make a great meal any day of the week. The blackened seasoning can be made ahead of time though and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Sometimes I like to make a bigger batch of blackened seasoning to have on hand and use on chicken or fish when we’re craving that bold flavor.

Blackened Scallops | Kara Lydon

Storage and Preparation

Blackened Scallops leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

The blackened seasoning can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipes That Pair Well

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Risotto 

Air Fryer Garlic Bread

Holiday Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Pomegranate

Vegetarian Rice Pilaf

blackened scallops atop squash puree on a white dish with a silver fork and knife.

For more blackened food inspiration, check out my other recipes below! 

Blackened Mahi Mahi

Blackened Corn

Blackened Salmon Tacos with Corn Avocado Salsa

If you like this recipe, please be sure to comment and give it a 5 star rating below. If you make it, share it on Instagram and tag me @karalydonrd and I’ll re-share it with my followers! If you want to save this recipe for later, be sure to pin it on Pinterest!

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Description

Ready in just 10 minutes, these blackened scallops are pan-seared and full of spicy flavor. Topped off with a sweet honey butter, serve over squash puree, polenta, or rice.


  • 2 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 lb scallops
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey


  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together smoked paprika, onion power, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, cayenne, brown sugar, salt and pepper until combined.
  2. Pat scallops dry, remove side muscles if still attached, and sprinkle blackened seasoning over all sides of scallops.
  3. Working in two batches, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook scallops, leaving 1-inch of space in-between, for 2 minutes. Flip scallops (they should flip easily, if not they need more cooking time), and cook until golden-brown and sides are opaque, about 2-3 more minutes.
  4. While scallops are cooking, place butter and honey in a small bowl and heat in the microwave until melted, about 30 seconds. Whisk to combine.
  5. Drizzle honey butter over scallops and serve with winter squash puree, polenta, grits, or rice.

Notes

  1. Scallops cook quickly so keep an eye on them until they turn golden-brown, and all sides are opaque. You want to avoid overcooking the scallops as this dries them out and makes them extra chewy.
  2. Be sure to pat the scallops dry before applying the blackening spices. Absorbing any excess moisture will help the blackening rub stick to the scallops and crisp up while cooking.
  3. Blackened seasoning can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Leftover scallops can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Blackened
  • Cuisine: Cajun

Keywords: blackened scallops, blackened scallops with honey butter