Scallop Risotto is a quick and easy recipe. With succulent, juicy pan seared scallops, asparagus and peas in a flavorsome al dente parmesan rice this special dish is like a fine dining experience 😁👌. This scallop risotto recipe is perfect for dinner any night of the week and will be loved by the whole family!
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the creamy risotto recipe in the points below:
- Combination of flavors: the white wine, parmesan cheese and succulent scallops are the main trio of ingredients that shine in this recipe. It is a winning combination. The asparagus and peas provide additional texture as well as being the vegetable component.
- Simple ingredients: everything you need to make this scallop and asparagus risotto recipe will be readily available at your local grocery store. They are year round ingredients and easy to get your hands on.
- Comfort food: we have got butter, garlic, wine and cheese listed in the ingredients. They combine to create a creamy parmesan risotto delivering all kinds of sophisticated togetherness 😉👍.
- Family friendly: I know very few people who don't like cheesy rice dishes. There is also not so much wine involved that you have to worry about the kids getting on it. Did I already mention that they will ask you to make it again and again! 😉👍.
- Taste and texture: there is a lot of lovely textures in this recipe from the succulent scallops to the crisp asparagus and juicy peas. Every mouthful provides an array of diversity that your tastebuds will love.
- Aromatic and fragrant: fresh scallops are a wonderful ingredient to cook with that make you want to do them justice! The supporting act of ingredients help them shine their very best and brightest.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Olive oil: we use the oil when cooking the onion and garlic. It plus the butter is the starting point in creating the risotto base.
- Garlic: we fry a little garlic off in the pan when cooking the onion. You can use minced garlic, 2 cloves of fresh garlic or chunky chopped garlic like you see in the photo above.
- Salt and pepper: we use salt and a little bit of black pepper for seasoning when cooking the scallops.
- Butter: we use butter both to cook the scallops and to combine with the oil when cooking the garlic and onion.
- White wine: the wine adds additional flavor to the recipe and is another liquid absorbed by the rice. A dry white wine is recommend over a sweet white.
- Parmesan cheese: freshly grated using a micro plane zester is best.
- Onion: we peel and finely dice ½ a medium sized onion.
- Butter: the 2nd amount of butter gets added to the pan when we are adding the oil to cook the garlic and onion.
- Asparagus: fresh baby asparagus spears are what you can see in the photo above. We simply trim the ends and then chop them into thirds.
- Scallops: you will be able to get these from the delicatessen section of the supermarket or your fish monger. We want sea scallops with the roe and shell removed.
- Peas: we use 1 cup of frozen peas in the recipe. These combined with the asparagus add extra flavor and texture to the risotto.
- Arborio rice: this is a special type of risotto rice which is known for being able to absorb liquids. You will find it where the other rice is at the shops and it will be labelled Arborio rice or risotto rice.
- Chicken stock: also known as chicken broth. This liquid gets absorbed by the risotto rice during the cooking process.
Tasty Tip: I like to provide you with a number of substitutions and variations giving you an array of options when making my recipes. If in doubt of any of the above ingredients, or wanting alternatives, read this section (further below) before jumping into the instructions on how to make the recipe which are coming next 😉👌.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by cooking the scallops.
- Add scallops, butter, salt and pepper (Photo 1)
- Then add butter, oil, garlic and onion (Photo 2)
- Add the arborio rice (Photo 3)
- Add the white wine (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Scallop Risotto
Start to make the scallop risotto by placing a large sauté pan onto the stove top. Turn the heat to high and add the butter (1st lot) scallops, salt and pepper.
Cook the scallops for 3-4 minutes (their surface will turn golden brown when they are done) then flip to the other side and cook this side for 3-4 minutes also. Once the scallops are cooked and have the perfect sear on both sides, you can use a slotted turner to lift them up and out of the pan. Place them onto a plate with a couple of sheets of paper towel.
Next add the 2nd lot of butter, followed by the oil, onion and garlic. Stir, mixing these together and let them cook for 1 minute.
Next add the risotto rice and stir, allowing this to get coated in the oil and butter mixture.
Then pour in the white wine and continue to stir.
Next slowly add the stock and stir, allow it to slightly absorb before adding more of it.
- Add the chicken stock (Photo 5)
- Then add the peas (Photo 6)
- Add the asparagus (Photo 7)
- Then add the parmesan cheese (Photo 8)
After adding the chicken broth, add the frozen peas to the pan and stir to allow them to defrost. Once they have, add the asparagus and stir to allow it to soften. The remaining broth will continue to be absorbed as the vegetables cook.
Next add the parmesan cheese like you see me doing in the photo above. The risotto will take on a creamy consistency as the cheese melts and the rice continues to absorb the liquids.
- Add the scallops back and garnish (Photo 9)
Once the parmesan has melted and the risotto rice has absorbed the liquids in the pan add the cooked scallops back to the pan and allow them to heat through.
When they have sprinkle some freshly grated parmesan cheese over the top of the dish and give it a touch up with a little bit of black pepper 😉👌.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
For wine pairings, try a chilled glass of rose or for white wine a pinot gris.
Otherwise you will likely find that this is a filling and satisfying recipe, a meal in one that will go down a treat 😁👌.
Perfect for date night, a special occasion, a romantic dinner for valentine's day or simple just because, it is going to tick a lot of your boxes (and then some 😁👌).
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftovers of the risotto in a sealed, airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The leftovers need to be reheated before being consumed.
How to Freeze
You can freeze portions of the risotto but if wanting to do so, I would omit the scallops. They are best cooked and consumed fresh. You can choose to then thaw the risotto and then sear the scallops and add them when it comes to eating the meal.
How to Reheat
You can heat leftovers in a bowl with cling wrap for 2 minutes on high or till heated through.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- You can use pecorino romano cheese in place of the parmesan cheese if you wish too (equivalent amount).
- If you want to use regular asparagus in place of the baby asparagus you can.
- For alternatives to the peas and asparagus you can use sliced porcini mushrooms, king oyster mushrooms or sweet peas with the ends trimmed.
- You can omit the 2nd amount of butter if there is enough left in the pan after cooking the scallops that has not been absorbed.
- If you want to add another vegetable some sliced mushrooms will work well and can be added when you add the asparagus.
- You can use veggie broth in place of the chicken broth and if you want to omit the wine add the equivalent (½ cup) of additional vegetable broth in its place.
- For additional protein you can cook and add some bacon when cooking the scallops.
- If you want a fresh herb to garnish the dish some finely chopped parsley will work well.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- The scallops can be quiet delicate, so we need to be a little bit gentle when we are working with them. Tongs or a slotted turner are helpful to use when handling them.
- It is also best to ensure that they are placed into the pan in a single layer so that they each get a chance to sear without overlapping the other scallops.
- We don't want to add all of the stock in at one go. Rather, we want to pour it in slowly and let it start to be absorbed by the rice before we add more and more.
- Risottos are notoriously known for needing stirring. Whilst they don't need constant stirring, it is a good idea to use a wooden spoon to keep things moving in the pan. This process helps the liquids to absorb as well as ensuring that the risotto stays consistently mixed together and doesn't stick to the base of the pan.
- If you love making risotto or rice based dishes you might also like the Steak Risotto, Prawn Risotto or the Shrimp And Chicken Fried Rice 😁👌.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
What to pair with scallop risotto?
A chilled rose or crisp pinot gris is an excellent wine pairing for scallop risotto.
Should scallops be soaked before cooking?
There is no need to soak the scallops before cooking them.
Is it better to cook scallops in butter or oil?
Scallops can be cooked in either butter or oil whichever is your preference.
😍 More Easy Dinner Recipes
Here are some more ideas to get your dinners to the table in an easy manner and filled with variety. These recipes have different proteins, cooking methods and times:
- Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta
- Thai Minced Pork
- Chicken Pesto Linguine
- Chorizo Pasta Bake
- Spinach and Feta Pizza
- Mince Pasta Bake
- Salmon Linguine
- Air Fryer Tortilla Pizza
- 2 tablespoon butter unsalted, Note 1
- 12 scallops Note 2
- ¼ teaspoon salt Note 3
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoon butter Note 4
- 2 tablespoon olive oil Note 5
- ½ large brown onion skin peeled and finely chopped, Note 6
- 1 tablespoon garlic chunky chopped garlic, minced or 2 fresh garlic cloves finely diced, Note 7
- 2 cups arborio rice Note 8
- ½ cup/125 ml white wine Note 9
- 4 cups/1 litre chicken stock (broth) Note 10
- 1 cup frozen peas Note 11
- 2 bunches baby asparagus ends trimmed, cut into thirds, Note 12
- ½ cup parmesan cheese freshly grated using a micro plane zester, Note 13
To Garnish (optional):
- black pepper
- pecorino romano cheese
- Scallops: add the butter (1st lot), scallops, salt and pepper and cook the scallops for 3-4 minutes per side.
- Butter and oil: next without rinsing or cleaning the pan, add the 2nd lot of butter, the olive oil, garlic and onion. Stir to combine and let this mixture cook for 1 minute.
- Rice: next add the arborio rice to the hot pan and stir to allow this to get coated in the butter and oil mixture. Once it has, pour in the white wine and stir to allow it to mix in.
- Chicken stock: next gradually add the chicken stock to the pan, continuing to stir and allowing it to slightly absorb before adding more of it.
- Peas, asparagus and parmesan: next add the frozen peas to the pan and stir, allowing them to defrost and thaw before heating through. Once the peas are cooked (1-2 minutes), add the asparagus, give it a stir to mix it in and allow it to soften (1-2 minutes) then add the parmesan cheese and stir till it is consistently mixed into the risotto.
- Scallops: next add the cooked scallops back to the pan and allow them to heat through.
- To serve: once the scallops have heated through, turn the heat off, give the dish a generous sprinkling with freshly grated parmesan cheese, a touch of black pepper, provide bowls, forks and spoons then head to the table.
- Note 1 - Butter: we use butter both to cook the scallops and to combine with the oil when cooking the garlic and onion.
- Note 2 - Scallops: you will be able to get these from the delicatessen section of the supermarket or your fish monger. We want scallops with the roe and shell removed. Depending on the size of the scallops, you may want to increase this amount. If using small scallops 24 will work and each person will get 6 scallops. for smaller portions or less scallops per person 12 is the recommended starting point.
- Note 3 - Salt and pepper: we use salt and a little bit of black pepper for seasoning when cooking the scallops.
- Note 4 - Butter: the 2nd amount of butter gets added to the pan when we are adding the oil to cook the garlic and onion.
- Note 5 - Olive oil: we use the oil when cooking the onion and garlic. It plus the butter is the starting point in creating the risotto base.
- Note 6 - Onion: we peel and finely dice ½ a medium sized onion.
- Note 7 - Garlic: we fry a little garlic off on the pan when cooking the onion.
- Note 8 - Arborio rice: this is a special type of risotto rice which is known for being able to absorb liquids. You will find it where the other rice is at the shops and it will be labelled Arborio rice or risotto rice.
- Note 9 - White wine: the wine adds additional flavor to the recipe and is another liquid absorbed by the rice.
- Note 10 - Chicken stock: also known as chicken broth. This liquid gets absorbed by the risotto rice during the cooking process.
- Note 11 - Peas: we use 1 cup of frozen peas in the recipe. We add these 'frozen' to the risotto and let them defrost and cook in the hot pan.
- Note 12 - Asparagus: fresh baby asparagus spears are what you can see in the photo throughout the post. We simply trim the ends and then chop them into thirds.
- Note 13 - Parmesan cheese: freshly grated using a micro plane zester is best.