On Seared Scallops with Pea and Pesto Orzo

Dear readers,

SEAFOOD DOUBLE FEATURE!!! That’s right, you get TWO recipes this week because I was in over my head and didn’t get my act completely together. This time though, you get one of my FAVORITE pieces of seafood: Scallops!

What was different for me this time cooking them was I actually had a non-stick skillet to use. Normally I would cook them in my normal copper skillets/pans and no matter how much oil or butter I ensured was on the bottom, they would stick. The non-sticks have changed my cooking game completely, and that might just seem…basic, but considering I’ve gone about 4 or so years without owning a non-stick, I mean, you tend to forget why they’re essential in a kitchen to begin with. No sticking, no abusing my scallops, just a perfect sear. Paired with a little leftover breakfast bacon and a pesto orzo with peas – what better way to start to close out summer?

P.S. Don’t forget that you can order cookies from me directly from my Cookie Order Page on this very same blog! (Yes, shameless plug, but I need to keep pushing it!)

Hoping you are safe and well!

— Cooking Maggie

On Seared Scallops with Pea and Pesto Orzo

Serves 3-4


For the Scallops

  • 1 lb scallops (frozen or fresh – if frozen thaw)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper to season

For the Pea & Pesto Orzo

  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 garlic cloves or 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 bunch of parsley, large/bottom stems removed
  • 1 small packet of basil, large stems removed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (and more for adjusting consistency)
  • 1/4 cup grated parm cheese (more for topping)
  • 1 tsp salt (more to taste)
  • 1 tsp black pepper (more to taste)


  1. Pea & Pesto Orzo: Make the pesto by placing the garlic, parsley, basil, olive oil, parm cheese, salt, & pepper into a food processor. Add more olive oil to get desired consistency, and more salt/pepper to taste. Bring a large sauce pot (not a stock pot) of generously salted water to boil, then add in your orzo and cook for 9 minutes or until al dente. Drain well, then add your pasta back into your sauce pan, and over low heat, add the pesto and peas, stirring occasionally till peas are warmed through. Set aside til ready to serve.
  2. Scallops: While your pasta is cooking, pat dry your scallops, season each side with salt and pepper. In a large non-stick pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat, then add in your scallops and cook each side till they are golden brown (about 1-2 minutes each side depending on the size of your scallops). Once cooked through, remove from pan onto a clean plate.
  3. Serve: Put a good scoop of the pesto orzo on the plate. Top with a little more parm, then top THAT with 3-4 scallops. Sprinkle with bacon if you so choose (I had leftover bacon from BLTs).

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