Cheap and Easy, Garlic and Creamy SCALLOPS! With White Wine Risotto

[Be a little shellfish. Get yourself some SCALLOPS! for dinner]


SCALLOPS! don’t look like seafood. They’re milky white, squishy, and circular.

SCALLOPS! don’t taste like seafood. They’re creamy, silky even.

And yet, SCALLOPS! are a form of shellfish specifically called a mollusk—which includes snails, clams, and squids—and have soft bodies enclosed in hard shells.

So, yeah, seafood.

Just read Wayne Curtis’ article about SCALLOPS!. He’s even more enthusiastic than I am! He refers to them as “‘simply little lumps of deliciously flavored meat’ with the added bonus that ‘they have no organs.'” Well put, Wayne.

History lesson aside, SCALLOPS! usually cost you your whole wallet when you go out to eat. So save yourself some cash money and make these goodies yourself.

This recipe for cheap and easy, garlic and creamy SCALLOPS! comes with an additional recipe for white wine risotto. That’s because the squishy SCALLOPS! soak up the cream and garlic and leave you with a lingering taste of cayenne pepper, while the white wine risotto absorbs the extra juices perfectly.

Recipe for Cheap and Easy, Garlic and Creamy SCALLOPS! with White Wine Risotto

*Source: my awesome co-worker Arielle, who uses Rasa Malaysia’s recipe

Servings: 2 humans (3 if you aren’t that hungry)

Difficulty: If you can sear stuff, you’re good to go.

Time: 20 minutes for just the SCALLOPS! or 30 minutes for both risotto and SCALLOPS!


*Note: if you want to make this a complete meal, I highly recommend roasting some asparagus to compliment the seafood and carbo-load of risotto. Here’s a quick asparagus recipe!

For the Risotto

  • 1 box risotto (I used Lundberg Traditional Italian Garlic Primavera, but left out the seasoning pouch)
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3-4 cracks of salt
  • 3-4 cracks of black pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)


  • 1 lb natural scallops
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white wine or Japanese cooking sake (I used white wine)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 slice lemon wedges (quartered, if you aren’t as lazy as I am)


Get Going with the Risotto

  1. Rice, rice baby. Grab a medium-sized pot, throw in the risotto rice and olive oil. Crank up the heat to medium and let those kernels sizzle for two minutes. Once they smell nice and toasty, you’re ready for the next step.

    scallops 10
    Look at those little kernels!
  2. Water and wine time. It sounds weird, but I always use white wine when making risotto. The risotto box will tell you to use all water, but just ignore it. Add 1 cup white wine and 1 1/2 cups water. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT use the seasoning pouch that comes with the box of risotto. Crack some salt and pepper into the pot and stir those little kernels around. Bring to a boil! scallops 9
  3. Simmer down now. Reduce heat to a simmer and let the risotto cook (uncovered) for 20 minutes.

*Note: get started on the scallops at this point!

  1. Don’t forget to hydrate! As is customary with cooking risotto, you may need to add more liquid the more the risotto cooks. If it starts looking dry, try adding some heavy whipping cream. This will make the flavor even richer!

*Note: I used about 1-2 tablespoons of cream, but this entirely depends on how much you feel like using. If you don’t want to use cream, then just use water or wine.

  1. (Optional) Be super cheesy. If you really want to pack in some more flavor, you can add some grated parmesan once the risotto is done cooking. Just add that cheesiness, cover the risotto, and put the pot to the side.

Start the SCALLOPS!

  1. Tis the season. No, not the Christmas season. Tis the season to season your seafood! Rinse the SCALLOPS!, then pat them dry with paper towels. Crack some salt and pepper over the mollusks and mix. scallops 8
  2. Be Searious. Grab a large skillet or non-stick pan. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Crank the heat up to high. Once it’s nice and hot (and I mean, REALLY hot) add the SCALLOPS! and sear on both sides until they are nicely browned. BUT DO NOT OVERCOOK. No one wants rubbery tasting SCALLOPS! Once done, remove from pan and set aside.

*Note: It should only take 2-3 minutes per side to sear your SCALLOPS!

  1. Stay saucy. Either clean your SCALLOPS pan or grab another large skillet and add the minced garlic and a little olive oil and sauté until it smells yummy. Then add the cream, water, white wine, salt, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a simmer and until the sauce gets thicker.
  2. Shell it out … once you like the consistency of the sauce (it shouldn’t be too watery), add the SCALLOPS! to the pan, plus the fresh parsley and lemon wedges. Turn off the heat and EAT ASAP with the white wine risotto. Don’t let those suckers get cold.

*Note: I was being cheap and lazy and didn’t add the lemon wedges. That was a mistake! You should add them and ignore any cheap or lazy impulses you may have.

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Serving Suggestions

If you want to add more flavor to your meal, add the extra SCALLOPS! sauce from the pan to your risotto. It’ll soak up all the juices and be delicious. Sure, it’ll be a bit runnier than normal risotto, but it’s all about that sauce.

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Quick Clean Up

Soak the risotto pot immediately after using it, so by the time you’re done eating it has had time to loosen up. You’ll feel a lot more chill as well.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Get your extra fancy scallops!! Here they are.

Sea scallops swim? They jump, too!

Looking for Halloween-themed scallops? You know I have a recipe for that. CLICKS.