Scallop Pasta with Tomatoes and Capers

Seared scallop pasta is a quick and easy to make meal when you don’t have a lot of time. Made with blistered tomatoes, capers and shallots this pasta and bursting with flavor. 

I love a great pasta especially ones that don’t take a lot of time, are easy to make and are packed with flavor. This dish checks all of the boxes. What I love about this is that if you don’t happen to have any scallops you can swap them out for chicken or shrimp and it still tastes amazing. It is a great recipe for those on the go or that don’t have a lot of time to cook. 

In this recipe

One of the best parts about this recipe is that you should be able to get ahold of all of these ingredients pretty easily at your general grocery store. 

Scallops: you want to use large scallops to get a good sear however you if there are only small scallops available then use those but they will only require about a minute to cook. 

Cherry tomatoes: these are the prefect size for the pasta and when the burst release the perfect about liquid to give a very flavorful and light sauce. 

Capers: will add a tang and saltiness to the dish. 

Ingredients for scallop pasta on a wooden cutting board
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Getting the perfect sear

When it is time to cook the scallops you want to make sure that you pat them dry first. Gently press down on the scallops with a paper towel to remove the excess water. You want to do this because as the scallops cook they will shrink slightly and release the water inside. This will steam the shallots and prevent them from getting that nice sear you expect. Then make sure the pan and the oil are hot before adding them to the pan. It will only take about 2-3 minutes per side based on hot big they are are. 

Chopped chives, garlic, shallots and capers in bowls
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Seared scallops on a plate
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Tomatoes and butter in a pan
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Blistered tomatoes, garlic, shallots, and capers in a pan
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Scallop pasta sauce

This is a very simple and light sauce. It consists of butter, lemon juice, and tomatoes to make up the bulk of the sauce. The parmesan cheese and the pasta water are going to help smooth it out and give it a nice texture. It is important to make sure that once the tomatoes start bursting you add the shallots and capers. You don’t want all of the liquid from the tomatoes to cook out. Once you add the pasta add the parmesan cheese and pasta water to coat all of the pasta.

A white bowl with scallop pasta
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Keep some pasta water

When the pasta cooks it will release starch in the water and this is a great ingredient for making a nice smooth sauce that clings to the pasta. Even when making a ragu or another other sauce a little pasta water goes a long way. By cooking pasta in a smaller amount of water you will increase the amount of starch in the water. Another thing you want to be mindful of is not adding too much salt to the pasta water. It will throw of the salt balance in your food. 

A serving of scallop pasta in a white bowl
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Look for other scallop recipes?

A bowl of scallop pasta
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Scallop Pasta with Tomatoes and Capers

Seared scallops on a bed of linguine with blistered tomatoes and capers.
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 430 kcal


  • Skillet
  • Saucepan
  • Colander
  • Plate
  • Bowl


  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pound sea scallops large
  • ½ pound linguine
  • 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • tablespoons capers
  • 1 tablespoon shallots chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chives chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • In a saucepan bring salted water to a boil.
  • While the water is heating in a skillet heat the oil on medium high heat. Add the shallots and cook 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from the heat, place on a plate and cover to keep warm.
  • Once the shallots are done cook the pasta according to the time on the package but reduce by one minute. Reserve about a cup of pasta water and drain the pasta in a colander.
  • Wipe out the skillet and heat the tomatoes and butter over medium heat. Cook until the tomatoes start to burst and then add the shallots and capers. Cook for a minute and add the garlic.
  • Add the pasta back to the pan with the parmesan cheese and lemon zest. Toss to evenly coat the past adding ¼ cup of the starchy pasta water to make a smooth sauce.
  • Add the scallops, chives, and lemon juice. Place into a serving bowl of your choice.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 430kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 23gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 722mgPotassium: 650mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 797IUVitamin C: 31mgCalcium: 43mgIron: 2mg
Nutrition Disclaimer*
Keyword 30 min meals, Linguine, Seared Scallops
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scallop pasta Pinterest pin
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17 thoughts on “Scallop Pasta with Tomatoes and Capers”

  1. 5 stars
    What a delicious combo, I love cooking with scallops because they cook so fast so dinner is a breeze. This recipe was easy and delicious. I love the adding of the lemon juice.

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe looks really tasty and pretty easy to make as well. I am a big fan of scallops and like how they are incorporated into this recipe as well.

  3. 5 stars
    Every bite of this was incredible! The scallops with the tomatoes and capers were delicious in this pasta dish.

  4. 5 stars
    What a simple, yet impressive pasta dish this is! I am loving all the flavors happening here- the tartness from the lemon, the brininess from the capers, the sweetness from the scallops and tomatoes. 🙂

  5. It’s been far too long since I’ve had scallops and I love them tossed with pasta. Looks like a delicious and comforting meal. Great tips..I never remember to save some of the pasta water that’s my big mistake sometimes so definitely will keep a note of it!

  6. 5 stars
    Scallops are my absolute favorite type of shellfish and when paired with acidic tomatoes and briny capers they are even more delicious. I’ll be making this recipe a LOT because it’s just that good.

  7. 5 stars
    Who needs to go out to dinner when you can make gourmet meals like this right in your own kitchen? Perfect for date night with hubby. Just add wine and enjoy! I love the combination of seafood and pasta.

5 from 10 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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