Pesto Stuffed Scallops

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pesto stuffed scallops I can honestly say I went a bit overboard in planting basil this year so I’ve been very busy making lots of pesto, but to me nothing tastes better than fresh homemade pesto! Every time I’ve bought pesto from a store I was so disappointed, it’s either way too garlicky or has a weird fake taste, so I prefer to make my own. Homemade pesto is so easy to make yourself and you can whip up a huge batch because it freezes perfectly. Just think how nice it would be to pull out a container of your pesto in the dead of winter and plop a dollop in a nice bowl of hot soup.

I also use it on my eggs, frittatas, grilled veggies, fresh tomatoes, meats, crostini, pastas and I especially love it with fish of all kinds. Have you ever tried smearing pesto on top of a beautiful piece of salmon and then baking it? It’s so flavorful, moist and delicious! I also love it on grilled shrimp and scallops. Here’s my pesto recipe.

I never thought of actually stuffing a scallop with pesto until I came across an article that Mark Bittman wrote which gave me the inspiration to make my own and another good excuse to use my homemade pesto.

pesto stuffed scallops It’s ridiculously simple to do, but you must use the large sea scallops and not the small bay ones. Just take a sharp knife and make a horizontal slit in the middle being very careful not to cut all the way through, you want your scallop butterflied, then put a small teaspoon of pesto inside. Salt and pepper your scallops then place them into a saute pan ( not a non stick)  that’s been heated on medium heat with a little olive oil. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side being careful when your turning them over. That’s it!

pesto stuffed scallops I placed mine into a pool of warm roasted red pepper sauce, but you could also use a light marinara sauce just as well. The flavor combination is dynamic!

pesto stuffed scallops

I served this as a main course with fresh green beans and summer corn but it would also be wonderful as an appetizer to start off your meal.

It’s simple, healthy, quick to make and the summery basil pesto takes it right over the top! Now pour a glsss of cold Sauvignon Blanc and you’re good to go!


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  1. Never saw this type of recipe before – Would love to try since I just made a bounty of pesto!
    Question — why not use a non-stick? Also – can you share the red pepper sauce recipe? Thanks for providing cooking inspiration!

  2. I did this years ago and had forgotten all about it….delicious – right?

  3. I also free pesto for year round enjoyment. It’s amazing how much pesto I get from 8 basil plants! I will be doing this – we’re in fish mode for the summer – no carbs – lots of veggies and lean protein. Perfect for our new way of eating!

  4. WOW! Thia looks amazing – and a lovely tribute to Italia, too!

  5. I wish hard copies of the e-books were available. They would make excellent gifts.

  6. I love a dish having the Italian colors! I looks simply delicious. Sometimes I’ve been disappointed in scallops but these look extra tasty. We, too, have a lot of basil which I think is great. We’ve been picking it and using it in bouquets and as a salad dressing. Now I need to find out how to make a perfume out of it 🙂

  7. Such a beautiful dish!

  8. I also never thought to stuff a sea scallop, Marie–nice idea and it looks so appetizing!

  9. Simple, beautiful and so original. Never thought of stuffing scallops before.

  10. What a beautiful dish.

  11. Oh boy Marie – You make my mouth water with those huge scallops filled with pesto. It’s another great way to use it that I’d never thought of. Those photos – wow – the light perfectly captures the gorgeous browning on the top of the scallops.

  12. I love sea scallops! I never ever have thought of stuffing them. Great idea!

  13. What a great idea!
    I wish we were scallop lovers, because there are so many beautifully simple scallop recipes like this one.
    I will make it anyway, and eat just one! I just made a batch of pesto.
    Glad you are back in the kitchen!


  1. […] at this blog called Proud Italian Cook. This woman makes these gorgeous dishes. I recently made her Pesto Stuffed Scallops for dinner. The Mister claimed he would pay $20 for this dish. He claimed it was restaurant […]

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