Scallops and Veggies

This dish is easy and healthy, and a nice change from all of the heavy meals typically served during the holidays. It’s simply seared sea scallops on top of layers of vegetables. What could be better!! So, here’s the recipe.

Scallops and Veggies
Serves 2 hearty eaters, or 4

1 medium-sized spaghetti squash, baked
1 pound sea scallops, of uniform size
2 leeks, white part only
Olive oil
1 large purple onion, sliced
2 red bell peppers, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper
Butter, for the scallops
Cayenne pepper flakes

Bake the squash using this recipe. Then, after it’s cooled down, use a fork and scrape out all of the strands of spaghetti squash onto a serving platter; keep it warm.


Rinse the scallops, and place them on paper towels to dry off; set aside.


The next step is to clean the leeks. Leeks grow in soil, so they always contain dirt and silt that you need to avoid.


Slice the white ends cross-wise. Place them in a medium bowl and fill the bowl with water. Separate the rings of leeks so that any silt sinks to the bottom of the bowl. Then remove the leeks from the water and place them on paper towels to dry.

Using a large skillet or work, heat the oil over high heat, and add the red peppers and onion when it’s hot. Allow some caramelization, then reduce the heat slightly to cook the vegetables through. Add a little salt and pepper, then place them over the cooked spaghetti squash. Keep warm.

Add a couple more tablespoons of oil and using the same technique, caramelize and then cook the leeks. Add a little salt and pepper, then place the leeks over the red bell pepper and onions.

Switch to a clean, flat skillet to cook the scallops, which should be completely dry. Add about 1 tablespoon of oil, and 1 tablespoon of butter and heat over high heat. The butter will brown, which only adds flavor.

Sear half of the scallops in the oil and butter mixture, for at least one minute. Then turn them over using tongs and sear the other side. Make sure to also season them with salt and pepper, and even garlic pepper if you so desire.

Turn down the heat a little if you feel they’re not completely cook through. Place them on a plate, and continue with the remaining scallops.

When you’re ready to serve, make sure your vegetables are still warm, then top them with the scallops.

Serve from the platter, making sure every serving includes squash, peppers, onions, leeks, and scallops.


I love cayenne pepper flakes on this dish, and you can also offer Sriracha for extra spiciness!


I have also smothered the cooked scallops in chile paste before, and you could always create a sauce with a Thai curry paste for an alternative flavor profile.


But even straight forward, with salt and pepper, the scallop on the vegetables, all cooked to perfection, creates a fabulous dish!

I served this dish with an Albariño, and it was a lovely combination.

note: I could imagine this dish with also lovely sausages or grilled shrimp!

By Published On: November 24th, 201545 Comments on Scallops and Veggies

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. talkavino November 24, 2015 at 7:13 AM - Reply

    This is one delicious plate of food, Chef Mimi! Love the combination of veggies and I can also easily see this dish with sausages or shrimp.

    • chef mimi November 24, 2015 at 7:32 AM - Reply

      It’s really good with the chile paste, too, but I realized I was out! Quelle horror!

  2. Cecile November 24, 2015 at 7:27 AM - Reply

    Love this recipe – I’ve already Pinned it. And I am sooo in love with your photo of this dish with the small pumpkins and the glass of wine – FABULOUS my friend!! ; o )

    • chef mimi November 24, 2015 at 7:33 AM - Reply

      Thank you so much!!! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  3. Linda November 24, 2015 at 7:28 AM - Reply

    Love this tower of veggies and scallops!! Looks delicious :)

    • chef mimi November 24, 2015 at 7:34 AM - Reply

      I especially love the dish spicy. And my husband actually ate the vegetables as a side dish! (He hates scallops, he thinks!)

      • Linda November 24, 2015 at 9:34 AM

        They are funny – not trying something to see if they even like it! My hubby does that when I make something he thinks is ‘strange’ (meaning healthy!) :)

      • chef mimi November 24, 2015 at 12:15 PM

        yeah, i have a long list of foods to avoid, but he’s eve eaten lamb and never realized it…

      • Linda November 24, 2015 at 3:55 PM

        Too true..we can sneak some things into them without them know it! :)

  4. chef mimi November 24, 2015 at 7:32 AM - Reply

    Thank you Mandy! Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. lulu November 24, 2015 at 11:44 AM - Reply

    As a new fan of spaghetti squash, I can’t wait to try this.

  6. Our Growing Paynes November 24, 2015 at 12:06 PM - Reply

    Such a colourful dish! And I like the tip for cleaning leeks.

  7. Kim Bultman November 24, 2015 at 1:50 PM - Reply

    Mimi, yes! (I was nodding my head in agreement the whole time I read your post.) After potatoes and gravy, stuffing, and assorted side dishes (not to mention the holiday “main” and dessert to boot), this meal is the perfect, spectacular “ahhhhhh.” I love your 2nd to last photo (3rd to last?) with that one crowning scallop on top of all this veggie healthiness! Thanks for something to look forward to between Thanksgiving and Christmas — and Happy Thanksgiving to YOU!

  8. emmabarrett1508 November 24, 2015 at 3:35 PM - Reply

    Wow Mimi. This looks delicious. You should be a world famous chef! xx

    • chef mimi November 24, 2015 at 5:39 PM - Reply

      Ha! Such a compliment, even though I wouldn’t want to be anyone famous!!!

  9. DanielaApostol November 24, 2015 at 4:21 PM - Reply

    Healthy and delicious! The photos are lovely, l get hungry looking at them 😊

  10. ChgoJohn November 24, 2015 at 8:11 PM - Reply

    Now this is the way to prepare — and photography — a plate of vegetables. Frankly, I would have been very satisfied with just the vegetables. This is the start of the holidays, however, and if ever there was a time to gild the lily, this be it. Bring on the perfectly seared scallops!

  11. Jeff the Chef November 24, 2015 at 10:09 PM - Reply

    Brilliant! That dish looks absolutely delicious! I love scallops and veggies and have never had them with squash – but now I can’t wait to! Thanks for the recipe.

    • chef mimi November 25, 2015 at 8:02 AM - Reply

      Texturally it’s really a wonderful dish!

  12. Heather @ Sweet Precision November 25, 2015 at 7:41 AM - Reply

    Oh goodness, scallops are hands down one of my favorite things to eat! It took me a while to figure out how to cook them properly so they don’t end up rubbery (ick). This dish of your looks divine! I agree, it’s nice to have something light and refreshing to mix things up from all the heavy holiday meals.

  13. chef mimi November 25, 2015 at 8:03 AM - Reply

    I know. I got to eat all of mine, cause my husband won’t eat them!!!

  14. chef mimi November 25, 2015 at 8:04 AM - Reply

    I would prefer them undercooked, rather than overcooked. But they are delicious!

  15. Julie is Hostess At Heart November 25, 2015 at 9:08 AM - Reply

    What a beautiful dish! This dish looks like it came from a 4 star restaurant.

    • chef mimi November 25, 2015 at 9:09 AM - Reply

      Aren’t you sweet? Thank you! Happy Thanksgiving!

  16. elderjscott November 25, 2015 at 9:14 AM - Reply

    Yum! My husband loves scallops so we’ll have to try this one. Also, I love that we use the same method of cleaning leeks :) Such a great alternative to typical onions.

    • chef mimi November 25, 2015 at 9:19 AM - Reply

      I know, they’re so much sweeter! Try the scallops with the chile paste! or not. either way, it’s a wonderful and healthy dish. Although it’s hard to stop eating…

  17. SweetRevelations November 25, 2015 at 7:22 PM - Reply

    This is gorgeous Mimi!

  18. StefanGourmet November 26, 2015 at 3:41 PM - Reply

    Looks great, Mimi. I love scallops.

  19. chef mimi November 27, 2015 at 2:01 PM - Reply

    Thank you so much!

  20. David Scott Allen November 28, 2015 at 8:17 AM - Reply

    After all the heavy Thanksgiving foods of this weekend, this dish looks like manna from heaven! I love scallops and the combination with the sweet vegetables you chose is wonderful. Can’t what to try it!

    • chef mimi November 29, 2015 at 5:27 PM - Reply

      Thank you – the combination of all the ingredients is really magical!

  21. November 28, 2015 at 4:24 PM - Reply

    Yes, to all of those veggies and seafood! I will sub the scallops for shrimp – my favorite!

    • chef mimi November 29, 2015 at 5:26 PM - Reply

      That would be a lovely combination as well!

  22. Memorie di Angelina (@franfajr) November 29, 2015 at 10:53 AM - Reply

    Just goes to show eating light doesn’t mean giving up flavor.

  23. chef mimi December 7, 2015 at 7:41 AM - Reply

    Oh, it is tasty

  24. Peter - The Roaming GastroGnome December 11, 2015 at 11:50 AM - Reply

    love scallops! now i want some.

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