Seared Scallops Over Mashed Cauliflower

Pan seared scallops drizzled with basil pesto over mashed garlic-y cauliflower makes for the perfect light dinner!

I made this light and delicious meal for our 2 year wedding anniversary last week. It was so easy to make but felt like such a fancy dinner! It’s perfect for at home date-night.

Those of you blessed with living on the coast, it’ll definitely be easy to find some quality scallops. Here in Texas, I buy the atlantic scallops at Central Market.

pan seared scallops

For the cauli mash, you really only need a few ingredients and either a food processor or high powered blender. Trader Joe’s has a really good frozen mashed cauliflower if you want to go the easy route.. no judgment, I make theirs all the time πŸ˜‰ Same with the pesto, you can make your own or obviously buy some pre-made at any grocery store!

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Seared Scallops Over Mashed Cauliflower




1 lb. large sea scallops

12 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Cauliflower Mash

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets

2 tbsp olive oil

23 tsp minced garlic

2 tbsp grated parmesan, optional

salt and pepper to taste

Pesto Drizzle

1/2 cup basil, packed tightly

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp minced garlic

1/2 lemon, juiced

2 tbsp pine nuts

1 tbsp grated parmesan, optional

salt to taste


First, make your pesto by blending or processing in a food processor all the pesto ingredients. Cover and chill until ready to use.

Next prepare your mashed cauliflower by bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and cook for 8-10 minutes or until tender.

Drain the cauliflower and pat it dry.

Add 2 tbsp olive oil to a skillet over medium heat and add 2 tsp minced garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until it’s fragrant, stirring occasionally. Add olive oil and garlic to the food processor or a high powered blender (you may have to do it in batches) along with the drained cauliflower, parmesan, salt and pepper.

Process/blend until its smooth and creamy. Set aside.

Pat dry your scallops and season both sides with a pinch of salt and pepper.

In a large non-stick skillet, add 1-2 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add the scallops in a single layer, preferably without crowding them. Cook on one side without touching for about 2 minutes, flip and reduce heat to medium and cook the other side for another 2 minutes or until they’re cooked through (depending on size). They should have a slightly golden crust.

Serve scallops over mashed cauliflower (heat the mashed cauliflower up if it’s not warm anymore)

Drizzle with pesto (I like to heat mine up) to taste. You’ll probably have some leftover pesto, cover and refrigerate it for another time.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

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    THis was so good! We did garlic mashed potatoes instead of cauli mash, but the pesto and scallop flavor combo was bomb. Thanks!