Recipe: Pan Seared Scallops with Orzo Piccata

An easy weeknight dinner that's fancy enough for weekend company—buon appetito!

By: MaryAnn Dwyer, The Beach House Kitchen



  • 1 1/4 lb. (about 16) sea scallops
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Orzo Piccata

  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • fresh chopped parsley for garnish, if desired


  1. Scallops: Blot scallops with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan over high heat. Carefully add scallops when oil is hot, making sure scallops are not touching each other. Sear scallops for 1 1/2-2 minutes on each side. Do not move or flip until bottom is golden brown. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook 5 minutes until softened and translucent, stirring often. Add garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute. Add orzo and cook for 2-3 minutes until lightly toasted, stirring until well combined.
  3. Add wine and bring to a boil. Cook until almost all wine is evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add 2 1/2 cups stock, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until pasta is tender and broth is mostly absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and capers. Divide orzo among 4 dishes and top with about 4 scallops per plate. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley. Serves four people.


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