Seared Sea Scallops With Creamy Grits

Scallops and grits
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Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
393 Calories
31g Fat
13g Carbs
18g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 393
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 40%
Saturated Fat 18g 91%
Cholesterol 112mg 37%
Sodium 1654mg 72%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 18g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 45mg 3%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 318mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe combines two southern favorites—grits and Cajun or Creole seasoning—with sea scallops.

Cooking the grits takes the longest, therefore start with them to make sure they are ready at the same time as the scallops. Grits can be kept warm but scallops should be served hot and straight from the skillet.

For this recipe, you can use quick grits, medium or coarse grits. Stone-ground grits take longer to cook but it’s worth the extra effort because they are especially flavorful.

The scallops used in this recipe are sea scallops, which are much larger than bay scallops and especially good for sautéing and pan-searing.

For seasoning the scallops, you have the choice between Creole or Cajun seasoning. They are often used interchangeably but they have different ingredients and a different taste. Creole seasoning is less spicy than Cajun seasoning, which also contains a good portion of Cayenne pepper. Unlike Cajun seasoning, Creole seasoning contains dried herbs such as oregano and thyme.

The dish makes an excellent fall or winter dinner as is but if you want to serve it with a sauce, try a sherry cream sauce.

If you have leftovers, you can reheat the grits in the microwave. Scallops on the other hand are not suitable for reheating in the microwave; they are best reheated in the oven at 375 F until heated through.


  • 1 pound large sea scallops

  • 1 dash salt

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Cajun, or Creole seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 2 to 3 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoons finely chopped parsley, for garnish

For the Creamy Grits:

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1 2/3 cups chicken broth

  • 1 cup water

  • 4 tablespoons (2-ounces) unsalted butter

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup quick-cooking grits

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Prepare the Grits: Bring heavy cream, chicken broth, and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add butter, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in grits and reduce heat. Cook 15 to 20 minutes over low heat, stirring frequently.

  3. Prepare the Scallops: If scallops are frozen, thaw according to package directions. Pat dry then lightly sprinkle with salt.

  4. On a plate, combine flour, Cajun seasoning, and paprika.

  5. Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat.

  6. Coat scallops with the seasoning mixture, then dip quickly in the butter.

  7. Cook scallops for about 3 minutes on each side until nicely browned and opaque.

  8. Arrange hot grits on serving plates and top each with sea scallops then sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.

  9. Serve immediately and enjoy.


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