Seared Scallops and Quinoa

Healthy Living, Recipes

Seared scallops and quinoa are a great combination for an easy seafood dinner that is under 250 calories per serving. This impressive seafood recipe of seared scallops is quick and delicious.

Quinoa, pronounced keen-wah, is a grain that’s naturally gluten free and high in protein. It cooks much like rice and takes on the flavors of whatever broth or seasonings you use with it. Prior to cooking your quinoa make sure you rinse it to remove saponins from the outer layer of the grain-failing to do so may result in a bitter taste. Scallops are lean sources of protein themselves, and good sources of selenium, a mineral that functions as an antioxidant and plays a role in thyroid health. Antioxidants protect cells and DNA from free radical damage, thought to increase disease risk and accelerate aging.

If you’re carb counting or following a low carb diet, this entire meal counts as only 1.25 carbohydrate servings at 24 grams of carbs per serving.

Theresa Jackson RD, CSOWM, CDN

Clinical Nutrition Manager, Kenmore Mercy Hospital


  • 2 cups water
  • 3/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 chopped mint
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 lbs sea scallops, about 1 inch diameter each


In a medium saucepan, add water and 1/4 tsp of the salt and bring water to a boil. Add rinsed quinoa and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Set aside.

In a skillet, heat 1 tsp of the olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add onion and bell pepper and sauté for 3 minutes, or until onion is softened. Add onion and bell pepper mixture, lemon zest, lemon juice, cherry tomatoes, mint and black pepper to quinoa. Toss to combine. Keep warm.

In a large cast-iron skillet, heat remaining 2 tsp of oil over medium-high heat. Season scallops with the remaining 1/8 tsp of salt and pepper to taste. Add scallops to skillet and cook for 3 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned. Serve with quinoa mixture.

Yield: 6 servings

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Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: about 10 scallops; 3/4 cup quinoa

Calories: 239

Sodium: 336mg

Fat: 5g

Carbohydrates: 24g

Saturated Fat: 1g

Fiber: 3g

Cholesterol: 38mg

Protein: 24g

* Nutritional information is based on ingredients listed and serving size; any additions or substitutions to ingredients may alter the recipe’s nutritional content

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No information provided in any recipe and/or other product or service is a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be interpreted as treatment recommendations. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH PROVIDER WITH ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING A MEDICAL CONDITION.