$5 and 15 Minute Scallops

$5 and 15 Minute Scallops

Scallops should not be a treat you only enjoy at a fancy restaurant for $20+ per plate. They’re a treat to be enjoyed in your own kitchen whenever the opportunity arises. And by opportunity, I mean a sale at the fish counter of your local grocery store. It’s time to stop associating “scallops” with “difficult to cook” and start associating them with “an incredible 15-minute option for dinner this weekend!”

Ingredients (~2 Servings):

  • 1/2 lb of scallops (~6-8 scallops)
  • 2 shallots or 1/4 sweet onion
  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 2 TBSP of sunflower seeds, raw or roasted
  • 2 TBSP grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • Medium prep bowl
  • Small prep bowl
  • Chef’s knife
  • Spatula


  1. Chop the zucchini into 1/4″ cubes and set aside in medium prep.
  2. Finely chop shallots and combine with sunflower seeds. Set aside in small prep bowl.
  3. Rinse and pat dry scallops.
  4. Heat up sauté pan to medium-high (~7 out of 10) and add 2 TBSP of grapeseed oil.
  5. Once the oil is hot, place scallops in the center of the pan and then add zucchini along with half of the salt. Distribute the zucchini pieces as evenly as possible around the pan.
  6. Cook without touching for ~3 minutes, then flip scallops and zucchini and add the remaining salt. Move the zucchini around so that the other side of the scallops lays flat on the surface of the pan.
  7. Add shallots and sunflower seeds to the pan.
  8. After more 3 minutes, serve immediately over $0.25 and 30 Minute Rice or polenta! Enjoy!

Total time = 15 Minutes (8 minutes to prep, 7 minutes to cook)

Scallops and Zucchini Close Up


Ingredients – Shallots taste like a cross between garlic and onions. If you can only find sweet onions, feel free to mix in some chopped garlic as well.

Step 1 – Check out the Food Prep Tips page for more on chopping zucchini. Think chop into discs, then stack and slice.

Step 3 – Scallops sometimes have a small, slightly chewier piece of meat that is attached to the edge. After rinsing and drying, this piece can easily be removed with your hands as shown in the picture below. Personally, I don’t mind it. I see it as more delicious seafood. Here are your options:

  • Leave it on and cook everything. (Preferred.)
  • Remove and toss in the saute pan with 1 minute remaining. (Not a bad option.)
  • Toss the small piece in the trash. (Would not recommend. You’re throwing away money and delicious food!)

Scallop Prep

Step 5 & 6 – You’re trying to get as much of the surface area of the food touching the pan as possible. It’s the contact with the hot pan that causes the scallops and zucchini to brown so nicely! Don’t get too worked up if all the zucchini slices aren’t touching the pan, odds are when you flip everything they’ll have their opportunity!

Step 5 – You can see monitor the scallop’s done-ness by seeing how much of the clear-ish flesh turns to white as they cook. Depending on the size of the scallops, you may need to add or remove a minute when deciding when to flip. Also, you don’t have to get it right the first time. No reason you can’t flip them over as many times as you want!


  • 1/2 lb of scallops – $8
  • 2 shallot ~ $0.50
  • 1-2 large zucchinis $1
  • 2 TBSP of sunflower seeds, raw or roasted ~ $0.25
  • 2 TBSP grapeseed oil ~ $0.25
  • 1/2 tsp salt – negligible

Total Cost per recipe ~ $10

Cost per plate (~2 servings) ~ $5

Scallops and Zucchini Dinner Plate


Making this recipe transforms your cafe into a 5-star restaurant in 15 minutes. If you can make scallops on your own in only 15 minutes, what else can you make? Actually, what can’t you make? As you’ve seen through past posts on my blog covering Lobster Tail to Acorn Squash Bowls to Saag Paneer, no food is off-limits to the apartment chef, no food is set aside as a “restaurant” only meal! Whether you’re conquering meal prep staples or tackling spectacle sit-down dinner plate, you are capable now! So excited to see and hear about what you create!

As always, make informed food decisions. Know your ingredients, know your costs!

Scallop and Zucchini Feature

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *