Paleo Seared Scallops with Mango-Pineapple Salsa

I recently took a little trip from my home in the Arizona desert to the California coast – and you won’t believe what I discovered… 

whole30 compliant recipe markDid you know there’s a whole sea out there with lots of good stuff to eat in it?

(I know, I need to get out more.)

Anyway, when I got back, I dove into my freezer and pulled out a package of flash-frozen scallops.

With the weather heating up (here in Arizona at least) it’s getting to be that time of year when you crave something a little lighter.

I first thought about serving them over zucchini noodles. I’m sure that would be good. But on this particular day it was over 90 degrees and the sun was blazing through my kitchen window, so I switched things up. A colorful bed of fresh fruit salsa topped with those decadent little scallops on top sounded much better. [av_sidebar widget_area=’Lockerdome’ av_uid=’av-umegul’]

If you’ve never made scallops before, never fear. I’m going to show you the super-simple way to do it!

First you want to make sure your little mollusks are completely dry. Blot those babies off good with paper towels.

Next, go light on the seasonings. They’ve been in seawater, so just a little salt, pepper, and maybe a light sprinkling of garlic powder for a little extra something. That’s all they need. The ghee will add a nice buttery flavor to the scallops too.

And remember, this salsa is packed with powerful flavors. Combined with the the fresh sea taste of the scallops you’re going to have an awesome dish!

Ready to take the plunge? Heat a large skillet to medium-high, and let the ghee get nice and hot. When it’s ready, grab your tongs and set the scallops in the pan…just give them plenty of room so they don’t touch, they’re funny about that.

This next step is really important: leave them alone! Seriously, once they’re in the pan just let the sizzle without poking at them so they get a nice golden-brown sear.

They only need about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes tops per side. You can tell they’re ready to flip to the uncooked side when they turn a very light brown about a third of the way up the sides. Please resist the urge to cook these delicate little creatures all the way through like a hamburger – they should still be a little translucent in the middle.

Remove them from the pan, and let the scallops rest for a minute more to finish cooking.

That’s all there is to it! If this is your fist time, try cooking one scallop first to get the hang of it.

Serve your seared paleo scallops over the salsa and dig in!

Paleo Seared Scallops with Mango-Pineapple Salsa

Yield: 2-3 Servings

Paleo Seared Scallops with Mango-Pineapple Salsa


    Scallops Ingredients
  • 1 lb scallops (fresh, or frozen and thawed)
  • 1 1/2 tbs ghee
  • A little salt & pepper
  • dash of garlic powder
  • Salsa Ingredients
  • 1 cup fresh mango - chopped small
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple - chopped small
  • 1 fresh avocado, diced
  • 1 jalapeno - seeded and diced small
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper - diced small
  • 1/4 cup red onion - diced small
  • 3 tbs fresh cilantro, chopped (leaves only)
  • 2 limes - juiced


  1. Start by making the salsa...combine all ingredients and squeeze lime juice over. More detailed instructions: Paleo Mango-Pineapple Crazy Good Salsa
  2. Next check your scallops for a small, hard flap attached along one side – if it's there, gently pull it off
  3. Make sure your scallops are DRY...VERY IMPORTANT! Pat them with a paper towel to absorb moisture
  4. Heat ghee in a large skillet over medium-high heat
  5. Lightly season the dry scallops on one side – I used a little salt and pepper, plus a touch of garlic powder
  6. When the ghee is hot, place scallops in pan and cook the first side about 1 1/2 minutes - don't move them, just leave them alone to give them a good sear. When they turn a slightly brownish color about a third of the way up the sides, it's time to flip them over
  7. Flip the scallops over and cook the other side 1 1/2 minutes. Don't overcook – the scallops should still be translucent in the middle
  8. Note: Thicker scallops may need to cook up to 2 minutes per side
  9. Remove from pan and allow to rest for about 1 minute to finish cooking inside
  10. Serve over, or topped with, the mango-pineapple salsa


To get a good sear, make sure the ghee in your pan is hot enough (medium-high heat) and the scallops are completely dry!

Join the Conversation

  1. Kelly Kelley says:

    OMG! Huge hit at our house. Took a pic (which I rarely do) and posted on FB. Served with Sautéed asparagus. Your recipes never let me down and exceed expectations. Thx!

    1. Thank you Kelly! Yay! :) You just made my day. I’m so glad everyone enjoyed!

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