This easy Sicilian-inspired recipe for scallops and pasta features a light, citrusy glaze made with fresh orange, lemon, rosemary, and thyme.

A plate of spaghetti topped with bay scallops, a fresh citrus-herb sauce, and a sprig of rosemary for garnish.

This recipe is a quick, delicious, and relatively fool-proof way to serve scallops. The easy-to-make pan sauce features the fresh, not too sweet flavor of citrus combined with fresh herbs, and the juices given off by the sweet bay scallops.

What are bay scallops?

True bay scallops are only harvested from cold, shallow waters along the East coast of the US and as their name implies, they live in bays and estuaries. They are much smaller than sea scallops, which are harvested in deeper waters, have a sweeter flavor, and require even less cooking time.

Not only are they a perfect pairing for pasta dishes like this one they’re also incredibly good when cooked under the broiler, simply seasoned with salt and pepper, and drizzled with lemon juice and melted butter.

More scallop recipes:

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Sicilian-Style Citrus Scallops

4.2 from 13 votes
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This Sicilian-style recipe for citrus scallops comes together quickly, will be loved by any seafood fan, and is perfect for a special occasion.


  • 1 lb bay scallops
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 ounces thin spaghetti

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • Juice of 1 lemon, about 1/4 cup
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest


  • Put a pot of salted water on the stove to boil.
  • Combine the orange juice, lemon juice, thyme, rosemary, oregano and orange zest in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Pat the scallops dry. Combine the flour, salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a plastic bag. Add the scallops, shake to coat, and set aside for a moment while you add the pasta to the boiling water.
  • While the pasta cooks, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
  • Remove the scallops from the flour mixture with tongs, shaking off the excess flour and add them to the hot oil in a single layer.
  • Cook the scallops (see notes) until they develop a light golden exterior, about 1-1/2 minutes total, turning once after 45 seconds, then transfer to a plate.
  • Deglaze the pan with the juice-herb mixture, and cook until the liquid begins to thicken a little from the residual flour, about 1-1/2 minutes.
  • Return the scallops to the pan, along with any juices that may have accumulated on the plate. Stir to coat with the sauce and remove from the heat.
  • Drain the pasta and arrange it on four serving plates. Top each with a portion of scallops and drizzle with sauce.

Tips for Making This Recipe

When pan-searing the scallops, avoid overcrowding the pan, and if necessary, cook them in two batches. They need at least 1/2-inch of space between them in order to sear properly. 
Calories: 459kcal, Carbohydrates: 62g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 27mg, Sodium: 740mg, Potassium: 458mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 70IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 29mg, Iron: 2mg
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