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Creamy Bay Scallop Spaghetti

Rated as 4.81 out of 5 Stars

"This scallop and spaghetti dinner with a creamy sauce is fast and easy. I cook the scallops a bit longer than many chefs, but that's gives the dish more flavor and they're still tender and moist. I think you'll agree, the sherry sauce benefits significantly from the longer cook time."
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servings 671
Original recipe yields 4 servings (4 appetizer-size portions)


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  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until tender yet firm to the bite, about 10 minutes or 1 minute less than directed on the package.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. When oil just starts to smoke, add scallops and move them into a single layer. Let sear on high for 60 seconds. Toss to turn. Add butter and stir scallops until butter melts. Stir in garlic. Add lemon zest and red pepper flakes. Stir in sherry and cook and stir until alcohol cooks off, about 1 minute. Pour in cream. When mixture begins to simmer, reduce heat to medium-low. Add salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
  3. Drain pasta. Transfer to skillet with scallops; bring to a simmer. Add half the parsley. Cook until pasta is heated through and tender, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Grate generously with grated cheese. Add the rest of the parsley. Serve in warm bowls.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 671 calories; 33.5 53.1 37.8 166 573 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 54
  1. 69 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

Loved this recipe! Tasted great. Made it as a birthday dinner for my wife who likes scallops. I used bay scallops instead of the full-sized guys, so the initial "searing" was more of a bubbling ...

Most helpful critical review

Way too much lemon I’d omit the lemon juice completely the lemon rind would have been enough. Not sure how only one other person noted it was too much lemon

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Loved this recipe! Tasted great. Made it as a birthday dinner for my wife who likes scallops. I used bay scallops instead of the full-sized guys, so the initial "searing" was more of a bubbling ...

Wow, was this delicious! I didn't have sherry, so I used a good sweet white wine instead. It was a good substitute, but I can't wait to try it with sherry! An easy recipe that will be a regul...

We liked this a lot, but it was just a touch too lemony. Perhaps the lemon I used produced more juice than Chef John intended. As with all recipes, it would be so helpful if measurements were pr...

Simple and delicious! Used a white wine instead of sherry and thin spaghetti - pasta water came in handy to add more moisture as it continues to soak up the sauce. Also used cheapo parmesa...

Delicious and easy to make! I didn't have any parsley or sherry on hand but it still came out amazing!! Thanks chef!!

5 stars with alterations. Used sake instead of sherry (personal preference, I don't care for the taste of sherry) and reduced the cream to 1/3 cup and lemon to 1/2 lemon. There was plenty of ...

Wonderful flavor! I used small bay shrimp instead of scallops (only because that is what was freshest), and it was delish! If using shrimp, don't place the heat on high. Shrimp cook very quickly...

Super easy, super yummy in a foodie-gourmet-high-end way. These are the best tasting spag I've ever made. Thanks Chef John for the recipe, video, and foundational cooking tips.

This is my first time making this recipe so I made it as printed. I don't think I'd change a thing. Great flavor from the scallops. The lemon zest and parsley add a light note to the over all fl...