Recipe By Chef John
Published Aug 11th
Creamy Bay Scallop Spaghetti
Prep - Cook - Additional - Ready In -
Servings 4 appetizer-size portions Calories 671.2

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.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 8 ounces uncooked thick spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound bay scallops
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • ⅓ cup dry sherry
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley, divided
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving

Cooking Directions

  1. 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. 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. 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

  • Calories 671.2
  • Carbohydrate 53.1 g
  • Cholesterol 166.4 mg
  • Fat 33.5 g
  • Fiber 2.1 g
  • Protein 37.8 g
  • Saturated Fat 18.3 g
  • Sodium 572.5 mg
  • Sugar 1.8 g


  1. Thought the sauce would be a little thicker. No, I will not make again.
  2. OMG!! Loved this dish!! I made this for my husband & I for dinner tonight (made the kids a separate dinner:) and we raved about it so much i ended up having to share some of mine with them. I followed the recipe to the T and could kick myself for not making more! A - Read more ...
  3. 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 sauce still.
  4. 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 provided, ie how many tsps or tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice, rather than the ambiguous juice of - Read more ...
  5. 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. I generally cook shrimp on M-MH, watching until they are no longer opaque. If you don't have sherry, I recommend a - Read more ...
  6. 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 parmesan cheese. Husband loved it and said it was excellent the next day for lunch. Nice addition to our seafood meals - Read more ...
  7. 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 flavor. YUM
  8. 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 regular in our house. Thx. Chef!
  9. Delicious and easy to make! I didn't have any parsley or sherry on hand but it still came out amazing!! Thanks chef!!
  10. 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 and reduction, but I moved onto the next step quickly to avoid the meat getting overcooked. I substituted half & - Read more ...