THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY…
ALDI, who I’m so excited to partner & share with you all throughout 2020. I’m a lifelong ALDI fan, & the Specially Selected Jumbo Scallops featured in this recipe are one of my all-time favorite ALDI finds! All thoughts & opinions are my own.
Ooooh baby! Some serious island-style goodness is goin’ down, & it looks little something like this…
- a bed of the absolute fluffiest coconut rice, sprinkled with lime zest & cilantro (because why not?!) & topped with…
- island-inspired salsa, spicy-sweet goodness made with mango, peppers, avocado, & tons of lime juice, & finished with…
- the very best part: perfectly seared sea scallops, tender & juicy with the most gloriously crispy & golden crust.
These island-style seared scallops are basically all of my dreams come true, & the very best part is the fact that you can make them any night of the week in 35 minutes or less.
Especially now, as we’re eating at home every night, it’s felt so good to make a dinner that’s really easy to throw together, but also feels like a really special & fun meal. These scallops totally fit the bill – they’re kinda like being able to take the quickest little mental vacation to the tropics.
(& not sure about you, but I am so here for that right now!)
When it comes to shopping seafood, my first pick is ALDI!
Well, my first pick for shopping any food has always been ALDI – I’m a lifelong fan, ever since tagging along with my mom on her ALDI runs when I was a kid! ALDI offers a seriously amazing seafood assortment in particular, though. They have an incredible variety of high-quality fresh-fish & seafood, & it’s all offered at unbeatable prices.
The ALDI Specially Selected Jumbo Scallops used in this island-style healthy scallop recipe are one of my all-time favorite ALDI finds. You’ll always find Specially Selected Jumbo Scallops in my freezer.
First, the quality is outstanding: they are wild-caught, certified sustainable, & individually frozen (which helps protect both the integrity & flavor of delicate scallops). Second, scallops are totally good-for-you. They’re rich in protein & low in both fat & calories, & as a major bonus, they’re so quick & easy to cook!
They’re a total weeknight staple in the PWWB house. If you love scallops, I know you’ll love them too!
Totally healthy. Totally affordable. Totally delicious. Do weeknight dinners get better than that?! ♡ Read on to learn more about these Island-Style Scallops with Mango Salsa & Coconut Rice, or jump straight to the recipe & get cookin’!
How to make Scallops with Mango Salsa:
These seared scallops with mango salsa are perfect for weeknight cooking. They couldn’t be easier to throw together! It takes 35 minutes or less, with just 3 simple steps:
- Make a batch of coconut rice.
- Mix up a batch of mango salsa.
- Sear sea scallops to crispy, golden-brown perfection.
(Note: full Recipe Directions are provided in the Recipe Card, below.)
First up, the coconut rice! Making coconut rice is just as easy as making any rice. You simply swap out some of the cooking liquid (be it water, broth or stock) with coconut milk.
Bring some coconut milk & water to a boil, add in the rice, & simmer over low heat for 15 minutes until tender. Simple!
A couple of quick coconut rice tips:
- The Specially Selected Basmati Rice from ALDI (of course!) is my go-to. It has the perfect fluffy texture!
- I like to use full-fat coconut milk for optimal coconut flavor. You can certainly use light coconut milk if that’s more your style – the coconut flavor of your rice will be a little more nuanced.
- You can take your coconut rice to the next level by folding in some chopped cilantro & lime zest – you’ll already have both on hand for the mango salsa.
While the rice simmers, make the island-inspired mango salsa. Finely chop some red onion, bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, mango, avocado, & cilantro. Stir everything together in a large bowl with a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice. Bright & fresh goodness, the perfect accompaniment for healthy seared scallops!
Meal prep tip: You can eliminate the vast majority of the prep time for this healthy scallop recipe by chopping the fruit & veggies for the mango salsa in advance. Check out the Recipe Notes, below, for a specific how-to!
Lastly…sear those scallops!
Making healthy seared scallops at home is so much easier than you’d think!
Making healthy seared scallop recipes may seem intimidating, but it honestly could not be simpler. You need 3 simple ingredients (scallops included!) & they cook up in less than 5 minutes. I promise you: once you master searing scallops at home, you’ll be totally hooked!
What you need:
- Specially Selected Jumbo Scallops
- a high smoke point oil, such as canola, corn, peanut, grapeseed or avocado, which is what I opt for in my house
- salt & ground black pepper
How to sear scallops: (Note: full Recipe Directions are provided in the Recipe Card, below.)
- Heat the avocado oil in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat.
- Using paper towel, pat the scallops completely dry, then season generously with salt & pepper. Moisture is the natural enemy to creating a good, hard sear, so it’s important that the scallops are as dry as possible.
- Once the oil is hot, add the scallops to the pan & cook for 2-3 minutes per side. Again, since we’re looking for a gorgeous, hard sear, you want to refrain from disrupting the scallops much as they cook, but you can give the pan a gentle shake every 30 seconds or so to make sure the entire surface area of the scallop comes into contact with the hot pan.
Voilà! Gorgeously golden & crusty scallops.
Seared scallops FAQs:
- Do you have to defrost scallops before cooking? For seared scallops, YES, definitely. Again, moisture will prevent the beautiful, golden crust from forming on scallops, so thawing out previously-frozen scallops before cooking them is completely is crucial.
- How do you thaw frozen scallops? There are a couple of ways you can thaw frozen scallops. My favorite method is quickly thawing by submerging the scallops in cool water. Be sure to check out the Recipe Notes, below, for specific instructions!
Make it your own: easy Island-Style Scallops with Mango Salsa variations:
There are tons of ways you can customize these healthy seared scallops to fit your tastes. A few ideas:
- Seasoning the scallops: Since we adore the delicate sweetness of scallops, I usually opt for a really simple seasoning of salt & ground black pepper. If you’d like to really take these scallops to the next level, season them with a light dusting of your go-to spice blend. Blackening seasoning would be great for blackened scallops. The flavor of jerk seasoning would be great in this healthy scallop recipe, too!
- Mango salsa – make it your own! The mango salsa is suuuper flexible. You can easily make it a pineapple salsa by simply swapping the mango with pineapple. If sweet fruit salsas aren’t your jam, feel free to double the avocado (yum!) or make it a simple pico de gallo by adding in some diced tomato.
- Don’t love scallops? Don’t sweat it! Swap them out with your seafood of choice – ALDI has tons of amazing & affordable options!
I hope you add these healthy seared scallops to your meal plan ASAP! With all of their bright + bold tropical flavor, you wouldn’t believe they take less than 35 minutes to prepare. The perfect little vacation for any night of the week!
If you do give them a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations! Happy cooking! ♡Print
Island-Style Seared Scallops with Mango Salsa
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: serves 3-4 1x
- Category: Main dishes, seafood
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
Sweet & juicy jumbo sea scallops are seared to gloriously crusty, golden brown perfection, & served on a bed of simple coconut rice with a light & bright tropical mango salsa. A 35-minute tropical vacation, any night of the week!
- 12–ounces Specially Selected Jumbo Scallops, thawed according to package directions
- salt & ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Simply Nature 100% Pure Avocado Oil (or another high smoke point oil, such as corn, peanut, grapeseed, canola, etc.)
- for serving, as desired: coconut rice (below), mango salsa (below), chopped cilantro, lime wedges, tortilla chips, etc.
for the coconut rice:
- 1 cup dry basmati rice
- 1 14–ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 lime, zested & juiced
- handful of cilantro, finely chopped
for the avocado mango salsa:
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, deseeded & diced
- 1 jalapeno, deseeded (as desired) & finely chopped
- 1 large mango, diced
- 1 medium avocado, diced
- handful of cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Make the coconut rice: Place the rice in a colander and rinse several times with cold water until the water runs clear. Set aside. Add the coconut milk & water to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, add in the rinsed rice. Stir to combine. Cover the saucepan and reduce the heat to low, simmering gently for 15 minutes, or until most of the coconut milk has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Finish the rice by fluffing it with a fork, then carefully folding in the salt, lime zest, lime juice, & cilantro. Set aside for serving.
- Scallop prep: Meanwhile, as the rice cooks, clean the scallops. Remove the scallops from the packaging. Quickly rinse under cold water. Check each scallop for its side muscle (the adductor muscle that attached the scallop to its shell): if present, it will look like a small, rectangular tag right along the side of the scallop, with its fibers running opposite the fibers in the scallop itself. Use your fingers to gently tear it away. Transfer the cleaned scallops to a paper towel-lined plate. Gently press a second piece of paper towel over top to remove as much excess moisture as possible. Set aside.
- Prep the mango salsa: Meanwhile, as the rice cooks, prep the mango salsa. Add all listed ingredients to a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside for serving, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Sear the scallops: Add the avocado oil to a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the scallops generously with salt & ground black pepper. Once the oil is hot, cook the scallops: working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan, carefully transfer the scallops to the skillet. Cook, giving the pan a gentle shake every so often, for 2-3 minutes, until a deep golden crust has formed on bottom of the scallops. Flip and cook for 1-2 minutes more, until the scallops are opaque & cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
- Serve: Spoon some coconut rice into individual bowls. Top with a generous spoonful of mango salsa. Top it off with 3-4 seared scallops. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice or sprinkling of extra cilantro, as desired. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
- Thawing frozen scallops: The key to safely thawing frozen meat & seafood is keeping it in a steady, cool environment. 2 easy options for thawing out frozen scallops:
- Set the scallops, in their packaging, in the refrigerator to thaw overnight.
- Submerge the scallops, in their packaging, in a bowl of cool water. Refresh the cool water every 15-20 minutes, or so. The scallops should thaw completely in 30-45 minutes, & you can proceed with prepping them (Step 2 of Recipe Directions, above).
- 10-minute meal prep: The majority of the prep time involved in this recipe is spent chopping the fruit & veggies for the mango salsa. Chop them all in advance, storing in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. At dinnertime, all you have to do is mix it all together & serve – so easy! (Note: Alternatively, you can mix up the salsa up to 3 days in advance, though I prefer the flavor when it’s freshly mixed.):
- Dice 1 small red onion
- Dice 1 small bell pepper
- Finely dice 1 small jalapeno (deseed as desired)
- Dice 1 medium mango
Keywords: healthy seared scallops, scallops with mango salsa, healthy scallop recipe, main dishes, seafood, healthy, gluten-free
If you loved this healthy scallop recipe, here are more quick & healthy weeknight recipes to try…
- Another recipe for scallops lovers! Perfectly Seared Scallops with Kale Pesto Pasta
- Light & bright, in 30 minutes or less: Aglio Olio Zoodles with Shrimp
- 25-minute vegetarian taco feast! Quinoa & Black Bean Tacos
- A vegan dinner the whole family will LOVE: Seriously Easy Vegan Stuffed Peppers
- All PWWB seafood recipes
- All PWWB easy weeknight recipes
Follow along with Plays Well With Butter on Instagram, Facebook, & Pinterest for more easy, modern recipes & fun!
Made this as an appetizer without the rice and it was a hit! Can’t wait to try it with the rice for next time. The mango salsa is seriously everything and would work on other proteins too. Perfect for a hot summer night.
Hi Anna! What an awesome idea to make these scallops as an appetizer! Definitely give the coconut rice a try when you get a chance & tell us what you think – we hope you love it just as much as the scallops & salsa!