Seared Scallops with Macadamia Cilantro Lime Pesto
Appetizers,  Gluten Free,  Low-Carb,  Main Course,  Seafood

Seared Scallops with Macadamia Cilantro Pesto

Seared Scallops with Macadamia Cilantro Lime Pesto

Just a little appeteaser…

Start with beautiful sea scallops, rinse and pat dry.  For these I lightly rolled the edges of the scallops in some sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.  Set aside while you make pesto. 

The fun thing about pesto is using the basic basil pesto recipe as a guide (garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, fresh basil, olive oil and s&p) you can interchange the ingredients to create your own favorite.  I had macadamia nuts on hand and a big bunch of fresh cilantro so I replaced the pine nuts and basil.

This was a delicious start to a wonderful evening.  Sea Scallops…how I adore you.

Seared Scallops with Macadamia Cilantro Lime Pesto

Seared Scallops with Macadamia Cilantro Pesto

Libby with Lemony Thyme
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer
Servings 2


  • 6 large sea scallops
  • sea salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 Tbl. canola oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
  • 2 Tbl. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves & fine stems
  • 2-3 Tbl. olive oil
  • sea salt & freshly cracked pepper


  • Rinse scallops and pat dry. Roll edges in sea salt and cracked black pepper. Set aside.
  • Add garlic, macadamia nuts, Parmesan cheese, and cilantro to a small food processor. Pulse a few times to chop nuts. With processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until mixture comes together. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  • Preheat oven to broil.
  • Add a little canola oil to an oven proof skillet (to get the nice brown sear do not use non-stick skillet). Heat pan on stove-top to med-high (you should see the oil start to shimmer in the pan). Place the dry scallops face down in pan and do not touch them for 2 minutes (while it’s tempting…resist). At the two minute mark you can peak to see that they have browned.
  • Turn over scallops, then top with 1 Tbl. of pesto mixture.
  • Move pan to oven and broil for another minute or so until tops are golden brown.


  • Julia

    5 stars
    I have made this several times. A favorite for company. I get the scallops cooked and pour the pesto over then and hold them in a warm oven for awhile. They are easy to plate up. Thanks for posting this. By and large it’s one of my top ten recipes.

  • libby

    Hi Haskell’s, absolutely I’ll share. The great thing about this recipe is you can change up the pesto according to what you have on hand or what flavor you’re craving. See recipe above. Enjoy and let me know how they turn out.

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