My Mediterranean Shrimp and Scallops Recipe (for two) is a lightened-up version of a popular Mediterranean shrimp skillet. This easy shrimp recipe is a perfect choice for a busy weeknight dinner. With a little prep, this dish can be on the table in 35 minutes! Great for those following a Mediterranean diet or those who love Mediterranean foods and Mediterranean recipes.
This easy recipe is for two servings, but it can easily be adjusted up to serve 4 or 6, with just a click on the recipe card.
The Mediterranean dish that inspired this recipe includes flour in the marinade. The flour gives the finished dish a thick, marinara-type sauce. I was looking for something with a thinner “broth-like” sauce. In my recipe, I omit the flour, add clam juice, and more wine to create a broth. The rice soaks up the broth better and the thinner broth is perfect for sopping with a piece of crusty French bread. That really is the best way to enjoy this dish.
Please note: the ingredient and process shots were taken during the cooking of the recipe for four servings, not two as the recipe is written for.
The ingredients needed for this recipe are available at your local grocery store, except perhaps for the scallops. If you can't find scallops, use all shrimp instead.
(See the recipe card for exact quantities and measurements.)
- Shrimp - use large shrimp (16-25 per pound) for this recipe.
- Scallops - choose ocean scallops, not bay scallops for this recipe
- White Wine - any dry white wine that you would drink will work for this recipe. Avoid sweet white wines. An alternative to the ¼ cup white wine would be 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or champagne vinegar.
- Butter - use olive oil if you prefer it to butter. It is healthier too!
- Cayenne Pepper - Use crushed red pepper flakes to substitute cayenne pepper.
- Grape or Cherry Tomatoes - you could use sliced Roma tomatoes if you don't have cherry tomatoes but the flavor is a bit less sweet.
- Clam Juice - if you don't have clam juice, you can substitute chicken broth, but the taste will not be as seafood-forward.
- Fresh Lemon Juice - not the bottled kind.
- Scallions - you can use chives in place of green onions. You could also use finely chopped white or red onion.
- Parsley - fresh is really the best for this recipe but fresh basil will work as well.
- Smoked Paprika - I like the smoked paprika for this dish but any paprika you have will work. If using hot Hungarian paprika consider omitting the cayenne pepper.
- Rice - Brown or White rice, (cooked)
Peel shrimp, leave the tails on, de-vein, and rinse. Slice scallops in half horizontally. Pat shrimp and scallops dry with a paper towel.
Mix the paprika, Cayenne pepper, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.
Fold the seafood into the spice mixture being careful not to damage the scallops. The seafood should be evenly coated with spices.
Add butter to a sauté pan over medium heat until melted and bubbling. Add the sliced garlic, stirring until it becomes fragrant, about 30-45 seconds. Remove the garlic from the pan and set aside to add back later.
Place the shrimp into the pan over medium heat in a single layer. When the shrimp is golden brown, turn it over and sear the other side. Shrimp cooks fast, so you are just searing the surface. The shrimp will continue cooking later.
Move the seared shrimp to one side of the pan leaving room for the scallops.
Place the scallops in the pan and cook until lightly golden brown. Flip to the opposite side for 30 seconds. As the scallops are seared, place them on the side with the shrimp.
The shrimp and scallops should be seared on the outside only at this point. They will continue cooking in the broth.
Add the tomatoes to the sauté pan. Mix the tomatoes in with the seafood.
Mix the clam juice, wine, and lemon juice in a small bowl and pour into the sauté pan.
Raise the temperature of the hot skillet to medium-high heat. Cook for one minute then remove the shrimp and scallops from the pan and set aside.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan along with the cooked garlic.
Add the chopped parsley to the sauté pan. Save a bit for garnish.
Simmer the sauce until the tomatoes begin to blister and give up their liquid. Continue simmering until the liquid reduces and thickens a bit.
Add the seafood back to the pan and cook until heated through.
Sprinkle on parsley and serve immediately over rice. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Enjoy with a chunk of crusty French bread for sopping up the sauce.
Hint: Slicing garlic into thin pieces is time-consuming and risky if your knife skills need improvement. I love this inexpensive Garlic Slicer from Oxo. Plus, it works for slicing ginger too! (non-affiliate link. I just love it!)
- Spicy - if you like it spicy, add extra Cayenne pepper. The serious heat seekers can add a little Calabrian chili paste.
- Amp up the Mediterranean flavors by adding artichoke hearts or kalamata olives and sprinkling on a little Feta cheese before serving.
- Deluxe - for a truly decadent version of Sautéed Shrimp and Scallops, add chunks of lobster.
A good sauté pan is the only thing you need and the best choice for preparing the dish. Confident cooks can use a stainless steel saucepan, but a good quality non-stick pan with a heavy bottom works for even novice cooks.
Serving and Storing
Serving suggestion: I am a bit obsessed with shallow serving bowls at the moment. Serving this dish in shallow bowls allows you to get seafood and rice in every bite. Plus, it just looks better and contains the broth better than a plate.
This dish is best when served piping hot, right off the stove. I have warmed leftovers for lunch the following day, and while still good, it is not quite as good. The seafood gets a bit overcooked.
This dish does not stand up well to freezing.
Fresh shrimp and scallops work best in this recipe. Like many of you, fresh seafood can be challenging to find where I live, so I often use frozen. If you are buying previously frozen seafood from behind the case, ask when it was defrosted. They should be able to tell you. It is often better to buy a bag of frozen seafood and thaw it when you need it.
I always buy sustainable seafood and fish and, if I buy frozen, I prefer brands that are individually flash-frozen, right on the boat. I always thaw frozen seafood in the refrigerator or submerged in cold water.
Mediterranean Shrimp and Scallops Recipe
- Large skillet or saute pan
- Garlic slicer or sharp paring knife
- 8 medium shrimp tails on (recommended)
- 4 large sea scallops sliced in half horizontally
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼` teaspoon kosher salt (recommended) use only ¼ teaspoon if using table salt
- ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1.5 tbs butter
- 3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- ½ cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- ¼ cup bottled clam juice substitute low sodium chicken broth
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 1 tbs lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1.5 tbs flat leaf Italian parsley coarsely chopped
- 1 cups hot cooked brown rice substitute white rice
- Rinse, peel and devein shrimp, leaving the tails on. Pat dry with paper towels. Slice the scallops in half horizontally and pat dry.
- Combine paprika, kosher salt, sugar, and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl and mix well. Place the shrimp and scallops in the bowl and fold gently until all the seafood is coated.
- Melt 1 tbs of the butter in a large sauté pan or non-stick skillet over medium heat being careful not to burn it. Add the sliced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Do not brown the garlic! Remove the cooked garlic and set aside to be added back later.
- Add the shrimp and sear both sides over medium heat. Move the seared shrimp to one side of the pan to make room for the scallops.
- Add the scallops in a single layer on the open side of the skillet, being careful not to crowd them. After turning them once, cook them for 30 seconds on the other side. As they get nicely seared, move them to the side with the shrimp. When all the seafood is seared, stir to mix.
- Add the tomatoes, the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, the cooked garlic and the chopped parsley.
- Mix the clam juice, wine, and lemon juice in a small bowl and add to the pan. Raise the temperature of the hot skillet to medium high heat. Simmer for one minute, then remove the shrimp and scallops to a plate and set aside to be added later.
- Simmer the sauce until the tomatoes begin to shrivel and give up their liquid. Continue simmering until the liquid reduces and thickens a bit, about 3-5 minutes.
- Return the shrimp and scallops to the pan. When the shrimp and scallops are opaque, remove the skillet from the heat and sprinkle on some fresh parsley and black pepper to taste.
- Serve in shallow bowls, poured over white or brown rice.
Approximate nutrition information is provided as a convenience and courtesy only. You are encouraged to do your own calculations if precise data is required.
We take every effort to ensure that the estimated meal cost per serving is accurate. We use a meal cost analysis application that estimates the cost of a recipe based on groceries purchased at a Walmart store in my geographical area, northern California.
This Sautéed Shrimp and Scallop recipe would be the perfect main course to pair with my delicious Mediterranean Salad.
Food safety tips
From the USDA: Safe steps in food handling, cooking, and storage are essential in preventing foodborne illness. You can't see, smell, or taste harmful bacteria that may cause illness. In every step of food preparation, follow the four guidelines to keep food safe:
- Clean—Wash hands and surfaces often.
- Separate—Separate raw meat from other foods.
- Cook—Cook to the right temperature.
- Chill—Refrigerate food promptly.
For a chart of foods' recommended internal temperature and safety tips, visit USDA.gov.