This Seared Scallops with Butternut Squash Risotto recipe is an indulgent dinner with roasted squash, crispy sage, parmesan & mushrooms!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Olive oil – any neutral oil can work, such as avocado oil, vegetable oil, etc.
- Butternut squash – Acorn squash or buttercup squash are both similar substitution options. You may also use sweet potato, pumpkin or yam.
- Butter – you can use either salted or unsalted butter. Margarine, vegan butter or dairy free butter can also work too.
- Wild mushroom mix – make a mix using mushrooms like shittake, cremini, oyster, maitake, etc.
- Dry white wine – you can use white wine vinegar or white wine juice, if wanting to avoid alcohol.
- Chicken stock – both stock or broth can be used. Vegetable stock or a flavoured stock cube are also good substitute options.
- Shallots – both self-minced or store bought minced shallots can work. Diced yellow onions, leeks, chives or scallions can be used instead, too.
- Garlic cloves – use either store bought minced or self-minced garlic. You can switch the cloves for garlic powder or dried garlic flakes, if needed.
- Arborio rice – if this is not accessible, use pearl barley or basmati rice for a similar texture. Other grains, like brown rice, quinoa, sushi rice, or couscous can also be used, if having a similar texture is not a concern.
- Sage – rosemary, thyme, oregano, bay leaf or marjoram can work well too.
- Parmesan cheese – both hand grated or store-bought grated is totally fine. You can also use similar grated cheeses such as piave or grana padano. For a vegan option, try using nutritional yeast as a replacement.
- Sea scallops – bay scallops or patagonian scallops may be used, too. Small baked potatoes or tofu may also work instead, if wanting a vegan dish.
- Salt & pepper – use to taste.
What components you can prep ahead
To prep ahead, you can chop up your ingredients, such as the butternut squash, or prepare your herbs and cheese by grating your parmesan, mincing your shallots and garlic, etc. You can also make your risotto ahead of time, then store it in the refrigerator once cooled. This can also be done with your butternut squash by baking them prior to cooking your other components.
Storing and reheating
To store this dish, it's recommended to keep some components separate from the others. To store your scallops, cook and cool them completely, then place them in an airtight container, ensuring the lid is well sealed. The scallops can be kept in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
To reheat, allow them to get to room temperature, once taken from the fridge, then heat them on a stove-top pan over medium-low heat with a small tab of butter and a splash of water for about 5-7 minutes on each side.
For the risotto and butternut squash, keep them in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator. Risotto is often recommended to be consumed within 2-3 days max. Butternut squash does last a bit longer (3-4 days), so these components can be stored separately, too.
To reheat your risotto and squash, you can microwave it by adding a little tab of butter and a splash of water over top. The rice will need about 3-4 minutes in the microwave or until hot. Butternut squash can be reheated in the microwave, too, but is often better when put in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 350F, as it keeps their skin crispy for longer.
Freezing the risotto
To freeze your risotto, allow it to cool completely after being cooked, then store it in an airtight freezer-safe container or into freezer bags. You can portion your risotto out into separate bags or containers, if preferred, or it can be frozen in one batch.
Risotto can be kept frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to be eaten, allow it to defrost in the fridge overnight. Once your risotto is defrosted and ready to be eaten, you can reheat it in the microwave by adding a splash of water with a small tab of butter. Heat this for 3-4 minutes, or until hot, with breaks in between to stir.
More scallops recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls for the leftovers
- Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months
Seared Scallops with Butternut Squash Risotto
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped butternut squash
- 2 tbsp butter, divided
- 1 cup wild mushrooms mix (cremini, shittake, oyster, etc)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 shallots, minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3/4 cup dry arborio rice
- 2 tbsp crispy sage
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 10 sea scallops
- 1/2 tsp each Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 F. Prepare squash and toss in olive oil. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 min, stirring a couple times.
- Meanwhile, melt 1 tbsp butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, shallots and garlic, sauteeing for 4-5 min. Add dry rice and stir.
- Add wine and bring to a boil, then simmer for 4-5 min until wine reduces a bit. Add stock, about a 1/2 cup at a time, stirring enough to keep the rice from sticking to the edges of the pan. Don't ever stop stirring the rice, it will start to turn creamy as stock absorbs. When the stock is almost completely absorbed, add the next 1/2 cup until finished. The rice should be al dente. Remove from heat and stir in parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper and keep warm on low heat.
- In a small frying pan, heat olive oil over high heat. When oil starts smoking, add scallops to the pan, searing for about 1 min each side. They should develop a good sear on either side. Remove scallops from pan, and wipe pan clean. Lower heat to medium. Add the other 1 tbsp butter and once melted, add chopped sage. Saute for about 30 seconds to a minute until crispy. Remove from pan.
- Serve risotto in pasta bowls. Top with roasted squash, crispy sage and seared scallops. Enjoy!