Smokey Seared Scallop Chowder
THIS RECIPE IS SPONSORED BY ORCA BAY SEAFOODS, INC. | OPINIONS ARE MY OWN
Find a 15% off promo code at the end of this post, as well as a fabulous GIVEAWAY!
Scallops have been a prized treat to me ever since I was a little girl. While most kids were dunking chicken fingers into ketchup from the kids menu at seafood restaurants, I was gingerly dipping breaded scallops into creamy and dreamy tartar sauce like a boss. A sophisticated messy-pontytailed boss.
And a cozy bowl of clam chowder? Don’t even get me started…
When it came to creating a recipe using Orca Bay’s sweet, luscious, and robust sea scallops, a Smokey Seared Scallop Chowder celebrating two childhood faves just made sense.
I’ll be the first to admit that nothing beats a perfectly butter-seared scallop in it’s purest form, so I mean *NO* disrespect to these gorgeous scallops. But I like to play around and be adventurous at times, and I can promise you that this chowder is a *delicious* adventure with zero regrets.
Plus, you can still totally sear a few of those juicy gems and plop them onto your bowl for what is THE tastiest garnish ever.
Pescetarian? Swap the bacon for homemade smokey croutons!
A lot of chowders are built on seared fat — especially bacon fat. I won’t deny the extra oomph it gives to the flavor profile, but it’s a no-go for pescetarians. If you aren’t pescetarian, feel free to adapt this recipe to incorporate bacon! I’m sure it would be delish. Otherwise, if you’re really into the idea of having something smokey and a little crispy topping your chow-dah, you can make little smokey crispy croutons. All you need is a slice of regular ol’ bread, butter, smoked paprika, and an oven. BOOM. Magic.
Orca Bay Scallops are all-natural with no added water.
These beautifully plump sea scallops offer up that sweet flavor and velvety texture we covet due to the fact that they’re completely au naturale; they’re free of chemicals, additives, and they aren’t plumped up with extra water like the wet-packed scallops which you definitely want to avoid.
Wet-packed scallops are awful for a few reasons. They’re given a bath in sodium tripolyphosphate in order to add water weight which bulks them up to create a bigger scallop — but most of it is water.
Because of this…
- When you purchase these scallops, you’re paying for mostly water since scallops are sold by weight. (/Facepalm)
- These scallops don’t sear well at all. (/Fistshake)
- These scallops are robbed of their naturally sweet flavor and will taste a little soapy. (/Tableflip)
Scallops are a thing of beauty, so if you’re going to treat yourself, treat yourself right.
Help Fight Cancer With Sea A Cure
Sea A Cure was launched to help raise money for research and to implement a financial safety net for those in need of support while fighting the battle against the Big C. It’s also bringing awareness to the health benefits of clean quality seafood.
Sea A Cure is truly a shared cause and we appreciate you taking the time to check it out and consider donating or spreading the info <3
Also, we’re giving stuff away!
In an effort to bring awareness to Sea A Cure, I’m hosting the giveaway of ALL giveaways! A #SeaACure package with goodies from some of Sea A Cure’s partners:
- One (1) Fishy Fish Nordic Headband from Salmon Sisters
- One (1) Smoked Salmon Jar from Drifter’s Fish
- One (1) lb of All Natural Scallops from Orca Bay Seafoods
TO ENTER: Comment below and tell me about the best scallop dish you’ve ever had!
RULES: You must be at least 18 years old AND a resident of the continental United States. You must be willing to provide a shipping address. (No PO Boxes.)
One winner will be chosen on Friday, October 13th
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Get the Recipe:
Smokey Seared Scallop Chowder
- 1 lb Orca Bay's sea scallops
- 2 TBSP + 1 TBSP butter
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 rib of celery, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1 leek, thinly sliced (white and light green part only)
- 2 TBSP all-purpose flour
- 2 8 oz bottles of clam juice
- 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
- 2 large Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 large bay leaf
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
- 2 slices bread, toasted
- 2 TBSP butter (or butter your bread however you want)
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- Heat 2 TBSP of butter and oil in a large saute pan over high heat.
- Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel and lightly salt them.
- Once the butter is melted and simmering, almost foamy, carefully add the scallops to the pan; make sure none of them are touching one other.
- Sear the scallops for 2 minutes on each side, or until a golden crust starts to form and the scallop easily releases itself from the pan. If the scallop doesn't release when you try to budge it, let it cook about 30 seconds longer before trying again. Don't force it, or you'll tear it. The scallops should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center.
- Reserving the butter and bits from the pan, remove the scallops from the pan and set aside. Transfer the butter and bits from the pan to a large stockpot. Add that extra TBSP of butter if needed.
- Add the celery and onion to the stock pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned — about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes to get rid of the raw flavor.
- Add the clam juice and lemon juice, and whisk until smooth.
- Add the potatoes, wine, bay leaf, thyme sprigs, and a few cracks of black pepper; simmer until the wine has evaporated and the potatoes start to soften, about 10 minutes.
- While you wait for the potatoes to cook, cut the scallops into quarters leaving a few whole for garnish if desired.
- When the potatoes are tender, add the cream and the cubed scallops. Add salt and black pepper to taste; Let the chowder come to a simmer, and immediately remove it from the heat. You don't want to bring it to a full boil.
- Fish out the thyme and the bay leaf, and discard them.
- Let the chowder sit for a while to let the flavors settle. Reheat (*see notes) it to a low simmer before serving, then garnish with chopped parsley, smokey croutons, and a full seared scallop. (I add microgreens and chives because I love them on any and all soups!)
- Set the oven to broil. Butter your bread slices on both sides and sprinkle each side with desired amount of smoked paprika. Place the sheet pan on the top rack of the oven, closest to the broiler. Keep a close eye on the toast as it will brown fast — about 2 minutes. Flip it halfway through for another 1-2 minutes. Remove, cut into small cubes, and garnish soup.
40 Comments on “Smokey Seared Scallop Chowder”
The best scallops I ever ate were at a local restaurant. Georges Bank scallops with smoked beet, radish, tomatoes, spring pea – almond puree.
That. Sounds. Ah-mazing.
This dish looks absolutely heavenly, Dana! I’m a huge scallop fan myself, although they’re not something I eat very often, because we live in the prairies. I’m totally impressed by the quality of these scallops though — I’m going to look into tracking down the Orca Bay scallops here in Calgary!
Thanks so much, gf! I can imagine it being tough to get good scallops out in the prairies. I don’t think Orca ships to Canada, but I should actually ask them if they have any leads on Canadian companies that have equally awesome scallops! It would be good to know since 1/3 of my readership is Canadian! (I made that fraction up.)
My fav restaurant always and forever, Carrol’s Creek, has an app with scallops wrapped in phyllo dough. Nix the sprinkle of prosciutto and it’s a perfect starter!
Winner winner scallop dinner, girl! I messaged you for your mailing address. Congratulations!
This recipe looks so delicious! As far as my favorite scallop dish, Coquette Brasserie in Raleigh has amazing seared scallops!
Thanks, girl! I need to try that place – never been!!
The best scallop dish I’ve ever had was the bacon-wrapped scallops at Bonefish Grill. Sadly, they’re no longer on their menu :(
You know, I’ve yet to try out the Bonefish Grill. I need to get on that.
Hi Dana, this soup looks absolutely amazing. I love the tip on the scallops one that I have to confess to not knowing, so thanks for that am definately keeping that in mind next time I purchase scallops. I have to say one of my all time favorite soups was clam chowder. Most of my friends would say gross and yuck, and I would prosper as there would be more for me, lol. I just love these scallops you have used and the fact that they are all natural is an ultimate bonus. One thing that just hooks me right away is that nice sear you have on these morsels of the water. That golden sweet crunchy yet plump of juicy goodness has me salivating right now!.
Great job on this soup and love the pictures, well done!
Thanks so much, Loreto! Clam chowder is fantastic, but I’ve suffered the same judgements as you have. People don’t know what they’re missing, and if they want to live that kind of life, then hey — more for us :)
I’ve loved breaded scallops since I was a kid too. I used to get them when we went to the Mandarin restaurant. I’ve never thought of adding scallops to a chowder though!
I can’t remember the last time I had breaded scallops, and now I want some!
Lol! Fist shake when scallops don’t sear well indeed! I love the combination of chowder as a bed for those pillowy scallops. Unlike you, I didn’t like scallops as a kid but now I’m addicted, especially out here on the East Coast of Canada.
I can’t even imagine how delicious your scallops are! I really need to make it out to the East coast of Canada somtime. It’s on my bucket list!
You need to come! Newfoundland has great seafood, but the Digby scallops out of Nova Scotia are the true legends! Huge and delicious!
Scales restaurant in Portland Maine does this amazing scallop dish with bacon and corn and so much butter. I’ve always wanted to recreate it at home!
I can’t even imagine how delicious seafood in Maine is! That sounds like the perfect dish, really. Despite the fact that I don’t eat bacon anymore, I *do* make exceptions to try new things and that, right there, would be an exception. You should totally try to recreate it at home! <3
Ohhh, chowders are so great. Love your added spices and potatoes too.
Scallops and chowder – yum! Looks and sounds like the perfect match :)
Great timing, my kids have been asking for scallops lately! This chowder looks perfect for them! Otherwise, their favorite dish is grilled scallops with a little butter/lemon/parsley.
Smart kids! Their style sounds right up my alley ;)
Oh this sounds SO delicious, I love scallops! Today was a perfect day for chowder, will have to make it ASAP!
Thanks, Sarah! I wish we were having more chowder-friendly days. It is still so dang hot here in NC!
This chowder looks so delicious. And the scallops are amazing!
Thanks Patty! Those scallops really are magical.
This looks so good Dana! Scallops are my favorite, can’t wait to try this cozy meal!
Thanks, Kaleigh! Scallops are *everything*.
Your recipe sounds delicious and is a ‘must try’! The best scallops I have had was at a Sheraton overseas. The seafood Paella was the best I have ever eaten!
Thanks, Michelle! It was scrumptious. And yum. I can imagine scallops in a paella being delish.
We made lemon butter scallops with fresh veggies & wild rice aboard our boat. Yummy!
Lemon butter is so fabulous! Especially with delicate shellfish <3
This recipe sounds so fab! My favorite scallops recipe is bacon wrapped scallops grilled on skewers, with drawn butter for dipping. Heavenly.
Thanks, Sharla! I definitely remember indulging in bacon-wrapped scallops many times. Such a classic!
Sous vide scallops in a white wine sauce with capers at a friend’s house
Love capers with fish. That dish sounds excellent!