This vegan scallop scampi is a prime example of how inventive vegan cooking can be. If you’re vegan and miss seafood, this recipe is made for you! I ate shrimp scampi literally every week in high school, so I combined this scallop dish with flavors found in a scampi, primarily fresh parsley. It goes so well mixed in the creamy lemon sauce.
Tips to Perfect the Scallop Scampi
I’ve attempted these scallops and the lemon sauce several different ways, and have picked up some important do’s and don’t:
- DO make sure your scallops are thick enough. In my opinion, the thicker the better – around 1.5 inches looks the most like a traditional scallop.
- DO cook them until they turn golden brown. Turn your heat on high and sear the scallops for about 1 minute, or until the golden brown ring has formed around them.
- DO soak your mushrooms in a soy sauce, sesame oil, and water marinade for at least 10 minutes. You can skip this step and just sear the mushrooms plain, but the marinade adds a really nice flavor.
- DON’T use a dry white wine substitute. I tried this recipe with apple cider vinegar and it was extremely tangy. If you don’t have access to dry white wine, just scrap that ingredient completely.
This recipe is so hearty and truly tastes like a seafood pasta – I’m consistently amazing at how transformative plant-based foods can be. If you are vegan (or not vegan!) and ever feel like eating fish…try this recipe. Here are a few of the staple ingredients I used:
Vegan Scallop Scampi in a Creamy Lemon Sauce
- 2-3 king oyster mushrooms
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce / tamari / coconut aminos
- 1.5 tbsp butter use 1/2 tbsp for each round
- 1 package hearts of palm pasta about 18oz
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1/3 cup coconut milk
- 1 lemon, juice from
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast optional, adds a bit of a cheesy flavor
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ground black pepper
- vegan parmesan cheese topping
- fresh parsley (to top)
- Cut scallops into 1 inch – 1.5 inch thick circles. Using a knife, score each "scallop." Add into a small, shallow bowl (or ziploc bag) with the water, soy sauce, and sesame oil and let marinate for at least 10 minutes.
- Heat 1/2 tbsp vegan butter on a frying pan. You will be frying the scallops in 3 rounds using 1/2 tbsp of butter each time. Doing them in a few rounds is important as crowding the frying pan will result in sloppy and inconsistent scallops.
- Turn the heat on high and arrange 1/3 of your scallops onto the frying pan. Fry until there is a nice golden ring around your scallop. Flip and repeat. Set scallops aside until you are ready to plate.
- In a pot add the dry white wine on a low medium heat. Give it a few minutes to reduce, then add in the coconut milk, sea salt, pepper, optional nutritional yeast, and lemon juice.
- Give the sauce time to thicken, keep covered and stir every so often. It should take 5-10 minutes.
- Once the sauce is at your desired consistency, rinse the hearts of palm noodles and add them to the pot. Mix well and let cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add your pasta to a plate and top with the fresh parsley, vegan parm, and the scallops. This dish is best enjoyed fresh but can last up to a week in the fridge.