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Seared Scallops with Cheddar-Onion Grits

My holiday guests love shrimp and grits, but I wanted to shake things up one year. These pan scallops are crisp and tender and contrast well with the creamy cheddar grits. —Janice Elder, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 35 min.
  • Makes
    4 servings


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking grits
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 12 sea scallops (about 1-1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Minced fresh parsley


  • In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add onions and salt; cook and stir 8-10 minutes or until softened. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 15-20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
  • Add broth to onion mixture; bring to a boil. Slowly stir in grits. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, about 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in cheese and sour cream until cheese is melted. Remove from heat; keep warm.
  • Meanwhile, pat scallops dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with Cajun seasoning. Press flat sides into cornmeal. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add scallops; cook 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and firm.
  • Serve with grits; sprinkle with parsley.

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