Seared Scallops with Polenta and Avocado Cream

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Cook: 35 min.


4 servings

Updated: Aug. 24, 2023
This is a really impressive dish. It's beautiful but simple and a wonderful dinner party entree. If you can find them, peppadew peppers add a bit of zing, but if you can't, roasted red peppers work just fine. Shrimp can also be substituted for the scallops, if you prefer. —Katie Pelczar, West Hartford, Connecticut
Seared Scallops with Polenta and Avocado Cream Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn or frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/4 cup roasted sweet red peppers, drained and chopped
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 8 sea scallops (about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  1. In a large skillet, saute onion in half the butter until tender, 5-7 minutes. Add corn and peppers; cook 4-5 minutes longer. Stir in broth and 1/4 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle boil; slowly whisk in cornmeal. Cook and stir with a wooden spoon until polenta is thickened and pulls away cleanly from the sides of the pan, 15-20 minutes. Stir in cheese. Remove from heat; set aside and keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the avocado, 1/4 cup water, cream and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add additional water as needed to reach desired consistency. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
  3. Sprinkle scallops with remaining salt and pepper. In a large skillet, saute scallops in remaining butter until firm and opaque, 1-2 minutes per side. Serve with polenta and avocado cream.

Nutrition Facts

2 scallops with 1 cup polenta and 2 tablespoons avocado cream: 467 calories, 21g fat (10g saturated fat), 67mg cholesterol, 1773mg sodium, 46g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 5g fiber), 24g protein.