Pumpkin Spiced Alaskan Scallops with Butternut Squash Orzo

A few months ago, the amazing people at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute reached out to me after Christine and I talked with Maureen during our Salmon Google Hangout. They wanted me to give Alaskan salmon a try as well as some of the other seafood species native to Alaska. This was a perfect offer for me to accept since we love seafood in our home. I had my box of seafood delivered to my office, and I must say it was quite comical. The mail room was confused and my coworkers weren’t too happy that my big box took up 1/3 of our community refrigerator. I called my husband, Jon, and told him that we were having a fancy-pants dinner that night. If you follow me on instagram you might have saw a random wednesday night indulgence of Alaskan King Crab legs among other sides.

Pumpkin Spiced Alaskan Scallops with Butternut Squash Orzo

After our feast I started dreaming up recipe ideas. And well… then we went on vacation, and now its November, and I finally got to dig into the delicious Alaskan seafood! I wanted to make butternut squash risotto the other week; however, thats when I realized I didn’t have any arborio rice! So I went to the next best thing… orzo pasta. Not the same, but worked. I was still trying to figure out what to pair with this pasta when it dawned on me that I had plump and juicy Alaskan scallops hanging out in my freezer. That’s when I got this really crazy idea. Why not sprinkle some pumpkin pie spice on them!??! Crazy thought turned AMAZING. The flavors complimented one another so well. I can’t wait to make this recipe again!

Katie Original Recipe

Pumpkin Spiced Alaskan Sea Scallops with Butternut Squash Orzo

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4


    Butternut Squash Orzo
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups orzo
  • 32oz box of chicken broth
  • 1 cup butternut squash roasted
  • Pumpkin Spiced Alaskan Scallops
  • 1lb Alaskan Scallops
  • 1/4 tsp each; dried thyme, dill, garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • lemon juice


    Butternut Squash Orzo
  1. In a large pot pour one tablespoon olive oil and heat at medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  2. Add orzo pasta, toasting for one minute (and constantly stirring). Then pour in one 32 ounce box of chicken broth. Place a lid on the orzo, bring to a boil then reduce down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add in the roasted butternut squash and cook for up to 5 more minutes or until most liquid is absorbed, pasta is cooked, and butternut squash is warm.
  3. Pumpkin Spiced Alaskan Scallops
  4. During the last 10 minutes of the orzo cooking begin preparing the scallops. Rinse scallops, then pat dry.
  5. In a small bowl mix together all the spices; dried thyme, dill, garlic powder, and pumpkin spice. Sprinkle salt on top of the scallops followed by sprinkling the dry spice mix (on one side--you will have spice mix leftover).
  6. In a frying pan add butter and olive oil and heat on medium-high heat. Add seasoned-side of scallops face down on the pan. Then sprinkle with additional salt and remaining herb mix. Cook for 5 minutes then flip the scallops. They should have a nice caramelized color on the bottom. If not kick up the heat to high. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until internal temperature is 165 and both sides of the scallops are caramelized. Serve on top of a bed of butternut squash orzo.


This recipe requires pre-roasted butternut squash. Roast a big batch and use it throughout the week! To roast: peel and cut butternut squash, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast at 450 for 20 minutes or until soft.

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Disclaimer: I received seafood from Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute for free; however, I was not compensated to write this post. All opinions are my own.

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I’ve found my new favorite pasta dish. I’ve made this recipe 3 times since originally making this last month. It’s that good. Whether you add the seafood or not, the vodka sauce is to die for. This was my first time making vodka sauce. I know… gasp. I didn’t realize how easy it was until after I made it. I did alter the recipe a tad. I added some fresh herbs in the sauce and also on top of the pasta. I added a tablespoon of sugar. I like a sweeter sauce. I also didn’t add the full 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes like Paula suggest. You can always add heat but you can’t take it away. Because of that I always tend to add less and then once it’s done everyone can add more if they desire too. I ended up adding more and I think the 1/2 teaspoon would most likely be bearable, but I didn’t want to ruin a perfectly good meal. If you tend to not like spicy… add a little and work your way up. If you love seafood and you love pasta I promise your going to love this super simple dish. I can’t wait to serve this at a dinner party… it’s perfect dinner party food! 

Adapted from: Paula Deen
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 

2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup vodka
1 14oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp fresh pasley, chopped + more for garnish
2 tbsp basil, chiffonade
salt and pepper
1/2 lb bay scallops
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lb linguine
*Parmesan Cheese 

1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water over medium heat, according to package directions. 

2. While the pasta is cooking heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minutes). Add the vodka and turn the heat up to medium-high; cook until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the tomatoes, cream, pepper flakes, sugar, fresh basil, fresh parsley, and salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the seafood and cook until just opaque, about 3 minutes.

3. Drain and transfer the pasta to the pot where the seafood vodka sauce is cooking. Mix in the sauce and toss to combine. Serve immediately; top with more fresh parsley and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

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On our way home from scalloping I started dreaming up a variety of recipes. I decided to kill a little time on our 4 hour drive home, and look at some already existing recipes out in cyberspace. I found this recipe and although it’s simple I figured it would be delicious. I was correct on both assumptions. Simple and delicious really sum up this meal. The original recipe calls for plain bread crumbs. I only had Italian Style on hand so that’s what I used. I also added some freshly grated parmesan cheese to the scallops prior to them going in the oven. I also plated them in separate ramekins instead of scooping them onto a plate. These little bay scallops were like candy, and addicting. We ended up both eating 2 ramekins of bay scallops. They were that good. If you love bay scallops I suggest you give this recipe a try!

Adapted from: Food & Wine 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
Servings: 4

2 tbsp Italian Style Bread Crumbs
1 tbs plus 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1-1/2 lbs bay scallops
salt & pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp chopped parsley
freshly grated Parmesan Cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small bowl, mix the bread crumbs with the Old Bay. Lightly season the scallops with salt and pepper. Coat the scallops in the seasoning mixture.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until hot but not burning. Add half of the scallops and cook over moderately high heat until browned, about 3 -5 minutes. Transfer the scallops to individual oven-safe ramekins (or one large oven-safe dish). Wipe the skillet clean. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and cook the remaining scallops. Transfer the cooked scallops to the ramekins. 
  3. Add the lemon juice and water to the skillet, bring to a boil and cook over moderate heat, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Remove from the heat and swirl in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour the butter sauce over each ramekin. Sprinkle a dash of freshly grated parmesan cheese on top of the scallops. Place in the oven for 5-10 minutes until cheese has melted. 

*I served the scallops with my Parmesan Mashed Potatoes and steamed haricot verts. 

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Last year I gave a glimpse into a short weekend trip up to Keaton Beach, Florida where I go scalloping every year. Once again (like we try to do each year) we went back up to Keaton in July to go scalloping. This time I have a big treat… I’ve made a video on how to clean scallops! That’s right. My first video. It didn’t take that long to make thanks to iMovie, and although it’s very “amateur” it’s something that I’m proud of! This was our first year cleaning our own scallops. Typically we pay locals to clean them for us, since it’s not the most glorious job. 

*not sure why my voice is off on the video–doesn’t show that way on iMovie

Between four of us (alternating) we cleaned 10 gallons of scallops in a little less than two hours. It took longer than expected, but it happened to be raining, so we honestly we had nothing better to do than clean scallops. I’ll be posting a few bay scallop recipes within the next week, and if you can’t wait to cook some scallops then please feel free to browse through my current scallop recipes. 
There is still about two week’s left of scallop season.
Will you be scalloping this weekend for Labor Day?

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Last week I announced that I was hosting a fabulous giveaway. Not just any giveaway, but for a chance to win a box of the brand new Progresso Lemon Pepper Panko Crispy Bread Crumbs And an autographed copy of Michael Chiarello’s brand new cookbook; Bottega! All I asked was that you answer one simple question:
What type of dish would you create with Progresso Lemon Pepper Panko?
We had 12 fabulous entries. Most sticking to breading fish to make fish sticks or chicken. Which is totally acceptable and two meals that I plan on cooking up in the near future, but one entry shined through the rest.
And the winner is… 
Although I’m not a fan of salmon, I was intrigued by salmon meatloaf. Who knew? I guess others would know whom consume salmon, but since neither myself nor my husband enjoy salmon I don’t cook it –therefore I’ve never heard of salmon meatloaf! If you go here Ann Marie has a Salmon & Spinach meatloaf recipe! Ann Marie, I hope you’ll post about a revamped version with lemon pepper panko! Or ANY recipes you create with this new box of deliciousness!

Congrats again to Ann Marie at White House, Black Shutters for winning this fabulous giveaway. Please email me at katiescucina{at}gmail{dot}com with your mailing address to receive your prize!

Now on to the recipe… 
Lemon Pepper Panko Sea Scallops

After looking all over the Progresso site, browsing websites, reading the lemon pepper panko box I decided to come up with my version of Lemon Pepper Panko Sea Scallops. Partly decided at the grocery store as a stood inline in front of the seafood counter. I noticed sea scallops were on sale. I was tempted to bake a fish, but decided for scallops instead (later to find out after 8 years of being together that my husband hates sea scallops?). I knew I didn’t want to fry them that I wanted to bake them… so a little of this and that… they cooked up exactly how I had imagined in my head and were delicious (even mister I-hate-sea-scallops liked them)! 
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Serves: 2


  • 16 or 1/2lb Sea Scallops
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup lemon pepper panko
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper


1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 

2. Melt butter in microwave. Add one tablespoon of butter to a glass dish. With a paper towel rub the butter around the bottom of the dish. 
3. In a shallow bowl combine panko, parmesan cheese, and remaining butter (add salt and pepper to taste if desired). Mix well until the butter has incorporated throughout the panko mixture. 
4. Rinse sea scallops, then individually place a sea scallop in the panko mixture patting on the panko. Once the sea scallop has been evenly coated place it in the baking dish. Repeat this step until all the sea scallops have been coated. *If you have any remaining panko leftover you can sprinkle some on top of the scallops in the baking dish. 
5. Place the baking dish in the oven; cook for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes have passed then place your broiler on low (if applicable if not just place the broiler on), and cook for 5 minute or until golden brown (make sure you don’t burn them). 
*I served mine with parmesan mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. 

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This recipe was recently featured on a Kraft foods eNewsletter, and came at the most appropriate time–scallop season! We both love scallops and have recently started to love Alfredo sauce, so I figured this would be a match made in heaven! It was!!! Super delicious and yet very easy! If your using frozen scallops makes sure you thaw them before cooking in the hot oil or they will splatter everywhere!

Source: Kraft Foods

Prep:  15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes 

Serves: 4


  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 lb  bay scallops
  • 1 cup Peas, cooked
  • 1/4 cup  butter
  • 1/2 cup Light cream
  • 1/4 cup  Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp  Ground black pepper
  • 1 box fettuccine
1. Cook pasta according to package. Set aside for later use.
2.  Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add scallops; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. or until scallops are opaque. Remove from heat; place in large serving bowl. Gently stir in peas. 
3. Melt butter in small saucepan on low heat. Gradually add cream, stirring until well blended. Add Parmesan cheese; cook until completely melted, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper. 
4. Place pasta in large bowl. Add scallops, peas and sauce; mix lightly. 

 Side suggestions: Salad & Garlic Bread

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Scallops Newburg

I’ve been holding on to this recipe for about a month–hoping and praying that I would have the chance to get up to North-West Florida to go scalloping! Now that I have over 2lbs of bay scallops I knew I’d finally get to make this recipe! Once again this is one of those easy Publix’s Apron’s recipe. I’ll admit that I wasn’t to prepared to make this recipe. I had no sherry and for some reason could not find the Old Bay seasoning anywhere! So I did a little research on what to substitute for sherry and found the a tablespoon of vinegar plus water or chicken broth to the desired measurement works just as well! I also started looking at other recipes for scallops newburg when I found that some people used paprika and salt instead of old bay. So that’s what I did and it turned out awesome. I think next time I might cut the cream cheese to only one or two tablespoons. It was pleanty creamy with the three, so I think I could skim a few extra calories off this dish. I served this with my Parmesan Mashed Potatoes which complemented the meal very well.

Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 15 minutes

Serves: 4


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 lb bay scallops
  • 1 tsp seafood seasoning blend (or 1/2 tsp paprika and 1/4 tsp salt)
  • 1 (10.75-oz) can condensed cream of shrimp soup
  • 1/4 cup sherry (or 1 tbsp vinegar and the rest chicken broth or water)
  • 3 tbsp cream cheese


  1. Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Place garlic and butter in pan let it cook for 2-3 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant but has not browned. Then add scallops and sprinkle with seafood seasoning; cook and stir 2 minutes or just until scallops are opaque.
  2. Stir in soup, sherry, and cream cheese until well blended. Reduce heat to low; cook 4–5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve.

Serving Suggestions: Parmesan Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Asparagus, and Salad

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    Last week I was at a loss as to what to make for dinner until I decided that I wanted something homey. That’s when I decided to make some risotto. I had frozen shrimp and bay scallops in the freezer and figured I would concoct a seafood style risotto. It turned out wonderful and I’ll definitely be making this again sometime soon!

    Source: Katie Original
    Shrimp & Scallop Risotto

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook Time: 40 minutes

    Total Time: 60 minutes

    Yield: 4


    • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    • 4 tbsp butter
    • 1 cup frozen/fresh shrimp (peeled, deveined, tails removed)
    • 1 cup frozen/fresh bay scallops
    • 1 zucchini, cut into chunks
    • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
    • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
    • 1/2 of an onion, finely chopped
    • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine
    • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
    • Salt and pepper


    1. In a saucepan, bring the 2-1/2 cups chicken broth to a boil; cover and keep at a simmer.
    2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the zucchini & red bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 5 minutes; transfer to a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons butter and the onion to the saucepan and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the onion is softened, about 8 minutes. Add the rice and stir until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring constantly, until evaporated, about 2 minutes.
    3. Stir in 1/2 cup of the hot broth mixture, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring and adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a low simmer, until the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Repeat, adding 1-1/2 cups of the remaining broth mixture at a time and allowing the liquid to be absorbed, until the rice is tender, about 18 minutes.
    4. Add the frozen peas, scallops, and shrimp. Stir and add a little more broth. Put a lid on the risotto and let it stand for 3-5 minutes. Stir, and repeat if needed. Once the seafood is almost cooked through add the cooked zucchini & red bell peppers and the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan and the parsley; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, place the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan at the table if your guest desire more cheese.


    Katie Original Recipe

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