Skinnytaste > Main Ingredient > Seafood Recipes > Scallops over Wilted Spinach Parmesan Risotto

Scallops over Wilted Spinach Parmesan Risotto

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

These seared sea Scallops Over Wilted Spinach and Parmesan Risotto is easy enough for weeknight cooking or perfect for a special occasion.

Scallops over Wilted Spinach Parmesan Risotto

Scallops over Spinach Parmesan Risotto

These Scallops Over Wilted Spinach and Parmesan Risotto looks like a fancy dish from a restaurant and would be wonderful to make if you have something to celebrate. Sea scallops were on sale, so that was a special enough occasion for me! Scallops may be intimidating for some, but they are actually quite easy to make. Here, I seared them in some butter and served them on top of a bed of parmesan risotto with sauteed spinach, delicious! A few of my other favorite risotto recipes are Butternut Squash RisottoCreamy Mushroom Risotto, and Spring Asparagus Risotto.

Scallops over Wilted Spinach Parmesan Risotto
This recipe has been popular on my website for years (since 2009), which doesn’t surprise me because it’s so good! So naturally I felt this deserved a photo makeover.

What exactly is risotto?

Risotto is a creamy Italian rice dish that requires constant stirring. It can be a bit of a labor of love, but it’s so worth it!

  1. Cook dry arborio rice with shallots in butter for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add wine, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pour in one cup of warm chicken stock, stir until the rice is absorbed, and then add another cup. Continue adding the broth and stirring for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Mix in the Parmesan and parsley.

How to Cook Scallops

There are a few important things to keep in mind when cooking scallops.

  1. Pat the scallops dry to ensure you get a good sear on them. If they’re too wet, they won’t turn a nice, golden color when they cook.
  2. Use a non-stick pan or well-seasoned cast iron skillet so that the scallops don’t stick and tear.
  3. Make sure your pan is really hot before putting the scallops in.
  4. Once you put the scallops in the pan, do not touch them for a few minutes so that they properly sear.
  5. Be careful not to overcook – scallops cook in about five minutes.

Tips & Variations:

  • If you prefer not to cook with wine, you can use extra chicken stock. If you do use wine, pick a good white wine that you would also drink.
  • If you’re a pescatarian, sub vegetable broth for chicken.
  • Not a fan of scallops? Swap with shrimp.
  • You can easily double this recipe to feed more people.

Scallops Over Wilted Spinach Parmesan Risottorisotto with scallops

More Scallop Recipes You’ll Love:


Scallops over Wilted Spinach Parmesan Risotto

4.88 from 57 votes
Scallops over Wilted Spinach Parmesan Risotto
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
risotto with scallops
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 40 mins
Yield: 3 servings
Serving Size: 3 /4 cup risotto and 5 oz scallops/spinach


For the risotto:

  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 cups fat free chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley

For the scallops:

  • 16 oz sea scallops, about 12-14
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 10 oz baby spinach, washed


For the risotto:

  • Heat chicken stock in a small pot.
  • In a medium size heavy sauce pan, add butter on medium-low heat. Add shallots, sauté about 1 minute.
  • Add rice mixing well until well coated and transluscent, about 2 minutes.
  • Add wine, salt and pepper and mix well until it is absorbed into the rice.
  • Ladle 1 cup stock into rice and mix until all stock is absorbed, add another ladle, and continue adding and stirring until all broth is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes.
  • Add parmesan cheese and parsley, mix well and serve.

For the scallops:

  • Wash scallops and pat dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper.
    sea scallops
  • Heat a medium size pan on a high flame. When pan is hot, melt 1 tsp butter and place half of the scallops in the pan.
  • Sear without touching them for a few minutes until the bottom forms a nice caramel colored crust. Turn over and cook about another minute or 2, until the center is slightly translucent (you can check this by viewing them from the side) and the bottom is seared. Be careful not to overcook.
  • Remove from the pan and set aside on a warm plate.
  • Add addition 1 tsp butter and cook remaining scallops. Set aside.
  • Add olive oil to the pan and sauté shallots, add spinach, salt and pepper. Toss until spinach wilts, 2 to 3 minutes.
    wilted spinach
  • Serve scallops with spinach over risotto.

Last Step:

Please leave a rating and comment letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business to thrive and continue providing free, high-quality recipes for you.



Serving: 3 /4 cup risotto and 5 oz scallops/spinach, Calories: 481 kcal, Carbohydrates: 16 g, Protein: 23.5 g, Fat: 17 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 67 mg, Sodium: 628 mg, Fiber: 2.5 g, Sugar: 1.3 g


More Risotto Recipes:

Rate and review this recipe!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this Recipe:

185 comments on “Scallops over Wilted Spinach Parmesan Risotto”

  1. Avatar photo
    Daphne Tapley

    What an incredible recipe, I made this for my husbands 66th birthday, he said this was better than one of our best restaurants that we frequent for special occasions, called Hawks. Thank you Gina ❤️

  2. I made this recipe as written last night and it was perfect!  It’s so elegant yet guilt free. I will do this again and again. I also recommend the scallop dish over corn. I do it a lot but couldn’t get fresh corn at this time. 

  3. I love your scallops recipe with the Boursin cheese and corn, so cannot wait to try this one tonight!  You’ve given me courage to make scallops; )

  4. I’m very excited to try this! I love your recipes. Can you use frozen scallops or should they be defrosted first? Thank you!

    1. You can use previously frozen, but you want to use defrosted, and I’d even let them sit out for a short time to get to 41 degrees. Make sure you pat them dry. They won’t get a good sear on them otherwise, and you risk over cooking them trying to get a sear that will never happen if you miss this step.

  5. I don’t often leave reviews but after we’ve made this nearly once a month since I stumbled across it, I felt like I should. This is wonderful! It comes together easily and is so, so good! I love that it is a healthier option of a “date night” meal that we can make and enjoy at home.

    1. You can try this one 🙂

  6. Delicious! I made it just as the recipe calls. You just have to serve & eat it quick. Scallops taste best fresh off the skillet! Loved this & will make it again. 

  7. Loved this recipe! Tasted very luxurious and like I was eating at a restaurant. I added about 1/2 cup of parm cheese instead of 1/4 cup.

  8. I haven’t made this yet, but I plan to. i was thinking about halving the risotto and spinach, being there is only 2 of us and I think I bought 12 scallops to serve 2. Do y’all think that’s a good idea?

  9. We made this a couple weeks ago and we are now making it again for Valentine’s Day. It is so delicious and feels restaurant quality. 

  10. Avatar photo
    Danielle Zimmerman

    Great recipe. By the way I was able to make the risotto in the instant pot. First melt the butter and sauté the shallot. Then add the white wine and simmer for two minutes. Then add the broth and simmer for another minute. Next pressure cook the contents for six minutes. Finally stir in parm cheese after cooking. 

  11. I’m wondering if negative comments are allowed on this site but here I go. I didn’t like this recipe at all! The risotto is so pasty. As I mentioned in a previous comment, the ratio of liquid to rice seems way off. I seem to be the only one who didn’t like this recipe? I followed it to a T. Any way, this is my first time trying a Skinny Taste recipe, which I was so excited about, but now I’m not sure if I want to try more.

    1. Did you use a short grain rice? Risotto is supposed to be creamy, but if you cooked it too long, it will absorb too much of the liquid and turn to mush. Mine is creamy, but slightly al dente. As you’re adding liquid, keep testing a grain or two along the way to know when it’s time to stop cooking. Give it another shot. It really is a good recipe