This Seared Scallops and Cauliflower Rice Risotto recipe is my quick, keto-friendly take on one of my favorite restaurant meals! It’s the perfect easy keto comfort food dish that you might enjoy on a date night or special occasion. The cauliflower rice risotto will turn any cauliflower or vegetable hater into a veggie lover! Besides the taste, this dish is amazing because it takes just 30 minutes! I include tips for searing your scallops perfectly and a few variations to enjoy this cauliflower rice risotto with a variety of easy proteins.
One of my favorite restaurant dishes is Sea Scallops from Ocean Prime. I had it for the first time during my 30th birthday celebration. The dish includes buttery, jumbo, seared scallops on top of what seems to be a large bowl of creamy, parmesan risotto.
The risotto, like many risottos that I’ve tried, had a green-colored vegetable, like peas or asparagus, which gives a crisp, fresh bite through all of the risotto’s richness & creaminess.
This recipe for Seared Scallops and Cauliflower Risotto is my quick, keto-friendly take on that dish! It’s the perfect warm, comfort food dish that you might enjoy on a date night or when you want a restaurant-style dish at home.
How do you make risotto without grains?
In this recipe, I’m substituting the rice that is usually the base of risotto for cauliflower rice. Cauliflower Rice Risotto is delicious and much easier to make since you don’t have to wait around for the rice to cook and become tender.
Cauliflower Rice is also a great substitute for grits. In fact, I used it to make this Southern Shrimp and Cauliflower Cheese Grits
Should I use fresh or frozen cauliflower rice in this risotto?
I prefer to use fresh cauliflower rice in my cauliflower rice risotto. I get a 1lb pack for less than $2 at my local Trader Joe’s store. However, considering that this recipe contains a creamy sauce, this dish also tastes just as delicious if you substitute fresh cauliflower rice for frozen.
Frozen cauliflower rice won’t need as much time to get tender so just be mindful of this when you get to the fourth step.
Should I use fresh or frozen scallops?
I’ve only ever made this recipe with frozen scallops. The scallops that I purchase are individually flash frozen. This means that they thaw quickly and taste just like the ones that can be purchased from most seafood counters.
I simply thaw the scallops using the package directions then pat them dry. Having dry scallops that are thawed all the way through is key to getting a good sear.
This recipe is one of more than 20 Easy Keto Date Night Dinner Recipes that are perfect for a keto dinner for two!
This recipe includes one of my other recipes called Quick Seared Scallops
As I mentioned, the scallop seared to perfection is one of the central components of this dish. Surprisingly getting your scallops to have a sear only takes a few minutes.
What are some tips for making Seared Scallops?
The key to seared scallops is using a sizzling hot pan (I prefer this one), salted butter, and a timer. One thing that disrupts the type of sear you get is moving the scallops around too soon. After your pan is hot and you place the scallops, do not move them or flip them until the timer is done. The goal is to only flip the scallops once.
This recipe makes 4 meals.
This recipe makes 4 servings and I used 1lb of scallops and 1lb of cauliflower rice so each serving has about 1/4 lb of scallops (that was 5 jumbo scallops for us) and about 1/4 lb of cauliflower risotto (which is about a 3/4 cup).
You can substitute the green-vegetable.
This recipe includes broccoli because that is what I had in my refrigerator. However, I’ve had risotto with asparagus, peas, and mushrooms.
You should feel free to substitute the broccoli if you don’t have it or simply leave it out if you are not a fan. Parmesan Risotto is also amazing.
Want to try another variation of this dish?
You could also substitute the scallops for shrimp, as I did below.
You might also be interested in these other Cast Iron Skillet Recipes:
Need Dessert? Check out some of these:
- 1 lb jumbo scallops You can get these fresh or flash frozen
- 2 tbsp salted butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 lb package of riced cauliflower ~4 cups of riced cauliflower
- 3 tbsp salted butter
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup broccoli florets cut into small chunks (optional)
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions keep the green tips to use as a garnish
- 1 cup Organic Heavy Whipping Cream it has fewer ingredients and carbs than non-organic brands
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Bring a medium skillet to medium heat
- Add salted butter, garlic, broccoli florets, and green onions to the skillet and cook until the broccoli pieces start to turn bright green (~3 minutes)
- Add the riced cauliflower to the skillet and continue to cook until the riced cauliflower is almost tender (~3 minutes)
- Add remaining ingredients and stir until the parmesan cheese is well incorporated. Lower the heat so that the rice does not stick and cook until the cauliflower rice reaches your desired level of tenderness. Turn off the heat.
- Pat the scallops with a paper towel. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top (about 1/4 tsp of each if you’re not sure about sprinkling)
- Bring a frying pan to medium heat
- Add butter and olive oil and wait for it to start to bubble.
- Add scallops to the pan and cook for 2 minutes per side. Remove from the heat and pan so that they do not continue to cook.
- Add a large spoon of risotto to a plate. Top with scallops, green onions, and melted butter if you are being extra fancy.