Seared Sea Scallops with Spicy Bacon Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce is easy and perfect for an Italian-inspired romantic dinner for two! Serve over pasta for a restaurant-quality meal!
The inspiration behind this recipe:
Lately, I've been in an Italian frame of mind. My husband and I are contemplating a trip to Europe at some point this year that will include Italy.
I've been extremely fortunate to have traveled to Italy twice and have been yearning to go back. Italy really gets into your soul!
One trip to Italy was a culinary tour with a group of personal chefs. We cooked, we laughed, we ate!
The other trip was with my husband and we missed seeing a lot. For one, we were in Florence and never got to see Michelangelo's David. We didn't get tickets ahead of time and the line to get tickets was several blocks long.
In Rome, we didn't see the Sistine Chapel. We got to St. Peter's Square just in time for the square to close early in the afternoon because it was already too crowded.
Ugh. Only us. We did, however, agree that not seeing these two historical treasures gave us reason to make a trip back. This may be the year!
So, onto this wonderful Seared Sea Scallops with Spicy Bacon Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce! I used purchased Alfredo sauce as the base for this lovely dish, added sun-dried tomatoes, a little bacon and crushed red pepper flakes for a touch of heat.
Tips for purchasing and prepping sea scallops:
Sea scallops, once you get the hang of preparing them, are one of the easiest and quickest seafood items to prepare. Just make sure you:
- Use sea scallops that do not have any added ingredients or preservatives (also known as "dry" packed).
- Remove any connective muscle still attached to the scallop as it can become tough when cooked.
- Rinse briefly to remove any grit.
- Pat them dry before searing.
This is a super easy recipe and the sauce comes together quickly! After cooking the bacon and the pasta, simply place the Alfredo sauce in a saucepan, add fresh garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, some of the bacon and crushed red pepper flakes. Add the pasta back to the sauce then sear the scallops....
...And this easy, beautiful seared sea scallop dish is DONE!
Easy enough for a weeknight, special enough for date night!
For more sea scallop recipes, be sure to try my:
- Sweet Corn Risotto with Seared Sea Scallops and Basil Salsa Verde
- Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with Watermelon Tomato Salsa
- Seared Sea Scallops with Smoky Sweet Corn Puree
- Pistachio Encrusted Sea Scallops with Champagne Risotto and Roasted Asparagus
- Seared Sea Scallops with Tomato Red Onion and Balsamic Salsa
- Seared Sea Scallops with Jalapeno Brown Butter and Mango Buttermilk Risotto
Seared Sea Scallops with Spicy Bacon Sun Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce
- 4 strips bacon - thinly sliced
- 4 ounces tagliatelle, linguini or fettuccine - fresh or dried
- 1 jar (15-ounce) good Alfredo sauce
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 4 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes - patted dry, coarsely chopped
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 large sea scallops - rinsed and dried
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Cook the bacon in a skillet or saute pan until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon drippings in the pan.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente per package directions. Drain.
- Place the Alfredo sauce in a small saucepan. Add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer. Add all but a few pieces of the bacon to the sauce, reserving the remainder for garnish.
- Place cooked pasta in the sauce and toss to coat; keep warm.
- Season sea scallops with salt and black pepper. Heat reserved bacon drippings back up over medium-high heat. Place scallops in the pan and sear 2-3 minutes on the first side and 1 minute on the other side. Remove from heat.
- To serve: Place equal servings of the pasta in bowls. Top with 4 scallops each. Garnish with reserved bacon pieces, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
I'm sorry to leave a negative comment, I've come across a few recipes on this site that I've made and are amazing. This one looked great, but you turned me completely off when I saw "jarred" Alfredo sauce. I love the structure of this recipe so will make it with a good homemade Alfredo sauce. Unlike good quality canned tomatoes, jarred tomatoes and alfredo sauces are generally garbage and don't taste anywhere near what they should, plus the added salt and preservatives, no thank you.
Hi, Hal, Thanks so very much for your kind words at the beginning of your comment. This was actually an old sponsored post for Valentine's Day that I did that expired. I try to cater to all levels of cooks because if I can make something super easy to begin with, a novice cook may want to keep cooking and increasing their skill level. This was one of those posts and I hope to get it updated soon with a good homemade because I totally agree homemade is ALWAYS the way to go. Thanks again!
Pasta with Alfredo sauce is always on the top of my list! + your pictures look so beautiful!
Jessica Pinney says
I was just browsing scallop recipes seeking ideas - I'm so glad that I came across this one! Looks fabulous as usual, Carol.
Claire | The Simple, Sweet Life says
I love all the flavors you've got going in this dish... scallops, bacon, alfredo, oh my! I've never been to Italy myself, so this sounds exactly like the culinary trip I need!
Rezel Kealoha says
I have been yearning for a trip to Europe as well! I love this recipe you created and it's so helpful having a pantry stocked with goods made with real whole food too!
Amanda Mason says
Go back to Europe...go...GO! Don't think twice about it! Life is too too too short so you need to go while you can! But seriously - this recipe looks amazing. Perfect for a Valentine's dinner at home for 2! Thanks for posting this!!
Ben Myhre says
We have been to Northern Italy a few times (with Florence as south as we have been), but really want to get back! And how cool that you went with chefs. Such a neat sounding experience. I think it was two years ago my mother spent a whole month in the south of Italy taking a class on restoring, and helping to restore, artwork. Like they worked in old caves and it sounded so neat. So many cool things to do in this here life of ours... just not enough time.
Katie Crenshaw says
This pasta dish looks lovely! I love the addition of sun dried tomatoes and bacon with the Alfredo sauce. My husband will love this. I can't wait to make this for him.
Amy Nash says
This dish looks so incredibly delicious! I know just what you mean about Italy and missing out on places! My husband and I went to Paris and didn't go up the Eiffel Tower because the lines were so long and we didn't buy ticket in advance! But that was 9 years ago and we just booked tickets to go this April and take our daughters with us! I hope you get to make it to Italy again this year!
Karyl | Karyl's Kulinary Krusade says
I've never been to Italy, but it is SO on my bucket list!! Sounds like an awesome trip, even though you missed a few sights. I love that you add sundried tomatoes in the sauce! Great tip
I love scallops and can't help but buy them whenever they're fresh at the seafood market. Always looking for new scallop recipes! That creamy sauce must be fantastic with them.
Dominique | Perchance to Cook says
Love the addition of bacon, sun dried tomatoes and parmesan here. I am literally drooling. Such a good idea for scallops and pasta 🙂
Thanks, Dominique! It's a really great, easy dinner we love!