Seared Scallops with Smoky Sweet Corn Puree

4.86 from 21 votes
30 minutes
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Seared Scallops with Smoky Sweet Corn Puree is a wonderful way to use leftover grilled corn and enjoy an elegant dinner for two at the same time!

“I made this with a surf and turf combo! Top-notch for sure!” – Pinterest Review

Photo of Seared Scallops with Smoky Sweet Corn Puree on white plate with napkin and wine glass in the background.

The inspiration behind this recipe:

We’ve been enjoying a wonderful bounty from our garden and at times it’s been challenging to come up with creative ways to use it all.  Therefore, I was surprised when my husband came home the other day from a quick stop at the grocery store with a bag full of sweet corn.

I asked if we were expecting company, but I knew we were not.  Who could blame him–sometimes seasonal produce simply looks too good to resist.

We grilled the sweet corn that night in addition to enjoying a variety of our own produce prepared in various ways.  However, we ended up with leftover sweet corn.

The leftover corn inspired me to create this recipe for Seared Scallops with Smoky Sweet Corn Puree.  Sea scallops always lend an elegant note to any meal and they are so easy and quick to prepare.

Tips for buying sea scallops:

  • Make sure the scallops you purchase are of high quality and not treated with any chemicals.
  • If purchasing frozen bagged scallops, make sure the only ingredient listed is “sea scallops.”

I’ve got a full tutorial on how to buy, handle and sear sea scallops in this recipe.

I dusted the scallops with smoked paprika then quickly seared them in butter and bacon drippings.  Mmwaahhh!

If you don’t have leftover or freshly grilled corn, simply blanch the corn.  Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then blanch for two minutes.  To cool the corn, hold briefly under cold running water or immerse in a bowl of ice water.

To remove the sweet corn from the cob, I like to set the ear into the middle of a large, deep bowl.  It will prevent the kernels from flying everywhere.  Slowly cut in a downward motion with a good, sharp knife.

This sweet corn puree also works well with grilled shrimp, chicken or pork chops.

More sea scallop recipes you’ll love:

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Seared Scallops with Smoky Corn Puree on white plate with fork.

Seared Scallops with Smoky Sweet Corn Puree

4.86 from 21 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Seared Scallops with Smoky Sweet Corn Puree is a wonderful way to use leftover grilled corn and enjoy an elegant dinner for two at the same time!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Fish and Seafood
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 387 kcal


  • 4 slices bacon - cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 bunch scallions - white and light green part only, chopped
  • 3 ears corn - blanched or grilled, kernels removed
  • 4 ounces cream cheese - softened
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half - or heavy cream
  • Cayenne pepper - to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • 8 large sea scallops - patted dry
  • 1-2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives - plus more for garnish


  • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the bacon then reduce heat to medium and cook until just crisp, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Transfer bacon grease to a small bowl and wipe out skillet with a paper towel.
  • Heat butter and 1 tablespoon bacon grease in the skillet. Add the scallions and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the corn kernels, cream cheese and half-and-half or cream. Continue cooking over medium heat or until cream cheese is smooth. Season to taste with cayenne, salt and black pepper.
  • Transfer half of the corn mixture to a food processor or blender. Process until almost smooth, leaving some corn texture remaining.
  • Return to skillet, stir and keep warm.
  • In a nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon bacon grease over medium-high heat.
  • Season scallops with salt, black pepper and smoked paprika. Cook 2-3 minutes per side or until medium doneness.
  • Stir chopped chives and half of the cooked bacon into corn purée.
  • To serve, place scallops over corn purée and garnish with remaining bacon and more snipped chives.


SUBSTITUTIONS:  May substitute shrimp for the scallops.
MAKE AHEAD:  The corn puree can be made 1 day ahead of time.  Cool and refrigerate in a covered container.  When ready to serve, transfer to a saucepan and add 1-2 tablespoons of water then gently reheat over low heat until heated through.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 691mg | Potassium: 477mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1673IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 147mg | Iron: 1mg

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.

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4.86 from 21 votes (15 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I did make a few changes. I only had 4 scallops so I added 12 shrimp and sauteed it in bacon fat + butter. Subbed a 16oz bag of frozen corn, to which I added some ancho chili powder with the cayenne, some diced poblano, and used all parts of the scallions. Not wanting it to be too thick, I subbed 3/4 C 2% milk for cream. It was perfect! Finally, I added some cilantro to the garnish. I sopped up every last bit of the corn puree!

    1. Hi, Angela, Thanks so very much and appreciate your taking the time to come back and comment. Shrimp is a great addition or substitute. Thanks again!

  2. 5 stars
    Just finished eating it and I had to come and make a comment. I’m always trying new dishes. This is one of the best dishes I have made in a long time with all the wonderful dishes that I’ve made. I don’t eat bacon so I used it with my turkey bacon and when I mixed the bacon with the corn, I did cut it up smaller because it was too big. It didn’t look good not big and I just made it for myself, and only served myself for scallops, which, by the way I’ve never been a fan of scallops ever before because their tasteless. This is an excellent recipe and would also make a very good appetizer definitely restaurant quality and I didn’t have chives. I just use the green onions chopped up very very thin.

    1. Hi, Catherine, Thanks so very much and so happy you enjoyed! Turkey bacon is the perfect substitute. Thank you again and I appreciate your taking the time to come back and comment.

  3. 5 stars
    My husband’s first two words quality. Next was “exceptional.” Such a simple, flavorful recipe!

    I used corn that I had frozen from my favorite local farm market. Fresh scallops from Whole Foods. So delicious that I want to have a dinner party with all my scallop-loving friends! Didn’t change a thing! Let’s hear it for bacon grease!

      1. Hi, Paul, Thanks so much for your question. Yes, definitely use smoked bacon; it adds to the “Smoky Sweet Corn Puree.” Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  4. 5 stars
    Oh my LORD! Just whipped this up for lunch for my husband and I. So simple, quick and absolutely delicious- planning on doubling and serving to guests. Thanks Chef

    1. Hi, Liz, Thanks so much and so happy you both enjoyed!! Yes, this recipe is easily doubled. Appreciate your taking the time to come back and comment. Thanks again!

  5. My wife would love this but is lactose intolerant. Looking for substitutes, Lactaid whole milk for cream, She n have goat cheese — possible substitute for cream cheese?

    1. Hi, Joe, Thanks so much for your question. Definitely use the Lactaid whole milk for the cream, but I would use Tofutti vegan cream cheese for the regular cream cheese. If there is a Kroger or Whole Foods near you, you should be able to find it at one of them. Thanks again and hope you and she enjoys!

  6. 5 stars
    I made this tonight, it came out so good! I used frozen corn. It’s a nice change for something to pair with scallops

  7. 5 stars
    I made this tonight, it came out so good! I used frozen corn. It’s a nice change for something to pair with scallops

  8. Hello,
    Have you make the corn puree ahead of time and then reheated it? I would like to make this next week for some dinner guests but though that I could make the puree ahead of time.

    1. Hi, Patty, Thanks so much for your question. I haven’t reheated the puree, but I think it would be just fine. I think doing it very slowly on the stovetop, stirring frequently, would be your best bet as that cream cheese is going to be stiff. Thanks again and hope your guests enjoy!

  9. Made tonight on a pretty summer evening..out of this world. I doubled recipe for four and would say if you are going to make for four pare back on recipe, made enough for about 6!! Amazing and will make again! Thank you 🙂