Weeknight Spaghetti with Lemon Pesto Scallop Skewers

An easy mixture of pesto, lemon, and garlic does double duty as a grilling mop for super-quick grilled scallop skewers and a delicious no-cook sauce for this spaghetti, spinach, and fresh tomato side dish.

  • Prep time: 5 minutes

  • Cook time: 12 minutes

  • Primary ingredient: Scallops

  • Serves: 4 servings

  • Find more: 2-4, Dinner


  • 20 frozen jumbo Canadian sea scallops (approx. 450 g / 1 lb), thawed and patted dry
  • 375 g / 0.8 lb uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 large lemon
  • ½ cup (125 g) basil pesto
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 4 cups (120 g) lightly packed baby spinach
  • 2 cups (500 g) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup (60 g) pitted black olives (optional)


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Using a side burner or on a stove, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook spaghetti according to package directions until al dente; drain, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water. Return pasta to pot.

  2. Meanwhile, zest lemon to make ½ tsp (2 mL); cut in half and squeeze out juice to make 3 tbsp. In a small bowl, mix pesto with lemon zest, juice and garlic. Set ¼ of the mixture aside in a small bowl for scallops.

  3. Skewer scallops onto 4 soaked wooden or metal skewers; brush both sides with reserved pesto mixture. Place on hot, greased grill; cook, turning once, until grill-marked, firm and opaque, about 2 minutes per side.

  4. Add remaining pesto mixture to pasta and enough of the pasta cooking liquid to coat pasta evenly. Add spinach, tomatoes and olives (if using); toss lightly. Serve scallops over spaghetti mixture.

Chef's Tips

  • If you like spice, add some crushed red pepper flakes to the pesto mixture.
  • Cheese lovers can add extra Parmesan.
Choose Canadian Seafood White Icon Scallops

Health Benefits of Scallops

  • Fetal Development & Blood Health: Scallops are a source of folate and vitamin B12, which are essential for red blood cell formation and the normal early development of the fetal brain and spinal cord.
  • Energy & Bone Maintenance: As a source of B vitamins, phosphorous, and magnesium, scallops may support energy metabolism, tissue formation, and the maintenance of strong bones and teeth.
  • Immune Support & Antioxidant Protection: As a source of zinc and selenium, scallops may help maintain normal skin, bolster the immune system, and offer potent antioxidant properties to defend against oxidative stress.