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These Honey Butter Blackened Scallops with Herby Polenta are simple and delicious. Pan seared scallops tossed with spices, honey, and a touch of butter, then served over a creamy herb swirled polenta. Serve with a simple salad and you’ll have a quick and easy skillet dinner that’s full of flavor. The perfect meal to welcome in spring!

overhead photo of Honey Butter Blackened Scallops with Herby Polenta with spoon on plate

Happy first day of spring! Wow, it’s insane to me that winter has come and gone and we are already moving right into spring. I’m very excited to be slowly heading towards warmer days. With warmer, longer days comes fresher recipes, more color, and new flavors…all things I love!

That said, we still have so much snow here in Colorado, so I’ll being sharing a combo of cozy and fresh recipes. Kicking things off today with seafood! Like clockwork, spring rolls around and I’m ready for salad, seafood, and veggie filled dishes. Are you guys the same way? What foods/recipes are you looking forward to enjoying this spring?

Oh, and are you guys going on spring break? When I was a kid my family would always spend Easter in Florida, but once we made the move to Colorado, that tradition fizzled out…

But, I just got word that our family is planning a mid April vacation. Not exactly sure where to yet, but I have to say that I cannot wait. By then I will (fingers crossed) have turned everything in on the project I’m working on (that may or may not be the death of me…). So the trip will be perfect timing, and is really giving me something to look forward to!

Honey Butter Blackened Scallops on plate

OK. So these scallops, let me tell you all about them.

I made these scallops a couple of weeks ago, but waited to share until today. Even though the recipes feel springy, they still have a cozy element thanks to the creamy polenta. This dish has the perfect balance for this time of year when the weather is trying to be warm and bright, but has it’s dark and dreary days too.

As mentioned, this recipe is pretty simple (which is totally what we ALL need right now). I tossed the scallops with a good amount of smoky paprika, cumin, garlic and lemon. I love this combo of seasonings so much, and if you’ve been watching my Instagram stories, you know that smoked paprika is my secret ingredient when I want to add flavor to just about any dish.

These scallops are a touch smoky, a little spicy, and balanced out with some citrus. I pan seared them to give them a really nice crust, then tossed in some butter and honey to create a little sauce.

They’re the kind of flavors that really make your mouth water…

Especially when paired with a creamy polenta, which I’m now thinking all scallops should be served with. I mean, the two are such a good paring and give the dish a touch of southern flair.

side angled photo of Honey Butter Blackened Scallops with Herby Polenta

For the polenta, I wanted to keep it simple, but give it a pop of freshness. Enter the herbs. It’s really no secret that I love fresh herbs, but come spring and summer months, I’m using them non-stop. Herbs can really add so much flavor and color to a dish, taking it from bland to beyond delicious.

Which is exactly what they’ve done for this polenta. Don’t get me wrong, polenta is great on its own, but it can be just a smidge on the bland side. I used a mix of fresh basil, dill, and chives, then stirred in a couple spoonfuls of Crème Fraîche to make the polenta extra creamy, and a touch indulgent too.

I’m loving serving this dish with a simple salad or roasted asparagus and artichokes to add in some spring vegetables. In the summer, I will definitely be making these scallops with burst cherry tomatoes and grilled corn. Already excited about it.

overhead close up photo of Honey Butter Blackened Scallops with Herby Polenta with spoon on plate

If you make these blackened scallops, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Honey Butter Blackened Scallops with Herby Polenta.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 514 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Herby Polenta

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup instant polenta
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons Crème Fraîche or cream cheese
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh herbs, chopped, such as basil, parsley, cilantro, and or dill


  • 1. Pat the scallops dry. In a medium bowl, combine the scallops paprika, cumin, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. 
    2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the scallops and sear on both sides until browned, about 2-3 minutes. Add the butter, and honey. Cook until the butter is golden and the scallops are opaque, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice.
    3. Spoon the polenta into bowls. Top with the scallops and a sprinkle of fresh herbs. Squeeze lemon juice over top. Enjoy! 

Herby Polenta

  • 1. In a medium saucepan bring 2 cups water and the milk to a boil over medium heat. Slowly whisk in the polenta, stirring until the polenta is soft and thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in the butter, creme fraiche, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm. 
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  1. 5 stars
    That is a restaurant-quality dish! The flavors of the scallops and the creaminess of the polenta kick it up a notch, making it a dish to be shared with friends and family! I will always make polenta with a little cream cheese—THANK YOU, Tieghan, for another 5-star recipe.

    1. Hey Kym,
      Happy Sunday! Love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks so much for making it and your comment! xT

  2. Making this for dinner tonight- any suggestion to replace the polenta? – maybe risotto or angle hair pasta? My husband doesn’t care for it (I love it)-trying to keep everyone happy.

    1. Hey Susan,
      Sure, risotto would be delicious! Let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xT

  3. 5 stars
    Yum, and so easy, I used fresh basil as the herb in the polenta. I also roasted in the oven Brussel sprouts and onions. (Did not need them, but I love them!) At the end tossed them with honey, lime, siracha, green onions.
    Placed the polenta in the bowl. Surrounded the polenta with the brussel sprouts and centered the delicious scallops in the center. Great really fast Valentine’s dinner.
    It is a do over.

    1. Hey Renee,
      Amazing!! Thanks so much for making this recipe and your comment, so glad it was a hit! Thanks for sharing what worked well for you! xT

  4. 5 stars
    I have made this many times with both scallops and shrimp. It is an absolute favorite! We have a home in Keystone and Half Baked Harvest is my very, very favorite site for the best recipes. I love supporting a Summit County entrepreneur

    1. Hey Judi,
      Happy Friday!!❤️ I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad it was delish! Thanks for your kind message! xT

  5. Made this tonight, absolutely delicious. I am in Maine, and it’s scallop season, so they were as fresh as could be. I omitted the crème fraiche/cream cheese from the polenta( didn’t have any) and didn’t use instant polenta. I soaked red flint cornmeal for an hour or two and used that in my polenta, if you pre soak it, it cooks quite quickly, and has much more flavor, in my opinion. Adding the fresh herbs was a flavor bomb- great idea! Served with roasted Brussels sprouts.

    1. Hey Cynthia,
      Perfect!! I am delighted to hear that this recipe turned out well for you and thanks so much for trying it out! xx

    1. Hey Djienne,
      Happy Wednesday!👻 I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed and appreciate you giving it a try and sharing your feedback! xx

  6. 5 stars
    Wow! This was incredible. Looked and tasted like a restaurant meal and it was so easy to make. Thank you!

    1. Hi Ashley,
      Happy Sunday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for sharing your review and making it! xxT