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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: 4
Calories Per Serving: 426 kcal

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

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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. This sounds so good, I’m going to go buy scallops tonight. Cumin has become my new favorite spice and I never thought to add creme fraiche to polenta. I can’t wait to try!

  2. 5 stars
    made this, and OH MY G! it is sooooo so good, I wish I had remembered to take a picture 😉 Definitely a great recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    Made this last night for me & my husband and it was DELIGHTFUL! I LOVE HBH site because you offer so many amazing vegan & non-vegan options. All simple with good, fresh ingredients that can make a fabulous, quick meal. I swapped shrimp for scallops in this recipe as the scallops looked incredibly sad at the store (and the shrimpers were on sale anyway!!). Also used soy milk instead of whole milk in the polenta and it turned out just as creamy. My sweet southern husband said, “this is the best shrimp & grits I’ve ever had!” Polenta is basically Italian grits, right!? 😉 Thanks for all your greatness!

  4. 5 stars
    Hey Tieghan!
    I just made this recipe and the scallops turned out great! The only polenta available at my King Soops today was the pre-made tube kind. Any suggestions working with this kind of polenta?

    1. Hey Katie! For the tubed polenta, I would just slice the polenta and warm it in a skillet with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Then add herbs! Please let me know if you have any other questions. So glad love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  5. 4 stars
    Oh my word. I made this tonight for myself since my family does not like seafood. I loved it. My first time having polenta and I love it. Next time I will add just a little bigger pinch of red pepper flakes. Loved it.

    1. HI! Yes, the milk and water are used in the polenta. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    I just made this with chicken instead of scallops and it was delicious! I used the spices/lemon/olive oil as a marinade and let it sit for 30 minutes (I added a little more olive oil than what it called for). That smokey paprika is so good! And the polenta was awesome! I used thyme and rosemary as the fresh herbs. Thank you for always posting delicious recipes!!

  7. 5 stars
    blackened scallops and creamy polenta, very nice, somehow I always botch my scallops so will try again here since I love this dish, thank you!

  8. well..the scallops look good, Tieghan, but I do not know what polenta is. I don’t think we have that in Canada. Is it grits? (Which we don’t have that, Is it made out of cornmeal?

    1. Hi Colleen! Yes, it is made of cornmeal! I hope you try this recipe and let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  9. This looks amazing! I’ve always been a bit intimidated by scallops even though I know they’re simple to prepare. Do you have a pan recommendation that is best to get that perfect scallop sear?

  10. 5 stars
    I LOVE scallops but my boyfriend does not. Would this be as amazing with shrimp? And scallops (for me, of course).

    1. Hey Katie! I am sure shrimp will be SO GOOD too! Great idea! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    I am such a fan of smoked paprika! And I totally agree that they add so much flavor (and color) to any savory dish. I love that you added the polenta to this dish. What a GREAT transition into Spring. Which, I think everyone is so desperately ready to get to. Thanks so much for always sharing such amazing recipes.