seared scallops with sweet & spicy mango salsa

The only problem with these seared scallops with sweet & spice mango salsa is that there are never enough scallops. Our 12-yr. old triplet boys ALWAYS want more (and they ain’t the cheapest things)!

These scallops are perfectly seasoned and seared so they have a nice crust on the outside and so flavorful on the inside. A sweet and spicy mango salsa is the perfect topping for these scallops. You get sweetness from the mangos, heat from the red pepper flakes and tang from the lime.

close up shot of seared scallop

Scallops used to intimidate me because I thought I could never cook them perfectly. I’ve since learned that they are SO easy to do IF you have the right temperature in the pan.

how to sear scallops

To get the right temp, place a pan on the stove and heat at a medium to medium high temperature. Don’t go too high, too fast or the heat will not be even.

To know when the pan is the right temperature, pour 1/8 teaspoon of water in the pan. If it jumps around and then comes back together to form one small ball that bounces around, you’ve got the perfect temp!

Now add your oil (turn heat down slightly) and it should cover the bottom of pan and shimmer!

It’s go time!

seared scallops cooking in pan

Place the scallops in the pan and leave them be. Just stare at them and listen to their wonderful sizzle for 2 minutes. (Another thing I used to do was constantly flip them!)

seared scallop cut in half

adding the sweet & spicy mango salsa

The sweet & spicy mango salsa can be made up ahead of time. That simply takes a little slicing and dicing (although cutting a mango isn’t the easiest thing to do).

I call it “spicy” because it has a little kick but it’s not too much. Believe me, a little heat goes a LONG way with me.

The slight heat balances out the sweetness of the mango and the pucker of the lime perfectly! You could remove or use less of the red chili flakes if you prefer less spice.

seared scallops on plate
seared scallops with spicy mango salsa

Seared scallops with sweet & spicy mango salsa

  • Author: Karen


These seared scallops with sweet and spicy mango salsa are a perfect weeknight meal. You can make the salsa up ahead of time and the scallops take minutes to prep & cook!



  • 10 oz. sea scallops, patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon grape seed oil (or another high-heat oil like avocado)
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • Spicy mango salsa


For salsa:

  1. Make sweet & spicy mango salsa, set aside.

For scallops:

  1. Pat the scallops dry using a towel or paper towel. Let them rest for about 5 minutes to ensure all liquid is out.
  2. Salt and pepper both sides of each scallop.
  3. Bring a large skillet to medium high heat (see my notes in post about getting the right temperature).
  4. Once pan is hot enough, add oil.
  5. Add scallops (do not overcrowd the pan, you may have to break into 2 batches) and let cook for 2 minutes until the rim is lightly browned.
  6. Gently flip and cook for another 2 minutes.
  7. Remove scallops and serve with mango salsa on the side or drizzled over the scallops.


  • To prep scallops, rinse under cool water and pat dry. Remove the side-muscle if you find it’s still attached (a little rectangular tag of tissue on the side).
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