Seared Scallop Tacos with Corn Salsa and Basil Oil.

Sea scallops seared then served in warm flour tortillas with a corn, tomato and chive salsa and avocado – then drizzled with a simple basil oil. This summer dish lets those beautiful scallops shine, while celebrating all the fresh flavors of August.

An overhead image of scallops tacos

I could eat corn salad or corn salsa every single day all summer long. You too? And sometimes we do just that. The ingredients change depending on what we have on hand – or what’s growing in the garden (currently the basil is overflowing – making us work hard to keep up and find simple ways to use it and we are picking pints and pints of tomatoes daily). Before we know it, summer will pass us by, so August is the perfect time to take a few minutes to make and savor garden fresh dishes.

What’s in this simple corn salsa?

  • Fresh sweet corn
  • Ripe and juice tomatoes
  • Chives
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

Seared scallop tacos

Let’s talk about this AMAZING basil oil. Don’t let it fool you into thinking it’s fancy. You’re just blending up:

  • Basil (handfuls)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (your best)
  • One clove of garlic
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Tip: use a food processor vs a blender –  my Vitamix blender couldn’t work through the basil.

An image of scallop tacos

And, let’s not forget about these amazing sea scallops. Searing scallops is easy, it just tastes a bit of practice. Follow the directions in the recipe below and you’ll be on your way overcoming any hesitation you have about cooking scallops.

The three most important things to remember when cooking scallops are:

1) pat the scallops very dry with a paper towel

2) put them into a searing hot pan

3) stay close – they cook in minutes, so stay right by their side so you don’t overcook them

An image of scallop tacos with basil oil

These beautiful seared scallop tacos are packed with protein, healthy fats, fiber and tons of plant-powered compounds. If you love scallops and summer corn, these tacos are for you.

An image of scallop tacos

Here’s how to make these Seared Scallop Tacos:

Seared Scallop Tacos with Corn Salad and Basil Oil

Sea scallops seared then served in warm flour tortillas with a corn, tomato and chive salsa and avocado – then drizzled with a simple basil oil. This fresh dish lets those beautiful scallops shine, while celebrating all the fresh flavors of summer.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Seared Scallop Tacos
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4


For the salsa

  • 4 ears corn, husked
  • 1 medium yellow tomato, diced
  • 1/2 bunch chives, thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the basil oil

  • 1 cup packed basil leaves (about a large bunch)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

For the scallops

  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 pound sea scallops patted dry
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For serving

  • flour or corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced


  • Heat a large pot filled halfway with water over high heat until boiling. Add corn, cover, bring back to a boil, then lightly boil for 5 minutes. Remove corn from pot with tongs and let cool slightly. Once corn is cool enough to handle, slice the corn off the cobs into a medium bowl. Toss corn with tomato, chives, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  • In a food processor, combine basil, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, juice of ½ a lemon, salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Poor into a small bowl.
  • Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat until very hot. Add butter and swirl to melt and coat pan. butter is hot and begins to foam, add the scallops. Do not crowd the scallops, you’ll need to work in batches. Let scallops cook on the first side for about 2 minutes. Once the underside forms a nice golden crust, flip scallops and cook an additional 1-2 minutes, or until desired doneness. We like our scallops a bit undercooked in the center. Remove from heat. 
  • Assemble tacos by adding avocado slices to each tortilla. Top with a spoonful of salsa. Add 1-2 scallops per taco. Drizzle with basil oil and serve immediately. 


  • If you don’t have time to make the basil oil, just throw some torn basil leaves into the corn salsa.
  • If you have really fresh, sweet corn, you can cut the kernels off the corn off and toss right into the salsa, without cooking.
  • You can also use 2 cups of frozen corn instead of 4 fresh ears.
  • ALWAYS cook the scallops as the last step. You want hot scallops. So, have everything else all set and ready to serve – even the tacos assembled almost fully (just without the scallops). Then cook the scallops, add to the tacos and serve right away.


PIN this Seared Scallop Taco recipe for later:

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Looking for more scallop recipes? Gotcha covered:

Scallops with Bacon

Seared Scallops with Cilantro Lime Sauce

Seared Scallops with Corn, Avocado and Herb Salad

Scallops with Corn, Tomato and Basil Salad

Also, check out Seafood Nutrition Partnership – they have some delicious and simple scallop recipes on their site.