Mar 24, 2016

Creamy Seafood Sauce Over Shrimp & Scallops

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
The creamy seafood sauce is made from a seafood demi-glaze base paired with seared shrimp and scallops over rice.

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This rich and creamy sauce tastes delicious over any variation of seafood, though I love it over shrimp and scallops. Atop a bed of white rice, it makes a very satisfying dinner. The shrimp and scallops pair together perfectly in this dish. I lose all self-control with this sauce; I’ve been known to lick the remaining sauce off of my plate.

Some recipes age well, evoking memories and certain events in the kitchen. One of the things that my dad and I enjoy doing together is cooking. He is fun to cook with because we both approach preparing a meal so differently and yet we don’t get in each other’s way in the kitchen. We used to make this creamy seafood sauce over shrimp and scallops when I was younger and just learning that I liked foods other than chicken and plain pasta.

Creamy Seafood Sauce Over Shrimp & Scallops

sautéed shrimp and scallops

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Shrimp – The terms “jumbo” and “extra jumbo” and “colossal” aren’t standardized terms within the industry. Instead look at the numbers – they estimate approximately how many shrimp are in 1 pound. The shrimp should be peeled and deveined before beginning the recipe.
  • Scallops – When cooking with scallops look for “dry packed” as they won’t contain any preservatives or additives. I order from The Scallop Guys, a sustainable company based out of Boston with fresh and 100% natural Atlantic sea scallops. They come frozen, portioned out into individual packages for easy serving.
  • Seafood Demi-glace – Seafood demi-glace is a concentrated reduction of seafood stock (also sometimes called lobster demi-glace/ bouillon or fruits de mer). It can be found at gourmet markets or online. I like this brand here but have also used this one with great success. The is really no substitution for the unique, concentrated seafood flavor in this recipe.
  • Tomato paste – Tomato paste is concentrated tomatoes that have been cooked down until it becomes a thick, dense paste. I try to buy tubes of tomato paste rather than small cans. The tubes allow you to reseal and keep the paste for later (they last a long time) resulting in less waste.
  • Heavy cream – I add heavy cream, the thick part of the milk that rises to the top due to its high fat content to finish the creamy seafood sauce to create a rich finish.
creamy seafood sauce over shrimp and scallops recipe

How to Make Shrimp & Scallops in Creamy Seafood Sauce

seasoned shrimp and scallops
Step 1: Season shellfish. 

Lay out the shrimp on paper towels and season the shrimp with salt and pepper on both sides. Do the same with the scallops. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat through. Add a tablespoon of butter and allow to melt.

Step 2: Cook shrimp. 

Add the shrimp and cook on each side until pink and no longer translucent, about a minute on each side. Remove from pan and place on a plate. Cover to keep warm.

sautéed shrimp in skillet
sautéed scallops in pan
Step 3: Cook scallops.

Add an additional 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan, allowing it to melt, then add the scallops to the pan and cook until lightly browned on each side and just barely cooked through, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and place on a plate, covered.

Step 4: Sauté shallots and deglaze the pan.

Return the pan to heat, add the remaining butter and allow to melt. Add the shallots and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Pour the white wine into the pan deglaze it, simmering until slightly reduced, about 6 to 8 minutes.

sautéed shallots in pan
seafood demi glace sauce
Step 5: Make the sauce.

Whisk in the seafood demi glace followed by the tomato paste. Slowly whisk in the cream. Add the parsley and tarragon. Let simmer until the sauce begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.

Step 6: Return the seafood to the pan. 

Return the shrimp and scallops to the sauce to reheat them.

shrimp and scallops in creamy seafood sauce
Creamy Seafood Sauce Over Shrimp & Scallops with rice in bowl
Step 7: Serve. 

Ladle the sauce, scallops and shrimp over rice and serve immediately.

Creamy Seafood Sauce Over Shrimp & Scallops with rice in bowl

Creamy Seafood Sauce Over Shrimp & Scallops

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 15 raw extra-large 16/20 shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 15 dry packed sea scallops
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced shallots
  • 1 cup white wine
  • ounces Seafood demi-glace*
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped tarragon
  • Cooked white rice, for serving

Instructions:

  • Lay out the shrimp on paper towels and season the shrimp with salt and pepper on both sides. Do the same with the scallops. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat through. Add a tablespoon of butter and allow to melt.
  • Add the shrimp and cook on each side until pink and no longer translucent, about a minute on each side. Remove from pan and place on a plate. Cover to keep warm.
  • Add an additional 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan, allowing it to melt, then add the scallops to the pan and cook until lightly browned on each side and just barely cooked through, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and place on a plate, covered.
  • Return the pan to heat, add the remaining butter and allow to melt. Add the shallots and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Pour the white wine into the pan deglaze it, simmering until slightly reduced, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Whisk in the seafood demi glace followed by the tomato paste. Slowly whisk in the cream. Add the parsley and tarragon. Let simmer until the sauce begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.
  • Return the shrimp and scallops to the sauce to reheat them.
  • Ladle the sauce, scallops and shrimp over rice and serve immediately.

Notes:

*Note: Seafood demi-glace, a concentrated reduction of seafood stock, can be found at gourmet markets or online here.

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  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing. Super easy, quick, and flavorful! We eat a lot of rice normally, so I swapped that for grits made with vegetable stock and goat cheese to finish + a side of kale. Everyone may have fought over extra sauce and anything to put it on. Definitely a repeat meal here!

    • I’m SO happy to hear you enjoyed Ashley!! This is definitely a family favorite for me too! I love that you served this recipe with grits! I need to give it a try next time!!

  2. 5 stars
    Had this recipe tonight. It was delicious! The creamy seafood sauce was the perfect complement to the shrimp and scallops. We will definitely do this recipe again soon!

  3. 5 stars
    This was an excellent recipe. I will definitely make it again. The tarragon was a nice added flavor. Perfect fall dinner to warm everyone up.