Bowl of Shrimp + Scallop Linguine with Lemon Caper Butter
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Shrimp + Scallop Linguine with Lemon Caper Butter

This quick & easy seafood pasta recipe with shrimp, scallops, & lemon caper butter is perfect for weeknight dinner and elegant enough for entertaining!

Fork twirling pasta in a bowl of Shrimp + Scallop Linguine with Lemon Caper Butter

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This shrimp and scallop pasta recipe is something that came to be almost by accident.

We were at my mother-in-law’s house a few months ago, and she had some frozen scallops that she thawed for dinner. I seared them quickly and topped them with a lemon caper butter with lots of fresh parsley.

Ingredients for Shrimp + Scallop Linguine with Lemon Caper Butter

It was such a tasty combination and I had a feeling it would be great served over pasta.

The next week I went to a local market to pick up scallops to make the same recipe served over linguine. The scallops were super expensive, so I opted to buy half the amount and also the same amount of shrimp.

That pasta recipe rocked.our.worlds. and it has become a staple ever since.

Bowl of Shrimp + Scallop Linguine with Lemon Caper Butter

I have a few tips to help make this seafood pasta a stress-free, weeknight-friendly success.

Make sure to pat the scallops dry before trying to sear them. I’ve made this recipe with a few different sizes of sea scallops, and I find that the larger ones are easier to sear, especially if they weren’t previously frozen. It can be hard to get all that extra liquid out to get a good sear. The day I photographed this recipe, I used bay scallops and they were so small and a lot of liquid was coming out of them as they cooked. I didn’t want to risk overcooking them so I didn’t worry about searing them.

And you know what? It was still absolutely delicious! Seafood can be a little finicky when you cook it at home, but overcooking it is much worse than any cosmetic issues that you can run into with a lack of a good sear.

If you get your pasta water up to a boil while you get all of your ingredients measured out and prepped, you can let the pasta cook alongside the seafood and sauce. That way you can drain the pasta and pop it right into the pan with the sauce.

But timing can be tricky sometimes, so if your pasta is ready much earlier than the rest of the dish, just toss it with a tablespoon or so of olive oil so it doesn’t stick to itself before it gets added to the sauce.

Fork twirling linguine in a bowl with shrimp and scallops.

I’ve prepared this recipe with several different sizes of shrimp and scallops now, and it’s always a hit. Sometimes I add even more garlic (what can I say, I married into an Italian family and we really love things super garlicky). Sometimes I make it with all shrimp or all scallops. If you choose one type of seafood instead of a mix, it cooks a little faster since you aren’t cooking the shellfish in batches.

We really like the textural contrast of the mix of shrimp and scallops together with this pasta. My son decided that he doesn’t like scallops anymore, but he loves shrimp, so using a little bit of both works out well for my family.

We also like to splash a little of the caper brine on top of our pasta at the table, too. It adds a nice bit of extra saltiness that works really well with this seafood pasta recipe.

Whichever way you do it – serving up a big bowl of this shrimp and scallop pasta is absolutely delicious.

It always hits the spot and is total comfort food heaven. I don’t usually serve anything else with this meal (other than a nice glass of white wine or prosecco), but a salad or some quick-cooking veggies would be nice alongside. In fact, next time I make this, I may quickly cook up some asparagus in my air fryer while everything cooks and just pile it on top of the pasta. I think that would be a great combo!

Bowl full of Shrimp + Scallop Linguine with Lemon Caper Butter

I’ve made this recipe when I’m short on time mid-week and I’ve also made it for dinner guests. Talk about versatility!

What’s your favorite type of seafood pasta? Are you team shrimp, team scallops, or team BOTH? I’d love to hear your favorites in the comments section below!

Looking for more comfort food favorites? Check out these 5-star recipes:

Doing some online shopping? Check out my Amazon Shop page for recommendations!

Recipe for Shrimp + Scallop Linguine with Lemon Caper Butter

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Bowl of Shrimp + Scallop Linguine with Lemon Caper Butter

Shrimp + Scallop Linguine with Lemon Caper Butter

  • Author: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen - Ashley Covelli
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

This quick & easy seafood pasta recipe with shrimp, scallops, & lemon caper butter is perfect for weeknight dinner and elegant enough for entertaining!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound linguine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound sea scallops
  • 1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine or dry vermouth (optional)
  • 1/4 cup nonpareil capers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season well with salt, then add the linguine. Cook according to the package instructions until al dente, about 9 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Pat scallops dry and season with salt and pepper. Once the skillet is hot, add the scallops and cook, flipping once, until golden brown and translucent in the center, about 1-2 minutes per side. Remove scallops to a plate and keep warm.
  4. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 2-4 minutes. Remove shrimp to the same plate as the scallops.
  5. Reduce heat to medium. Add butter to the skillet. Once melted, add garlic and sauté, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan as you go, until the garlic has softened a bit, about 1-2 minutes. Add lemon juice, wine or vermouth (if using), capers, and parsley. Let simmer for another 1-2 minutes, until slightly thickened. Add the drained pasta to the skillet along with enough of the reserved cooking water as you need to help the sauce coat the pasta. Taste for seasoning and add a little more salt (or some of the caper brine) if needed.
  6. Serve the pasta topped with shrimp and scallops. Garnish with additional parsley if desired.

Notes

The cook time for the shrimp and scallops will vary depending on the size you buy.

Dry your scallops well. Larger scallops and scallops that haven’t been previously frozen are easier to sear to get a nice golden brown crust. For smaller bay scallops like what are pictured here, I didn’t worry about getting a sear on them, as they can easily overcook.

If your pasta is finished cooking well before the rest of the dish is ready, toss a tablespoon of olive oil into the drained pasta to help prevent it from sticking to itself.

Keywords: seafood pasta, quick, romantic

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