Scallops with Saffron Cream Sauce

I’m just going to cut to the chase: this rocked!


If you love saffron, please do yourself a favor and make this cream sauce.

You don’t have to eat it with scallops. It will pair well with chicken, shrimp, fish… heck, just grab a spoon and eat it as is!


The ingredients are simple: saffron, shallot, garlic, chives, lemon juice, and heavy cream.

You’ll only need a pinch of saffron.


The size of the pinch is up to you. I like a big pinch.

Chop the shallot:


Let’s call it about a 1/2 cup.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat:


Sauté the shallot until soft.


Add 1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped:


The “chopped” picture isn’t here but you get the idea.

Add the juice of one lemon:


Slice a handful of chives:


And toss those into the pan with the butter, shallot, garlic, and lemon juice.


Combine all of the flavors… it smells so good!


Next, add the heavy whipping cream:


And whisk until it starts to thicken.


Here’s the best part — the saffron:


I like to move it between my fingers and break it up some as I add it to the cream.

It doesn’t always work and that’s ok, too.

Whisk the sauce and simmer until it thickens a little more.

See that lovely yellow tint:


After it simmers for a few minutes, that lovely yellow tint turns into stunning saffron gold.


Crayola needs to make that a color — Saffron Gold.

Moving on to scallops.


(Or shrimp, chicken, tofu, or whatever you choose to serve with this liquid gold.)

Wash the scallops and then remove the “catch” muscle attached to the side.


The scallop uses it to keep its shell closed for long periods of time.


It is tough and gross.

Have you ever eaten one of the pink/orange scallops?


The orange is from the roe, or coral, in a female scallop. It is bright orange and sometimes colors the adductor muscle (the part of the scallop we eat).

I think it’s sweeter than the others but that could all be in my head.

Season the scallops with salt and pepper and add them to a hot pan. I used a cast iron grill pan.


Scallops are very easy to cook. Depending on the size, cook them for 1-2 minutes on each side.


Grill marks are one of those simple things in life that makes me smile.


It’s that easy.


This dish would be perfect as a starter at an elegant dinner party or a quiet weeknight meal at home with family.


And that’s exactly what we did…

And since no one was here but us, we licked our plates clean!


Scallops with Saffron Cream Sauce
This sauce will pair well with chicken, shrimp, or fish, too.
  • 1 pinch Saffron
  • ½ C Chopped Shallot
  • 2 T Butter
  • 1-2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • Chives, chopped
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  1. Melt butter over medium heat in a pan.
  2. Add the chopped shallot and sauté until soft.
  3. Add the minced garlic, lemon juice, and about a handful of chopped chives.
  4. Combine all of the ingredients and then add the heavy cream.
  5. Whisk until it starts to thicken.
  6. Add the saffron.
  7. Whisk the sauce and simmer until it thickens a little more.
  8. Turn off the heat and set the sauce aside while you cook the scallops.
  9. Wash and dry the scallops.
  10. Remove the “catch” muscle attached to the side.
  11. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and add them to a hot pan.
  12. Cook them for 1-2 minutes on each side.
  13. Reheat the saffron sauce, if needed.
  14. Spoon some of the sauce on a plate and top with the cooked scallops.
  15. This sauce will serve 4-6.


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6 Responses to Scallops with Saffron Cream Sauce

  1. Awesome, Kristi! I LOVE saffron, just made shrimp paella the other night. I WILL make this cream sauce. Pics are very good. Keep it up – you have a great brand.

  2. Pamela says:

    That looks absolutely beautiful. I think I’ll try it with coconut oil and coconut milk. I know that may sound like sacrilege, but dairy doesn’t like me. Love saffron and scallops, so I must give it a shot.

  3. Chris says:

    Whoa, you killed this! Fantastic. Next summer I totally want to do a surf and turf of this for surf and a fillet w/ bearnaise for the turf. Inspirational post, thanks!

  4. Kristi, I tyically don”t cook, however you make this sound (and look) so easy to make and it looks sooooo good, I’m going to try it.

  5. jessica says:

    This is a great recipe for a quick saffron sauce! I was going to broil my scallops instead of grilling. Thanks for all the photos!

  6. This is so beautifully styled! I am definitely planning to try it. I love saffron, but haven’t seen it color a sauce such a wonderful hue. Thanks for sharing with me on Facebook!

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