Looking for a delicious and luxurious dish that’s perfect for a special occasion or a romantic dinner at home? Look no further than this recipe for oven-baked Champagne Risotto with Scallops! Seared scallops and risotto are a match made in culinary heaven. Plus, the end result is creamy, dreamy, elegant, and SO EASY! (Shhhh, don’t tell! 🤫)
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About this scallop risotto
As they say, “Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends.” JK, but I won’t be busting out this magnificent dish for anyone other than my nearest and dearest.
Risotto is one of those comforting dishes that I absolutely adore, but slightly dread preparing. Much like eggs benedict… delicious, but hollandaise from scratch? Pain in the rear! The constant stirring (or whisking for hollandaise)… I need a nap or a shoulder massage just thinking about it.
But, the slow addition of hot stock and constant stirring is what makes risotto so creamy, rich and insanely delicious, right? WRONG! You can achieve the same level of silky perfection using this supremely easy pan-seared scallops risotto recipe that uses the oven rather than your arm.
Trust me when I say this baked seafood risotto with scallops is just as creamy and dreamy as the stove-top kind. It’s just extra awesome because it requires NO constant stirring! Delicately flavored with champagne and chives, this fancy little ditty is beyond delicious. Seriously, it’s *chef’s kiss* 🤌🏻amazeballs.
So, if you don’t make risotto at home because of the hassle of standing over a hot stove, ladling and stirring until you are blue in the face, or if you have not attempted to make anything like this recipe for seared scallops with risotto because you thought it was too difficult…. Have no fear. Oven-baked risotto is here to save the day. And your arm. 💪🏻
Why you’ll love these scallops and risotto
TL;DR?? This scallops and risotto recipe is:
- Fantastically Fancy – It’s the kind of dish you’d see on a fine dining restaurant menu for $35+ per serving. (Honestly. I used to work in one.)
- Quick & Easy – You might think “fancy” and “easy” are oxymoronic, but you’d be wrong. You only need to spend about 30 minutes of active kitchen time to get this gorgeous plate of scallop and risotto champagne deliciousness on the table. The oven does all the rest.
- Easily Adaptable – Can’t do shellfish? Swap in salmon. Dairy make you down? Vegan butter saves the day. Read on below for lots of ways to make this incredibly simple and stunning recipe work for you.
Ingredients for this scallop risotto recipe
You only need 12 simple ingredients to make my scallops with risotto recipe:
- Butter – Mmmmmm butter.
- You’re welcome to use either EVOO or vegan butter for sautéing, but (vegan) butter is needed for the sauce.
- Shallot – These are like red onions-lite.
- Red onion or sweet onion can also be used.
- Garlic Cloves – Fresh is best, but I’ll keep your secret if you use minced jarred garlic. 🤐
- Arborio Rice – This Italian short-grained rice is the go-to for making risotto.
- Italian Carnaroli rice or Japanese sushi rice also work.
- Champagne – This doesn’t have to be true French champagne. I used peach-flavored sparkling white wine.
- You’re welcome to swap Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or Riesling instead.
- Low Sodium Chicken Broth – Always opt for the low-sodium version of any store-bought broth for greater control over the seasoning.
- Low-sodium fish stock or veggie stock, or high-protein chicken bone broth can also be used.
- U10 Scallops – No, these mollusks aren’t trying to 1-up (or 8-up?) Bono & the boys. U10 stands for “under 10,” meaning there are <10 pieces per pound.
- Feel free to swap in smaller, cheaper bay scallops or any fish you like!
- Olive Oil – Just your normal cooking oil is perfect.
- Romano Cheese – This hard-aged, salty sheep’s milk cheese has a bold, tangy kick.
- Pecorino has a flavor that’s a little softer than Romano. Parmesan is also totally acceptable! If you’re looking for a non-dairy option, a few shakes of nutritional yeast work.
- Half and Half – Made from equal parts cream and whole milk, this adds a ton of richness to the risotto.
- Feel free to substitute 1 ½ TB Cold Butter (or vegan butter), cut into 2 pads.
- Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper – Because EVERY dish needs seasoning!
- Chives – Totally optional, but beautiful.
- Feel free to omit or swap in lemony parsley.
Risotto scallops variations
As much as I love this champagne risotto with scallops recipe, I want you and your family to love it too! Here are some optional variations and dietary adaptations to consider:
- Dairy-Free – Vegan butter can easily be used in place of the dairy butter AND the half-n-half, making this delightful scallop risotto recipe safe for all the lac-tards out there.
- Vegan – Don’t eat any animal products at all? No worries! Follow the instructions to make the champagne risotto dairy-free, then swap in these wildly tasty heart of palm scallops instead.
- Alternate Grains – If you’re looking for a non-rice alternative, you could try using pearl barley or farro, which will give your risotto a nuttier flavor and a slightly chewier texture. Note: you may want to double check the package to make sure you’re using enough liquid if you make these swaps. If not, simply use the same 1:8 champagne to stock ratio, or just bump up the stock to keep things easier.
- Alternate Fish – As I mentioned above, feel free to omit the pricy scallops here in favor of your favorite fish. Salmon, swordfish, halibut, trout, or jumbo shrimp are all great subs!
Expert tips for the best scallop and risotto
When it comes to making this risotto with scallops recipe, there are a few tips to keep in mind as you go:
- Use high-quality ingredients. Since this recipe uses only a few ingredients, it’s important to use the best possible ones to make your dish really shine. Look for fresh, high-quality scallops, and choose a good-quality wine that you enjoy drinking. After all, the recipe only calls for a little more than 1/4 cup, so there will be plenty left for sipping!
- Sear the scallops properly. Make sure your pan is nice and hot and that you’re using enough oil or butter to prevent sticking. Sear the scallops on one side just until they’re golden brown, then flip and sear on the other side. Don’t overcook them, as they can become tough and chewy.
- Patience is a virtue. Baking the risotto takes longer than cooking it on the stove, but it’s worth the wait. Resist the temptation to open the oven and stir it, as this can release steam and prevent it from cooking properly.
- Add the scallops right at the end. Once your risotto is fully cooked, add the seared scallops on top just before serving. This will ensure that they stay tender and juicy and that they don’t overcook.
- Go for garnishing gold. A sprinkle of fresh parsley or chives and some grated Romano cheese will add a pop of color and make your dinner look and taste even more pro.
FAQs: champagne risotto
What wine goes with scallops and risotto?
I strongly suggest using whichever wine you cook the risotto with — it’ll be a perfect match for the flavors of the dish!
Serving risotto with scallops and champagne
Wondering what to serve with your oven-baked risotto and seared scallops? Here are a few of my favorites that are sure to delight your taste buds and impress your guests:
- Garlic bread. The crispy, garlicky bread is the perfect complement to the creamy and luxurious risotto, plus it’s great for sopping up every last grain of creamy deliciousness.
- Pair with a crisp white wine, preferably the one you cooked with. If you drank the rest of the champagne while you were cooking, I see you! Try a dry, un-oaked white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio to help cut through the richness of the dish and enhance its flavors.
- Add some roasted vegetables. A side of roasted asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and/or cherry tomatoes will add some color and texture to your plate. Plus, with all that richness swimming around, a few extra nutrients might be in order.
- Top with some shaved cheese. Because CHEESE.
- Add a sprinkle of fresh lemon zest to add a bright, citrusy flavor to the dish and help cut through the richness of the risotto and scallops.
Storing scallops risotto recipe
- Let the risotto and scallops cool to room temperature before storing.
- Store the risotto and scallops separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. (Storing them separately prevents the scallops from getting wonky.)
- To reheat the risotto, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the risotto in an oven-safe dish and cover with foil. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through. If the risotto seems dry, you can add a splash of chicken broth or champagne before reheating.
- To reheat the scallops, heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of butter or oil to the skillet and swirl to coat. Add the scallops and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until heated through.
Alright, friends! That’ll do for today. I hope you love this mesme-ricing recipe for Champagne Risotto with Scallops as much as we do. Just don’t be shell-fish and save it all for yourself — food is best enjoyed with the ones we love! Until next time, cheers — to champagne and easy eats!
More risotto recipes!
How to make scallop risotto with champagne wine👇
Baked Peach-Champagne Risotto with Scallops
- 2 TBS Butter (can substitute Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
- 1 large Shallot – minced (about scant ¼ C)
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 3/4 cup Arborio rice
- 3/4 cup Peach flavored Champagne – Divided (into ½ cup and ¼ cup)
- 2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth – warmed
- ½ pound U10 Scallops (about 6-8 scallops) – patted dry (can substitute bay scallops, shrimp, salmon… any fish you like)
- 1 TB Olive Oil
- 1/3 Heaping Cup Romano Cheese , plus more for garnish or more depending on how much you like Cheese (optional)
- 2 TBS Half and Half (can substitute 1 ½ TB Cold Butter – cut into 2 pads)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper , to taste
- Handful Chives (about 3 TBS) plus more for garnish, optional – finely cut
- 2 TBS Butter
- ¼ Heaping cup Peach flavored Champagne
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Preheat an oven to 400°F.
- Heat a 3 -4 quart stock pot or wide Dutch oven, with a tight fitting lid, over medium – medium/low heat and warm the Butter. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and season with a few pinches of salt (about 1/8th tsp) and cook for 30 seconds -1 minute, until aromatic.
- Increase the heat to medium and add the rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted and every grain is coated with Butter, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add ½ cup of the Champagne and cook for 2 minute, until Arborio starts to look creamy in texture. Stir in the broth, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a rapid simmer (this will take about 2 minutes).
- Cover the pot, transfer to the oven and bake, stirring once halfway through, until the rice is tender and the liquid is almost absorbed, about 25 minutes.
- While Risotto is baking, Sauté the Scallops. Heat Oil in a Cast iron skillet (or nonstick sauté pan) over medium high heat. Season Scallops with Salt and Pepper. Sauté 2 minutes (don’t move them or touch them as they are cooking, you want to develop a nice crust on the outside), flip and cook an additional 1 ½ to 2 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. Remove from pan, transfer to a plate and set aside. (Optionally – remove scallops to a cutting board. Cut scallops in ½ or 3rds and set aside.)
- Reduce heat to medium low. Add butter, and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Once melted, add the (1/4th cup) champagne. Scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan using a whisk and bring sauce to a boil. Cook until reduced to desired consistency. (I reduced mine for about 4 minutes). Remove sauce from heat and set aside.
- Transfer Risotto to the Stove top. Over low heat, stir the remaining 1/4 cup Champagne into the risotto, then stir in the cheese.
- Remove from heat and stir in ½ and ½. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
- To serve: spoon the risotto into warmed bowls, top with sautéed Scallops, reserved sauce, and garnish with Chives and additional Parmigianino, if desired. Serve immediately.