Make whole grains the center of your dinner plate with this citrus-studded quinoa pilaf recipe topped with sweet seared sea scallops. Be sure to buy “dry” sea scallops (scallops that have not been treated with sodium tripolyphosphate, or STP). Scallops treated with STP (“wet” scallops) are higher in sodium, have a mushy texture and do not brown properly.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2014




Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add scallion whites; cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Add quinoa; cook, stirring until toasted and fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, slice ends off oranges. With a sharp knife, remove the peel and white pith; discard. Working over a large bowl, cut the orange segments from their surrounding membranes. Squeeze juice from the membranes into the bowl before discarding them, if desired. Add the scallion greens, almonds, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon coriander and salt to the bowl; gently stir to combine.

  • Pat scallops dry and sprinkle both sides with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cumin and 1/4 teaspoon coriander. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallops and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. (To prevent overcooking, transfer the scallops to a plate as soon as they are done.)

  • Add the quinoa to the bowl with the orange mixture and gently stir to combine. Serve the scallops over the warm quinoa salad.


Tip: For the best flavor, toast chopped nuts or seeds: Heat a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Add nuts or seeds and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

368 calories; protein 21.8g; carbohydrates 40.9g; dietary fiber 5.8g; sugars 8.7g; fat 13.2g; saturated fat 1.7g; cholesterol 27.2mg; vitamin a iu 338.4IU; vitamin c 37.2mg; folate 126.3mcg; calcium 83.7mg; iron 3mg; magnesium 133.9mg; potassium 669.3mg; sodium 596.9mg; thiamin 0.2mg.

Reviews (2)

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9 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 0
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 2 stars
It was very bland I love quinoa and scallops but this recipe just didn't do it for me. It was very bland and even adding more spices and sea salt did not make it any better. I think it might have been the oranges that gave it a weird taste. Maybe lemon would've been better? Pros: healthy Cons: oranges made it taste weird Read More
Rating: 2 stars
quinoa and water My quinoa uses 2 cups water for 1 cup quinoa cook for 12 minutes and let stand for 15. Seems like trying to cook in 1 cup water will resultin scorched quinoa after a short period of time Pros: quinoa is great Cons: not enough water Read More
Rating: 3 stars
I did add more seasonings primarily black pepper & fines herbes but the biggest issue was the quinoa. I used a tri-color quinoa that needed closer to 2 c of water rather than 1 c. If I do this again...and it s going to be a big if I will cook the quinoa in a vegetable broth to add flavor. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Ingredients didn't work well together The dish at first glance (quinoa and scallops) looked good and I was excited to make it but I found that the end result was not what we were expecting. Bland yet strange flavors - cumin blended with citrus notes blended with scallops and a whole lot of other strange pairings made the dish odd and not something I would make again without significant modifications. I really wanted to like it especially when spending a good amount of money on the scallops and quinoa. Pros: Healthy clean eating quality ingredients Cons: Combination of ingredients did not pair well Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Healthy and simple Make sure to rinse the quinoa first to get rid of the bitter taste strain well. I added 2 cups of water instead of the suggested one and cut back on the orange juice. I added small chunks of orange without the casing for punch. Really delicious healthy dairy and gluten free recipe. Pros: healthy quick cheap delicious Cons: needed to correct the water to quinoa ratio Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Pretty Good I made exactly as directed. It was tasty light and fresh. Had no problems with the quinoa. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Awesome combo of ingredients healthy & easy to make I made the quinoa with 1 cup of water and just watched it. I actually loved how it turned out since it comes out so mushy and gross when I make it according to package instructions. Plus the quinoa needs to be on the drier side prior to adding it to the orange and juice mixture that you make separately. I thought this was the best mix of ingredients I've made so far with Quinoa. I typically can hardly stomach quinoa and force myself to eat it but I ate my portion of this meal tonight and loved it! I love scallops so is was a winning recipe for me. I'd make it again-but maybe something else for my boyfriend (he's just starting to get used to eating healthier and clean). Haha. Pros: Easy to make tasty low cal high protein Cons: Boyfriend did not love (oh well he still ate it) Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Great Quinoa Pilaf I made this and thought the flavors were great. I only had 1 orange but still liked it. I did add more water as needed b/c my water disappeared before the quinoa popped. In the end it was probably about 2 cups of water plus the juice and it still was light fluffy and towards the drier side but not crunchy. Add some broccoli into pilaf and served with sauteed tilapia instead of scallops. Pros: Healthy Cons: May need more water for quinoa Read More
Rating: 4 stars
very tasty! I almost didn't make this because of the one or two lukewarm reviews but I'm glad I made it anyway. It was delicious! I am looking for high in protein low in carbs type of meals and this one fit the bill. And then some. It was so tasty I can't wait to have the leftovers for lunch! five stars from me! Pros: healthy well-balanced meal Read More