Creamy risotto cooked with crispy bacon, caramelized shallots and sweet corn kernels; each bite of this recipe is indulgent and decadent-tasting. Topped with perfectly seared scallops, this dish is satisfying and tasty. Scallops over bacon and corn risotto tastes like something you would order at a restaurant, but it’s made at home for a fraction of the calories and cost.
All about risotto
Risotto is a creamy and indulgent Italian delicacy whereby rice (usually Arborio rice) is slowly cooked by ladling warm stock into the cooking vessel; the rice slowly soaks in the broth, which is unique to the cooking process of risotto. This allows the rice to absorb the liquid, and release the starches. This is what results in that creamy, dense texture we all love.
Risotto can be made with all sorts of ingredients; some common ones are mushroom or asparagus. This recipe includes two of my favorite things: bacon and corn!
Scallops are the perfect topping for this dish, because they are subtle in flavor. Simply seasoned with salt and pepper, these scallops don’t need much else. They are extremely quick to cook, too.
If you aren’t into scallops, you can make this dish using shrimp (or quite frankly, even chicken!). Shrimp would be the next best alternative. To use shrimp, simply follow the same seasoning and cooking method as the scallops.
This dish does not reheat well, so I do not recommend making this for meal prep or for serving later on. This dish is best served right away.
What ingredients are in the scallops over bacon and corn risotto recipe?
- Arborio rice
- center cut bacon
- reduced sodium chicken broth**
- fresh parsley
**It is really crucial to use reduced sodium chicken broth for this recipe. Because the bacon and the broth are naturally salty, there is no additional sodium required in this recipe. Using regular broth will result in an overly salty dish, and we definitely do not want that!
How to make shallots over bacon and corn risotto
Cooking the bacon and shallots
To start, chop the center cut bacon and shallots. Add the bacon to a medium sauce pan over medium heat and cook until the fat is rendered off and it is crispy. When the bacon is fully cooked, add the shallots to the pan and cook until they are soft and caramelized.
Making the risotto
After cooking the bacon and shallots, it is time to add the corn and the dry rice. Toss them together. This allows the rice to toast up and get some flavor before it cooks.
At the same time, heat the reduced sodium chicken broth in a separate small saucepan on a low simmer. Ladle 1/2 cup of the chicken broth in to the rice. Wait until all of the liquid is absorbed and add another 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Continue this step for approximately 30 minutes and until there is no broth remaining. At this point, the rice will be tender and creamy.
It is important to take your time and allow the rice to fully absorb all the broth before adding more because this is what makes the rice more creamy and less starchy.
Searing the scallops
In order for scallops to cook correctly, they need to be super dry. A super important step to cooking scallops is: pat down the scallops with a paper towel and make sure there is no moisture.
After you have patted the scallops dry, season them with salt and pepper. Place the scallops in a frying pan sprayed with olive oil over high heat. Cook the scallops for 2 minutes without moving them. Then, flip them and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
After you have finished cooking the scallops, place them over the risotto for serving. Garnish with parsley for color.
There you have it, restaurant-quality dinner at home, for a fraction of the calories and the cost!
Scallops over bacon and corn risotto
- 8 oz scallops, uncooked
- 4 oz Arborio rice, measured dry
- 4 slices center cut bacon, chopped
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 1/2 cup corn kernels
- 1 quart reduced sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons parsley, fresh
- Chop the bacon.
- Sauté the bacon in a medium sauce pan for about 10 minutes over medium heat for the fat to render off and the bacon to get crispy.
- Add the shallots to the pan with the bacon and cook until they get soft and start to caramelize.
- Add the corn and the dry rice, toss to combine with the flavors of the bacon and shallot.
- Cook this just for a minute or two, so the rice becomes toasty.
- Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock in a small saucepan on another burner on a low simmer.
- Ladle 1/2 cup of stock into the rice.
- After you ladle the first 1/2 cup, stir and wait for the liquid to be absorbed.
- Once it’s absorbed, add another 1/2 cup stock.
- Repeat this process for 30 minutes or until the rice is creamy and cooked through: the slow process of ladling stock into the rice helps release the starch from the rice, and forms a creamy consistency.
- To cook the scallops, pat them dry with a paper towel. They need to be super dry to cook correctly.
- Season the scallops with salt and pepper.
- Sear on high heat in a frying pan sprayed with olive oil.
- Leave for 2 minutes, then flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Serve over the risotto. Garnish with the fresh parsley.
- 9 WW points (green)
- 7 WW points (blue and purple)
Here are some other seafood recipes you might enjoy:
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