Vegan Scallops in Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce

vegan recipes

Braised in an oceany broth, these pan-seared King Trumpet mushroom stems are the perfect flavor and texture for vegan scallops. Tossed with spinach, and a rich, garlicky cream sauce brightened with lemon zest, this classic pasta dish is every bit as fulfilling as the original, Coquilles St. Jacques, while keeping the sea creatures in their rightful place—off the menu and in their habitats.

Creamy Garlic Scallops
By Allison Rivers Samson

Serves 6

4 sheets roasted nori
2 cups boiling water
1/2 teaspoon vegan butter
4 large king trumpet mushroom stems, sliced into 1/2 -inch rounds
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound baby spinach leaves

Cream Sauce
4 cups cauliflower florets, steamed until soft
2 cups water
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked 4 hours or longer and drained
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper

1 16-ounce package pasta, cooked and drained
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, for garnish
1 lemon, zested, for garnish


  1. Scallops: In a medium bowl, steep nori in boiling water for 20 minutes. Using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, strain and set aside, reserving water and discarding nori. In a large skillet over medium heat, add vegan butter and mushrooms. Sauté for 4 minutes, then sprinkle with salt. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, then flip over to brown other side. Stir in garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in nori broth, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Braise for 25 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Discard any remaining liquid. Toss briefly with spinach until spinach wilts.
  2. Cream Sauce: In a high-speed blender, add all ingredients except lemon zest. Blend 2 to 3 minutes, until completely smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan and cook on low heat for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally.
  3. To serve, top linguine with cream sauce and scallops. Drizzle with more sauce and garnish with black pepper and lemon zest. Serve hot.

© Recipe by Allison Rivers Samson, Self-care Coach, award-winning vegan chef and author of 
Quick + Easy DIY Salad BarThe Dairy-Freedom Cookbook, Comfortably Yum, and Co-Founder of The Dairy Detox.

Photo credit: Kathy Patalsky


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