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vertical image of scallop scampi with a branch of fresh tomatoes hanging over

Scallop Scampi with Zucchini Noodles (Paleo, Keto, Whole30, AIP, GF)

Scallop Scampi with Zucchini Noodles is the perfect light meal, full of good fats, rich flavorful pan-seared scallops and refreshing light zoodles — all tossed with fresh basil, olive oil, a bit of fresh lemon juice and sea salt.
Course DInner
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword aip, keto, low carb, paleo, scallops, scampi, whole30
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 235kcal
Author Megan
Cost $15


  • two large skillets
  • spiralizer or veggie peeler to make zucchini noodles


  • 1 to 1-1/2 pounds sea scallops or depending on how many people are eating: allow 3 to 4 sea scallops per person
  • 4 zucchini ,about, or one zucchini per person eating (or one huge homegrown & overgrown zucchini)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or unsalted butter (not AIP) (This is used to finish the scallops and to cook the zoodles.)
  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil , ghee or bacon fat (This is used for the initial higher heat cooking of the scallops.)
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped fine or crushed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt , about: You'll use this to sprinkle on the cooking scallops.
  • fresh basil
  • Optional depending on one's diet, (not for AIP): homegrown tomatoes, freshly ground black pepper and Parmesan cheese (not for Whole30)


  • Heat a large skillet over high heat. Once the pan is hot, add avocado oil (or ghee), reduce heat to medium-high and coat the pan with the fat. Add the sea scallops, but do not crowd them too close to each other. Reduce heat to medium if it seems too hot. Sprinkle with sea salt (and optional black pepper, not AIP). Cook 3 to 5 minutes, until the bottom side is browned (time depends on the pan you use and the temperature of the pan). (Do not "saute" the scallops: Meaning, do not move them around in the pan at all. In order for them to brown perfectly, they need to stay in one spot. Use tongs or a spatula to flip each one.)
  • After flipping, salt the second side lightly as well. Cook the second side about 3 minutes. In the final minute of cooking, add one tablespoon of butter or olive oil to help deglaze the pan and glaze the scallops. When they're done cooking, keep them warm over lowest heat while you finish the noodles.
  • When the scallops are almost done cooking, heat a second large skillet over high heat. Add olive oil (or butter [not AIP]) to the pan. Add zoodles and garlic. Quickly toss the zucchini noodles for just 1 (to 2) minute(s) total. (Otherwise, they get pretty soft and can produce too much liquid. If this happens, don't worry; it'll still be yummy. But they do lose bulk/reduce down a lot when they're cooked longer.)
  • When zoodles are done cooking, remove from heat. Add lemon juice and toss to coat. Plate the zucchini noodles.
  • Add scallops on top. Garnish with fresh basil. If included in your diet (not AIP), add garden tomatoes and freshly ground black pepper. For Keto and Primal, garnish with fresh Parmesan. Serve with slices of fresh lemon, more olive oil for passing and sea salt for the zoodles. Optional AIP-friendly garnishes include olives and capers.


Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 820mg | Potassium: 656mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 392IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg