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Easy Vegan Scallops and Garlic Sauce

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


These rich and flavorful Easy Vegan Scallops are served in a flavorful garlic butter sauce over pasta with sun dried tomatoes and fresh herbs.


Units Scale

Vegan Scallops

  • 6-8 large king oyster mushrooms (see note 1 for substitution)
  • 2 cups (473mL) roasted garlic broth (recommended) or vegetable broth (see note 2)
  • 2 tablespoons white or yellow miso paste (soy-free: substitute chickpea miso)
  • 1-2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce (use GF if needed) (see note 3)
  • 1 teaspoon ume plum vinegar OR dulse flakes, optional (see note 4)
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

Pasta, etc.

  • 1 pound (453g) bucatini, spaghetti, or pasta of choice (use GF if needed)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sun dried tomatoes (see note 5)
  • Vegan butter if you’d like, or a little extra broth for sauteing (if oil-free)
  • Grated vegan parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast, optional—a good thickener if your sauce is too thin (see note 6)


  • Parsley, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • Vegan Parmesan cheese, finely grated with a microplane, optional


  1. Make the marinade: Start by mixing the marinade ingredients in a bowl or measuring cup.
  2. Cut the mushroom stems into thick 1-inch rounds. Save the heads for a stir-fry like my vegan chop suey. Score one side of the mushrooms by drawing light lines with your knife across it. This helps the mushroom absorb more marinade and flavor. Add the mushrooms to the marinade and let them soak for 6-10 minutes, flipping or tossing them with your hands (gently) halfway through the process. DO NOT discard the leftover marinade as it will be the base of our sauce.
  3. Make pasta: If you’re serving this with pasta, start the pasta water since it won’t take long to cook the scallops. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  4. Heat a large nonstick skillet (I use All Clad Nonstick—safe and good quality) over medium high heat. Add a little vegan butter or a splash of broth to the pan and add in as many scallops as will fit with a little breathing room (about ¾-inch). Do two batches if you need to. Allow the vegan scallops to cook for 5-6 minutes on one side undisturbed (I’d go 3-4 if not using vegan butter), then flip and cook another 2-4 minutes until nicely browned on both sides. Set them aside.
  5. Sauté garlic and tomatoes: If you’d like to add a little more vegan butter or broth do that now. Add the garlic and sun dried tomatoes and sauté for a minute.
  6. Add the remainder of your marinade and stir well. Let heat for a few minutes, and then transfer the cooked pasta to the pot with tongs. Stir well and taste the sauce. If it’s too thick, add a splash of the starchy cooking water. If it’s too thin, add some grated vegan parmesan or a little nutritional yeast, or you can make a little slurry from 3 tablespoons of water and a tablespoon of arrowroot powder or cornstarch. Mix until thick and to your liking.
  7. Serve: Stir in most of the chopped parsley and serve. Give it a grind of black pepper and a sprinkle of vegan parmesan. Enjoy!
  8. Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days, but like with most pasta dishes, this is best the first night. Gently reheat any leftovers. You may want to reheat any leftover scallops in a skillet over medium heat with a little vegan butter.


  • Note 1: You can often find king oyster mushrooms at Asian grocery stores or other international markets with a produce section. Alternatively, you can use hearts of palm that come in a can or jar. These are slightly smaller but work well. The mushrooms tend to absorb a little more of the marinade because they’re a little spongy, so that’s why I prefer them in this recipe.
  • Note 2: I used Roasted Garlic Better Than Bouillon in this recipe and it’s SO GOOD. I can find it at my normal grocery store, it’s vegan, and it lasts forever in the fridge. If you’ve never heard of this brand, it’s a jar of concentrated stock paste and you just mix a spoonful with hot water to create broth (about a teaspoon per cup, but I find that you can use less). Alternatively, just use vegetable broth and more garlic if you are a garlic fiend like my husband and I are.
  • Note 3:  I use a less sodium soy sauce (the regular stuff is a little too salty for me) to help flavor the sauce. If you are gluten-free, substitute reduced sodium gluten-free tamari. If you are soy-free, use No-Soy or Coconut Aminos.
  • Note 4: To really get a seafood flavor into the vegan scallops, you need either ume plum vinegar or dulse flakes. Crumbled nori sheets can also be used in a pinch! If you don’t care about them having the seafood flavor and just want it to be savory, skip this altogether and they’ll still be delicious.
  • Note 5: They are so flavorful and go perfectly in this dish! Note that if you are oil-free, you’ll want the kind in plastic rather than the jarred kind which is packed in oil. I actually did use the kind in plastic here because I feel this recipe is rich enough without adding more oil from the oil-packed tomatoes. I simply rehydrate mine in hot water then drain them before adding them to my pan with garlic.
  • Note 6: Vegan parmesan (grated) is optional, but I used it to slightly thicken the pasta sauce at the end. I used about a third of a cup. You could use nutritional yeast instead or even just make a little cornstarch or arrowroot powder slurry at the end if you prefer.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American, Italian

Keywords: Vegan, Nut-Free, Sugar-Free, Can Be Oil-Free, Can Be Soy-Free, Can Be Gluten-Free, Vegan Scallops