Vegan scallops with creamy lemon tagliatelle has become one of my favorite pasta dishes I've ever made. These vegan scallops are buttery, juicy and tender yet crispy, flavorful, and melt in your mouth. The scallops are made from king oyster mushroom stems that are first pan-seared in a garlic butter sauce then put over tagliatelle that has been tossed in a creamy lemon, garlic, white wine sauce. Okay, I'm drooling, IT'S SERIOUSLY SO GOOD.
This recipe is surprisingly easy to make, fresh, rich in flavor, and is perfect for the spring and summer time. There's 3 main steps to this recipe and you'll still be ready to serve this dish in under 30 minutes!
Even if you don't like mushrooms, I highly recommend you give this recipe a chance because it truly tastes like scallops. Take it from a girl who thought seafood was the best thing since sliced bread for 23 years. Vegan seafood does not disappoint!
- King Oyster Mushroom Stems: what vegan scallops are made of! They absorb the flavor of whatever sauce you marinade or cook them in, just like real scallops. They also have a similar texture to real, pan-seared scallops: succulent, golden/crispy outside with a melt-in-your mouth inside.
- Tagliatelle: I love serving scallops over pasta and this pasta shape is the best when it's paired with our creamy lemon garlic sauce.
- Vegan Butter: KEY for achieving that realistic scallop flavor and texture. Oil does not cut it here!
- Garlic: you know what I'm gonna say, right? "A must." Or maybe a "just yes."
- Lemons: we're using both lemon juice and lemon zest here.
- Creamy Lemon, Garlic, White Wine Sauce: nothing pairs better with scallops than these flavors!! This sauce is made with garlic, white wine, a little bit of flour and non-dairy milk (to get that creaminess), lemon juice, vegan parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper! So.good.
How to make vegan scallops
It's actually so much easier and quicker to make these vegan scallops than you might be thinking!
- Start by removing the caps from the king oyster mushrooms and either discarding them or saving them for a different recipe. Clean the stems and cut them into 1-inch thick round 'coins.'
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add the sliced garlic and saute for about 3 minutes, or until golden, then carefully remove them from the pan, leaving only the melted butter.
- Add the sliced king oyster mushroom stems to the pan, flat side down, about an inch apart, and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and slightly caramelized. Season both sides with salt, pepper, and lemon zest. There ya have it - delicious vegan scallops!!
How to make creamy lemon tagliatelle
- For the pasta: While the vegan scallops are cooking, cook the tagliatelle according to package instructions. I boiled mine in salted water for 8 minutes to achieve al dente pasta.
- For the sauce: In a small pot, melt butter over low-medium heat.
- Add the minced garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the white cooking wine and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until it's nearly all evaporated.
- Sprinkle in the flour and quickly whisk until smooth. Allow it cook for a minute or so to make sure any flourly flavor is cooked off.
- Slowly pour in the non-dairy milk, whisking quickly and until smooth.
- Add the vegan parmesan and mix until combined.
- Squeeze in lemon juice and mix again. Add salt and pepper, tasting to adjust the flavors to your liking.
- Let the sauce simmer on low for 5-10 minutes, or until thickened. If you'd like a thicker sauce, add an additional tablespoon of flour. For a thinner sauce, add more milk.
Recipe Substitutions & Variations
I know I say this in nearly every post, but seriously, this recipe is truly perfect as is in my eyes. Regardless, here are some variations that will still keep this recipe as delicious as the original.
- Switch up the pasta shape! I would recommend sticking with flatter pastas like fettuccine or pappardelle due to the creaminess/thickness of the sauce. However, I have put this sauce on rigatoni and it works great, too!
- Make it gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta and gluten-free flour for the sauce.
- Add a sprinkle of seaweed to the pan-seared vegan scallops for an extra seafood flavor.
- Use whatever non-dairy milk you like! I used soy milk because I like its consistency best for creamy sauces, but really any non-dairy milk will work!
- Use oil instead of vegan butter when making the pasta sauce. You can use oil for the vegan scallops too but it won't be as realistic or flavorful, so I do not recommend it.
- Use nutritional yeast instead of vegan parmesan! It will definitely cause the sauce to be a different taste and color, but it will still thicken the sauce and be super yummy.
- Keep the garlic sliced when making the scallops! Because we want to remove the garlic before adding the mushrooms to the pan, it's best if you slice the cloves. If you mince the garlic, you won't be able to easily scoop it out. Any leftover garlic will end up burning while the scallops cook and will cause both the sauce and vegan scallops to taste very bitter and flat out bad.
- Cook the vegan scallops over at least medium-high heat to ensure you get that nice golden sear on them.
- For the sauce, add the lemon juice last to avoid pickling the garlic.
Yes! Freeze the cooked vegan scallops in an airtight container for up 3 months. Leave about an inch of room in your container because the mushrooms will expand a bit when chilled. Reheat as directed above. There's no need to thaw or let them sit at room temperature for a long time, as mushrooms naturally release water when cooked.
You can store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3-5 days. You can keep the vegan scallops separate from the pasta, or store them together.
To reheat this recipe, add the pasta to a saucepan with a splash of milk. Stir to combine the extra milk (gotta revive the sauce, people!) and cook until heated through. If you've stored them together, this will reheat the scallops as well
If you stored the pasta and scallops separately, reheat the pasta as directed above. For the scallops, reheat them in a skillet with ½ tablespoon of butter until heated through.
If you make this vegan scallops pasta, be sure to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram. If you have any questions or feedback at all, send me an e-mail or leave a comment below! I hope you love them as much as we do!Print