Vegan Scallops – really dive into the cruelty-free pool, leave those bivalves alone, and make this vegan recipe instead! Plump king oyster mushroom stems, flawlessly cooked in plant-based butter, spices, and herbs create the perfect replacement for scallops. Plenty of flavor, but lax on the effort, makes for one irresistible recipe.
This is my classic recipe for scallops that I recreated using mushrooms and could not tell the difference between looks and also flavor. I photographed this in the same skillet using the same recipe for my sea scallops and they literally look identical. It’s absolutely mind blowing and I hope you give it a try.
If you’re looking for vegan recipes that don’t use faux meat, but have ingredients that have similar textures to meat, check out my entrees list! You’ll adore my Vegan Bolognese, Watermelon Tuna, and this Vegan Chicken with Broccoli!
What Are Vegan Scallops Made Of?
Outside of the processed alternatives available on the market, the stem of a very specific mushroom is used to slice up scallops. The King Oyster Mushroom to be specific. It has larger sized stems. When cut correctly, they look, taste, and feel exactly like scallops. If you weren’t the one cooking them with the knowledge that they were mushroom stems, you would have a difficult time realizing they weren’t scallops. It’s crazy!
How to Make Vegan Scallops
- Prep – Preheat a cast iron skillet. Slice the mushroom stems into 1-inch medallions and pat dry.
- Season – Spray the mushroom medallions with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt, black pepper, and sweet paprika. Spread all.
- Cook – Place the scallops in the hot pan and cook on each side for 2 minutes. Season the side that wasn’t seasoned and flip it back over for 2 more minutes. Set aside.
- Saute – Melt the vegan butter (or olive oil) in the skillet and add the garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add in the parsley and lemon. Add the scallops back to the pan with the sauce.
- Serve – Add to this favorite tomato basil pasta, cacio e pepe or garlic spicy noodles and enjoy!
Recipe Tips & Variations
- Storage – Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze them by storing them in an airtight container. They should keep for 2-3 months.
- Reheating – Reheat using a skillet over the stove or the microwave, if need be.
- Add a seafood flavor – To give your plant based scallops an extra seafood flavor, make sure to crumble some seaweed and sprinkle it over the top before serving.
- Do king oyster mushrooms look like scallops? – That’s a big YES! More specifically speaking, it’s their stem that looks like scallops. If sliced appropriately, it will be hard to tell the difference.
- Do half oil – When melting the butter for the sauce, you can always swap out half or all of the vegan butter for olive oil. I prefer the vegan butter because the flavor is so much richer, but to tame down the sauce a bit, oil is the perfect addition.
- Are Scallops Vegan? Scallops belong to the bivalves family (sea creatures with a hinged valve). The day I witnessed a clam propel itself on the ocean floor to escape a predator (basically run for its life) I knew it was over for me. I was done consuming these clearly intelligent creatures. Some will argue that scallops are not really animals, and so therefore, justify their consumption. However, due to lack of conclusive evidence on whether or not they feel pain, I prefer to avoid causing suffering, especially as there is absolutely no need for us to consume them. Not to worry, King Oyster mushrooms, perfectly seasoned and pan seared in a cast iron skillet, will yield a perfect scallop-like texture and deliver nutrition like a boss.
- What to Serve with mushroom scallops? Whatever you would normally serve your scallops with, you can serve these ones with as well! I have even added them to the top of a delicious salad. Some of my favorite options for serving these scallops is over this Spaghetti Aglio e Olio recipe, Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes, pea puree, risotto, creamy polenta, this mashed potato salad or go all out with some ginger caviar. Of course, you could always eat them by themselves as a snack as well with a piece of crusty bread!
- Vegan Mushroom Bourguignon
- Vegan Steak
- Kelp Noodle Salad
- Cherry Tomato Basil Pasta
- Tofu Parmesan
- Best Vegan Fish for Tacos.
Vegan Scallops (King Oyster Mushroom Scallops)
- Preheat a seasoned cast iron skillet over medium low heat. Coat it with a thin layer of olive oil if needed.1 tsp olive oil
- Slice the king oyster mushroom stems into 1 inch thick rounds and pat dry. (Reserve the caps for another recipe or just use them here if you don’t mind the shape).1 lb King Oyster Mushrooms
- Brush or spray one side of the oyster mushroom rounds with olive oil then season with a pinch of sea salt, black pepper and sweet paprika. Use your hand to spread the spices all over the top.1 pinch sweet paprika, S & P to taste
- Add the vegan scallops to the hot skillet seasoned side down. You should hear it sizzle nicely when it hits that hot pan. Cook for approximately 2 minutes per side until a nice golden brown color is achieved (stay close by, don't overcook).
- Meanwhile season the other side with salt, pepper and a tiny pinch of paprika. Flip and cook another 2 minutes or so. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.
- Add the vegan butter (or a mix of vegan butter ad olive oil) to the skillet you cooked the vegan scallops in. Mix in the grated garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds or so taking care not to burn it, you just want to tame it down a bit.4 Tbsp vegan butter (or olive oil), 3-4 cloves garlic
- Squeeze in the lemon and add the parsley then transfer the "vegan scallops” back into the sauce. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and serve hot over mashed potatoes, Aglio e olio pasta or a slice of bruschetta.1/2 lemon, 1/4 cup Italian parsley
- Storage - Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze them by storing them in an airtight container. They should keep for 2-3 months.
- Reheating - Reheat using a skillet over the stove or the microwave, if need be.
- Add a seafood flavor - To give your vegan scallops an extra seafood flavor, make sure to crumble some seaweed and sprinkle it over the top before serving.
- Do king oyster mushrooms look like scallops? - That’s a big YES! More specifically speaking, it’s their stem that resembles scallops. If sliced appropriately, it will be hard to tell the difference, just look at the photos!