Mexican Scallops with Chorizo and Beer

A quick, easy weeknight one-pan meal with a Mexican vibe, Mexican Scallops with Chorizo and Beer gets its bold flavor from lean Mexican chorizo, and requires only about 30 minutes… Don’t relegate this dish to weeknights, though. It is definitely worthy of a dinner party or date night!

A grey speckled bowl with Mexican Scallops with Chorizo and Beer simmered in beer with a silver spoon and grey napkin.

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – Mexican Scallops Inspiration

If you have followed Beyond Mere Sustenance, you’re probably aware I’m a border girl (U.S. and Mexico), and have a love affair with Mexican cuisine… I am not talking about fat-laden, gooey enchiladas and fried chile rellenos (though they are delicious!).

I am talking about mole, seafood, fresh and dried chiles, slow-cooked pork, nopalitos, tropical fruit, tequila and mezcal, and so much more. Never one to attempt to recreate abuelita’s family recipe, I use my knowledge of the Mexican kitchen and ubiquitous ingredients to create new recipes with a distinct Mexican flair.

Mexican Scallops with Beer and Chorizo is a very simple and weeknight-friendly dish. It gets its fantastic Mexican flavor from lean Mexican chorizo. Chorizo is one of my “pantry” ingredients kept in the refrigerator for us an ounce or two at a time. It’s all about the flavor!

♨️ How to Make a Perfectly Seared Scallop

A “perfectly seared scallop” may be a challenge for many home cooks. The key to getting a good sear lies in starting with a dry scallop. Unfortunately, most U.S. markets sell “wet” scallops that have been treated with phosphates to preserve shelf life. The phosphates cause the scallops to absorb water, and may give them a bit of an off-taste. 

If you’ve purchased “wet” scallops, it helps to soak them in a mixture of 1 quart cold water, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons table salt for 30 minutes. If you’ve purchased “dry” scallops, skip the brine.

Rinse and drain the scallops, and place atop several layers of paper towels or a clean, dry towel. Top with several more layers of paper towels. Gently press to remove moisture.

Salt and pepper the scallops on both sides, and they’re ready for your smoking hot pan 🙂 I find my cast iron skillet gives great results; stainless steel is another good option. Use a very thin layer of oil!

🎥 Mexican Scallops Video

📋 Ingredients Notes

Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.

Ingredients for the Mexican scallops: tomatoes, chorizo, corn, red onion, squash, cumin, scallops.
  • lean chorizo – I have a recipe for lean chorizo, but you can use store-bought as well. Look for bulk chorizo in a tray rather than in a tube. It’s usually leaner.
  • tiny tomatoes
  • onion
  • corn – You can use fresh off the cob or frozen.
  • squash – Use a summer variety like Mexican grey squash, zucchini, or yellow squash.
  • ground cumin
  • beer – If you’d rather not cook with beer, use broth or stock instead.
  • scallops – See section above for tips on searing scallops!

🔪 Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1 - Chorizo frying in a pan with a wood spatula.
  • Cook and crumble the chorizo – Over medium-high heat, sauté the chorizo. I like this meat masher. I discovered it after I took these photos.
Step 2 - Tomatoes added to the chorizo in the pan with a wooden spatula.
  • Add tomatoes. Sauté until they begin to burst, stirring occasionally.
Step 3 - Chopped onion is added to the chorizo and tomatoes.
  • Add chopped onion. Sauté until onion begins to look transparent and mixture is fragrant (about 2-3 minutes).
Step 4 - Cumin is added to the mixture.
  • Add ground cumin. Give it all a good stir.
Step 5 - Fresh or frozen corn is added to the saute pan.
  • Add zucchini and corn. Stir to combine.
Step 6 - The chorizo and vegetable mixture is de-glazed with beer or broth/stock simmers.
  • Add the beer or broth.
Step 7 - Scallops in a hot pan are turned when they're caramelized, then set aside to finish the dish.
  • Sear the scallops – While the chorizo and vegetables simmer, sear the scallops. Use a heavy-bottomed pan (like this cast iron), and a little bit of oil. Get the pan really hot. Add scallops. Leave them alone until they’re likely browned. Test the edge of one; it should release. Flip, and cook another minute on the other side. Serve browned side up.
  • To serve – Divide the vegetable and beer mixture between 2 shallow bowls. Top with half the seared scallops. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
A grey bowl of Mexican scallops with corn and squash and a grey napkin.


Do I have to use beer?

NO! Substitute chicken, seafood, or vegetable broth/stock for the beer.

What kind of beer is best?

I keep Coronitas on hand for dishes like this and Healthy Mexican Seafood Soup. At 7 ounces, it’s close enough to 8 ounces, and I don’t have to drink the rest! LOL. You want a light, clean lager for this dish. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy.

What constitutes “lean chorizo?”

I get my chorizo at Sprouts or HEB, and I can tell from the amount of white in the tray that it is lean. Occasionally I find chicken chorizo, but the pork chorizo at HEB is very lean. I do NOT recommend the chorizo that comes in a tube unless you read the label and it is chicken. Flavored fat is not what you want here! I must mention, I typically make homemade lean chorizo, and store it in 8 ounce packages in my freezer. If you love to “start from scratch,” you should check it out!

🍷 Pairing Suggestions

You can go with a beer or with wine with this dish. I find sauvignon blanc is always a good pairing with seafood, and it works with this scallop recipe. Any light, crisp, dry white or rosé will be tasty!

Craft beer lovers will appreciate a hazy, citrus-forward IPA or a summer saison IMHO. Of course, if you have a favorite Mexican beer, go for it!

Summer is always upon us in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. We find this dish tastes good year ’round.

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.

A grey speckled bowl of 4 Seared Scallops atop corn, squash, and tomatoes with a spoon and a grey napkin.

Mexican Scallops with Chorizo and Beer

Mexican chorizo and ground cumin seasoned corn, squash, and tomatoes de-glazed with beer and topped with perfectly seared scallops… A quick, healthy, and gluten free scallop recipe with a distinct Mexican vibe!
5 from 2 votes

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 2 servings
Calories 382 kcal


  • 2 ounces lean chorizo
  • 1 cup tiny tomatoes
  • ½ cup onion - chopped
  • 1 cup corn - (about 2 ears)
  • 1 summer squash - zucchini, Mexican grey, crookneck, yellow, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup beer - see Tips or broth/stock
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • chopped cilantro for garnish
  • 8 large sea scallops - about 12 ounces


  • Over medium-high heat, sauté the chorizo. Add tomatoes. Sauté until they begin to burst. Add chopped onion. Sauté until onion begins to look transparent and mixture is fragrant. Add ground cumin. Give it all a good stir. Add squash. Stir to combine. Add corn. Stir to combine.
  • Add beer. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender (not mushy!) – about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper!
  • Prepare the scallops. Add a drizzle of oil to the pan over fairly high heat. Do NOT crowd the pan! Turn when well-caramelized and cook the other side. Set aside.
  • Divide the vegetable and beer mixture between 2 shallow bowls. Top with half the seared scallops. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. Enjoy!


Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 1170mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 15g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions:

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  1. What an exciting scallop dish! Bobby is headed to Costco next week and he always picks up a couple of pounds of sea scallops. They are so good seared, but I’ve never served them with chorizo and have made anything like what you’ve made here. Looks delicious! Pinned!

    1. Thanks MJ! I have found lean chorizo to pair really well with seafood and fish (I’ve used it in recipes previously). Chorizo has so many wonderful flavors, it adds so much with very little effort! Thanks for stopping by…