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Sofrito Scallops with Saffron Rice

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

Used with everything from beans to meat to fish, the versatile tomato-based sauce called sofrito is the soul of Latin American and Caribbean food. In this Cuban-inspired dish, bay scallops are tossed in the hot sofrito and then served with saffron-infused rice.


  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 1-1/2 cups long-grain white rice
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbs.)
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce, such as Hunt’s
  • 1 Tbs. ketchup
  • 1 lb. bay scallops
  • 1/2 lemon

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 510
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 100
  • Fat (g): 12
  • Saturated Fat (g): 2
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8
  • Cholesterol (mg): 25
  • Sodium (mg): 1500
  • Carbohydrates (g): 74
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Protein (g): 21


  • Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil and the saffron in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until the saffron is sizzling. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add 3 cups water and 1-1/2 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute; reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, stir once, cover, and cook until all of the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, green pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in the oregano, cumin, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomato sauce and cup water; bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook until slightly thickened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the ketchup and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • When the rice is ready, add the scallops to the hot sofrito and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer the rice to a large platter and top with the scallop mixture. Season to taste with lemon juice, and serve immediately.


Rate or Review

Reviews (2 reviews)

  • annemarg | 10/10/2019

    This recipe is a staple in our house. Works perfectly with any great fish and is always a crowdpleaser !

  • User avater
    rbhartman | 11/13/2013

    Quick and tasty. I added 1/4 teaspoon of hot smoked paprika to kick it up a notch. I couldn't get bay scallops so I bought sea scallops and cut them into smaller pieces.

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