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Tex-Mex Scallop Rice Bowls

These Tex-Mex Scallop Rice Bowls feature tender seared scallops over a flavorful lime rice – plus fresh, easy-to-make pico de gallo and spiced lime crema. This easy recipe is PACKED with fresh flavor!

Overhead view of a Tex-Mex scallop rice bowl

Easy Tex-Mex Rice Bowls with Scallops

These easy Tex-Mex Scallop Rice Bowls are a fabulous new favorite meal, on regular repeat!

If you’re a fan of Tex-Mex flavors and seafood, you’re going to love this latest rice bowls recipe. The bowls feature tender seared scallops over a flavorful lime rice – plus fresh, easy-to-make pico de gallo and spiced lime crema. I love every delicious element!

This is one of my top favorite ways to enjoy pan seared scallops. But if scallops aren’t your thing, just swap them out for shrimp (margarita grilled shrimp would be SO GOOD!) or your favorite fish. You could even leave out seafood entirely and substitute with some chicken or steak.

These scallop rice bowls make an easy lunch or dinner. Filling but not heavy, and loaded with fresh, delicious flavor. Yum!

Close-up of a tex mex rice bowl with scallops

We first enjoyed these scallop rice bowls back in late September.

My sister Cheryl, who lives on Florida’s gulf coast, was staying with us. She had been visiting friends in Romania and couldn’t fly home due to Hurricane Ian. I’m so glad she was able to rearrange her flight to stay with us until the FL airports opened up again.

And this is one of the meals we made together during that time – it’s been on repeat ever since!

Overhead view of ingredients to make lime rice, lime crema, pico de gallo, and seared scallops

What You’ll Need

This recipe is packed with flavor, thanks to its fresh, easy-to-make components. See the recipe card for measurements.

  • Rice – Prepare the rice according to the package instructions as this recipe begins with cooked rice.
  • Limes – I incorporate lime into every aspect of this rice bowl! It adds bright freshness and acidity, and is a classic citrus used in Tex-Mex cuisine.
  • Tomato, onion, cilantro & jalapeno – Make a simple homemade pico de gallo from classic ingredients of tomato, red onion, lime, cilantro, and jalapeno. You could always use a favorite store-bought pico or salsa if you prefer – or my easy restaurant style salsa!
  • Sour cream – The spiced lime crema adds a creamy element to the rice bowl. I use sour cream but a Mexican crema would work too.
  • Taco seasoning – For the taco seasoning, I recommend using your favorite prepared spice mix – can be store-bought or homemade.
  • Sea scallops – I follow the same method here as my pan seared scallops, so be sure to check out that recipe if you need more detailed information on searing scallops.
  • Garnishes – I like to serve these bowls with fresh avocado and cilantro, plus additional lime wedges for squeezing over the top. Some sliced jalapeno is also great, for those who want some extra heat!
A rice bowl with scallops, pico de gallo, avocado, and lime crema

Recipe Variations

One of the reasons I love homemade rice bowls so much is that they’re so flexible. You can add or omit pretty much any ingredient to customize it to your preferences and whatever you have on hand.

Here are a few ways to switch up this Tex Mex Rice bowl:

  • Use a different base. I’m using white rice as the base of our bowl but you could use brown rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice. Or chopped romaine or iceberg lettuce, to make a salad bowl instead.
  • Swap the protein. I’m using seared scallops in this rice bowl but shrimp or fish would work too. I used shrimp in a different Mexican bowl recipe that also includes sweet potatoes. Grilled shrimp would also be super tasty in this recipe. So would some grilled chicken or steak!
  • Add black beans. Beans would be a welcome authentic ingredient to this Tex-Mex bowl, adding both flavor and texture. And more protein!
  • Adjust the heat. The pico de gallo is an easy way to control how hot (or not) this rice bowl is. For a spicy pico, leave the seeds in while you mince the jalapeno. For a more mild pico, discard the seeds before mincing – or use less jalapeno or leave it out entirely. If you eliminate the jalapeno, I’d suggest adding in a bit of minced green bell pepper in its place.
  • Add different toppings. And, of course, you can easily switch up this Tex Mex bowl by adding new or different toppings!

Looking for more Mexican-inspired rice bowls? Check out my chicken fajita bowl and carnitas burrito bowls recipes!

How to Make Tex Mex Rice Bowls with Scallops

These rice bowls are easy to assemble, even though everything’s made from scratch!

  • Prepare the rice. Stir the lime juice and lime zest into the cooked rice.
  • Make the pico de gallo. Combine the pico de gallo ingredients and set aside.
  • Make the lime crema. Whisk together the sour cream, lime juice lime zest, and taco seasoning. Refrigerate.
  • Sear the scallops. Use a paper towel to pat the scallops dry, then season with salt and pepper. Sear in a skillet for 3 minutes, until the bottoms are golden brown and naturally release from the pan. Flip the scallops and add butter to the pan. Add lime, cut side down. Sear for an additional 3 minutes, until scallops are firm and golden brown. Remove the scallops from heat and squeeze the charred lime over the scallops.
  • Assemble. Add rice to 4 individual bowls, followed by the seared scallops. Next add the pico de gallo, plus avocado and cilantro. Offer the lime crema and additional fresh lime wedges on the side. And for those who like heat, some jalapeno slices. Enjoy immediately.
Overhead view of a Tex-Mex rice bowl

Tips for Success

Here are a few tips for making these Tex Mex rice bowls.

  • Prepare the rice first. The prep time for these bowls does not include the rice cooking time. You can easily cook the rice in advance or even use leftover rice in these bowls.
  • Don’t force the scallops to release. When searing scallops, the most important thing is to not force them to release from the bottom of the pan. When they’re fully seared, the bottom will release from the pan naturally. Flipping too soon can cause the scallops to tear.
  • Let the lime crema and pico de gallo chill. While cooking the rice, prep the crema and pico de gallo and set in the fridge for the flavors to meld.
A fork spearing a scallop in a rice bowl

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy these as soon as the seared scallops are ready – you definitely want to eat those beautifully seared scallops while they’re hot!

Feel free to add your favorite toppings, like avocado slices and cilantro. I always add some extra lime wedges too. A squeeze of fresh lime juice really brightens each bite.

You can serve the lime crema drizzled over the top or on the side – your choice.

Enjoy this recipe with my ranch water cocktail or a classic margarita…or one of my other delicious margarita recipes!

Can I Make These in Advance?

Do not make the scallops in advance. But other parts of the recipe will work great.

The rice, lime crema, and pico de gallo can all be stored for up to 2 days in the fridge. In fact, preparing the crema and pico in advance will give the flavors a chance to meld, so you may even find that they taste better on day 2.

Keep all ingredients stored separately, then assemble into bowls right before preparing the scallops. Once the scallops are seared, enjoy them immediately.

More Easy Rice Bowl Recipes:

Ovehead view of a Tex-Mex scallop rice bowl

Tex Mex Scallop Rice Bowls

Yield: 4 servings
prep time: 25 minutes
cook time: 10 minutes
total time: 35 minutes
These Tex-Mex Scallop Rice Bowls feature tender seared scallops over a flavorful lime rice – plus fresh, easy-to-make pico de gallo and spiced lime crema. This easy recipe is PACKED with fresh flavor!
5 Stars (1 Review)


For the Rice:

  • 6 cups cooked white rice more if desired (either warm or at room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest

For the Pico de Gallo:

  • 1 cup finely diced tomato
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno optional
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper to taste

For the Spiced Lime Crema:

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 2 teaspoons taco seasoning

For the Scallops:

  • 1 pound large sea scallops
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 lime halved

Additional Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 1 lime cut into wedges
  • Chopped cilantro to taste
  • jalapeno slices if desired


For the Rice:

  • In a medium bowl, combine cooked rice with lime juice and zest. Set aside.

For the Pico de Gallo:

  • In a large bowl, combine the tomato, red onion, cilantro, lime, and jalapeno. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

For the Spiced Lime Crema:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lime juice, lime zest, and taco seasoning. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Scallops:

  • Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel and season them lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium to medium-high heat, and add the olive oil. Once oil is hot, sear the scallops (flat side down) for about 3 minutes, or until they are golden brown and release naturally from the pan. Refrain from pulling the scallops too much because they can rip.
  • When the scallops are golden brown, flip them and add the butter to the pan. Add the lime, cut side down.
  • Sear scallops for another 3 minutes, or until they are firm and golden brown on the second side.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and squeeze the charred lime over the scallops.

To Assemble:

  • Divide lime rice between 4 individual bowls. Add seared scallops followed by the pico de gallo and avocado. Garnish with cilantro and offer lime crema and lime wedges on the side. Offer fresh jalapeno slices for those who like extra heat. Enjoy immediately.


Storage: Scallops don’t reheat well so I recommend enjoying these bowls immediately after they’re prepared.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 694kcal Carbohydrates: 89g Protein: 33g Fat: 24g Saturated Fat: 7g Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g Cholesterol: 71mg Sodium: 980mg Fiber: 7g Sugar: 5g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!
Ovehead view of a Tex-Mex scallop rice bowl

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