The BEST Seared Scallops with Lemon Butter Sauce! Simple and quick this dish is ready for a date night at home or an indulgent weeknight meal.
Wow your guest with this simple and superb scallop recipe. These scallops are butter soft and full or rich and tangy flavor from the butter and lemon sauce.
Every time I make this recipe for family and friends I get amazing reviews. I know you will too! Learn how to make seared scallops with a perfectly golden brown crust, just like at the restaurants (only better!)
They’re incredibly easy to make at home and more affordable than dining out.
- BEST seared scallops in lemon butter
- How to make (step by step)
- When are scallops done cooking?
- Tips for the perfect seared scallops
- How to thaw scallops
- Restaurant worthy scallops at home
- Are scallops healthy?
- Where to buy scallops?
- Serving Suggestions
- How to make Scallops Step by Step (Video)
- Seared Scallops in Lemon Butter
All it takes is a few simple ingredients for the best scallops you will ever taste!
- Sea salt for seasoning
- Fresh ground pepper (optional for seasoning- I prefer without)
- Salted butter
- Olive oil
- Freshly parsley, for garnish
BEST seared scallops in lemon butter
Scallops are similar to crab or lobster taste-wise but they have a firmer texture. The flavor tends to be sweet, buttery, and delicate.
When it comes to fresh seafood my advice is this: KISS (Keep it Simple Seafood). Highlight the natural fresh flavor of the fish or seafood by keeping the ingredients simple and natural.
Searing the lemon slices in the butter and oil helps add flavor to the scallops when they are seared in the hot pan.
However, over cooking the scallops cause it to lose its buttery taste and delicate texture.
Scallops are one of the easiest things you can make at home. See Video at the end of this post for how easy it is to make this scallop recipe.
How to make (step by step)
- Dry your scallops and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat an oiled and buttered skillet or pan until it is sizzling. Key step right here.
- I use butter AND oil for maximum flavor and heat. If you only use butter you risk that it will burn if the heat is too high. You want them to sizzle and crisp to a golden color on the outside and the oil helps achieve that high temp.
- For this recipe I first sear the lemons which helps flavor the cooking butter and oil that will later flavor the scallops.
- The first scallop should sizzle as soon as it hits the oil. If it doesn’t, wait and let the pan continue heating before adding any more.
- Cook for a few minutes on each side and that is it! So easy.
See video at the bottom for more.
When are scallops done cooking?
Both sides of a scallop should be seared to a perfect golden-brown ‘crust’ with the sides opaque all the way through.
They should be firm to the touch, but still slightly soft with a little bounce to them.
Tips for the perfect seared scallops
- Dry your scallops with a paper towel - this simple step will insure that the scallops get a nice sear on both sides. If the scallops have too much water on them they will boil in the pan.
- Don't overcrowd your pan - this will also cause your scallops to boil and not brown and cook properly. If you make a big batch cook a handful at a time, depending, on your pan size, and let the others rest while covered with foil as you cook the rest. You may need to add a little extra butter every time you make a new batch.
- Don't overcook! - there is a fine point between a nice buttery scallop and a tough rubbery one. It is better to slightly undercook them and let them fish cooking by letting them rest for 5 minutes (like a good steak).
- Do use good quality butter- French- or European-style butter is considered the highest quality; it contains a bit more fat, thus less water than what we Americans call “regular” butter and often made from cultured cream, which may make it taste divine! It will add richness to any dish.
- Do use good olive oil. Just like the butter this will bring out the delicious and natural flavor of the scallops.
How to thaw scallops
It is best to buy scallops fresh from the fish counter or fish monger. If you use good quality frozen scallops here is how to thaw them properly.
- Thaw scallops in a bowl of cold water for about 10-20 minutes until thawed completely, or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Make sure to thoroughly pat them dry with paper towel to absorb all the liquid before searing.
Restaurant worthy scallops at home
Cheaper than a restaurant and just as good, if not better than, chef prepared scallops! These crispy, pan seared and juicy Seared Scallops with Lemon Butter Sauce are the ultimate seafood treat!
Serve as a starter or main dish, these tender scallops melt in your mouth in the most delicious way!
If you make this recipe please write a comment! I want to connect with all of you through your experience with my recipes.
From my Cucina to your Table, Mangia! Mangia! (Eat!). Made with Amore, Elena.
More delicious recipes for you…
All you need is 6 ingredients and 15 minutes for the most amazing, buttery scallops ever. Yes, it’s just that easy and simple!
How to make Scallops Step by Step (Video)
Now that you've read all about making scallops at home watch this video and make them soon!
Once the the scallops are done cooking, serve immediately, and make sure to transfer them to a serving dish or platter. The cast iron retains heat and will continue cooking the scallops unless you take them out. Enjoy!
Make sure to leave a ⭐️star rating on the recipe card and comment below if you make the recipe. I love to connect with you through my recipes.Print
- 11-12 fresh or frozen scallops
- sea salt for seasoning
- ground pepper (optional for seasoning- I prefer without)
- 1 small lemon, sliced in ¼ inch slices
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup freshly cut parsley
- Prepare scallops by patting them completely dry with a paper towel. Season with sea salt on both sides (optional season with ground pepper as well). Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a cast iron pan or other large saucepan on medium high heat. Once the butter is melted add the lemon and cook until brown on both sides (about 2 minutes per side). Remove lemons from pan and set aside.
- Add the scallops one at a time to the pan. Make sure to space them evenly so they don't steam in the pan. If your pan is small cook in two batches.
- Add the other 1 tablespoon of butter and olive oil to the pan. Sear the scallops for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Only turn and touch one time- no need to move them around in the pan. Flip with tongs to turn at half way cooking point. Do not overcook.
- Take skillet off the heat. Add the lemons back to the pan and garnish with parsley. Serve hot! Mangia!
- Prep Time: 5 min
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Savory
- Method: Italian
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: scallops, seafood, main dish, Italian food, appetizer