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I have always loved scallops. Whenever we’d go out for seafood, I’d order them, but they started getting expensive. After sifting through loads of scallop recipes, I decided to learn how to cook scallops perfectly and crafted my own pan seared scallop recipe at home. Not only is it much more affordable, but you can also have them any time you have the craving. Sea scallops make an excellent quick meal any night of the week that also comes out elegant enough for any guests, and my whole family loves them in this simple garlic lemon butter sauce.

Best scallops recipe

Best Scallop Recipe

Of all the sea scallop recipes out there think of the best sauteed scallops you’ve had at a restaurant. Now, think about having that at home in less time than it takes to get a table at that restaurant. This is the best scallop recipe you’ll ever make, one that will be your ace in the hole any time you need something fancier to serve for friends and family.

Easy Scallop Recipe

Learning how to cook scallops is easy! With just a few simple and fresh ingredients, and less than 20 minutes of your time, this easy scallops recipe can be made any night of the week. It’s so delicious and refined yet so easy, you’ll wish you’d made it sooner.

scallops ingredients

Ingredients for Sea Scallops Dish

  • Scallops – Yes, you can use frozen but if you can find them fresh, that’s best.
  • Butter – Choose unsalted or else it may come out too salty for your liking.
  • Salt and pepper – The best seasoning for scallops when searing to perfection.
  • Lemon butter sage sauce – You’ll make this with unsalted butter, minced garlic, fresh lemon juice, fresh chopped sage, fresh chopped parsley, and salt and pepper. Its the perfect sauce for scallops!

Easy seared scallops recipe

How do you Make Scallops from Scratch

When learning how to prepare scallops, you’ll start by rinsing the scallops and patting them dry. Once dry season your scallops with salt and pepper prior to cooking them in the butter. When cooking scallops, they should be golden brown on both sides after cooking each side 1 to 3 minutes. Set them aside and make the sauce by melting the butter, then adding the garlic. Once fragrant, add the lemon juice, sage, and salt and pepper. Add the scallops back in just to combine and then garnish with parsley before serving straight away.

I’m on the seafood diet. I see food and I eat it.

Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Sea Scallops Every Time

  • Don’t overcook the scallops. Pan seared scallops cook very quickly. Watch for the golden hue and flip, then cook the other side and get them out of the pan. You don’t want them to be chewy.
  • Fresh is best. But if you can’t find fresh scallops, frozen ones will do just fine. Be sure to thaw them ahead of time so they will cook the same way as fresh.
  • Use unsalted butter. Scallops will have a slightly salty taste on their own. Since you’ll be adding in salt to sear them and into the sauce you make, using salted butter will be overkill.

How do you make scallops from scratch

Do you rinse scallops before cooking?

Yes, you should rinse them in cold water first. This cleans off any remaining dirt or grit as well as any fishiness.

Should you soak scallops before cooking?

There’s no need to soak them but you can if you like. This recipe calls for rinsing them in cold water first. 

What does soaking scallops in milk do?

Some say it tenderizes the scallops and removes the fishy taste and smell. But there’s no need for all of that if you rinse them well in cold water and then pat them dry.

How to cook pan seared scallops

What is the best way to eat scallops?

The best way to cook scallops is to pan sear them. Seared scallops remain juicy and tender because pan searing them allows them to cook quickly while imparting loads of flavor.

How Long to Cook Scallops

When learning how to cook sea scallops in a pan, you’ll learn that scallops require only a short time on the stove before they’re done. You’ll want to pay full attention to them as they cook so quickly.

How do you make good seared scallops?

That’s easy if you follow this recipe. You’ll sear them, then make the sauce, add them back in for a quick toss, and then serve.

What does soaking scallops in milk do

What kind of pan is best for searing scallops?

When learning how to sear scallops the pan you use can make a difference. If you have a cast iron skillet, that’s one of the best you can use. If not, a deep skillet of any kind will work.

What is the best oil to cook scallops?

When learning how to pan sear scallops, olive oil along with unsalted butter is the best combination when cooking scallops. It gives them an excellent sear and that rich, buttery taste along with it too.

How to cook frozen scallops?

When learning how to cook scallops on the stove, you should thaw them overnight in your fridge first. This way, they will be ready to cook just like fresh ones for this recipe.

What is the best oil to cook scallops

How does Gordon Ramsay cook scallops?

Gordon Ramsay cooks his scallops in much the same way. He gets the pan hot and sears them in oil for a few minutes on each side and removes them from the pan quickly to prevent overcooking.

What flavors go well with scallops?

Lemon and butter are a match for sauteed scallops. Adding sage gives it an elegant flavor too for a restaurant-quality dish.

What to serve with Scallops?

A side of pasta with a lemony sauce would be divine! Also, sauteed spinach, a fresh salad, lemon orzo, and fingerling potatoes would be a match.

How do you make good seared scallops

How to Store Scallops

Because they are seafood, any sauteed scallops recipe need to be refrigerated. You can keep them uncooked for up to 2 days so don’t buy them too far in advance or you’ll have to freeze them.

How Long Do Scallops Last?

If you store your seared sea scallops right after cooking, you can enjoy any leftover scallops from your fridge up to 3 or 4 days later.

Can You Freeze Scallops?

Absolutely! You’ll be able to keep your cooked scallops for about 2 or 3 months this way.

How to Reheat Scallops?

Always let them thaw in your fridge overnight and then heat them gently on the stovetop so you warm them through without making them chewy.

Watch How To Make Scallops (Video)

Pan Seared Scallops Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 251
This pan seared scallops recipe is phenomenal! Crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside. These are by far my favorite way to cook scallops and are cooked in a delicious lemon butter sage sauce!


  • 1 lb scallops
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • salt
  • black pepper

Lemon Butter Sage Sauce

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp garlic (minced)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh sage (chopped)
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 3 tbsp fresh Italian parsley (chopped)


  • Rinse the scallops with cold water and thoroughly pat dry with a paper towel. Season the scallops with salt and pepper on either side. In a large skillet on medium to medium-high heat, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter. Transfer the scallops to the hot skillet and cook until golden brown on either side, about 1-3 minutes per side. Once cooked, set aside.
  • Now, make the lemon butter sage sauce. Melt the butter on medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. When the garlic is fragrant, add in the lemon juice, salt and pepper, and sage. Place the scallops back in the skillet with the butter sauce. Garnish with the parsley and serve immediately.
Calories: 251kcal
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Seafood


Calories: 251kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 449mg | Potassium: 303mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 695IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg

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I’m a mom of two, food and wine lover, and recipe creation enthusiast. Good food brings families together. Which is why I’m devoted to sharing my best recipes that are simple enough for even the beginner cook that your family will love!

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