Creamy Pan Seared Scallops with Lemon Garlic Sauce

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Creamy garlic scallops are ready in under 20 minutes and taste just as good as chef made. These pan-seared scallops are smothered in a rich cream sauce bursting with garlic flavors that melts in your mouth. With just a few ingredients, make a quick and easy scallop recipe that’s sure to impress everyone. 

creamy scallops with lemon garlic sauce

This weekend we wanted something special, so we decided to make scallops because we celebrated reaching a new milestone with the blog. 

Since we love Garlic Butter Scallops so much, we wanted to try them with a silky buttery, flavored with a little garlic sauce. We loved this low carb creamy garlic scallops recipe so much, and I’m sure it’s going to become one of your favorites. 

Watch our quick step-by-step video to see exactly how easy it is to make creamy garlic scallops from scratch! Don’t forget to subscribe to our Youtube Channel.

Why Are You Going To Love This Recipe

  • looks super fancy, but it’s incredibly easy to make.
  • restaurant-worthy meal ready in just 20 minutes.
  • pairs perfectly with both low carb or carb side dishes.
  • all the ingredients are common and you surely have them in your pantry.
creamy pan seared scallops recipe

Ingredients For Creamy Garlic Scallops

For these delicious creamy seared scallops with creamy garlic sauce, you will need just a few ingredients: 

  • Olive Oil –  You can replace it with butter to sear the scallops.
  • Scallops – scallops have a higher price tag, but that’s what makes them feel luxurious. I chose to buy frozen wild-caught scallops without the coral-coloured crescent-shaped (roe) part attachedJust make sure to thaw them completely before use.
  • Butter – high-quality butter is key here. There’s really no substitution that can be made here.
  • Garlic – I used 4 garlic cloves and minced them. Garlic powder would not work there.
  • Lemon Juice – I love to use fresh lemons, but bottled lemon juice is just as tasty.
  • White Wine – it’s optional, but a touch of dry wine takes this scallops recipe to the next level. I used Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot GrisYou can use broth instead.
  • Parsley – Fresh chopped parsley is perfect for garnish.
  • Heavy Cream – full fat is better than light cream but evaporated milk works too for a low fat version.
  • Salt and pepper – to taste.
ingredients for creamy pan seared scallops

How To Make Creamy Garlic Scallops

You will be surprised to find out that you can prepare such a fancy dinner recipe following just some easy steps.

how to make creamy garlic butter pan seared scallops
  1. Thaw the scallops completely. If the scallops have a side muscle, remove it first. Use some paper towels to pat dry the scallops and remove as much moisture as possible. 
  2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and sear the scallops for two minutes on both sides until they look golden and crisp on the edges.
  3. Remove scallops from the pan, and start making the creamy garlic sauce.
  4. Melt the butter in the same pan, then cook the garlic for one minute.
  5. Add in the wine and cook until reduced by about half. Then you can mix the heavy cream and allow it to simmer for about two minutes.
  6. Add the lemon juice, then return the scallops into the pan and cover them with the sauce.
return scallops back to the pan

What are Scallops?

Scallops are delicious, easy to open, and easy to prepare. They grow in the sand at the bottom of the sea and are either picked by hand by divers or by a special boat that overturns the sandbank. 

Shells collected by boat are cheaper than those harvested by hand, but they are often damaged due to the process, as are many other creatures live with them. In addition, the shells harvested with the boat are full of sand and mud when you open them.

pour sauce over the scallops

What Do Scallops Taste Like?

Scallops are really tasty, and they cook super easily. They have a mild fishy flavor, but it’s so subtle that even people that don’t like seafood will enjoy them.

In my opinion, scallops have a distinct flavor that should not be overpowered by strongly flavored spices while cooking them.

best scallops recipe

How To Cook Scallops?

When you want to cook scallops, you have to keep in mind a few things.

  1. You have to defrost them 24 hours before cooking them. 
  2. Pat dry them with great attention because otherwise, they will start leaking water during the cooking process.
  3. To avoid overcrowding, use a big pan or cook in batches, making sure they are at least 1-inch apart.
  4. Sear scallops for about 2-3 minutes on each side, without moving them.

Can You Eat The Orange Part Of A Scallop?

Yes, you can eat that orange part of a scallop. This orange part is called coral and is edible, but some like it, and some don’t.

You can remove the orange section if you don’t want to eat it. However, you must use a sharp knife and do it with caution because if the membrane is cut, roe may seep out, which would be a waste if you intended to utilize them for another purpose.

How To Clean Scallops

If you choose to buy scallops that are in shells, this is how you have to clean them:

  • First, open them with a sharp knife without touching the meat.
  • Clean the inside of the shell, removing any black part.
  • After cleaning the inside, remove the muscle from the shell using a knife or a sharpened spoon.
  • Pass the shells through a stream of cold water to remove any impurities.

How To Choose Scallops

Choose scallops that look firm and have a saltwater or seaweed smell. Avoid buying scallops that look shiny, wet, or too soft to touch.

scallops in a creamy garlic sauce

Why Are My Scallops So Chewy/Rubbery?

If you’ve gotten to the point where you’re wondering this, it means your scallops are overcooked. 

So what to do to avoid overcooking scallops? Cook scallops at a very high temperature, and don’t touch the scallops the first 2 minutes so it create that crispy edge.

How to Tell if Scallops are Fully Cooked?

A simple and easy idea for checking if the scallops are fully cooked is to set your timer for two minutes for each part of the shell during the cooking process. 

You can also cut one scallop in half, and if they are fully cooked, the inside has to be soft and juicy.

How To Store 

  • Fridge: you can store the leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can reheat them in a pan with a little oil or butter, but make sure that you don’t overcook them.
  • Freezer: Unfortunately, this recipe isn’t freezer friendly since the scallops are so delicate, and the sauce is super creamy.

Serving Suggestions For Scallops

They are delicious, simple as they are, but can also be paired with side dishes like:

Looking for More Seafood Keto Recipes? Try these:

creamy scallops with lemon garlic sauce

Creamy Pan Seared Scallops with Lemon Cream Sauce

5 from 13 votes

Prep time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Yelds 4 servings
Author Ioana Borcea from LowCarbSpark.com


Creamy garlic scallops are ready in under 20 minutes and taste just as good as chef made. These pan-seared scallops are smothered in a rich cream sauce bursting with garlic flavors that melts in your mouth. With just a few ingredients, make a quick and easy scallop recipe that’s sure to impress everyone.
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  • 1 1/4 pounds scallops (~600 grams)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream or evaporated milk
  • 4-5 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or broth
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice juice from half a lemon
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley


  • Remove the small side muscle from the scallops (if attached), rinse well with cold water, and use paper towels to thoroughly dry the scallops on both sides.
  • Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the scallops in a single layer. Try not to overcrowd the pan and work in batches if needed.
  • Season the scallops with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes per side until a golden-brown crust forms. The scallops are cooked through when they look opaque in the middle. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
  • In the same pan, melt the butter and scrape any browned bits left from the scallops. Add the garlic and cook for about one until fragrant.
  • Stir in white wine or broth. Simmer for 2 minutes or until the sauce reduces. Pour in heavy cream and allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes until slightly thickened.
  • Remove from the heat, stir in lemon juice and return the scallops back into the pan. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped parsley, and serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving.
Total Carbs
Net Carbs

How do we calculate the nutrition info?

These nutrition facts listed are determined using nutrition information from the USDA Food Database. Our nutrition facts are accurate, but if you are using different products, please make your calculations. Net carb count is calculated by subtracting both fiber and sugar alcohols because they don’t raise blood sugar.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword creamy scallops, scallops recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @LowCarbSpark or tag #LowCarbSpark!


Ioana is a food and travel lover. Her greatest passion is developing mouthwatering recipes that are comforting, easy to make, and budget friendly! She firmly believes that cooking should be fun! About me...

5 from 13 votes (12 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating

One comment
  1. 5 stars
    Excellent! My husband, a diabetic, was very satisfied! I am not, so I dipped bread in the sauce, oh so good!

About me

Hello! My name is Ioana Borcea, and I'm here to provide you with mouthwatering recipes. This blog is all about sharing my favorite tested easy to make, delicious low-carb & keto, nutrient-dense recipes.

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