Seared Scallops With Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce

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Garlic pan-seared scallops is a delicious, easy 15-minute recipe that everyone goes crazy for. Scallops are seared to perfection, then covered in luscious buttery garlic lemon sauce. This comforting meal is the ultimate culinary treat when it comes to seafood. Scallops are tender and delicate and melt in your mouth

best scallops recipe

I’m sure that you have already heard about the famous Coquilles Saint Jacques recipes, and probably you enjoyed them at a restaurant made by a chef.

If scallops are your favorite restaurant meal to order, and so far you haven’t tried it at home, well, now is the time. Although it may sound complicated at first sight, in reality, this recipe is quite simple to make.

Scallops are tender and full of flavor mollusk , and we’ll show you how to cook them, just like in famous restaurants.

Learn how to prepare scallops like a chef and make this restaurant-quality seared scallops dish at home whenever you want!

Coated in a delicious lemon garlic butter sauce, these pan-seared scallops will become one of your favorite recipes. I’m sure you’ll also love these creamy lemon garlic scallops.

garlic butter seared scallops recipe with fresh parsley

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

Ingredients For Pan Seared Scallops With Garlic Lemon Butter

For this delicious seared scallops recipe with garlic lemon butter, you will need just a few ingredients: 

  • Scallops –  They can be fresh or frozen. Sea scallops can be found under many different names, such as king scallops, great scallops, or diver scallops. Just make sure you defrost the scallops before use and dry them well using paper towels.
  • Olive Oil – This is used for pan-searing scallops. It can be replaced with unsalted butter.
  • Butter – unsalted or salted are both fine. You can replace it with the same amount of olive oil.
  • Garlic Cloves – fresh garlic is the best, and you can use more or less depending on your preference.
  • Lemon Juice – This ingredient is a must for this recipe.
  • White Wine – You may use broth or water instead of wine if you like.
  • Fresh Herbs – I like using fresh chopped parsley for color and garnish.
  • Lemon Wedges – to serve.
seared scallops with garlic and butter

How To Make Seared Lemon Garlic Scallops

You will be surprised to find out that you can prepare such a fancy dinner recipe following just some easy steps. I know that scallops aren’t inexpensive, so at about $20 per pound, I want to give you clear instructions so you don’t end up wasting ingredients.

how to make garlic butter pan seared scallops
  1. With a paper towel, pat the scallops dry on both sides.
  2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the scallops for two minutes on both sides. Don’t cook them for more than 2 minutes per side, or they’ll overcook and become rubbery.
  3. Remove them from the pan, and start making the sauce.
  4. Melt the butter and cook the garlic until fragrant in the same pan.melt the butter and cook garlic
  5. Add in the wine and simmer for a couple of minutes, then mix in the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Return the scallops into the pan and cover them with the sauce.
cover the scallops in sauce

What Are Scallops?

Saint Jacques shells are mollusks with lacy edges, curved in fine lines, white flesh the size of a walnut, and an orange caviar collar. They are part of the marine mollusks, which are much appreciated in world gastronomy due to their special taste.

Saint-Jacques shells grow in the sand on the seabed and are picked by divers or with the help of a special boat called dredge.

They belong to the Phylum Mollusca family, which is a class of animals. Scallops belong to a group of animals with two shells hinged together and made of calcium carbonate. Scallops and other mollusks like them are known as bivalves because of this distinctive feature.

Types Of Scallops

  • Bay Scallops are often less expensive since they are easier to capture, have a shorter life cycle, and are smaller, making them less desired. They are great sautéed, sea food chowder, deep-fried, or made into a gratin.
  • Sea Scallops – Sea scallops live on the dark ocean’s ocean floors, cooler water. They are more difficult to capture and significantly bigger; thus, they are more expensive. Sea Scallops are perfect for pan-searing and may be prepared the same way as a filet mignon. The high heat from searing forms a crusty exterior layer, keeping a soft and juicy center. They can also be poached, grilled, or sautéed.
  • Diver Scallops. The term “diver scallops” refers to the way scallops are harvested. These scallops are hand-harvested by divers, and that’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot less harmful to the ecosystem than dredging the ocean floor with nets.
best scallops recipe

What Do Scallops Taste Like?

Scallops should have a sweet, delicate flavor with a bit of saltiness to them. When cooked properly, they become smooth and tender.

If you’re not sure they’re ready, you may press on the tops with your finger to feel the firmness. Or, you may always cut one to make sure the center isn’t glossy and raw.

How To Cook Scallops?

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

  • Make sure you defrost your scallops completely before cooking. Place them in a sealed container and allow to defrost overnight.
  • Then dry them extremely well. This step is necessary to keep the scallops from leaking water throughout the cooking process.
  • When you cook scallops, make sure that you leave enough space between them not to touch each other during the cooking process.
  • Start cooking the scallops only when the oil slightly starts to smoke.
scallops recipe with garlic

Can You Eat The Orange Part Of A Scallop?

Yes, you eat that orange part of a scallop. Actually, that part is called scallop roe, and it’s a delicate and delicious component of the scallops.

Scallops with the roe on are even more delicious for some people. And that’s because the roe degrades significantly more quickly than the rest of the scallop.

If you don’t eat that orange part, you can remove it. You have to do this with a sharp knife with attention because if the membrane is broken, roe may leak out, which would be a waste if you wanted to use them for something else.

How To Clean Scallops

If you deal with scallops in their shells, this is what you have to do:

  • You have to open the shell with a sharp knife with very high attention.
  • Remove everything from the inside of the scallop shell except the muscle. Remove all of the scallop’s black sections, leaving the white muscle within.
  • After you clean the inside of the shell, you can remove the muscle from the shell. Do that using a knife or a sharpened spoon.
  • Get rid of all impurities by running the scallops under some cold water.

How To Choose Scallops

Here are some great tips to ensure you’re getting the best scallops from the grocery store.

  1. Raw scallops should smell like other seafood, and it has to be more pronounced when they are fresh.
  2. Scallops are frequently soaked in a phosphate solution to whiten them and increase their weight by absorbing more liquid. Look for scallops that are labeled “chemical-free” or “wet-packed.” These types of scallops are dry-packed, which means they are packed without any liquid or preservatives.
garlic butter seared scallops recipe with fresh parsley

Why Are My Scallops So Chewy/Rubbery?

If you end up with chewy or rubbery scallops, that means you overcooked them.

  • The heat you cooked them. Scallops need to be cooked at very high heat. Otherwise, they will have to stay longer on the fire, and in that way, they will be dry, and rubbery.
  • Don’t overcook them. Maybe two minutes will seem like too little for cooking scallops. But if you cook them more, you’ll end up with chewy instead of tender scallops.

How to Tell if Scallops are Done

We know that this dish looks more sophisticated, and it is extremely delicious, but you have to keep in mind that it cooks very quickly. And when we say that, we mean, they’ll be ready in just 5 minutes.

When your scallops are opaque and firm to the touch, like a well-set jello, you know they’re done. Besides that, due to the high cooking temperature, the scallops should be golden brown on both sides.

How To Store Seared Scallops With Garlic Lemon Butter

Cooked Scallops can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

You can reheat them in a pan with a little oil, but you have to be careful not to overcook them.

scallops recipe with butter and garlic

Serving Suggestions

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

pan seared garlic butter scallops

Seared Scallops With Garlic Lemon Butter

5 from 4 votes

Prep time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Yelds 4 servings
Author Ioana Borcea from LowCarbSpark.com


Creamy garlic pan-seared scallops is a delicious, easy 15-minute recipe that everyone goes crazy for. Scallops are seared to perfection, then covered in luscious buttery garlic lemon sauce. This comforting meal is the ultimate culinary treat when it comes to seafood. Scallops are tender and delicate and melt in your mouth.
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  • 1 1/4 pounds scallops
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tbp minced garlic about 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or broth
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley plus more to garnish


  • Pat dry the scallops with paper towels on both sides.
  • In a large pan or heavy skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the scallops in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    how to make Seared Scallops With Garlic Lemon Butter
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until a golden crust forms.
    how to make Seared Scallops With Garlic Lemon Butter
  • Once the scallops are cooked, remove them from the pan and keep warm.
  • In the same pan, melt the butter. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
    how to make Seared Scallops With Garlic Lemon Butter3
  • Stir in lemon juice, white wine (or broth), and simmer for 2 minutes.
    how to make Seared Scallops With Garlic Lemon Butter4
  • Add the remaining butter, chopped parsley, and season with salt and pepper.
    how to make Seared Scallops With Garlic Lemon Butter
  • Return the cooked scallops to the pan and spoon the sauce over the top. Generously garnish with parsley, lemon wedges, and serve with your favorite sides.
    how to make Seared Scallops With Garlic Lemon Butter6


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 Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword lemon garlic butter scallops, scallops recipe
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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 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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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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