Lemon Garlic Butter Scallops
Lemon Garlic Butter Scallops ~ pan seared sea scallops drizzled with a delicious lemon garlic butter sauce. Cooks in 10 minutes! The ideal elegant appetizer or main dish with risotto.
I didn’t grow up eating seared scallops. Back then a scallop was that ruffled bottom on a dress and as far as sear ~ well, that was the department store the dress and car tires came from.
From the first taste of them, I didn’t look back. Golden seared outside, tender scallop inside and let’s not forget that lemon garlic butter sauce on top.
I used to save them for special occasions out until I discovered how easy it is to make them at home! We love them both as a quick appetizer or nestled in a bed of risotto. Either way, you can’t go wrong with Lemon Garlic Butter Scallops. They’re the candy of the sea.
Tips for buying and cooking scallops:
First start with fresh scallops instead of frozen for the best flavor.
Depending on size I figure 4 scallops per person. This works well as an appetizer and as a meal if you’re also serving risotto.
Sometimes you’ll see a small side muscle attached to the scallop. Gently remove it with your fingers. Otherwise it’ll be tough when you cook the scallops.
Rinse the scallops and pat the scallops dry with paper towels.
Make sure the scallops are dry before cooking so you’ll get the golden, crispy crust you see in the photos. If they aren’t dry, they’ll steam instead of searing.
What’s pan searing?
Pan searing is a step in the cooking process. It browns and caramelizes the outside adding flavor and forming a light crust.
Lemon Garlic Butter Scallops:
What do I need to make Lemon Garlic Butter Scallops?
- sea scallops
- sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- olive oil
- garlic cloves
- white wine
How to cook sea scallops:
Make sure to have all your ingredients prepped and ready (called Mise en place) because the scallops cook quickly.
Using a few paper towels, thoroughly pat the scallops dry on all sides then season them with salt and pepper. This is a really important step in getting that beautiful, golden sear.
Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the scallops without overcrowding, cook 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side then transfer to a plate.
Once the scallops are all cooked, reduce the heat to low, add the butter and garlic and cook for one minute. Pour in the wine, scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet and cook 2 minutes while the wine reduces. Add the juice from one wedge of lemon. Taste and if you’d like squeeze in more lemon juice then drizzle the lemon garlic butter sauce over the top of the scallops and eat right away.
What goes with scallops?
My personal favorite ~ and only side I make with scallops is risotto. Creamy, light lemony flavor. You could also add a salad or baked potato.
If you tried this Lemon Garlic Butter Scallops recipe or any other on the blog then I’d love to hear from you with a comment or star rating!
- 1 pound sea scallops
- sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- 1 lemon cut in 4 wedges
- 1/4 cup white wine chardonnay, pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- Gather and prep all ingredients before you start cooking because the scallops will cook really quickly.
- Thoroughly dry the scallops using paper towels. This is an important step to getting the beautiful sear shown in the photos.
- Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium high heat.
- When the oil is hot, carefully add the scallops without overcrowding cooking 1 1/2 - 2 minutes per side allowing them to sear then remove them from the skillet onto a plate.
- Once all the scallops are cooked, reduce heat to low and add the butter and garlic cooking for 1 minute then pour in the wine and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cook 2 minutes letting the wine reduce then add juice from one wedge of lemon.
- Taste and add more lemon juice if preferred then drizzle the lemon garlic butter sauce over the top of the scallops and serve right away.