Pan-Seared Scallops with Lemon Butter Sauce

Perfectly pan-seared scallops served with a lemon butter sauce… this scallop recipe is the easiest gourmet dish you can make on a weeknight in just 15 minutes.

  • Author: Sharon Chen
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Gluten Free
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1 1/2 pounds sea scallops
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Chopped parsley for garnishing
  • Lemon wedges for serving


  1. If scallops are frozen, thaw in cold water. Pat dry with paper towels before cooking. Season scallops with salt and pepper.  
  2. Over medium-high heat, heat oil in a large flat-bottom pan or cast iron skillet until sizzling, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Place scallops in the hot pan (they should sizzle as soon as they touch the pan) in a single layer,  leaving at least 1 inch in between each one. Sear undisturbed on one side for 2-3 minutes or until it’s golden brown underneath. Flip and sear the other side for 2-3 minutes, undisturbed.
  4. Transfer the scallops to a plate and set aside. In the same pan, add butter until melted, scraping off the brown bits from the pan. Stir in garlic and let it infuse the butter for about a minute. Add wine and lemon juice. Let it cook until the alcohol evaporates and the sauce is thickened a little. Taste and add more salt if desired. Turn off the heat.
  5. Return the scallops to the pan to warm them up. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, add lemon wedges and serve with pasta, mashed potatoes, or sweet potato puree, etc.


Keywords: pan-seared scallops