Pan Seared Scallops are quite simple once you learn the trick to cooking them perfectly. They only take 5 minutes to cook!
If you’re looking for more scallop recipes, make sure you try these: Scallops And Spaghetti Squash, Beet Pappardelle With Scallops, and Linguine With Clam Sauce and Scallops.
Scallops are one of my favorite things to order at a restaurant. I always felt like they were such a delicacy and would be challenging to make at home.
I was wrong. They aren’t the least bit challenging to make! But they sure are special and will impress anyone you have over when you tell them you’re making scallops for dinner!
Seared Scallops Recipe
You are going to be blown away by how easy it is to cook scallops! You don’t even need to season them before cooking, you can add some salt and pepper if you like but they don’t need much.
If you want to season them, you can try making a garlic butter sauce to pour over them once they’re finished cooking, like I did with these Garlic Butter Shrimp.
In this post I’m sharing all my tips and tricks for making the best scallops. From how to buy scallops to how to cook them better than a restaurant.
What Are Scallops?
Scallops are a type of mollusk, meaning the interior muscle is surrounded by two shells—just like clams, oysters, and mussels.
There are two types: bay scallops and sea scallops. I prefer sea scallops because they are larger, more tender, and very sweet.
Are Scallops Shellfish?
Yes, if you or someone you are dining with has a shellfish allergy, you might want to avoid cooking scallops!
What Does A Scallop Look Like?
A scallop comes in a large shell with a fanned out shape. The part we eat, is round and plump, and usually has a white coloring.
What Do Scallops Taste Like?
Scallops are sweet, tender, and less firm than clams, oysters, and mussels. They have a slightly briny flavor and are best paired with something savory like bacon or steak.
Are Scallops Healthy?
Scallops are more than 80% protein! There’s 20 grams of protein in just three ounces of scallops. They’re also a great source of magnesium and potassium.
How To Buy Scallops
Before you can think about cooking them, you’ll need to get your hands on some quality scallops. The fresher they are, the better they’ll taste.
I usually look for the largest dry packed sea scallops I can find because they are the sweetest. When you see scallops in the store sitting in a murky liquid, you can expect them to shrink while they cook.
If you didn’t get dry packed scallops, before you start cooking lay them all flat on a paper towel and let them sit for about 10 minutes to pat them dry.
If you can’t find dry packed, frozen scallops will work too. The best way to thaw scallops is by placing them in the refrigerator overnight the day before you plan to cook them.
How To Sear Scallops
1. Melt butter and olive oil. Heat a large non-stick pan with olive oil and half the butter on high heat. When the pan is HOT, arrange the scallops in a single layer and cook for 2-3 minutes undisturbed.
2. Sear the scallops. When the scallops are mostly opaque, flip them and add the rest of the butter, and cook for 1 minute undisturbed until they are completely opaque.
3. Make the butter sauce. Reduce the heat to low and melt 3 tbsps of butter with 1.5 tbsps of chopped parsley. Spoon the parsley butter over the scallops and serve hot.
Garlic Butter Sauce is also delicious with scallops!
Note: keep an eye on how much liquid is in the pan, if there is a good amount of oil in there, you might not need the full tablespoon of butter after you flip the scallops.
Tips For Searing Scallops
1. It’s important not to keep too much liquid in the pan, because then the scallops will just steam up and you won’t get a nice sear on them.
2. If you see there is too much liquid in the pan, just stick the corner of a paper towel in the pan to soak it up.
3. As the scallops are cooking, you’ll notice they begin to turn opaque. This means they are just about finished! You want to let the scallops cook about 90% on the first side (usually 3-4 minutes), so once all but the top of the scallop is opaque, flip and finish cooking on the other side only about 1 minute.
4. If you weren’t able to find dry packed scallops, before you start cooking lay them all flat on a paper towel, lay a paper towel over them, and let them sit for about 10 minutes.
5. This is the pan I have been cooking my scallops in for years, I swear by it!
More Seafood Recipes To Try
- Blackened Shrimp
- Air Fryer Chilean Sea Bass
- Lemon Orzo Salad With Garlic Butter Shrimp
- Air Fryer Blackened Salmon
- Basil Pesto Shrimp Pasta
- Salmon Cakes Recipe
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Best Ever Seared Scallops
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1.5 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large non-stick pan with 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp of butter on high heat. When the pan is hot, add the scallops and cook for 3-4 minutes undisturbed. When the scallops are mostly opaque, flip them and add the remaining 1 tbsp of butter, and cook for 1 minute undisturbed until they are completely opaque. Remove the scallops from the pan and transfer to a large plate tented with foil to keep them warm.
- Reduce the heat to low and melt 3 tbsps of butter with 1.5 tbsps of chopped parsley. Spoon the parsley butter over the scallops and serve hot.
Scallops are just wonderful –
Thank you for all of your tips to achieving the perfect cook every time!
These are great cooking tips. I have overcooked scallops and these directions makes them perfect.
These scallops are PERFECT. Great instructions, so easy to follow!
Thanks for these tips on cooking scallops!! Super helpful and gave me confidence to replicate this at home!
I must say I have never tried scallops in my whole life mainly because I am afraid to ruin them (they are pretty expensive where I live). But yours looked so tempting and the recipe looked really easy so I tried them and I’m SO glad I did!!
Thank you for sharing these great tips!! Love these scallops!!
I made these last night for dinner, and they were absolutely delicious! You couldn’t ask for an easier dish to prepare, and the aroma alone is enough to get your tastebuds tingling. I paired this up with a lemon risotto and it was a match made in heaven.
Thank you! So glad you enjoyed 🙂
Worst ever. And I had to s roll through all that stupid drivle to try to find how to cook them. Sounds like an ignorant fnon English speaker wrote the stuff. Then finally is a recipe at the far, far end. Who the hell does this? You are trying to force us to read all that garbage. And the recipe did not come out very good at all. We’ll never use this website again. You sound like a stupid moron
Lol, I think we all know who the “stupid moron” here is 😉
Someone has got their panties in bunch
You can skip straight to the recipe and if you can read it’s not hard to make . You are missing out on some good sea food
Just made the seared scallops. This is a great and easy recipe. Mine took a little longer than 5 minutes. Thank you for the recipe
Thank you! So glad you enjoyed.
Thanks for the great tips! My scallops were perfect!!
YAY! I’m so glad to hear it!
Love cooking scallops! These look fantastic!
Such great tips, so easy to follow for my first time cooking scallops!
Love scallops but never can get a good sear when I make them..these turned out perfectly! Thanks for the tips!
Love scallops, and this recipe is so tasty! Your combination of flavors is perfect!
Thank you so much! The flavors are perfect and I can’t wait to try this recipe!
I can’t wait to make these again!
What is the trick to soak them in milk?
I don’t think I’ve heard that one before.
Soaking scallops in milk washes away the fishy taste/odor. Thats usually reserved for fresh scallops that may have been sitting for a few hours (refrigerated, of course). I’ve skipped soaking in milk and tasted no difference. Don’t make more work for yourself if you don’t need to.
Burnt to a crisp in less than 3 minutes. Thanks for ruining dinner.
Hm. Did you follow the recipe exactly as written? Were you using sea scallops or bay scallops? What kind of pan did you use?
Best and easiest recipe for scallops. I substituted the regulars butter for coconut butter and it was perfect. Thanks for the recipe
Excellent tutorial! I hadn’t ever made these before and was feeling intimidated. This was the best article on how to do it! Thank you!! They came out beautifully!
Thank you SO much!!
I made these a few months ago and they were absolutely amazing!!! I’m actually making them again tonight for my family so they can taste these delicious scallops!! Obviously the few people who have complained didn’t follow the recipe or used bay scallops. The majority of us know how delicious they are so don’t let those idiots bother you lol
Thank you so much, David!
yes we do! Maybe someone doesn’t know how to follow a recipe… because mine turned out amazing, I am making them for the second time tonight. ❤
Thank you so much!
It’s Valentine’s Day and preparing this recipe right now.
Best scallops I’ve ever made!!! I need these on the regular now. Thank you for my new addiction