Lemony Garlic Butter Scallops

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If you’ve followed my blog so far you’ll notice a slight trend. At this stage, I don’t have a huge database of recipes under my belt but I’d say at least one out of every three recipes that I post have some sort of seafood in it, mainly shrimp because, you know, budgets. But honestly, I’ve actually considered becoming a full on Pescatarian and then I thought, what is life without wings, and shuddered at the idea of never eating a wing again. Also, seafood is not the cheapest of proteins and I have at least another year before this blog starts making real money for me!

Since it’s summertime, Devin and I decided to take a trip to The Wharf in DC to satisfy our seafood fix, well MY seafood fix. Never had I seen such and abundance and variety of seafood. I felt like I was at fish Disneyland! We ended up tapping out after 4 lbs of mussels, 1 lb of tuna, 1 lb of haddock and of course, 1 lb of these deliciously fresh sea scallops.


I have to admit, this was my first time actually making seared scallops at home. I loved this recipe, the flavors are bold and amazing, but what I’d do differently is, I’d let the scallops sit out to dry a tad longer because it ended up creating moisture as they cooked and I didn’t get that perfect deep brown sear that I was hoping for. So make sure to thoroughly dry your scallops. Season them well, as this will help dry them out more and let them sit for at least 10 min. I think I only waited about 5.

Lemony Garlic Butter Scallops

Now that your scallops are nice and dry, it’s time to sear. You want to make sure you’ve got a hot pan so that you achieve that beautiful sear. I like to first heat my pan until it’s hot, then drop in the butter, wait until it’s browned a little bit (NOT burnt!), then drop in the scallops. Not only does this ensure a great sear, but also allows the flavors to develop before cooking the scallops in it.

The butter that I used in this recipe is homemade garlic-herb butter. I’m pretty sure you can purchase this at a grocery store or make it yourself. If you decide that neither is an option for you, I’ve got notes at the bottom of the recipe for an alternative method to the garlic butter.

What’s your favorite way to eat scallops? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below!

Lemony Garlic Butter Scallops
Lemony Garlic Butter Scallops
Garlic Butter Scallops
Lemony Garlic Butter Scallops
Quick and easy sea scallops in a delicious garlic-herb butter and lemon sauce
  • 1 lb sea scallops
  • 2 tbsp. garlic herb butter (see notes below)
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. Old Bay (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parsley for garnish
  • Dry scallops with paper towels and season both sides with salt and pepper and Old Bay, if using. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Heat garlic butter in a medium skilet until it turns light brown in color. Sear scallops cooking for 2 minutes on the first side then filp and cook for 2 more minutes, adding in lemon juice and lemon zest. Using a spoon, based scallops by pouring sauce over them as they cook.
  • Remove from heat and serve, garnishing with parsley.
  • Details
    Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings


    • If you do not have garlic butter, use 2 tablespoons of butter with 2 minced garlic cloves and 1 tsp. Italian season or dried oregano.