Lemon Butter Scallops — Damn Delicious

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Lemon Butter Scallops

All you need is 5 ingredients and 10 minutes for the most amazing, buttery scallops ever. Yes, it’s just that easy and simple!

As much as I love scallops, I have always been very hesitant to cook with it. After all, at $20 per pound, there is absolutely no room for error when it comes to cooking these. So I just stayed away from scallops and ordered them from fancy restaurants, probably spending 2-3x more.

Little did I know with a few handy tricks, scallops are actually one of the easiest (and quickest) meals to whip up.

And this lemon butter sauce is absolutely unreal, and the perfect accompaniment to these perfectly seared scallops. Just remember – you’ll want to have your side dishes ready to go since these scallops will be ready in just 10 minutes from start to finish!

Lemon Butter Scallops

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

All you need is 5 ingredients and 10 minutes for the most amazing, buttery scallops ever. Yes, it’s just that easy and simple!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 pound scallops
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the lemon butter sauce

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions:

  1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Remove the small side muscle from the scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry.
  3. Season scallops with salt and pepper, to taste. Working in batches, add scallops to the skillet in a single layer and cook, flipping once, until golden brown and translucent in the center, about 1-2 minutes per side. Set aside and keep warm.
  4. To make the lemon butter sauce, melt 2 tablespoons butter in the skillet. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Serve scallops immediately with lemon butter sauce, garnished with parsley, if desired.

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121 comments

Mmm lemony and buttery – what more could you want!

I CANNOT BELIEVE IT! my daughter and family are coming and they love scallops. being 72 years old and on a budget, scallops are not on our menue very often. i looked and looked for a simple but delicious recipe and once again you came through! now i can hardly wait to master this art of damn delicious cooking! Thank you again.

That was about as heartwarming as it gets Jeanette! I wish I knew you, I would cook you scallops every week!! Hope they appreciated that effort!! Rich.

I want someone who cook me scallops every week!:)) This recipe is delicious!

U can get a big package for 12 dollars at cosco!

Thanks for the tip! Are they fresh or frozen?

They are frozen, but they still work! I bought them too for $27. I figured it was a very special treat for myself!

What an elegant meal. It’s hard to believe it only takes 10 minutes! Sounds perfect!

These look great! I think I will try this with shrimp. I made your Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta last night, but served it over rice instead of pasta. Delicious! My husband really liked the sauce. I will be trying your other Bang Bang recipes.

Sounds delicious. Do you use the same skillet without rinsing it first?

Yes, that’s exactly right. You want to use up those browned up bits for the sauce.

The lemon juice and a wooden spoon lifts the brown off and into the sauce. Great recipe..worked like a charm for a nice dinner for 4.

Scallops… my favorite seafood (well, tied with shrimp maybe). This looks so easy! Yum.

Sounds wonderfully delicious. Until I can get scallops, I’m going to try it with salmon.

Really easy…really delicious! Thanks!

I am making this tonight! The scallops were 24 bucks a pound, so I bought 6 for only me. What a treat!

I have frozen jumbo scallops that seem to leech out liquid when cooking so I can’t get a nice golden color. I’ve tried gently squeezing them and patting them dry with paper towels. Can you suggest anything to help? Or simply not use these scallops? Thank you!

It may be best to use fresh scallops, patted dry, to get that really nice sear.

I use frozen scallops all the time. Thaw, Pat dry then throw in a zip lock bag with basting flour. Shake to cover, put in cast iron fry pan, cook as directed. Beautiful sear!

What’s basting flour?

I used frozen bay scallops with great results. Be sure to dry them very well and put into a medium hot skillet.

Basting flour….1-2 Tbs white flour (to baste scallops) in plastic bag with salt, pepper, and other seasonings you want. Place scallops in bag and shake.

You really do not need to baste scallops! If they are patted dry and the pan is hot enough, you will get a nice sear without flour. Any chef would look at you like, “What do you think you’re doing using flour on a scallop?” You’d ruin a perfect piece of very expensive seafood. Don’t do it. Google it – see if Gordon Ramsay or Bobby Flay would baste a scallop. No, they would not.

Basting is not the correct term. Basting is to occasionally brush or spoon a liquid over a food while cooking such as basting a turkey. I believe this commenter means to suggest dredging in flour which can often help result in a crispy coating while also doubling as an agent to thicken the sauce.

I haven’t decided how to cook my scallops yet and will return to review if I decide to use this recipe. I do know I won’t be dredging them in flour though.

Wash, gently dry off, season with salt and pepper. Wait about 3-5 minutes so moisture will come to the top of scallop. That is what makes it sear. Put scallops in a hot, hot oiled pan. Don’t crowd them or they will steam instead of sear. Once in pan don’t touch for 2-4 minutes. Salt and pepper on the other side to get that layer of moisture, turn them for 2-4 minute depending on the size, not touching them until they are ready to come out of pan.

It doesn’t take many ingredients to make an amazing dish. These sounds (and look!) amazing!

What pan would you recommend for this? I have a non-stick ceramic skillet, but don’t like to use it with temperatures over medium.

Ceramic skillets work well over heat higher than medium!

Cast iron would be your best bet.

I’m tempted to make these for dinner every night this week. They look SO GOOD.

I’ve always been afraid to cook scallops, but this looks so easy!

This recipe sounds delicious. What would you serve with it?

We served this with a salad and a side of roasted vegetables.

very and very nice – many thanks

i have been doing scallops similar to this recipe for years (I also add a tsp of white wine or vermouth to the sauce). The key is to have your scallops really dry, paper towels help with this.

Chungah, what size scallops did you use – or recommend – for this dish?

Sea scallops would be really great for this dish.

Oh boy does this look good!

You had me at butter and lemon.

what sides did you make with this?

We served this with a salad and a side of roasted vegetables.

I’m making a parmeasean roast tomatoes with seasonings, basil, oregano, and fresh parsley. Takes but a few minutes in the oven. Goes great with seafood dishes.

I would love to do more with my home grown tomatoes. The scallops and your tomato recipe sounds wonderful. Please tell me more about your recipe.
The Bishops wife.

HI CHUNGAH,
TOMORROWMORNING I USE THIS FOR SHRIMP AND WHITE RICE FOR BREAKFAST.
WE’RE LIVING IN THAILAND AND EAT MOSTLY A RICE- OR NOODLE DISH FOR BREAKFAST.
TOMORROWNIGHT I’LL MAKE IT WITH THE SCALLOPS, INCLUDING THE ORANGE FLAG ON THE SIDE.
HAHA, BEING DUTCH, THAT’S THE RIGHT COLOR.
NOW, CAN YOU TELL ME WHY YOU READ MANY TIMES(NOT ALL THE TIMES THOUGH) TO REMOVE THAT MUSSCLE??
THANKS FOR ALL YOUR GREAT RECIPES.
LOUISE VAN DER MAREL

The muscles should be removed as they are a little tough to chew, but are safe to eat.

We made this last night and used lime juice and cilantro in place of the lemon juice and parsley and it was delicious!!

I made this. So so yummy! Also very easy! Yum!

would a cast iron skillet work? I get better results iin it.

Visiting my mother in the mountains and she doesn’t get a lot of seafood there so bringing scallops and trying this recipe. Simple is sometimes the best! Gonna add a simple side salad and some garlic and parmesan pasta. Wish me luck 🙂

All of your recipes are easy to make and so yummy to taste! I especially liked these scallops–they rate a 10 for me. Thank you.

Yum! I am going to make these this week, no questions asked. I’m not sure if my kids will eat scallops and I don’t want to waste $$ buying some for them so I’ll cook a small batch – try them and out and see for next time. I can’t wait to try the lemon butter sauce.

Doubled recipe … TOO much lemon

Shelby, if the lemon taste is too strong, you can simply reduce the amount as needed to suit your preferences.

When you are making the sauce do you leave the scallops on the pan too? I’m a little confused about that. Or do you just pour it on top of the scallops once the sauce is ready??

Alia, the scallops are set aside and kept warm.

Season scallops with salt and pepper, to taste. Working in batches, add scallops to the skillet in a single layer and cook, flipping once, until golden brown and translucent in the center, about 1-2 minutes per side. Set aside and keep warm.

Lemon butter scallops sounds and looks quite tasty. Both my wife and enjoy eating seafood and our passion for them started out after a friend of hers invited us to eat out at seafood restaurant. The both of us tried out certain seafood that appealed more to us and from there, my wife’s been cooking all type of seafood.

I made this tonight and was so easy and delicious!

This doesn’t make enough sauce

Ashley, you can simply double or triple the sauce portion as needed to suit your preferences a little better. Isn’t that the beauty of home-cooking? 🙂

Has anyone tried serving over pasta with Parmesan? Cooking this for girlfriend tonight and she loves seafood over pasta.

We just made this over a bed of raw spinach and noodles – no additional seasoning, although we doubled the sauce for this. SO good!

I am a sea food lover like no other. I could eat sea food everyday! My husband thinks I have an iron deficiency since I crave sea food all the time! I need to make this recipe because it is watering my mouth!

I have just made this dish and it was gorgeous I added fresh jumbo King prawns poured over the sauce and garnished with samfire it looked and. Tasted really good , thanks for a great eaasy recipie…

Can you mix in angle pasta to make a main dish.

Yes, absolutely! Sounds amazing.

Reading the recipe literally made my mouth water! I am going to have to make it myself. I love that you put the nutrition facts on here. Very smart! I am a lover of all things seafood!

The nutrition facts do not indicate the single portion size or how many are in the package could you clarify this please? I want to try this recipe. Thank you

Chris, it’s difficult to say as 1 pound of scallops range from 10-20 so it really depends on how many scallops you use.

I just finished making this for myself and my two children. This was very easy and delicious. I can’t wait till my husband come back stateside, this will probably be the first meal I make for him.

I just made these for dinner tonight and I just wanted to say.. OoooooWeeeeeee! (That’s Southern for Delicious:)
I made 12 huge scallops for my husband and I split 8/4 and my husband wanted my last of 4 after Inhaling his meal. This recipe is YUMMY and I will definitely make these again! Cooked in my cast iron skillet turning almost three mins per side then putting in my oven preheated at 400 while I made the sauce which took maybe two mins to whip up. Perfect!

Should frozen scallops be defrosted before searing?

Thank you for mentioning the little muscle on the scallops, Chungah. I don’t know how many nice restaurants that fail to do that. I mixed a tablespoon of cilantro with a tablespoon of parsley for another taste.

OMG, these are INCREDIBLY GOOD AND SO EASY to make. Made this recipe tonite….followed the recipe to a T. No changes. Used Whole Foods frozen sea scallops, but thawed them for 24 hrs. 5 min before sautéing, i put them on a plate & dried with paper towels. It did take about 2 min per side to get that perfect golden color. You MUST add that very flavorful sauce….simply spoon over the scallops. Side dishes: wild rice, green beans, & a salad. Hubby said it tasted like a 5☆ restaurant meal. 🙂

This was very helpful, thank you

I do not post comments on blogs very often but I I have found myself visiting your site so often when looking for recipes that I just had to let you know what a wonderful site you have! I have always wanted to like zucchini but have never had any success. I have tried a few different recipes but just didn’t like it. I do not eat meat but do eat seafood and so I am limited in my food choices. I tried your baked Parmesan zucchini and fell instantly in love with tit! I am going to definitely try this recipe soon! Thank you for all of your time and efforts in bringing this site to life!

Made these tonight with bay scallops, tiny little morsels of yummy. This dish was divine. Served it with rice pilaf. Will make this again for sure.

I’m sorry to say this, but the sauce ruined it. It overwhelmed the dish with lemon! Both my date and I didn’t like the sauce. On the other hand, when we tried the leftover butter from the saucepan used to make the scallops, we both thought that would’ve been a delish sauce to serve the scallops with. It would’ve been a little too plain to be ideal, but nonetheless, would’ve been tastier than the POWERFULLY lemony lemon sauce. If you want to make the sauce, I advise using only 1/4 of a lemon or even 1/8th. You just want a hint of lemon along with the butter, salt, pepper, and of course, the scallops.

I recommend using less lemon and maybe less garlic next time.

I added Snipped chives, for garnish, 20g of grated mozzarella cheese and 5 drops of lemon grated in orange syrup to add its taste. I need to say that it’s a scrumptious dish which I have tried till now. I have also tried your BAKED PINEAPPLE CHICKEN BOWLS, which was really tasty. I shared this website with my colleague Amana, who just loves trying out delicious recipes. She suggested me a website with varieties of recipe which looks delicious. I will share here the link for those who love to tryhttp://www.nestle-family.com/recipes/english/impress-your-guests-recipes.aspx

How do you keep the scallops warm while making the sauce? And do you think it would taste okay if I added spinach to the sauce or would that make it taste weird?

You can wrap the scallops in foil to retain some of the heat. And yes, spinach would be an amazing addition!

Made this tonight. So easy…so tasty!

Made these tonite for a birthday dinner. Easy and so yummy!! Also made Orzo With Parmesan and Basil and steamed asparagus. Made 1 1/2 times the sauce. Will definitely make again.

Can I lightly flour the scallops and shrimp together and then saute them? And can I do this in advance and warm them up later for dinner guests with negative effect, e.g., toughness. I’m used to making Coquille St Jacques and would like to combine that recipe with yours plus using shrimp and scallops together.

Yes, you can absolutely flour the scallops and shrimp together. But this is best when served immediately. I do not recommend reheating.

What is meant by “butter campaignIcon coupons ” ?

Where will I get my answer , here or in my email?

You can disregard.

How much lemon juice wwould you guess is in a fresh lemon? I’m asking because I’ll be using RealLemon 100% lemon juice.

On average, one lemon has 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in it.

I tried this recipe except I added onions and mushroom to the sauce. It was wonderful

Damndelious!! Just made it. Thank you very much for easy & delicious recipe.

I would have loved an email option for this recipe by itself!

I made this easy elegant meal for dinner tonight. Paired with garlic roasted red potatoes & bacon wrapped asparagus! Mmmm mmm delicious!

Thank you for this very easy to understand recipe for my favorite in a restaurant. (Altho unaffordable).
I’m fixing this evening -doubling sauce- for sides of broccoli and gnocchi .
Can’t wait!

I know this is an older post, but feel honored to know that I made these last night for New Year’s dinner and they were wonderful. Hadn’t had scallops for years and just learned that my husband loves them so I made this! Wonderful!

I am looking for a recipe that uses white wine and heavy cream for the sauce. The sauce is used as a drizzle. Can you help me out?

Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.

I use potato starch for coating makes a light brown color and very light amount of coating

Super Easy and Super Good! Perfect Valentine’s Day dinner! Yum!

I am 13 years old, and made these as part of a dinner for my parents on Mother’s Day. I admit we were both worried because I had never cooked scallops before! They turned out great! I slightly altered the recipe, using just one clove of garlic and did not season the scallops for flavor, just the sauce. I did notice they stuck to the pan a bit. A tip: make the sauce first, so you can easily re-use the same pan.

Good for you Anya! So awesome, way to spoil the parents 🙂 Thanks for sharing with us!!

Made this on a camp stove while camping last week. Added jumbo shrimp to it and it was OH SO GOOD!! Our neighboring campers were jealous…Served it over angel hair spaghetti because that’s all we had in the camper…I am making this again today, at home. It was a hit with my family.

That sounds delicious!

This was very delicious and very easy! Thank you. The only thing I have a problem with is the NAME of your website. Would you consider changing the name because as a culinary teacher at a middle school I can not recommend your site due to the bad word. Otherwise, I am impressed and thank you again because I did not not really like scallops much until this recipe tonight. Yum, yum, yum. I will definitely recommend it to adults and make it again.

I made this dish last night with some herbed small red baked potatoes on the side. Oh my God, it was delish. And the aroma of the scallops permeated my apartment…mmmm… I was in heaven.

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