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Seared Lemon Scallops

Succulent sea scallops seared to a golden brown and basted in a butter sauce accented with fresh lemon. Make these tonight and amaze everyone, especially yourself.
Servings: 4
Total Time: 25m
Prep Time: 20m
Cooking Time: 5m
Seared Lemon Scallops


  • 1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds sea scallops (or about 4 to 5 scallops per person), thawed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 slices lemon, cut into rounds
  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley

Preparation Instructions

  1. Prep the scallops—Remove side muscle, if needed. Rinse scallops and pat dry. Rest for 15 minutes on paper towels. When dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. Sear the scallops—Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat until very hot, but not smoking. Add scallops in a single layer, making sure not to crowd them. Sear undisturbed for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until scallops release easily from pan. Flip scallops with metal tongs or spatula and reduce heat to medium.
  3. Baste the scallops—Add butter and lemon slices to skillet. Use a spoon to baste scallops with melted butter for another minute or so. Remove scallops from pan and set aside. Flip lemon slices, searing on each side for about a minute.
  4. Garnish and serve—Divide scallops and seared lemons between individual serving plates. Drizzle with butter from skillet and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.


Forgot to Thaw Scallops Overnight?

Here’s a shortcut—place them in an airtight plastic bag and immerse bag in cold water for about half an hour.

Minimize Moisture

Dry scallops before cooking to help ensure beautiful browning—and avoid crowding the skillet, or they’ll steam instead of sear.