Seared Scallops with Lemon and Garlic Pan Sauce

Seared Scallops with Lemon and Garlic Pan Sauce

A quick sear in a hot pan is the best way to make restaurant-quality sea scallops at home. All you need for a fabulous finished dish is a flavorful pan sauce like this one made with butter, white wine, garlic, lemon and cream. Serve with mashed potatoes and a simple green veggie like sautéed spinach.

Seared Scallops with Lemon and Garlic Pan Sauce

  • Ingredients:
  • 1-1/4 lbs dry sea scallops (16 to 20 per lb - see notes)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons cream

Season the scallops on both sides with salt and pepper and set aside.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter and, as soon as it is hot, add the scallops in a single layer. Work in batches if necessary to avoid crowding the pan.

Cook for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes per side (depending on the size), transferring them, one by one, to a plate as soon as they are cooked through. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm while you make the sauce.

Add another tablespoon of butter to the pan, heat until foamy, then add the garlic. Sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute, then deglaze the pan with the wine. Stir in the lemon juice, zest and any juices that have accumulated on the plate with the scallops.

Combine well, stir in the cream and the last tablespoon of butter. Remove from the heat as soon as the butter is melted.

To serve, plate the scallops and drizzle with sauce.

Makes 4 servings

About the scallops:
The word "dry," when referring to scallops, means that they have not been soaked in the brine-like solution often used to help prevent them from losing their natural moisture. If not clearly marked, ask your fishmonger if the scallops you're buying are "wet" or "dry."

Use only the "dry" variety in this recipe as you will not be able to sear the "wet" type properly.

Be sure that you work quickly with the scallops and don't overcook them. You are looking for just a little golden-brown color around the edges and a creamy colored, slightly translucent center.

comments & replies

This looks so good! I'm to scared to try something other than hamburger helper :(

These seared scallops certainly sound delicious. Since I'm new here, I'll be searching your recipes for the 'sauted spinach round' you mentioned above. Hope I find it.

what kind of cream to use? thanks!

This is very good! I like all types of sauces with lemon and it's always good choice when you cook seafood.

I just sent a picture of this to my fiance`! Scallops are his favorite and I was looking for a recipe! This looks like a nice addition to my Friday night romance dinners that I do for him once a month! I've just bookmarked this whole website. Good MARRIED cooking for my future hubby!! I'm gonna have to make sure I excercise cuz I LOVE cooking for him and these recipes make my mouth water just looking at them!

WOW! I have never cooked anything that smelled (and tasted!) so delicious. Pretty sure this has to be the best scallops recipe ever. Thank you!

Simple and delicious! this is the type of cooking I like the most, when the natural flavors are predominant on the dish

I replaced the wine with scotch and the cream with cashew cream... Divine

Yes i used the same quantity of scotch and
Cashew cream:
1/4 cup raw cashews in a blender with 1/4cup water, blend on high for 3 min.
Then add to the sauce. If you have leftovers from the two tbs. drizzle on fruit You can replace cream in any recipe and if you need sour cream just add a pinch of salt and 1 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice for the acidity.
Butter Replacement:
You can replace the butter for the same amount of coconut oil and a tbs nutritional yeast. To make it dairy free. mmmm