Simple Seared Scallops Recipe

If you are one of those people who believe that scallops are difficult to cook and that it's best to just order them at a restaurant, then this recipe will have you rethinking everything. Scallops are actually quite easy to make, and whether you're a beginner or a pro, there's no doubt that you can nail this dish. In no time, you will be enjoying a meal worthy of being served at a fancy restaurant, but in the comfort of your own home. This recipe includes step-by-step instructions on how to sear the perfect scallops and a squeeze of lemon on top is the perfect ending. 

Recipe developer Christina Musgrave of Tasting with Tina came up with this simple recipe that is sure to wow your guests. "I love how easy this scallop dish is — it's ready in just a few minutes but it tastes as good as a restaurant," Musgrave raves. "Scallops are done in just a few minutes, and as long as you follow instructions carefully, they are foolproof every time!" Searing is a great method as it ensures that the scallops get a nice, flavorful crust with minimum risk of overcooking. Let's dive into this seafood classic!

Gather the ingredients for these simple seared scallops

Making seared scallops is really easy, right down to the ingredients list. You will need scallops (rinsed with the side muscle removed), salt, black pepper, olive oil, and lemon wedges to serve for this dish. "Make sure the side muscle is removed from the scallop. You just simply pull it off," Musgrave says. "It should peel away easily." 

Season the scallops

The theme of this recipe is simplicity, and we mean that in every sense — right down to the prep work and seasoning. First, grab your scallops and pat them dry. This helps remove excess moisture, so the seasoning sticks. Then, season the scallops with salt and pepper.

Heat the skillet and add scallops

In order to sear the scallops, you will need a large skillet. Place it on your stove and turn the heat up to high. Let the skillet sit and get hot for about 3-4 minutes.

Then, add the olive oil, followed by the scallops. "Make sure the scallops are very dry before cooking," Musgrave advises. 

Sear the scallops

Let the scallops cook for 1-2 minutes on each side. Just like shrimp, these cook very quickly. "Make sure the pan is very hot before searing them," Musgrave says. 

Once the scallops turn golden brown, you can remove them from heat. "You can always use an instant thermometer to check for doneness," Musgrave adds. 

Add a squeeze of lemon and serve

Once you remove the scallops from the heat, squeeze the lemon wedge over the top to add a little more flavor. You can also add any additional garnishes that you would like.

Musgrave also provides a few of her favorite serving suggestions in case you want to jazz the dish up even more. "I love these over pasta with extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs," she says. "I recommend eating these the day they are made. Leftovers will good for only about a day, but they taste best freshly cooked." 

Simple Seared Scallops Recipe
5 from 28 ratings
It's easy to make a refined, elegant meal right in your own home — just follow this simple seared scallops recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
simple seared scallops on plate
Total time: 6 minutes
  • 1 pound scallops, rinsed and side muscle removed
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Optional Ingredients
  • lemon wedges, for serving
  1. Pat the scallops dry. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Place a large skillet over high heat, giving it 3-4 minutes to fully heat up.
  3. Add olive oil to the skillet. Add scallops to the pan. Sear 1-2 minutes per side, until golden brown.
  4. Remove scallops from pan. Squeeze a lemon wedge over the scallops, and garnish with additional lemon wedges.
  5. Serve right away.
Calories per Serving 279
Total Fat 14.7 g
Saturated Fat 2.2 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 54.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.1 g
Dietary Fiber 0.4 g
Total Sugars 0.0 g
Sodium 889.6 mg
Protein 27.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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