Garlic Butter Scallops Recipe (2024)

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These simple Buttery Garlic Seared Scallops are pan-seared and seasoned to perfection. Serve by themselves or over freshly cooked pasta for an elegant, yet quick meal.

I love to pair this delicious dish with my Parmesan Roasted Asparagus, Honey Roasted Carrots or Sautéed Zucchini.

Garlic Butter Scallops Recipe (1)Garlic Butter Scallops Recipe (2)I’m partnering with Land O’Lakes again to share this incredible garlic butter Scallops recipe featuring their Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt.

Seafood is always a super quick protein to prepare, and these gorgeous scallops are no different.

Buttery Garlic Seared Scallops

I’m using wild-caught sea scallops so they are nice and large in size. Bay scallops are going to be quite a bit smaller, and better reserved for stews and casseroles. Sea scallops make a great main dish because they’re nice and plump.

Ingredients Needed For Seared Scallops

Here’s a basic list of the ingredients you’ll need to make these buttery garlic scallops. As always, you can find the full list of ingredients in the printable recipe card below.

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This recipe is so simple, yet packs so much flavor!

The easy-to-use Land O Lakes® Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt is always within reach in my fridge. We use this tasty, 3 ingredient butter spread on the daily. My favorite part about Land O’Lakes is they’re a dairy cooperative, using milk from hard-working farmer-owners. It translates into quality dairy products you can taste.

How To Make Garlic Butter Scallops

Pull out that heavy-bottomed skillet, cause we’re searing these sea scallops to give them a nice golden crust and tender, juicy insides.

  • PAT DRY WITH PAPER TOWELS Give the scallops a nice pat with paper towels to remove any excess moisture, then season both sides with salt and pepper.
  • SEAR IN HOT SKILLET Sear the scallops in olive oil over medium-high heat until they’re browned on each side (about 2 to 3 minutes).
  • MAKE BUTTERY GARLIC MIXTURE Remove the scallops from the pan. To the pan, quickly add in that creamy Land O Lakes® Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt. Let it melt and add in the garlic and lemon, then stir until fragrant.
  • RETURN SCALLOPS Add the scallops back to the pan, coat with the buttery garlic mixture and garnish with freshly chopped parsley

PRO TIP:Scallops are like little sponges and will soak up as much water or liquids as they can. Do NOT rinse your scallops in water to clean them. They will soak up too much water and then release it all in your pan… and you’ll end up with sad scallops.

Such a beautiful, yet quick and easy seafood recipe to make!

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What Type Of Pan Is Best For Searing?

When it comes down to it, everyone should have a good heavy-duty skillet (either cast iron or stainless steel) in their kitchen.

You wont get a good sear with a non-stick pan, but if that’s all you have… make sure to crank up the heat as high as you can to get that good sear on the scallops.

What To Serve With Sea Scallops?

These plump and perfectly cooked sea scallops are fantastic over a nice angel hair pasta. Here are some other great ways to serve them…

  • Garlic Parmesan Rice
  • Easy Garlic Herb Rice Pilaf
  • Fluffy Mashed Potatoes
  • The Best Steaks

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Can I Cook Scallops Ahead Of Time?

Since scallops are a lot like shrimp and lobster, where they cook so fast and can be tough or rubbery if over cooked, I’m going to advise against cooking ahead of time.

Not to worry, these Garlic Butter Scallops are ready in just 15 minutes, which is usually less time than it takes to boil a pot of pasta.

How Do I Know When They’re Cooked?

Scallops should be cooked to an internal temperature of about 125 to 130 degrees F.

If you gently poke the top of the scallop it should be slightly firm to the touch, but still have some give to it.

Why Are My Scallops Rubbery?

Scallops can go from juicy and succulent to rubbery and chewy in a matter of minutes. This usually happens when you’ve overcooked your scallops.

Make sure you use paper towels to get as much moisture out of the scallops before searing to ensure a quick sear and even cook time.

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Enjoy your scallops right away after cooking for maximum flavor and texture.

I know you’re going to love these as much as we do!

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4.85 from 13 votes

Buttery Garlic Seared Scallops

This quick and easy Buttery Garlic Seared Scallops recipe is succulent and delicious. Serve over pasta for a fantastic meal.

Prep Time5 minutes mins

Cook Time10 minutes mins

Total Time15 minutes mins

Course: Dinner

Cuisine: American

Servings: 4 people

Calories: 195 kcal

Author: Shawn


US Customary - Metric


  • Pat the scallops dry with paper towels and season both sides with salt and pepper.

  • Heat a large, cast iron or stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Sear scallops for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until browned and scallops are cooked through. Remove scallops from pan to a plate.

  • Add Land O Lakes® Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt to skillet and let melt. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Squeeze in the juice of half the lemon, then add the scallops back to the pan and top with parsley.

  • Serve over cooked pasta with extra lemon wedges. Enjoy!



Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 812mg | Potassium: 286mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 357IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg

Keywords: angel hair pasta, Butter, Garlic, Lemon, scallops

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?don't forget to share a picture and mention @iwashyoudry on Instagram or tag #iwashyoudry!


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Garlic Butter Scallops Recipe (2024)


What is the secret to cooking scallops? ›

Do not crowd the pan; work in batches if needed. Cook the scallops for 2 minutes, then flip. Cook the scallops undisturbed for 2 minutes. If the scallop doesn't release easily from the pan, let it cook for another few seconds until it does.

Why do you soak scallops in milk before cooking? ›

Scallops, like many other types of seafood, can have a mild fishy odor that some people find off-putting. Soaking scallops in milk before cooking can help alleviate this odor. Milk can neutralize or mask the fishy smell, resulting in a milder scent.

Is it better to fry scallops in oil or butter? ›

Scallops are low-fat and high in protein with lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. While I recommend cooking them in butter for the best sear, you can cook them in vegetable, canola or grapeseed oil if preferred.

How do you cook scallops so they are not rubbery? ›

If you want your scallops to develop a nice crust (who doesn't?), most of the cooking should happen on just one side of the scallop. Once the scallops have caramelized (3–4 minutes), flip and cook for another 1–2 minutes to finish. Be careful not to overcook. When overcooked, scallops will turn rubbery and chewy.

What happens if you don't rinse scallops before cooking? ›

A: You should always rinse scallops thoroughly to remove grit, but there shouldn't be so much grit that you have to soak them. In fact, soaking isn't recommended because the scallops can absorb water and get soggy, less flavorful and difficult to sear properly.

How long should I soak scallops in milk? ›

one that is deep enough to cover the scallops with. milk.. Cover the bowl, and place it in the refrigerator. for one hour or soak in coconut milk for 10 minutes.

Should I rinse frozen scallops? ›

Yes if they are frozen in fresh running cold water to thaw. The same with fresh or live scallops. Should one wash salmon before preparing it? Yes, or at least usually.

Do you salt scallops before or after cooking? ›

Thankfully, we have you covered: Dry Your Scallops: We mentioned this before, but it bears repeating—be sure to dry your scallops before placing them on the pan. Season Them Before You Cook Them: You should sprinkle your salt and pepper onto your scallops before cooking, not during or after.

Should scallops be room temp before cooking? ›

Remove and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Heat a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. To check if the pan is hot enough, add a large drop of water (⅛ teaspoon) to the skillet. When you can roll it around the pan, it's ready.

Should scallops be at room temperature before frying? ›

Let scallops sit at room temperature for 10 minutes while towels absorb moisture. 2. Sprinkle scallops on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12‑inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking.

How to cook scallops Martha Stewart? ›

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the scallops to skillet and cook, flipping once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining scallops, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.

How many scallops per person to eat? ›

How many scallops should you serve? If you're serving scallops as a main course with sides, plan on around 6 ounces per person. That would be 4-6 large (U10) sea scallops and 8-10 medium sized. Appetizer portions would be half of that.

How do I know when my scallops are done? ›

Scallops are done when they are opaque in the center and golden brown on the outside. They should be firm but buttery, not at all difficult to cut or chew through (via The Kitchn). Scallops only take a few minutes to sear, meaning that they can become overcooked very quickly.

What is the best oil for searing scallops? ›

What type of oil should you use to cook scallops? A light, neutral oil with a high smoke point. Extra virgin olive oil will begin to smoke immediately over high heat. Instead, reach for grapeseed oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil.

Should you season scallops before cooking? ›

Should you salt scallops before cooking? If you buy wet scallops, salt will help draw out the excess moisture. Salt them, let them set for about 15 minutes, and then blot them dry with paper towels.

How long to soak scallops before cooking? ›

According to Molly Birnbaum of America's Test Kitchen, briefly brining scallops masks the chemically and slightly soapy taste imparted by the phosphate soak: “Soak them in 1 quart of cold water with 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of salt for 30 minutes.

Should you flour scallops before searing? ›

Flour: While optional, I love dusting flour over my scallops before cooking them. The flour absorbs excess moisture and adds a nice golden brown crust. You can skip this step if you don't have flour or are gluten-free.

Why salt scallops before cooking? ›

Thoroughly drying the scallops by salting them and blotting with paper towels gives you a nice dry surface that browns far more efficiently. Using a heavy pan over extremely high heat guarantees a thick crust without overcooking the center.

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