These Pan Seared Scallops taste so fancy they’re restaurant-worthy. Not to worry, however: they’re easy to make and completely family-friendly. A garlic herb butter ensures they’re delicious for just about everyone!
Why You’ll Love Pan Seared Scallops
- Family-friendly. I know that pan-seared scallops don’t sound as family-friendly as fish sticks when it comes to seafood. However, I can assure you that these flavors are memorable enough for adults and kids alike. It’s that garlic herb butter and caramelized outside that really drives the dish home.
- Quick and easy. You’re basically only frying some meat when it comes down to it, and that only takes a few minutes on each side.
- Full of flavor. When you try these pan-seared scallops, you’ll think you’ve become a Master Chef. They’re so…well, elegant!
Pan Seared Scallops: What You’ll Need
- Large sea scallops: Thaw them if frozen. You’ll sometimes find “bay” scallops instead – avoid those. You want the sea scallops! They’re bigger than the bay scallops.
- Seasonings: Garlic, salt, pepper, and parsley, all a part of your butter mixture.
- Olive oil: This is to sear your scallops. You can alternatively use any other vegetable oil with a high smoke point, like avocado oil.
- Butter: This, mixed with your seasonings and the lemon juice, creates an garlic butter sauce that tastes wonderful with these scallops! Make sure it’s salted butter and that it’s softened.
- Fresh Lemon juice: Another part of your butter mixture for a tangy citrus twist.
How To Cook Scallops
This simple recipe only requires knowing how to fry something in a pan. If you can do that, you know how to cook these delicious scallops!
- Prep your scallops. Use a paper towel to pat the scallops dry. Season with salt and pepper.
- Make your butter mixture. Mash the butter, lemon juice, garlic, and parsley in a small bowl.
- Add scallops to the pan. Heat olive oil in a large pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the scallops in a single layer without having them touch (work in batches if needed).
- Fry your scallops. Fry for 2-3 minutes on one side (until a golden brown crust forms underneath), then flip and immediately add a couple tablespoons butter to the pan around the scallops. Sear the scallops for 2-3 more minutes, basting them with the butter, until a crust forms on the other side and scallops are cooked through.
- Serve and enjoy! Remove from the skillet and transfer to a plate. Serve over rice, pasta, mashed potatoes, or with steamed vegetables or a salad.
Seared Scallops: FAQs
Should I get “wet” scallops or “dry” scallops?
If possible, get dry sea scallops. They haven’t been soaked in a preservative solution like wet scallops have, and this solution makes them overly moist. (“Wet” scallops also taste off, in my family’s opinion.) If the package doesn’t have a label, be sure to ask what you’re buying.
How do I know if my dry scallops are still fresh to eat?
Scallops only start to smell fishy as they go bad. You’re looking for a briny smell. Additionally, you’ll want to use your scallops the same day or the day after buying them. They spoil quickly!
What do I do if my scallops are sticking to the pan?
Try not to use a stainless steel pan to cook them, as this will generally cause them to stick.
Can I keep leftover pan-seared scallops in the fridge?
Yes, but no longer than another day or two. This is a food that really starts to go bad rapidly, and we all know that seafood isn’t the kind of meat you want to mess with in that regard.
Can I reheat these scallops?
Absolutely. Use a microwave just long enough for them to get warm again so you don’t overcook them.
More Seafood Recipes:
Pan Seared Scallops
- Use a paper towel to pat the scallops dry. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, mash together the butter, lemon juice, garlic, and parsley. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the scallops in a single layer without having them touch (work in batches if needed).
- Fry for 2-3 minutes on one side (until a golden crust forms underneath), then flip and immediately add the garlic herb butter to the pan around the scallops. Sear the scallops for 2-3 more minutes, basting them with the butter, until a crust forms on the other side and scallops are cooked through.
- Remove from skillet and transfer to a plate.
- Serve over rice, pasta, or with steamed vegetables.