Scallop Nirvana!

At nearly $30 per pound for sea scallops, you want to ensure that the end result is going to be worth your hard-earned dollars. On top of being quick-cooking and easy, there’s little more than a handful of ingredients. Plus, you’ll enjoy a crisp sear on the outside and tender, juicy insides with this Lemon Scallops recipe. And trust us, you’ll be wanting for more—we bought one pound and ate them all!

Make sure to cook in at least two batches so that you don’t crowd the pan and risk not getting that golden crisp sear on the exteriors. The recipe indicates this should take about 2 minutes per side, but in our case it was closer to 1 1/2 minutes per side. For the smoothest, velvety sauce, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve to eliminate blackened bits and/or garlic chunks before adding the butter.

Paired with a Citrus Couscous Salad, it was a perfect dinner to kick off the Spring season. We both agreed, they were among the BEST scallops we’ve ever eaten—even taking into account upscale seafood restaurants!

Lemon Scallops

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 – 1.5 lbs. sea scallops
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. butter 
  • Chopped fresh mint


  1. Pat scallops dry. Season generously with salt and pepper. Place on a plate. Chill, uncovered, for 2 hours. Remove and let stand 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. To check when hot enough, add a large drop of water (1/8 teaspoon) to the skillet. When it rolls around the pan like a bead of mercury, it is ready. This will take 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Remove skillet from heat; add oil. Swirl to coat bottom of skillet. Return to medium-high heat. Add scallops, half at a time (don’t crowd the pan). Cook for 2 minutes or until a crust forms (be patient; the scallops will release when they’re ready to be turned). Turn and cook for 2 minutes more or until scallops are crusted on the second side and turn opaque.
  4. Remove scallops from skillet to a plate; cover loosely. Remove skillet from heat. Carefully add wine, broth, lemon juice, and garlic (mixture will spatter). Return to heat. Bring to boiling, stirring to scrape up browned bits. Boil gently, uncovered, 5 minutes or until reduced by about half. Remove from heat.
  5. Strain over a fine mesh sieve to remove any blackened bits and garlic chunks, then whisk in the butter for a velvety sauce.
  6. Spoon sauce over scallops to serve. Sprinkle with mint.

Adapted from a recipe by Colleen Weeden for Better Homes & Gardens

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