Garlic Butter Scallops Recipe

Cooked in 6 minutes, this Garlic Butter Scallops Recipe is the perfect quick dinner. Easy enough for a weeknight meal but fancy enough for entertaining guests! Make this healthy scallop recipe with just 7 simple ingredients.

Scallops can be an intimidating protein as it can easily go from perfectly cooked to overcooked but with the help of this blog post, you don’t have to worry about that! This post will help you make restaurant quality delicious golden pan seared scallops for a fraction of the cost.

This garlic butter scallops recipe is so simple to make. I don’t have to worry about running behind and with how quick they are from start to finish, I don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen cooking.

How Do Scallops Taste?

Scallops have a sweet and delicate flavour to them and tastes almost like a cross between lobster and crab meat. They have a creamy texture and they take on flavours very well so you don’t need too much garlic and butter to give it a strong garlic butter flavour.

How Do You Pick Them?

Scallops are pretty easy to find at most grocery stores both in the fresh fish counter or the frozen section. For this recipe, you’ll want large fresh scallops instead of the smaller bay scallops as the cook time will be different. If you cannot find fresh scallops, frozen works as well. You’ll also want to buy dry instead of wet scallops.

Wet scallops have been soaked in a bath of phosphates to preserve their freshness while dry scallops have not. The dry scallops sear much nicer as it isn’t water logged and taste much sweeter than their wet counterpart. Some think that wet scallops tastes soapy and if you’re paying by the pound, wet scallops weigh more as they’re soaked. Wet scallops also shrinks more when cooked as the water evaporates and is slightly tougher than dry scallops.

If you’re looking for more delicious seafood recipes and tips, check out my Pan Seared Salmon Recipe, Simple Garlic Butter Salmon Recipe, Blackened Salmon Recipe, Dijon Mustard Salmon Recipe, and Maple-Mustard Salmon.

golden pan seared garlic butter scallops in a cast iron

How to Make this Garlic Butter Scallops Recipe

Ingredients

  • Fresh large scallops — remove the side muscle
  • Coarse salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Butter — be sure you use unsalted butter as you’re seasoning with salt and pepper
  • Garlic cloves — minced
  • Freshly chopped parsley
  • Lemon juice — really helps brighten up the flavour of the garlic butter scallops so don’t skip it. Fresh lemon juice is best.

close up of garlic butter scallops recipe

Instructions

Prep the Scallops

  1. Remove the scallops from the fridge about 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking.
  2. Place them on a paper towel-lined cutting board and pat them dry with paper towels.
  3. Season well on all sides of the scallops with coarse salt and set aside.

Prep your Cast Iron

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Let it heat up for about 2 minutes. When the skillet smokes just a bit, it’s a sign that it’s properly heated.

Sear Your Scallops

  1. Add the scallops in a single layer. Please, don’t over crowd the skillet and if it’s necessary, work in batches.
  2. Sear for 2-3 minutes on each side. They will be golden and cooked through. Remove from skillet and set it aside.

Make the Sauce

  1. Add the butter, garlic, fresh parsley and lemon juice. Saute for 1-2 minutes and add the scallops back to the pan and heat through. Enjoy immediately!

garlic butter scallops in a pan

Tips For Making The Best Seared Garlic Butter Scallops

  • Make sure your scallops are patted dry before adding it to your pan. If your scallops are wet, they will steam on the pan and you won’t get a nice golden crust on them.
  • I recommend using a cast iron for searing scallops.

Recipe Variations For This Garlic Butter Scallops Recipe

  • To make this recipe Whole30 and Paleo friendly: use Ghee instead of butter.
  • You can change up the seasoning: swap in paprika, cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, and more.

FAQs

Can I Make This Garlic Butter Scallops Recipe Ahead of Time?

I would suggest you serve and eat all of the scallops immediately. While they do last in the fridge in an airtight container for 1-2 days, because they’re such a delicate protein, reheating might cause it to toughen and lose it’s creamy texture.

How Do I Know When My Scallops Are Cooked Through?

The garlic butter scallops cook up in 6 minutes minutes and you’ll know they’re done once they turn firm and opaque in colour. If you are worried about overcooking your scallops, you can always under cook it for a minute and let them rest for 1-2 minutes before serving.

Can I Use Frozen Scallops?

Yes – just make sure to thaw the scallops ahead of time.

How Do I Thaw Scallops?

To thaw frozen scallops to make this garlic butter scallops recipe, you can place them in the fridge overnight or quick thaw them in a bowl of cold water in your sink for 10-20 minutes.

What Can I Serve Scallops With?

Garlic Butter Scallops

Yield: 4 people
Prep Time:
5 mins
Cook Time:
6 mins
Total Time:
11 mins
Cooked in 6 minutes, this Garlic Butter Scallops Recipe is the perfect quick dinner. Easy enough for a weeknight meal but fancy enough for entertaining guests! Make this healthy scallop recipe with just 7 simple ingredients.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh large scallops* — removed the side muscle
  • Coarse salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp butter — or ghee for Whole30 and paleo
  • 3 garlic cloves — minced
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Remove the scallops from the fridge about 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking.
  2. Place them on a paper towel-lined cutting board and pat them dry with paper towels.
  3. Season well all sides of the scallops with coarse salt and set aside.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Let it heat up for about 2 minutes. When the skillet smokes just a bit, it’s a sign that it’s properly heated.
  5. Add the scallops in a single layer. Please, don’t over crowd the skillet and if it’s necessary, work in batches.
  6. Sear for 2-3 minutes on each side. They will be golden and cooked through. Remove from skillet and set it aside.
  7. Add the butter, garlic, fresh parsley and lemon juice. Saute for 1-2 minutes and add the scallops back to the pan and heat through. Enjoy immediately!

Recipe Notes

* If scallops are frozen, thaw in cold water.
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Garlic Butter Scallops, Scallops

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1/4) — Calories: 263, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 77mg, Sodium: 904mg, Potassium: 372mg, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 23g

If you make this recipe, follow @primaverakitchen on Instagram, snap a photo and hashtag it #primaverakitchen. I'd love to see what you're making!

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