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Seared Sea Scallops Recipe

Seared Scallops

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With just a few simple steps and tricks you can cook up restaurant worthy seared scallops that will wow your friends and family.

  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


  • 1 pound scallops, U10-20
  • 12 tablespoons oil, avocado, canola, ghee, or other high smoke point oil
  • Fine Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 12 tablespoons butter, optional 
  • Fresh Lemon Wedges


  1. Heat a cast iron skillet, griddle, or stainless-steel pan over high heat. 
  2. Use the mercury ball (water test) to gauge if the pan is hot enough to add oil. Just add a few droppletes of water on the pan and if they form into little tiny balls and roll off the pan you can add your oil. If the water droplet evaporates, the pan is not hot enough and the scallops will stick to the pan. 
  3. Coat the bottom of the pan evenly with an oiled, folded up napkin.
  4. Pull off and discard crescent-shaped muscle on side of each scallop.  This side muscle is also called the “foot” and it is tough and chewey. 

Remove Foot Scallop

  1. Use paper towel to thoroughly pat them dry. 

Pat Dry Sea Scallops


  1. Lightly season both sides of your scallops.

Season sea scallop

  1. Once the oil is almost smoking, place your scallops into the pan, making sure the the wider, flatter side of the scallop makes complete contact with the surface. 

  1. Allow the first side to cook 1 1/2-2 minutes before flipping. Turn scallops with tong one at a time. Don’t flip them until they easily release from the pan and have a nice golden crust. 
  2. Cook the second side another 2 minutes. They should turn white and opaque on the sides and have a spring to the touch when they’re done. Turn scallops only once.
  3. Additionally, you can reduce the heat to low and add butter, shallots, garlic, and/or herbs according to taste and baste before removing from the pan. 
  4. Serve right away with fresh lemon wedges. 


When in doubt, check the internal temperature of your scallops. They should be between 115-120 degrees. They will also feel slightly firm to the touch, but still spring back. 

  • Author: Nicole Stover
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Category: Seafood
  • Method: Searing
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

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