scallops in lemon butter sauce

Scallops in Lemon Butter Sauce

  • Author: Kate Morgan Jackson
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Total Time: 9 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1 pound dry sea scallops (see note)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter

For the sauce

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Juice and zest from one lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Pat the scallops dry and season them with a sprinkle of salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. Put two tablespoons of butter in a large skillet and melt over medium high heat.  When the butter is melted and sizzling, place the scallops in the pan, being careful not to crowd them.  Sear them without moving them for a minute or two on each side – you want them a nice golden to dark brown.  Take them out of the pan and set them aside.
  3. Add 3 tablespoons of butter, the garlic, and the lemon juice and zest to the pan and whisk until butter is melted.
  4. Divide the scallops among warmed plates and drizzle generously with the lemon butter sauce.  Sprinkle some parsley and cheese on top and serve at once.


Ask for dry scallops at your fish counter – these are scallops that have not been treated with chemicals, which can impact the taste.  Here’s a handy link that explains more!