scallops with butter lemon sauce

Scallops with Buttered Lemon Sauce

  • Author: Kate Morgan Jackson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This easy recipe for scallops with buttered lemon sauce is perfect for both special occasions and every day supper!


  • 16 sea scallops – try for dry scallops if available
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Zest and juice from one lemon
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon cream
  • 1 pound baby spinach
  • Lemon wedges (optional)


  1. Make sauce: combine wine, lemon zest and juice and shallot in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer until most of the wine is evaporated, about 10 minutes or so. Whisk in butter and parmesan cheese until both are melted. Stir in cream, turn off heat and set aside.
  2. Put olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper, place them in the oil and sear for 3 minutes without moving them. Loosen with a small spatula and then turn over with tongs and cook for another minute. You will probably have to do the scallops in several batches – simply cover the cooked ones loosely with foil while you cook the others.
  3. While the scallops are cooking, saute the spinach in another large skillet until wilted.
  4. Assemble as follows: make a nice bed of spinach on each plate, top with 3-4 scallops and generously drizzle with sauce. Serve with extra lemon wedges if you like!



Scallops: You want sea scallops (the big guys) for this recipe, and ask for dry scallops if they have them – these are scallops that aren’t treated with chemicals.

White wine: Any kind you have hanging around is just fine!  And if you really would rather not use wine, you can use clam juice instead.