Scallops in Lemon Butter Sauce


Scallops in Lemon Butter Sauce

Sea scallops in lemon butter sauce is a celebration of the scallop and allows their delicate flavor to shine. A bonus is the fast and easy preparation.

There are a few important points and the first is to buy fresh, high quality “dry” scallops from a reputable seafood market. What’s a dry scallop? You can review the difference between wet and dry by reading Scallops 101 HERE.

If you use wet scallops, you will always wonder why yours don’t taste as good as those you ate in that great restaurant.

Scallops 102 – Bay vs. Sea Scallops

Side by side, you can easily distinguish between them by size. Sea scallops are three times larger, but the little guys make up for the difference with texture and flavor. Bay scallops are a little sweeter, but their size is less appealing than their big brothers.

Sides and Accompaniments

I promised a recipe that allows the scallops to shine and for me that means more scallops instead of more “stuff”. If you can’t stand it, serve these beauties over rice like my scallops on pink Madagascar rice, or with pureed parsnips or grits. If that’s still not enough, you can’t go wrong with roasted asparagus, but that’s where I draw the line.

  • Author: TJ


  • 5 dry sea scallops per person
  • 1 TBL olive oil
  • 2 TBL meyer lemon juice
  • 1 stick salted butter – divided
  • Salt and pepper – to taste
  • Whole parsley leaves – garnish


  1. Trim off the muscle if necessary, rinse and pat the scallops dry
  2. Season both sides with finely ground salt and pepper
  3. Melt 7 tablespoons of butter in a small pot and strain through cheesecloth to clarify (optional). Stir in the lemon juice and set aside on warm
  4. Heat the olive oil and remaining butter on medium heat in a carbon steel skillet
  5. When the pan is hot carefully place the scallops in the pan and sear until you get some color, about 2 minutes, then flip them and sear for another 1-2 minutes. Do not crowd the pan which will lower the temp and steam them instead of searing them
  6. Spoon 2 tablespoons of lemon butter into a warm soup bowl, plate and garnish with parsley leaves