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Pan Seared Scallops| brightrootskitchen.com

Pan Seared Scallops

These pan seared scallops are a healthy seafood dinner that cooks in no time! Learn how to cook scallops perfectly every time and also some variations like baked, grilled or scallops scampi!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, French
Keyword baked scallops, broiled scallops, easy scallops, grilled scallops, healthy scallops, how to make scallops, lemon butter scallops, pan seared scallops, scallop dinner, scallop scampi, scallops, scallops recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Resting time 2 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 2


  • Non-stick pan
  • Tongs
  • Whisk


  • 6-8 fresh sea scallops (full size, not bay scallops) Opt for local scallops if that's an option;
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper freshly ground is better
  • 1 tsp salt I use fine sea salt
  • 1 tbs olive oil I wouldn't recommend using a different type of oil for this one. Olive oil gives a nice flavor and helps build the crispy crust better than a lighter oil would.
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbs freshly chopped parsley


  • Use a paper towel to pat dry each scallop; try to get them as dry as you can. Evenly sprinkle the salt and pepper on each scallop.
  • Heat a non-stick skillet to medium high heat. Hover your hand over the pan to make sure that it's hot before putting the scallops in; if the pan is not hot enough they will steam instead of searing.
  • Once the pan is hot, add the olive oil. Place the scallops in the pan one at a time. You should hear a sizzle when you put them in (if not, the pan isn't hot enough). Make sure to leave at least a scallop size amount of distance between each one. Note: If you crowd the pan or put the scallops too close to eachother they will steam, not creating that crispy crust. If your pan isn't big enough to make space, try cooking the scallops in 2 batches.
  • Cook each scallop for 2-3 minutes per side. Use tongs to flip them over. Note: If you try to flip them and the scallop is sticking or pulling, it's not ready to be flipped. Give it another 30 seconds of cooking and try again.
  • Remove the cooked scallops from the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and squeeze in the lemon juice. Use a whisk to scrape off any tasty scallop bits into the lemon olive oil sauce and simmer for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and add the scallops back to the pan. Top with fresh chopped parsley (optional). Enjoy!