This recipe for Pan-Seared Lemon Butter Scallops is simple, easy, and even better than what you would find in a restaurant. Paired with a savory and light lemon sauce, this is the perfect meal for special occasions or when you want to treat yourself. Don’t forget the wine!
Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel. Season them with salt on both sides.
Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. When hot and smoking, add the scallops to the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan. Cook in batches if needed.
Cook on one side for 60-90 seconds. Flip and cook for another 60-90 seconds. Transfer the cooked scallops to a plate or surrounded in foil. Repeat until all scallops are cooked.
Reduce the heat to low. Add the butter, garlic, lemon juice, and capers to the pan. Stir and scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the chopped parsley, then remove from the heat.
Drizzle the sauce over the scallops and serve right away. Serve with crusty toasted bread and some wine or over some buttered noodles.
If you’re cooking with frozen scallops, they will need to be thawed beforehand. Leave them in the fridge overnight, then rinse and pat dry before cooking. They cannot be thawed at room temperature.
If you’re using fresh scallops, keep them in a container on top of a bowl of ice in the refrigerator until you’re ready to get cooking.
Once they’re in the pan, do not move the scallops. This will give them a beautiful, golden-brown sear.