Pan Seared Sea Scallops

This is a very simple, classic way to prepare scallops. First I sprinkled them with kosher salt and pepper, then seared them in a hot skillet and finished with a little butter. I served them over sauteed spinach for dinner last night and it was to die for.

I also served these with simple roasted red potatoes.

Pan Seared Sea Scallops Recipe

Serves 2 Prep Time: Cook Time:


  • 10 jumbo sea scallops
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (or enough to lightly coat the bottom of the pan you are using)
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of butter



Place scallops between two paper towels and gently pat dry. (Note: It is very important that they are dry so they don't steam when you cook them.) Season both sides with salt and pepper.


In a skillet large enough to fit all of the scallops without over crowding them, heat oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, lay the scallops in gently. Cook 4 minutes per side. (Note: Non-stick pans aren't the best for this, I used a cast iron skillet. You may notice the scallops sticking, just be very gentle with them they will pull up).


Once your scallops are cooked, reduce the heat to medium, add the butter to the skillet. As it melts spoon it over the scallops. Remove the scallops to a platter.



Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    ancient mariner
    December 23, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    When buying scallops know the following. “Diver” (Harvested by Divers, not scallop draggers)fresh scallops are only available from Dec to March and they are an “overfished” fishery only available from the State of Maine. “Dry” scallops when placed in a Collander will not drip any liquid and will be translucent. Scallops with water added will have a preservative to help retain the water in the scallop. If your waiter/chef is claiming to have fresh diver scallops from April-November, they are in line for a career in politics. Fresh Sea Scallops from New Bedford or anyother Port are just as good as so called “Diver” Scallops. It’s like the difference between a chevy and a buick, there aint any!

  • Reply
    March 10, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    If the scallops are sticking to the pan when you try to flip them give them more time. They will release from the pan when properly seared.

    • Reply
      March 11, 2009 at 3:32 pm

      Thanks for the tip Wags! :)

  • Reply
    February 12, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    These look heavenly! I love scallops, but have yet to talk my hubby into trying them. Your recipe makes me inspired to do so!

    • Reply
      February 15, 2009 at 11:59 pm

      Thanks for the comment finsmom! Ryan was very unsure about scallops too, but he devoured these, the simplicity of the recipe really allows you to taste the wonderful scallop flavor. Hopefully you can talk your hubby into trying them! :)

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