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Brown Butter Scallops

Cooking gourmet seafood at home is cheaper, faster, and—dare I say it—easier and more fun than going out for dinner! These Brown Butter Scallops are buttery, garlicky, delicious. Make these for a special dinner at home and pat yourself on the back for cooking up such an amazing seafood dinner!!

Scallops seared in brown butter on a plate
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Easy scallops recipe

"Brown butter scallops" just sounds so fancy, doesn't it?? You would likely pay over $30 for just a few scallops (you can count them on one hand!). So how about learning to cook scallops at home??

This easy scallops recipe is great for beginners. Just 5 ingredients: salted butter, garlic, scallops, and a little lemon juice and fresh parsley to add a fresh flavor. With a cook + prep time of just about 10 minutes, you can be enjoying a gourmet seafood dinner at home in no time!

So decadent! So delicious! Give them a try.

More fancy seafood recipes: Red Caviar Toasts

Ingredients

  • 1 lb large/jumbo scallops, thawed if frozen (tiny ones are OK too, but they won't sear as nicely)
  • 2-3 tablespoons salted butter (or try this recipe with garlic compound butter and skip the garlic clove)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Juice of ¼ lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon parsley leaves, chopped
  • optional: salt and pepper

More lemony buttery garlicky seafood dishes: Baked Swai in White Wine Lemon Garlic Sauce

Optional ingredients and recipe variations

  • Try adding a splash of dry white wine once the scallops seared on one side. The alcohol will cook off while the scallops cook on the other wise, imparting a nice flavor to the buttery sauce.
  • Try adding a few tablespoons of chicken broth to the pan once the scallops are seared on one side. This will make more sauce.
  • Try adding a few capers to the pan with the scallops, this will add a nice sharp caper-y flavor.
  • Try other herbs, such as fresh dill or chives.
  • Garnish with sprouts or microgreens.
  • Steam some broccoli and toss it in the buttery lemony sauce in the pan before serving it.

More seafood dishes with capers: Swai in Tomato Caper Sauce

Equipment

  • Large skillet
  • Paper towels
  • Lemon squeezer

More seafood recipes to try: Mayo Baked Salmon

Instructions

Step 1: Use several paper towels to thoroughly dry the scallops on all sides. This is very important to make nicely seared scallops, otherwise they will release juices and steam instead of sear. Still delicious, but not as pretty.

Step 2: In a large skillet, add the butter and minced garlic and let the butter melt until bubbles start to form. Stir frequently, and let the butter brown for about 3 minutes, without burning it or having the pan smoke too much. 

Step 3: Add the scallops and cook over high heat for about 3 minutes, or until the scallops turn golden brown on the bottom. Season lightly with salt and pepper. 

Step 4: Use tongs to carefully flip each scallop and cook for another 3 minutes or until the scallops are fully cooked. 

Scallops cooking in butter in a pan

Step 5: Squeeze some lemon juice over the scallops. Remove from the skillet and garnish with parsley. Serve hot with your favorite side dish. Here you can toss some steamed broccoli or other veggies in the buttery lemony sauce in the pan.

Plate of seared brown butter scallops and rice

What to serve with brown butter scallops

Make a complete meal out of these little scallops by serving them with some white rice and steamed broccoli. Or serve with some noodles (or zucchini noodles for a low-carb dinner), spooning the extra buttery sauce over the noodles. Asparagus would be fantastic with these scallops, and so would roasted potatoes or slow-cooker mashed mashed potatoes.

Don't forget some white wine to go with the scallops dinner!

Plate of brown butter scallops.

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

Scallops seared in brown butter on a plate
Print Recipe
5 from 7 votes

Brown Butter Scallops

Brown Butter Scallops are so easy to make at home and make for a gourmet seafood dinner at a fraction of the cost of restaurant scallops.
Prep Time2 minutes
Cook Time8 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Kate
Cost: $15

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 clove garlic - minced
  • 1 lb large/jumbo scallops - thawed if frozen
  • salt & pepper - to taste
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice - (about ¼ lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon parsley leaves - finely chopped

Special equipment

Instructions

  • Use a paper towel to thoroughly dry the scallops, get as much water out as possible so that the scallops brown instead of steaming in their juices.
  • In a large skillet, add the butter and garlic and stir until bubbles start to form and the brown starts to brown slightly, without smoking.
  • Add the scallops and cook over high heat for about 3 minutes, or until the scallops turn golden brown on the bottom. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Use tongs to carefully flip the scallops and cook for another 3 minutes, or until scallops are fully cooked. Squeeze some lemon juice over the scallops.
  • Remove from the skillet and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve hot with your favorite side dish.

Notes

You can add some steamed/boiled broccoli to the remaining lemon-butter sauce and sauté for 2-3 minutes until the broccoli is heated through and covered in delicious lemony butter sauce.
Serve with pasta or rice and your favorite veggies. Don't forget a glass of crisp white wine!

Nutrition

Calories: 103kcal (5%) | Carbohydrates: 4g (1%) | Protein: 14g (28%) | Fat: 3g (5%) | Saturated Fat: 2g (10%) | Cholesterol: 35mg (12%) | Sodium: 470mg (20%) | Potassium: 232mg (7%) | Sugar: 1g (1%) | Vitamin A: 87IU (2%) | Calcium: 7mg (1%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)

The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.

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Elena Weinstein

Thursday 8th of September 2016

Hmmm, I've never cooked them. It seems really easy. And I like your "many so's" sentence.

Kate

Thursday 8th of September 2016

It *is* really easy! And thank you so much! :)

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