Perfectly Seared Scallops Recipe - Baker by Nature (2024)

by Ashley Manila 91 Comments

Learn how to make perfectly seared scallops with this easy recipe! You only need 5 simple ingredients to make this impressive recipe. Perfect for Valentine’s Day or any special occasion!

Perfectly Seared Scallops Recipe - Baker by Nature (1)

How to cook Scallops

Scallops are one of those things that are SO simple to cook, and yet, so simple to screw up. I have to admit I botched a few batches myself back in the day (it was like eating rubber!), but with their hefty price tag, I quickly made it my mission to learn the key to a perfectly seared scallop. And by perfect, I mean a scallop with a flavorful crust and an interior so tender it basically melts in your mouth. That’s perfection!The good thing about this whole post is that perfectly seared scallops are easy as 1-2-3. I totally was going to type “easy as pie”, but ya know, these little guys are so much easier than that whole situation 😉

The first thing you want to do is make sure you have good quality scallops. I know they’re pricey, but I think that if you’re going to put in the effort – especially with seafood – freshness and quality are always key. So get the best you can.

Perfectly Seared Scallops Recipe - Baker by Nature (2)

Once you’ve selected your scallops, all you need to do is pat them dry, sprinkle them well with salt and pepper (freshly grated is always the best!), and toss them in a buttered hot skillet.

Perfectly Seared Scallops Recipe - Baker by Nature (3)

Now! Here’s where you need to pay attention – do not over cook these babies! I repeat: DO NOT OVERCOOK. Pardon the yelling; but that part is so crucial!!!

Perfectly Seared Scallops Recipe - Baker by Nature (4)

Oh, and serve these sensational scallops right away!!! They shouldn’t wait more than a few minutes before entering a mouth. And just a heads up – they always taste best fresh from the skillet, so I’d suggest stealing one or two straight from the pan before serving 😉

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Scallop Recipes

  • Pan-Seared Scallops with Lemon Caper Sauce
  • Honey-Glazed Scallops
  • Pan-Seared Scallops with Tomatoes, Olives, and Capers

Perfectly Seared Scallops Recipe - Baker by Nature (6)

Perfectly Seared Scallops

Ashley Manila

Perfectly Seared Scallops Recipe!

4.77 from 17 votes


Course Dinner

Cuisine Seafood

Servings 4 servings


  • 1 pound sea scallops, patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Freshly ground sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon for squeezing, optional


  • Remove tiny side muscle from the scallops if they have them, then rinse with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.

  • Add the butter and oil to a large saute pan over high heat.

  • Generously salt and pepper the scallops. Once the butter/oil combo begins to smoke, gently add the scallops, making sure they are not touching. Sear scallops for 1 1/2 minutes on each side - not touching them at all while they're searing. The scallops should have a nice golden crust on each side and be translucent in the center. Serve right away!!!

Tried it and loved it?Snap a picture and share it with me on Instagram @Bakerbynature and by using the hashtag #BakerByNature


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Reader Interactions


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  1. Perfectly Seared Scallops Recipe - Baker by Nature (12)Mary Adams says



  2. Perfectly Seared Scallops Recipe - Baker by Nature (13)Kathy says

    This recipe is so easy, quick and delicious! It will be part of the Father’s day meal I am making for my husband tonight


  3. Perfectly Seared Scallops Recipe - Baker by Nature (14)Robin says

    Perfectly Seared Scallops Recipe - Baker by Nature (15)
    Fantastic. I made before but never were this good. you just need to stay on top of every detail just like you mentioned. timing was perfect. Will be making more often now. Delicious!!!,


  4. Perfectly Seared Scallops Recipe - Baker by Nature (16)Liz Krauss says

    Perfectly Seared Scallops Recipe - Baker by Nature (17)
    The BEST I’ve ever made ! Thank-you!


  5. Perfectly Seared Scallops Recipe - Baker by Nature (18)JoAnne Nicholson says

    These scollops were THE BEST!!! Thank you for sharing this. We love scollops, but they are pricie but now they aren’t, by fixing them at home! THANKS again. JoAnne


  6. Perfectly Seared Scallops Recipe - Baker by Nature (19)Leslie Jaye says

    Perfectly Seared Scallops Recipe - Baker by Nature (20)
    What do you think if I lightly dusted them with cornstarch? I serve mine with asparagus when it’s in season. Today I’m going to pair them with sauteed yellow squash, onions, portobello mushrooms and couscous with carmelized onions. SO yummy! I prepare my sides first and keep them warm so that the last thing I do is sear the scallops and serve it all immediately! Thank you for your recipe!


« Older Comments

Perfectly Seared Scallops Recipe - Baker by Nature (2024)


Is it better to sear or bake scallops? ›

Because sea scallops have a chewier texture, searing them in a hot skillet is the simplest, most effective cooking method to achieving a crisp exterior and tender, just-firm texture within. Basting the scallops with butter helps finish cooking them and enhances browning, too.

Why do you soak scallops in milk before cooking? ›

Eliminates Mild Fish Odor From Your Scallop

Soaking scallops in milk before cooking can help alleviate this odor. Milk can neutralize or mask the fishy smell, resulting in a milder scent. The milk helps to reduce the intensity of the fish odor, making the scallops more pleasant to cook and easier to consume.

Is it better to fry scallops in oil or butter? ›

Don't use olive oil to sear your scallops!

I recommend butter as the best option, but you can also use vegetable, canola, or grapeseed oil.

Should you flour scallops before searing? ›

Some cooks will toss their scallops in a light dusting of flour or cornstarch before cooking. This is simply to add a little bit more crustiness to the exterior. It is not a necessary step, but some prefer to do this. You could try a few scallops dredged in a light coating and leave a few alone to see which you prefer.

What is the best oil for searing scallops? ›

What type of oil should you use to cook scallops? A light, neutral oil with a high smoke point. Extra virgin olive oil will begin to smoke immediately over high heat. Instead, reach for grapeseed oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil.

What happens if you don't rinse scallops before cooking? ›

A: You should always rinse scallops thoroughly to remove grit, but there shouldn't be so much grit that you have to soak them. In fact, soaking isn't recommended because the scallops can absorb water and get soggy, less flavorful and difficult to sear properly.

Why do chefs cut scallops in half? ›

Rule #3 – Always cut large scallops in half so that they can cook all the way through quickly. Following these three rules is key to making top notch fresh scallops whether they are pan seared, grilled or broiled.

How long do you let scallops soak in milk? ›

Select a bowl or dish that is large enough to hold all of the scallops and deep enough that they can all be covered with milk. After rinsing, place the scallops in the bowl or dish and pour enough milk over them to cover completely. Cover the bowl, and place it in the refrigerator. Allow them to soak for one hour.

Do I need to rinse scallops? ›

No. It is not necessary to wash scallops before cooking. Washing or soaking scallops in water will cause the scallop to absorb water. This will make it harder for the scallop to sear and caramelize and can create excess seepage water in the pan, which negatively affects the dish.

Why do scallops taste like baking soda? ›

Wet scallops appear very shiny and white. The extra water in these scallops causes them to shrink when cooked, and the sweet natural flavor of the scallop is diminished by a slight aftertaste similar to baking soda.

Should scallops be room temperature before cooking? ›

Place scallops on rimmed baking sheet lined with clean dish towel. Place second clean dish towel on top of scallops and press gently on towel to blot liquid. Let scallops sit at room temperature for 10 minutes while towels absorb moisture.

Should scallops be at room temperature before frying? ›

Remove and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Heat a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. To check if the pan is hot enough, add a large drop of water (⅛ teaspoon) to the skillet. When you can roll it around the pan, it's ready.

How long should I sear scallops? ›

Salt and pepper the scallops. Once the fat begins to smoke, gently add the scallops, making sure they are not touching each other. Sear the scallops for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. The scallops should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center.

Why can't I get a good sear on scallops? ›

Make sure your pan is fully heated and then pour in the oil. Once you notice the oil bubbling or shimmering slightly, it's time to put your scallops in. Don't Overcrowd Your Scallops: Scallops need enough space for them to cook thoroughly. Make sure they're not touching and cook them in batches if need be.

How do you sear scallops without sticking them? ›

Get it very hot - water should sizzle vigorously when it hits the pan. Use more oil than you think you need. A 1-2 mm layer will get in between the cracks of the scallop and allow for better heat transfer. Use a oil with a high smoke point, not olive oil.

Do you sear scallops on high heat? ›

Finally, as hinted above, searing scallops is about high heat. You'll want to heat your pan to around 450°F (232°C) or higher before you add your scallops. Heat the pan over medium-high heat, adding the oil at the beginning of the heating.

Do you cook scallops on high or low heat? ›

After searing a few batches, we determined that scallops are perfectly cooked when their centers reach 115 degrees. Because scallops are so small and are usually cooked over high heat, carryover cooking will add another 10 to 15 degrees, for an ideal final temperature of 125 to 130 degrees.


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