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Foolproof Pan Seared Scallops

With just a few ingredients and simple steps, this recipe is truly "foolproof!" You will achieve a perfectly crisp, golden, savory sear on your scallops every single time.

Pan seared scallops are one of my favorite summer dishes ever. I order them often at restaurants and also love to make them right here at home. These beauties are delicious on their own, and even better served over risotto or farotto, smashed potatoes, pasta, sautéed greens like broccoli rabe or spinach, or even on a po’boy style sandwich with some crisp slaw. You can certainly get creative!

This is a basic recipe I follow whenever I make seared scallops at home. Removing the muscles, rinsing the scallops, and patting them dry with a paper towel are necessary steps and absolute game changers for achieving that crisp golden exterior. I call this recipe “foolproof” because you will reach the perfect sear every single time.

That rich, crisp caramelization on the outside combined with a meaty, chewy center are what my flavor and textural dreams are made of. YUM, I’m getting hungry! Also, because pan seared scallops are so savory and slightly easier to chew than some other shellfish, these scallops are great to try out on the kiddies too if you’re looking to see how they respond to seafood. Cecily loves these and eats every single bite whenever I cut one into small pieces for her!

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 4 Minutes

Yield: 10 Scallops


10 sea scallops, about 1 pound, with the adductor muscles removed and then rinsed with cold water and thoroughly patted dry with a paper towel

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

Fresh parsley for garnishing


  1. Lightly salt and pepper the prepared scallops.

  2. Add the butter and olive oil to a large non-stick saute pan over high heat. Once it’s smoking, add the scallops. Don’t crowd the pan and work in two batches if necessary.

  3. Sear the scallops for 2 minutes on each side, until the sides are golden and the centers are translucent. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

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