How to Cook Seared Scallops

LAST UPDATED: Apr 28, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Jul 12, 2016 | By: Julie Blanner

Learn how to cook pan seared scallops like a pro – searing them in under 6 minutes! A few simple instructions and tips to make cooking scallops a breeze. Find out what to serve with scallops and how to cook them to perfection every single time. Perfect for an appetizer or main course.

Learn how to cook scallops like a pro - searing them in under 6 minutes! A few simple instructions to make cooking scallops a breeze.

Once a week, I make homemade pasta. I just can hardly help myself. It’s always been my favorite food. Chris is very tolerant and has come to love it too. It makes a great bed for pan seared scallops!

I don’t love seafood, but I do love making my husband happy, so if tossing a few scallops on a bed of pasta makes him smile, I’m happy to sear them. We won’t tell him it’s really no extra effort 🙂

Scallops are such an easy way to elevate a simple meal. They are fancy enough to serve at a dinner party yet so quick and easy you can easily enjoy them as part of a family weeknight meal. Time to impress everyone, and don’t worry, it’ll be our secret that they are so straight forward!

Scallops are similar in flavor to crab or lobster, but they have a firmer texture and they have a delicate sweet and buttery taste. Take care not to over cook them as they can become rubbery and loose those subtle flavors.

Quick and Easy Recipe For Seared Scallops

I’m sharing how to cook scallops in just 6 minutes. Yes, you guessed it. This dish is another one of my 10-minute dinners!

I used to be intimidated by scallops. Really, cooking anything that I don’t eat myself, but it’s truly so easy I sighed in relief after preparing them for the first time a few years ago.

It’s another way I can customize a dish so that everyone in our family thoroughly enjoys it and they can be served with so many sides.

You just need 3 simple ingredients to make the perfect scallops!

Seared Scallop Ingredient

  • Scallops – Sea and diver scallops are the best for searing as they are larger. Fresh is best, you can use frozen scallops but ensure they are fully thawed before cooking them.
  • Salt and Pepper – To season the scallops and add flavor. Freshly cracked is best.
  • Grapeseed Oil – Grapeseed oil is virtually flavorless, so it doesn’t overpower the natural flavor of the scallops. It also has a high smoking point. Avocado and olive oil are good substitutes.

How to Make Seared Scallops

  1. Pat scallops dry with a paper towel.
  2. Salt and pepper both sides of the scallops.
  3. Warm a large skillet {or two} on medium-high.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil and allow it to become hot – with an apron on!
  5. Add the scallops, spacing them a couple inches apart. To properly sear, spacing is crucial.
  6. Cook for 3 minutes, then flip. Cook 2 additional minutes. Resist the urge to check them.
Tips for cooking scallops - learn how to sear scallops like a pro in just 6 minutes

What To Serve With Scallops

Seared scallops can be served as an appetizer or main course. You can serve them on a bed of simple salad or small bed of pasta for an appetizer. As a main I love to serve them with pasta and they also sit nicely alongside Green Beans and Caramelized Shallot Mashed Potatoes. Try drizzling over a little of my Lemon Cream Sauce over the top of the…delicious!

Scallops also work particularly well with bacon!

How to cook scallops - learn how to sear scallops like a pro in just 6 minutes

Top Tips for Cooking Scallops

  • When buying fresh scallops, they have many different names and types, some of which are better for pan searing.
    • Bay Scallops are the smallest and typically shouldn’t be used for pan searing due to their small size.
    • Sea Scallops are the largest and are considered the best for pan searing
    • Diver Scallops are scallops that are hand-picked by divers, typically resulting in a larger higher quality scallop.
  • If you use frozen scallops, ensure they are completely thawed before cooking them by running them under cool water or defrost them in the fridge overnight.
  • Pat the scallops dry before adding them to the hot pan.
  • Don’t Overcrowd or put the scallops too close together. They need a good couple of inches of space to cook perfectly.
  • Don’t Overcook the scallops or they can become chewy, they only take a couple of minutes to cook.
  • The scallops will release themselves from the pan when they are ready to be flipped and removed from the pan. Resist the urge to move them and flip them before they are ready.

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If you try this recipe, please come back to share using my 5 star rating in the comments below! Not only do I appreciate it, but I know readers do, too!

How to cook scallops - incredible seared in flavor in minutes

How to Cook Scallops

Julie Blanner
Learn how to cook scallops like a pro – searing them in under 6 minutes! A few simple instructions to make cooking scallops a breeze.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 1 min
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 6 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 41 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 36 ounces dry scallops
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

Instructions
 

  • Pat scallops dry with a paper towel.
  • Salt and pepper both sides of the scallops.
  • Warm a large skillet on medium-high.
  • Add 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil and allow it to become hot.
  • Add the scallops, spacing them a couple inches apart. To properly sear, spacing is crucial.
  • Cook for 3 minutes, then flip. Cook 2 additional minutes. Resist the urge to check them.

Notes

When buying fresh scallops, they have many different names and types, some of which are better for pan searing.
  • Bay Scallops are the smallest and typically shouldn’t be used for pan searing due to their small size.
  • Sea Scallops are the largest and are considered the best for pan searing
  • Diver Scallops are scallops that are hand-picked by divers, typically resulting in a larger higher quality scallop.

Nutrition

Calories:41kcalFat:5gSaturated Fat:1g
Keywords how to cook scallops, how to sear scallops, pan seared scallops, seared scallops
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