Pan Seared Scallops

Multiple scallops sizzling in melted butter on a cast iron pan

Pan seared scallops have quickly become one of my favorite and go to seafood dishes. Delicious and easy, these bad boys are sure to impress any seafood lover! Get ready as I let you in on the secrets to tender scallops with a perfect crust.

Quick tips on buying scallops:

Scallops and pretty much all seafood are one of those proteins that are significantly better when they are fresh. Of course, most people cannot go diving into the ocean to catch dinner for later that day. When buying from a grocery store, I recommend cooking them either the same day or next. But did you know that raw scallops freeze really well? Just pop them in the freezer when you buy them and defrost them in the refrigerator. When you do defrost them in the refrigerator, make sure to put them in at least overnight and make sure to consume them within 1-2 days. I’m telling you – it’s almost as if you never froze them!

What makes a good scallop?

If you ask me, scallops that are tender on the inside with a nice crust on the outside are the best. If you’re not an experienced chef or are new to cooking scallops, that might sound a little intimidating to pull off. The truth is that it’s easy to do.

Pan seared scallops with a side of orzo and baked broccoli
Pan seared scallops with broccoli & orzo

Keys to a good crust:

  1. Pat your scallops dry. Do not skip this step. Patting them dry will remove any excess liquid that can hinder your crust. Take the 2 minutes to lay them out and pat them dry with a paper towel.
  2. A HOT pan. This is essential for a good sear.
  3. Do not overcrowd the pan. I know it can be tempting to fit as many as scallops as possible onto the pan (admittedly, I’ve done this before) but it’s not worth it. Try your best to make sure no scallops are touching each other while you’re cooking them.

Should I baste? YES!

Basting is another important step that I do during the second half of cooking my scallops (after I flipped them). It’s as simple as adding butter to the pan about 30 seconds before flipping the scallops. This will give the butter some time to melt before you flip and begin basting the scallops. To baste – using a spoon (I use a regular spoon but they do sell basting spoons), continuously pour the melted butter over the scallops. Basting will help with even cooking while also giving good flavor – I highly recommend it.

Final thoughts:

This dish is an easy one that goes a long way. Pan seared scallops are a great weeknight meal for anyone that’s in a rush or too busy to cook an extensive meal. Try this one out and let me know what you think in the comments. You got this!

Multiple scallops sizzling in melted butter on a cast iron pan

Pan Seared Scallops

Pan seared scallops are a quick and easy recipe that you can make any night of the week. With not much effort required, you can recreate this dish and the results will be on par with any top seafood restaurant!
Servings 2 Servings


  • 10 Scallops (5 per person)
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Truffle Powder (Optional)
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • ¼ stick Butter but feel free to use more
  • Generous splash of White Wine


  • Lay scallops out on a cutting board and pat dry on both sides with paper towels.  Season all over with salt & pepper and truffle powder (if using).
  • Heat avocado oil in a large pan over medium high heat.  Once heated, add the scallops to the pan.  Working in batches, make sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook for 3 minutes per side.  With 30 seconds left before the first flip, add the butter to the pan to begin to melt.
  • After flipping the scallops, begin to baste the scallops with the melted butter.  Continue to baste for the first 2 minutes.  It’s ok to take a break from basting but make sure to periodically do it during these 2 minutes.  Add the white wine with 1 minute remaining and continue to baste. Remove scallops once the final minute is up.  Serve immediately.
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