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lemon butter scallops on a white plate with a lemon wedge on the side.
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5 from 1 vote

Lemon Butter Scallops

These pan-seared lemon butter scallops cook in under 10 minutes and are perfect for special occasions or a busy weeknight.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2
Calories: 311kcal


  • 1/2 lb sea scallops
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 2 tsp capers
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or more if needed


  • Start by pat drying the scallops with a paper towel and remove the scallops side muscle. Drying the scallops is essential for achieving that golden crust, so don't skip this step.
  • Season the scallops on both sides with salt and pepper. 
  • Heat some olive oil over medium-high heat. Once your skillet is nice and hot, add the scallops to the skillet and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the scallops for 2 minutes on each side. Make sure not to overcrowd your pan. Work in batches if you have to. 
  • Once the scallops are done cooking, remove them from the skillet and set them aside. 
  • Add the butter to the skillet and let it melt completely. Stir in the fresh garlic and cook for 15 seconds. Add the lemon juice and capers. 
  • Place the scallops back into the skillet and baste them with the lemon butter sauce. Check for seasoning and enjoy!


  • Allow the scallops to rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before cooking.
  • If you don't like it too lemony, only use 1/2 a lemon.
  • Make sure not to overcrowd your pan. Work in batches if you have to.
  • Like it extra saucy? Double the butter and lemon juice amount.
  • If you want to add white wine, do so right after you remove the scallops from the skillet. Add about 1/4 cup of white wine, deglaze the pan, and allow the wine to reduce by half before adding the butter.
  • Want to thicken the sauce? Add extra butter or a splash of heavy cream.


Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 652mg | Potassium: 325mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 543IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg