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Pan Seared Scallops Recipe

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Maxine Dubois
  • Total Time: 7 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x


This Pan Seared Scallops Recipe is as easy, simple and uses only three ingredients, scallops, olive oil, and salt.


  • 12 (1 to 1.5 inch wide) raw sea scallops
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Optional: Microgreens, for garnish


  1. Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel, then put them in a large bowl and add the olive oil. Toss the scallops gently in the oil until fully coated.
  2. Preheat a large cast iron over medium high heat. Once it’s hot, sear the scallops until golden, 1 to 1 ½ minutes per side. Season to taste with salt and garnish with microgreens. Serve immediately.


  • Use dry scallops: Dry scallops are preferable for pan-searing, as they will develop a better crust. Look for scallops that are labeled as "dry" or "chemical-free." If your scallops are wet, pat them dry with paper towels before cooking to remove excess moisture.
  • Preheat the pan properly: It's crucial to preheat your skillet or frying pan properly before adding the scallops. Heat the pan over medium-high to high heat for a few minutes until it's hot but not smoking. A hot pan will help you achieve a good sear on the scallops.
  • Season the scallops: Season the scallops with a sprinkle of salt and pepper just before cooking. You can also add other herbs or spices of your choice for additional flavor, such as paprika, garlic powder, or lemon zest.
  • Don't overcrowd the pan: Avoid overcrowding the pan when searing scallops. Leave enough space between each scallop to ensure they cook evenly and develop a nice crust. If the pan is too crowded, the scallops may release moisture and steam instead of searing.
  • Use the right cooking fat: Choose a high-heat cooking fat such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or clarified butter for pan-searing scallops. These fats have a high smoke point, which allows you to achieve a good sear without burning the fat.
  • Don't overcook the scallops: Scallops cook quickly, usually in just a few minutes per side, depending on their size. Overcooking can result in rubbery and tough scallops. Keep a close eye on them and cook just until they are opaque and slightly firm to the touch.
  • Rest before serving: Allow the cooked scallops to rest for a minute or two before serving. This helps them retain their juices and ensures a juicy and tender texture.
  • Garnish for presentation: Consider garnishing your pan-seared scallops with a squeeze of lemon juice, chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley, chives, or cilantro), or a drizzle of balsamic glaze for added flavor and presentation.
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 150.7
  • Sugar: 4.0 g
  • Sodium: 218.5 mg
  • Fat: 3.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.0 g
  • Fiber: 0.0 g
  • Protein: 22.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 48.8 mg