Seared Scallops

Cliff and I moved this weekend and let me tell you, it was exhausting. The great thing about moving is it is a perfect opportunity to purge all of the junk that has been sitting around the house untouched for years. On the other hand, it just plain old sucks. Fortunately for me, my wonderful husband did about 95% of the work. All I had to do was put everything in boxes and mark them.

By the end I was labeling the majority of the boxes “stuff” and throwing all of our clothes in garbage bags. We are very classy! There were about 10 times this past weekend where all I wanted to do was curl up in my bed with a big bowl of mac n’ cheese. I really needed some comfort food to get me through it!

These scallops may not be considered comfort food but they will definitely make a bad day much better! I have always loved scallops but I pretty much only eat them at restaurants. I never knew how to cook them properly. How do you get that nice caramelization without turning them into rubber?

The secret is sugar. These are one of the easiest things we have ever made and they were amazing. Scallops do not need any overpowering sauce, just a little wine and lemon juice is perfect. If you are looking for a quick, simple, and impressive dish to make for Valentine’s Day this is a winner!

How to Make Seared Scallops

1. While the butter is heating sprinkle the scallops with salt and pepper then press the flat parts into the sugar.

2. Sear the scallops for 2 minutes, flip, and sear 1 more minute.

3. Remove the scallops and add the wine and lemon juice. We should have already removed the scallops by now. Whoops!

Just make them, you’ll thank me later!


Seared Scallops

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer


  • 1 lb large sea scallops
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup cup sugar, spread on a plate
  • 1/2 cup cup white wine
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped flat parsley
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest


  • Dry the scallops with a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Begin heating your pan over medium heat and add the butter to the pan. While the butter is melting, press the flat parts of the scallops into the sugar. Once the butter is melted and beginning to foam add the scallops to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes; flip, and cook 1 more minute. Remove the scallops from the pan to a platter. To the pan add the wine and lemon juice. Just cook it until it is heated through. Pour the sauce over the scallops. Sprinkle with parsley and lemon zest. Serve immediately. Note: the pan must be hot in order for the scallops to caramelize. Also, if there is too much liquid the scallops will not caramelize.
Keyword Scallops