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best seared scallops

Seared Scallops with Creamy Lemon-Caper Sauce

Best Seared Scallops with Creamy Lemon-Caper Sauce - scalloped are seared in a skillet to a nice golden crust and then smothered in a creamy sauce made with butter, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, capers, and, some heavy cream.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Calories 338kcal
Author Julia


Creamy Lemon-Caper Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons capers drained
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice freshly squeezed, more if desired
  • salt to taste


  • 1 pound scallops , medium size, about 12-14 scallops, thawed completely if frozen
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


How to make creamy lemon-caper sauce:

  • In a medium skillet, heat butter, olive oil and minced garlic on medium heat. Cook for about a minute, until garlic softens. Add heavy cream, bring to boil and cook for a couple of minutes, until the sauce thickens a bit. Remove from heat. Stir in drained capers and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Taste, add more lemon juice and salt, if needed. Keep covered.

How to cook the best pan-seared scallops:

  • If using frozen scallops, make sure the scallops are thawed completely.
  • Blot each scallop with paper towels to remove extra water.
  • Season with salt by sprinkling each scallop with a dash of salt.
  • Use a large, non-stick skillet (I used stainless steel skillet which works well for me as non-stick). Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in this non-stick skillet on high heat until hot but not smoking. Oil should not be smoking, just rolling easily around the skillet.
  • Add scallops without overcrowding the pan.
  • Sear on one side for about 3-4 minutes until the bottom is nice golden color. Don't move the scallops around the pan in the beginning.
  • Turn the scallops to the other side and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Remove from heat and transfer the scallops to the plate immediately. Don't let the scallops sit in the hot skillet, off heat, because they will start to steam, lose their crust and harden up.
  • Add cooked scallops to the cream sauce and reheat gently. Serve.


Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 741mg | Potassium: 274mg | Vitamin A: 670IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 0.5mg