Easy Garlic-Lemon Scallops

It’s easier than you think to make perfect scallops at home. This simple scallop recipe is quick, easy, and full of buttery and garlicky flavor. 

How to Cook Scallops

You'll find a detailed ingredient list and step-by-step instructions in the recipe below, but let's go over the basics:

What Are Scallops? 

Scallops are shellfish that, when cooked properly, are delicate and tender with a pleasantly mild and slightly sweet taste. You’ll find fresh scallops at the seafood department of most grocery stores. If they’re not available, try your local fish monger or seafood market. 

What You’ll Need

Ready to make this top-rated scallop recipe? Here’s what to add to your grocery list: 

  • Butter: Start by melting a stick and a half of butter in a skillet. 
  • Garlic: Fresh minced garlic cooked in butter creates a bold flavor base. 
  • Scallops: Of course, you’ll need scallops! Two pounds of fresh scallops should make about six servings. 
  • Lemon juice: Fresh lemon juice adds welcome brightness. 
  • Seasonings: Salt and pepper enhance the overall flavor of the scallops. 

How to Make Scallops

Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect when you make homemade scallops: 

  1. Cook the garlic in melted butter. 
  2. Cook the scallops on both sides until opaque, then transfer to a platter. 
  3. Whisk the lemon juice and seasonings into the butter, then pour over the scallops. 

How Long Do You Cook Scallops? 

In a skillet with melted butter over medium heat, the scallops should be fully cooked in about four minutes (two minutes on each side). You’ll know they’re done when they’re firm and opaque.

What to Serve With Scallops

Find delicious serving inspiration in our collection of . Here are a few of the top-rated recipes you’ll find: 

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

“Simple and straightforward, best way to eat scallops,” raves . “One small suggestion: If you want to wow guests, add some prosciutto when cooking.”

“Quick and easy,” according to . “Great for a quick dinner with a light salad and roasted veggies.”

“Great recipe and, as advertised, very easy,” says . “I added 1 tsp. of sherry into the sauce and garnished with parsley.”

Editorial contributions by

Easy Garlic-Lemon Scallops

close up view of garlic-lemon scallops on a white plate
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
15 mins


  • ¾ cup butter

  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic

  • 2 pounds large sea scallops

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • teaspoon pepper


  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in garlic and cook for a few seconds until fragrant.

  2. Arrange scallops in a single layer in the skillet; cook until golden brown on one side, about 2 minutes. Turn scallops over using tongs and continue cooking until firm and opaque, about 2 minutes more. Transfer scallops to a platter, reserving butter in the skillet.

  3. Whisk lemon juice, salt, and pepper into butter; pour sauce over scallops to serve.

    close up view of garlic-lemon scallops on a white plate
    David West

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

408 Calories
24g Fat
9g Carbs
39g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 408
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 15g 73%
Cholesterol 152mg 51%
Sodium 988mg 43%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 39g 77%
Vitamin C 4mg 4%
Calcium 72mg 6%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 635mg 14%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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