Garlic Butter Scallops

Garlic Butter Scallops are a breeze to make and look super fancy!  Best part? They're so delicious!!

Garlic Butter Scallops

Scallops always seem like such a "restaurant food" to me.  Meaning - I only order them at restaurants because they seem too hard to cook at home.  It wasn't until recently that I realized how easy they are to cook!  Like, ridiculously easy.  I promise!!

Not only are these Garlic Butter Scallops easy, but they also cook super fast.  These garlic butter scallops cook in less than 6 minutes and after that, the only step is making a simple lemon garlic butter to drizzle on top.

Garlic Butter Scallops

How do you make Garlic Butter Scallops?

Like I mentioned, these scallops are super easy to make.  You only need four ingredients: butter, garlic, lemon juice, and some chives.

First, you'll add some of the butter to a pan and heat it to medium-high heat.  You want the butter nice and hot when you add the scallops, so the scallops become browned.   Then you'll add the scallops and cook 2-3 minutes on each side.  They are kind of like shrimp in that you'll see them become white along the sides as they cook.  I cooked ours closer to the 3 minutes on each side, just to ensure they were done.

After the scallops are cooked, you'll reduce the heat and add more butter to the pan. Once it's melted, add garlic, cook one minute, and then add juice from ½ of a lemon.  Sprinkle with a little salt and that's it!  Spoon the sauce over the scallops and dinner is served.

How many scallops per person?

I would recommend 4-5 medium to large scallops per person.  I'm sure my husband could eat more, but that's what a "normal" appetite would eat 😉  I find scallops pretty rich, so four of them was perfect for me.  Plus, if you're serving them alongside something filling like risotto, you don't need a ton of them.

When you are buying them, look for medium-sized scallops and you will need about 1 pound for this recipe, when serving four people.

Garlic Butter Scallops

What do I serve with Garlic Butter Scallops?

We served these scallops with my Easy Mushroom Risotto, Parmesan Roasted Asparagus, and buttered green beans.  And some wine, obvi.  I think there are a lot of other things you could serve them with, too.  Some ideas are on top of buttered noodles, with quinoa or rice, any roasted vegetable, bread, or salad.  So many possibilities!  These Garlic Butter Scallops are very versatile and will go with just about anything!

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Garlic Butter Scallops

Garlic Butter Scallops

Garlic Butter Scallops are a breeze to make and look super fancy!  Best part? They're so delicious!!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 217kcal


For the scallops:

  • 1 lb scallops
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the garlic butter sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives


  • Pat scallops dry with a paper towel, removing excess moisture and season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Once the butter is melted and hot, add the scallops.
  • Cook scallops 2-3 minutes on each side, until each side is golden brown and the scallops are translucent in the center.
  • Remove the scallops from the skillet and reduce heat to low to make the garlic butter sauce.
  • Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet.
  • Once the butter has melted, add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, watching it carefully so it does not brown.
  • Add lemon juice and chives, whisking to combine, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve the scallops with garlic butter sauce spooned on top.
  • Enjoy!


Calories: 217kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 446mg | Potassium: 262mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 350IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
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