How to Make Pan Seared Scallops


How to Make Pan-Seared Scallops

Getting a perfect sear on pan-seared scallops requires a bit of technique, but once mastered, you will get perfectly seared scallops every time.   

The key to perfectly seared scallops is to pat them dry first – the dryer, the better, as any liquid that seeps out from the scallops when cooking will cause the scallops to steam, rather than sear. 

The temperature of the pan should also be hot – you only add scallops to a hot pan to get the gorgeous sear with a buttery interior. 

Scallops cook quickly – so once the pan is hot, heat the oil, then add the seasoned scallops.  They only need 2 to 3 minutes per side.  

Safeway sells two kinds of scallops under the Open Nature brand.  Madagascar bay scallops are small/medium-sized scallops harvested by divers by hand from the Madagascar Bay which is a 31-mile-long bay off the Mexican coast of the Baja Pennisula, and Open Nature North Atlantic Wild-caught Colossal Scallops.   The scallops meet Safeway’s strict sustainability requirements for seafood.  


How to Pan Sear Scallops

  • Rinse scallops
  • Dry scallops thoroughly on paper towels.  Scallops must be dry before searing to prevent steaming
  • Heat the pan to medium-high heat before adding the oil
  • Allow the oil to heat up to medium-high heat
  • Season scallops with salt and pepper
  • Add scallops to heated oil in pan and sear until a golden crust is formed – 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 2-3 minutes on the other side





Pan Seared Scallops

Perfectly pan-seared scallops that are caramelized on the top rather than steamed. Serve with lemon wedges for added freshness.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pan seared scallops
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Safeway


  • 1 Tbs vegetable oil divided
  • 12 large sea scallops
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • squeeze of lemon juice optional


  • Rinse scallops and pat dry with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add half of the oil. When tiny wisps of smoke appear, add 6 scallops to the pan.
  • Cook 2-3 minutes to form a deep golden crust. Flip to the other side and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and cook additional scallops.
  • Top with freshly squeezed lemon juice and serve.


Serving: 0g | Carbohydrates: 0g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 0mg | Potassium: 0mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 0IU | Vitamin C: 0mg | Calcium: 0mg | Iron: 0mg

Additional Scallop Recipes

Pan-Seared Scallops With Sweet Corn and Poblano Chiles

Scallop Scampi

Seared Scallops in Brown Butter Lemon Caper Sauce

Bay Scallop Ceviche

Scallop & Shrimp Puttanesca Pasta



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