Lemon Butter and Basil Scallops

Lemon Butter and Basil Scallops

This is one of my favorite scallop recipes! The way the Scallops and basil create an elegant balance between the land and sea make them savory and delicate. If you haven’t been a fan this is definitely the place to start. Plus, it takes less than 10 minutes.

I grew up on the east coast so in the summers we always had fresh seafood. When I think scallops, I often think bacon, because bacon makes everything better, but they are very versatile and are great in many different ways.  

Fresh vs Frozen

There two ways to begin with Scallops, fresh or frozen. Personally, dry packed frozen scallops are a great option to preserve for freshness and often aren’t filled with additional phosphates or liquid. This will help them to get the perfect golden-brown exterior.

Trimming the scallops if needed

But first things first. Most scallops will have a small muscle attached. While this is edible you are better off to remove it. They become very chewy and generally aren’t pleasant to eat. Once you’ve taken care of the trimming it is time to prepare to cook.

How to Cook

  1. Dry scallops between two paper towels to remove excess moisture. You can also place them on towels and refrigerate until you are ready to use. Generally, I will allow up to 30 minutes.  
  2. While they are resting melt butter in a pan over medium/high heat until it is bubbly.
  3. Remove from the paper towel and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then place in butter for 30 seconds to 1 minute to allow them to get golden brown.
  4. Flip to the other side and allow to brown as well for about 1 minute
  5. When the scallops are almost finished add lemon juice and stir to coat
  6. After you have stirred them remove them from the pan add wine, butter and allow to reduce. Scoop on top of scallops or serve as an optional side.
  7. Top with fresh basil
  8. Optional: serve with pasta, rice or veggies

Lemon Butter and Basil Scallops

Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Appetizer, dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Basil, Lemon, Lemon Butter, Scallops


  • ½ lb Scallops The larger the better
  • 4 tbsp Unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1 tbs Fresh basil
  • ½ tbsp Kother salt
  • ½ tbsp Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup Dry white wine


  • Prep the scallops by laying them out on a paper towel to draw out excess moisture
  • Cover with another paper towel and pat dry
  • Season top with half of the salt and pepper
  • Melt butter in a pan over medium/high heat until it is bubbly.
  • As butter begins to brown add scallops to pan and cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute
  • Turn the scallops over after allowing them to brown slightly while being translucent internally
  • Add half of the lemon juice and give them a toss before removing them to a plate
  • Add wine, remaining butter and lemon juice and allow to reduce about half way
  • Garnish with basil

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