Seared Scallops with Lemon-Herb Rice


This fresh and light seafood dinner will make your weeknight.

Seared Scallops with Lemon-Herb Rice
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
45 mins

This light, succulent seafood supper is about to sweep you off your feet. Nothing says "warm weather" quite like an opulent feast of fresh seafood, and we're celebrating the sunshine with all of the wonderous flavor that the ocean has to offer. We're talking pan-seared fish, shrimp cake sandwiches, and—one of our personal favorites—Seared Scallops with Lemon-Herb Rice.

Simply prepared seared scallops are beautiful all on their own, so they don't require much dressing-up to make a five-star meal. A sprinkle of parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice take this deceptively simple dinner over the top. Scallops are a healthy option that make for a very special dinner for two, but they're so simple to prepare that this dish doubles as an achievable weeknight supper.

Our Test Kitchen is here with all the information you need on how to sear scallops. Thoroughly drying your scallops before searing ensures that they'll develop a nice crust; our Test Kitchen professionals suggest wrapping your scallops in paper towels, like tightly-wrapped Christmas presents, and allowing them sit to for a few minutes before cooking. On the side of a raw scallop, you might find a small rectangular muscle (called the "foot"). It is chewy and tough compared to the rest of the scallop, so pinch it off, and discard it.

When it comes to seasoning, all scallops need is a little salt and pepper to really help the oceanic flavor shine. The seared scallops are delicious all on their own, but spooning melted lemon butter over top takes the dish to an entirely new level.


  • 5 scallions

  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided

  • 1 ½ cups uncooked long-grain white rice

  • ¼ cup dry white wine

  • 2 ¾ cups lower-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus 2 seeded lemon slices (from 1 lemon), divided

  • 16 dry-packed sea scallops (about 1 ½ lb.)

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish


  1. Thinly slice white and light green parts of scallions. Thinly slice dark green parts to equal ¼ cup. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan over medium-high. Add white and light green scallions, and cook, stirring often, 1 minute. Add rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and toasted, 2 minutes. Add wine. Cook, stirring constantly, until absorbed, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth and 1 teaspoon of the salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed, 15 to 17 minutes. Remove from heat; cover until ready to use.

  2. While rice cooks, cut remaining 4 tablespoons butter into pieces. Place butter and lemon slices in a microwavable bowl. Microwave on HIGH until butter is almost melted, 30 to 40 seconds. Stir until melted; remove and discard lemons. Cover lemon butter to keep warm.

  3. Rinse scallops; pat dry. Remove muscle from side of scallops; discard. Season with pepper and remaining ½ teaspoon salt.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add 8 scallops; press gently with a spatula. Cook until bottom side is deep golden brown, about 4 minutes. Turn scallops over; cook until slightly opaque in center, 3 to 4 more minutes. (Don't overcook.) Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Wipe skillet; repeat with remaining oil and scallops.

  5. Fluff rice with a fork; stir in parsley and zest. Serve scallops with rice; sprinkle with dark green scallion slices and additional parsley. Spoon lemon butter evenly over scallops before serving.

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