These rich and decadent Seared Scallops with Wine Sauce are flavorful, delicious, and quick to prepare. These luxurious shellfish are perfect for Date Night!
If you’re looking for a decadently delicious seafood meal for a fancy-pants dinner, you might think– “Lobster. I love lobster.“
And so do I.
BUT– there’s another shellfish that you should try– sea scallops. Sea scallops give lobster a fight for the Fabulous Seafood Award.
(I just made that award up, but let’s pretend it’s real.)
These Seared Scallops with Wine Sauce are rich, delicious, and fast– the perfect date-night meal. They’re also perfect if you want to treat yourself to an easy, fancy-schmancy meal. You know, the kind where you get to eat everything yourself instead of sharing.
Sea Scallops + Bay Scallops: What’s the Difference?
Sea scallops are much larger than bay scallops. Generally, sea scallops are about an inch to two inches in diameter, while bay scallops are a little larger than a pencil eraser.
Sea scallops will cost more than bay scallops, but they’re also a much higher-end, more richly flavored shellfish.
Can I Use Cheaper Bay Scallops?
You could, but they’ll be a lot harder to sear. They’ll also be lot less decadent and luxurious.
If you swap sea scallops for bay scallops, make this for a weeknight dinner.
I Found Cheaper Sea Scallops– Should I Buy Them?
Check the label, and make sure there’s no chemical additives. Generally, cheaper sea scallops will have plumping agents added, and those will keep the scallops from searing properly. Look for scallops without additives.
I like the frozen, all natural sea scallops at Trader Joe’s.
Need more help picking buying and cooking scallops? Check out this tutorial on How to Pan-Sear Fish.
How to Cook Frozen Scallops
Overnight Refrigerator Thaw: Remove scallops from packaging, and thaw in a bowl in the refrigerator overnight.
Quick Thaw: Place scallops in a plastic bag, and immerse in a cold water bath. Avoid placing scallops directly into water, because you could introduce water into the scallop, and then they won’t sear properly.
Microwave Thaw: Place scallops in a bowl, cover with a towel or paper towel, and microwave using the defrost setting (or at 30% power) for 30 seconds. Check scallops, and repeat until they’re thawed.
Making Seared Scallops with Wine Sauce
Once you’ve got your hands on some scallops, it’s time to cook!
Sear the scallops by setting them in a hot pan, and letting them cook quickly on each side. Then, use the leftover juice in the pan to make a pan sauce with wine, butter, lemon juice, and herbs.
And then, dig in, enjoy, and don’t even try to contain your extreme food happiness.
Want more DATE NIGHT SEAFOOD ideas? Try these:
Seared Scallops with Wine Sauce
- 9 oz “dry packed” sea scallops
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 TB butter, divided
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (juice from 1 lemon)
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- handful fresh herbs, reserving some for garnish
- Pat scallops until they are very dry, sprinkle with salt, and pat dry again. Damp scallops will not sear properly.
- In a heavy bottom pan (like cast iron), heat 1 1/2 TB butter on high until it begins to brown. Add scallops and let them sit on one side for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes per side, until each side is golden brown. Remove scallops from pan, and keep them in a covered dish so they stay warm.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining butter to pan, and allow it to melt. Add wine, lemon juice, and garlic. Allow sauce to reduce by about half. Turn off heat, and stir in most of the herbs, reserving some for garnishing. Add scallops back into the pan for about a minute to warm them up again.
- Serve immediately