Recipe: Pan-Seared Scallops with Beurre Noisette

These delicious pan-seared scallops are quick and easy to cook and go great with a nutty, brown butter sauce and a bit of lemon juice. The trick to getting a beautiful brown sear on the scallops is to salt them ahead of time and thoroughly dry them before cooking.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Serves: 2-3 people


  • 1 pound scallops
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice


  1. Place scallops on a layer of paper towel and season all sides with one teaspoon of kosher salt. Cover the scallops with another layer of paper towel and place them in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Rinse the thyme under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. 
  2. Remove the scallops from the refrigerator and thoroughly pat dry. Place a large cast iron pan or sauté pan on the stove and turn to high heat. Add canola oil to the pan and heat until the oil begins to smoke. 
  3. Add scallops to the pan, leaving room in between to prevent them from steaming. Cook scallops until they are nicely browned—about 1 to 1 ½ minutes Flip the scallops and cook until the second side is browned—about one more minute. 
  4. Transfer the scallops from the pan to a paper towel-lined plate.
  5. Drain the fat from the pan and place over medium/high heat. Add the butter and remaining kosher salt to the pan. Crush the garlic with the palm of your hand. Add the garlic and thyme to the pan. 
  6. Cook the butter by swirling the pan until browned with a nutty aroma. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice to the pan to stop the butter from cooking. This will also prevent the butter from burning. 
  7. Discard the thyme and garlic cloves. Serve the scallops with the brown butter sauce.