Seared Scallops with Avocado Oil and Lemon

December 02, 2020

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An elegant departure from everyday protein options like cod, chicken, or even salmon, seared scallops provide a fancy date night starter, add sophistication to a party platter, and transform an average Tuesday night dinner. Perfectly seared scallops possess a bronzed crust on the tops and bottoms with slightly creamy, translucent and tender centers. To achieve this harmony might seem like chef trickery, but the technique is easy to master at home by following a few simple steps. Best of all, it takes less than 10 minutes to create this impressive dish.

Tips for Perfect Pan-Seared Scallops

Centered, close shot of seared sea scallops in a white skillet with a wooden spatula. Also in the skillet: avocado oil, chopped parsley and lemon slices.

  1. Try to use fresh scallops if you can; if you have frozen scallops, make sure the scallops are completely defrosted before you cook them.
  2. Gently remove the side muscle from the scallops, if not already removed.
  3. Rinse the scallops with cold water, then pat dry thoroughly with clean kitchen towels.
  4. Place the cooking fat into the skillet and wait until it starts to smoke before placing the scallops in the pan; make sure the scallops don't touch in the pan.
  5. Once you've added the scallops to the skillet, don't move them in the pan until it's time to turn them over.
  6. Timing matters—don't walk away from the skillet and don't check your phone. The fat is hot and the scallops are lean, which means they'll go from bronzed to burn real quick.

Seared Scallops with Avocado Oil and Lemon Recipe

Time: 8 minutes

Servings: 4


Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil, head of garlic, lemons cut in half, and a bunch of parsley on a wood cutting board

  • 1 1/4 pounds sea scallops 
  • 2 Tbsp. Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped


  • Remove the side muscle from each scallop. Rinse with cold water. Pat dry thoroughly with clean kitchen towels.
  • Place a skillet on high heat. Add avocado oil. 
  • Season the scallops with salt and pepper. When the fat in the skillet starts to smoke, gently add the scallops to the skillet. Make sure the scallops aren't touching each other in the skillet.
  • Once the scallops are in the skillet, don't move them. Add minced garlic to the skillet. Let the scallops sear on the first side for 1 1/2 minutes on the first side. Turn them over gently and let sear on the other side for 1 1/2 minutes. 
  • The scallops should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on the tops and bottoms while still being translucent in the centers.
  • Remove from the heat, add lemon slices and parsley. Plate the scallops and serve immediately.

Close up shot of cooked seared scallops with lemon slices, garlic, and chopped parsley in a white skillet with avocado oil

Nutrition info (per serving):

Calories: 156

Carbs: 4 grams

Fat: 8 grams

Protein: 18 grams

Nutrition info calculated using Cronometer.

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