Seared Sea Scallops in Wine Sauce


I buy HUGE sea scallops at Sam’s during the holidays so I can cook them later in the year to enjoy.  I only see them at Sam’s around Christmas, but if you are lucky enough to live near the coarse, by al means, use any fresh scallops you have available to you.  Be sure to adjust the cook times below accordingly for smaller scallops.  As written, this recipe is unacceptable for Induction.  But if you leave out the wine, then it will be Induction friendly!    The nutritional info below reflects the inclusion of the wine.


16 sea scallops, approximately 3″ in diameter

2 T. unsalted butter for sautéing

2 T. more butter for sauce

1/3 c. finely chopped parsley

1 lg. clove minced garlic

1 oz. lemon juice (fresh)

¼ c. dry white wine (omit or use chicken broth if on Induction)

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 400º.  Melt 2 T. butter in non-stick 14″ skillet over high heat.  Sear only 4 scallops for 3 minutes on a side (less, of course, for smaller scallops).  Do not crowd pan with more than 4 at a time or the juice they bleed out will cause them to simmer/steam rather than sear nicely.  Remove to a plate temporarily.  Repeat until all scallops are seared.   Replace all scallops in pan and pop into  preheated oven for 10 minutes (less for small scallops).  Remove scallops to plate and put skillet on medium flame atop stove.  Add the 2 additional tablespoons of butter, lemon juice, parsley, garlic and wine.  Simmer 2-3 minutes longer, add scallops back and serve with a nice green salad or favorite green vegetable.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings (4 scallops per serving).  Each serving has:

257.5 cals, 18.6g fat, 8.33g carbs (yes, scallops have carbs!) 0.55g fiber, 7.78g NET CARBS, 12 g  protein, 339 mg sodium


20 thoughts on “Seared Sea Scallops in Wine Sauce

  1. Anne

    I followed the recipe almost exactly – seared for 3 minutes per side, and then I put them in the 400 degree oven for 7 minutes, removed them and let them simmer in the sauce on the stove for the last 3 minutes. My scallops were huge (8 per lb). They were cooked perfectly – not tough or rubbery.

    1. Mine weren’t rubbery or overdone either, Size is important and the really big ones DO take more. So the posters with the cooking/timing issues must not have worked with scallops as big as the ones I was working with. So glad yours came out perfect, Anne! Typing this is making me want to do some more soon. 🙂

  2. Marlene Murray

    When cooking a sea scallop you sear 1-1/2 minutes per side……then they are done. If you cook these that long you won’t be able to eat them!!

    1. That is just not a correct, blanket statement, Marlene. Of course the notion of "done" means different things to different people. For me, the grain of the seafood muscle/flesh must be set. No translucence, in other words. Your blanket recommendation would be true for smaller scallops. Mine were neither small nor the slightest bit tough, as they were huge scallops. The larger ones were actually still translucent in the center when I served these, as I recall. I'm really not fond of seafood not fully cooked in the center. Just not a fan of sashimi or rare, undercooked tuna.

  3. Marlene Murray

    Peggy, the alcohol burns off. As for the recipe, this sounds like WAY too long to cook them. I am guessing they will be extremely tough and chewy.

    1. Actually all of it does not burn off. In fact, quite a bit doesn’t. . I was surprised just how much alcohol remains as I had always thought it all burned off like you. People in Induction are in deep ketosis (fat-burning metabolic mode) and will have a much more intense reaction to even small amounts of alcohol. I know first hand because 2 T. in a sauce made me loopy when I was still in Induction, before I had the nutritionist for the Atkins forums explain why I had that reaction.

      As to chewy, mine were so big, that wasn’t an issue. I did mention in the recipe intro mine were really big scallops and that is a ginormous 15″ skillet in the photo. But any good cook like yourself knows they need to back off on time for smaller seafood items (bay scallops would only take less than 1 minute). Seafood is very delicate indeed.

      1. Don

        As a professional chef with 27 years international experience, I saw this recipe someone posted to a friend and I was shocked! scallops take 1-2 minutes per side in very hot pan. To suggest putting them in the oven for 10 minutes at 400 f unless you like rubber is so wrong on many levels. So against amateurs pretending to know what there talking about when it comes to food. I’m just against bad food.

        1. Well, Don, all I can say is these were so big they were NOT rubber when cooked and we enjoyed them thoroughly. It was for my Christmas dinner and I do think I would have remembered TOUGH scallops on such a special occasion. I cooked them exactly as I stated. I went out of my way in the recipe intro to say they were ginormous. I have no idea the type of sea scallops or from where they originated, but they were nearly all 3″ across and over 1″ thick. My brother was Executive Chef at Top of the Mark in San Francisco, but amazingly the experience didn’t render him as rude as you, thank God. I didn’t just fall off the turnip cart and recognize raw scallops when I cut into one. They were still raw in the center, which is why I popped them in the oven. They were neither scorched on the surfaces, tough nor “bad food”, as you so ungraciously put it. If you click on the photo, you can actually see inside a couple of them and they are glistening with moisture. Photo was taken AFTER baking BTW. Perhaps you just haven’t been fortunate enough to encounter the remarkable sized sea specimens I was working with. As to your last comment, the only thing worse than an “amateur”, pretending to “know what THEY’RE talking about when they don’t”, is a professional with an air or superiority (the nicer way to put what I’m thinking) whilst they appear to not know grammar well enough to know the difference between ‘there’, ‘they’re’ and ‘their’ YET, despite all the International professional experience. I have recently added a note in the recipe to sear and bake for less time for smaller scallops, but will not revise this recipe further since VERY LARGE scallops NEED this amount of cook time.

  4. There was a typo…in the sentence where you speak about searching the scallops 4 at a time the repeat with next 2 batches of 4. That’s only 8 scallops plus the 4 you just seared which is 12 scallops. You should say next 3 batches of 4. 🙂 Recipe was delicious though and the sauce works well with mussels also. Yummo!

    1. That’s funny, Renee! You tell Peggy about her mistake, but don’t proof your own post. You wrote “searching” instead of “searing”. Also, after “4 at a time” you wrote “the repeat” instead of “then repeat”.

    1. It’s the first 2 weeks of the Atkins program when you have to maintain 20 NET carbs a day. Net carbs are total carbs minus fiber. Use any knife you like, Traci. One thing that helps is to wad the parsley up into a tight ball/mass and then start chopping. Gets it finer that way. 🙂

      1. Have one. Don’t like to use it much though. Don’t even use kitchen shears much, except to butterfly/spatchcock a chicken. I’ve never much cared for specialty kitchen gadgets.

  5. Renee

    Anxious to try scallop recipe. Curios why it needs changes for induction cooking. Why? And what other recipes won’t work on induction.

    1. You should avoid alcohol during induction. Not only because while in ketosis, your body is extra vulnerable to the intoxicating effects of alcohol, but when there is alcohol present int he body, your metabolism must consume/burn off all the alcohol first before it goes after carbs and fat. So it effectively stalls weight loss. AS to what is allowed and not allowed during Induction, that’s too detailed to go into here. Check out the information on Much more complete and thorough a discussion there. You don’t have to be a member to read the Program information.

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