Brown Butter Seared Scallops

Last Updated on September 17, 2023

Butter of the sea (aka ButcherBox’s Sea Scallops) are even more luxurious when seared and caramelized before being sauced with brown butter, briny capers, sharp shallots and a punch of lemon juice. It’s a dish that makes you feel like you’ve become a fine dining chef in just 30 minutes, at home, using mostly pantry ingredients. Make sure the scallops are patted dry very well before cooking, so they don’t steam and, thus, make it harder for them to create a caramelized crust. Cooking the scallops in batches also helps with this. Some possible, amazing sides are mashed potatoes, wilted spinach, linguine and roasted broccoli rabe.

Brown Butter Seared Scallops

4.75 from 4 votes
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 lb ButcherBox Wild-Caught Sea Scallops, defrosted and drained of excess liquid and patted very dry
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter 
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped 
  • 2 tbsp brined capers, drained 
  • 1 tbsp fresh tender thyme stems and leaves, chopped
  • 1 lemon, halved 


  • Pat the scallops dry very well with paper towels then season lightly with salt.
  • Heat a large (10- to 12-inch diameter) sauté pan over medium-high heat and add oil. After 30 seconds, place half of the scallops in the pan (do not crowd pan and work in batches) and sear, undisturbed until well browned, about 3 minutes, then turn and cook other side until dark golden, about 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer scallops to a platter. Repeat with the remaining scallops then take pan off heat, discard oil and wipe pan clean.
  • Place the pan back on stove, heat to medium-high and add the butter. Once melted, let the butter bubble and froth and eventually brown, then quickly stir in the shallots and capers. Sizzle them in the butter until the shallots are slightly softened, about 1 minute, then stir in the thyme. Turn off the heat.
  • Serve the scallops immediately. Pour the brown butter sauce over the scallops, squeeze the lemon over them crack some freshly ground black pepper over the top, too.
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