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2 servings


0 hours 2 mins


0 hours 5 mins


0 hours 7 mins

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8 Sea Scallops, muscle removed and scallops dried
1 Tbsp.Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Unsalted butter
1 Tsp. Fresh dill, chopped
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Thinly sliced lemon wheels


1) Prep your scallops by removing the tough connector muscle on the side of the scallops. Discard. Dry the scallops with paper towel.

2) Sprinkle the scallops, on both sides, with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

3) In two small cast iron skillets, divide the olive oil and heat until really hot but not smoking. Add the scallops and let them get golden brown on one side. (About two-three minutes.) Carefully, flip over and cook on the other sides until brown. (one minute)

4) Divide the butter in two and add the butter to the skillets and baste the scallops with the butter a couple of times. Sprinkle the scallops with the fresh chopped dill. Remove the skillets from the heat.

5) Serve the cooked scallops in the mini cast iron skillets with the lemon wheels.  Enjoy.

NOTES:  Cast Iron Scallops is simplicity at its best.  Scallops are seared in cast iron skillets for a golden brown exterior with a soft succulent middle.  They are seasoned simply with salt and pepper, some fresh dill, olive oil and butter, and lemon wheels or wedges to finish.  That’s it.  A handful of ingredients transform this incredible shellfish into a delicious bite.

Cooking scallops in a cast iron skillet is the key to that dark, golden brown sear on the outside.  There are a couple of important steps to ensuring perfect scallops.

  1. Cooking scallops in cast iron requires that the skillet be really hot but not smoking. Make sure there is just a thin layer of oil to help flavor the scallops and to keep them from sticking.
  2. Don’t disturb the scallops until they are golden brown. They will come right off the skillet when they are ready.
  3. Flip them gently and let them get golden on the second side. Baste them with the butter at that point.
  4. Serve them right in the skillet they were cooked in. Just garnish with fresh dill and lemon wheels.
  5. I use individual cast iron skillets when serving this but you could make them in one large skillet and then plate them on individual plates with some of the sauce, a dill sprig and a few lemon wheels.

The key to these tasty scallops is fresh ingredients and fresh dill.  Be sure to buy your scallops at a reputable seafood market and make sure they are the large sea scallops.  Bay scallops are great, but they are too small (and seasonal) to be used here.  The next thing thing you must do, is prep your scallops.  Scallops often still have the abductor muscle attached.  This is the muscle that originally adhered to the shell.  It is tough and not pleasant to eat.  Simply peel it off the main part of the scallop.  You’ll easily see it on the scallops if they are there.  They’ll look like a small extra part of the scallop on the outer edge.

The second most important thing to do when preparing the scallops is to dry them well with paper towels.  You don’t want them wet, otherwise, they’ll steam in the skillet rather that get brown.  That will make them tough and rubbery.  So, dry them well, and then lightly season on all sides with salt and pepper.  Once they are prepped, you are ready to cook them.  This is a very fast cook, so be sure you have your chopped dill and lemon wheels ready to go and you are ready to sit and eat these within minutes.

In small cast iron skillets, divide the olive oil and heat until really hot but not smoking. Add the scallops and let get them golden brown. (About two-three minutes.) Carefully, flip over and cook on the other side until brown.  That shouldn’t take more than a minute.

Divide the butter and add the butter to the skillets and baste the scallops a couple of times using a spoon.  Tilt the skillet to pool the butter and make this easier. Sprinkle the scallops with the fresh chopped dill.  Add the lemon wheels and serve.

I often get asked what to serve with seared scallops.  Since, I’m serving this as an appetizer, just warm crusty bread is served on the side.  If I was serving this as an entree, I’d serve with orzo or rice to soak up the delicious olive oil and butter in the dish.  Steamed veggies like asparagus or broccoli would also be great on the side.

Be sure to try some of my other scallop dishes like:

Japanese Spicy Soy Scallops
Shrimp, Scallops and Asparagus Linguine
Baked Panko Scallops
Seared Scallops on Corn Puree

And try some of my favorite shellfish dishes that include scallops too:

New Year’s Seafood Fettuccine

Spaghetti Squash with Seafood Marinara

Seafood Platter