Pan seared scallops may sound fancy, but they are a quick and easy dinner for busy weeknights.

Pan seared scallops may sound like fancy dinner party fare, and they are certainly a higher budget item so they are an indulgence, but I’ve come to love them because they are also a quick and easy dinner for busy weeknights. Pan seared with butter, these little gems are a delicious treat. I like to serve them on a bed of crispy brussels sprouts. Bonus, you can make this whole meal in one pan! Gotta love when there is less clean up!

pan seared scallops | jennifer tyler lee | 52 new foods challenge

According to Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, sea scallops are considered a “best choice.” Seafood Watch reports that “antibiotics and feeds are not used in scallop farming, there’s no effluent and chemical use and ecosystem impacts are minimal.” You can check the most updated status on the Seafood Watch website.

This recipe was inspired by a version I came across on Serious Eats. I’ve made a few tweaks. To keep the brussels from wilting, I prefer to sauté the scallops first, set them aside on a paper towel lined plate, and then cook the veggies. I also like to dust the scallops with flour before setting them in the pan to keep them firm.

Pan Seared Scallops with Brussels Sprouts
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Pan seared scallops with brussels sprouts and pancetta makes a quick and easy weeknight meal.
Serves: Serves 4
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 12 large scallops
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ pound pancetta, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 large leek, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, roughly chopped in food processor
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  1. Pat scallops dry with paper towel. Dust lightly with flour and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat, then add the butter. Once the butter begins to bubble, add the scallops and sear for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and cook the second side for another 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate.
  3. In the now empty pan, add the olive oil and pancetta. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until the pancetta is cooked through and extra crispy on the edges. Add the leeks and brussels and sauté for 5 minutes or until the edges of the brussels are crispy. Stir in the rice wine vinegar, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  4. Divide the brussels mixture evenly into four low bowls and arrange the scallops on top. Serve immediately.