Healthy Garlic Scallops Recipe

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Best garlic scallops recipe, seared to perfection in a cast iron skillet and cooked in a healthy clarified butter for the ultimate seafood meal!

Garlic Scallops in Healthy Clarified Butter in a Cast Iron Skillet

To sear the scallops you will need organic Ghee like This + cast iron skillet (<–amazon)

A quick post today on how to make easy, good for you, Italian garlic scallops that are perfectly seared yet succulent, garlicky and saucy! You can serve them as an appetizer, starter, or dinner for two with angel hair pasta or over a creamy risotto

The Best Garlic Scallops Recipe of Your Life!

Initially I planned to make some shrimp, but could not find any wild caught ones at the market, so I grabbed some large wild sea scallops instead. 

Lucky me, I also had all that clarified butter /Ghee from the other day, so really, everything finally aligned to make this happen.

Healthy scallops, you don’t even have to worry about eating too much!

Garlic Scallops Healthy

The liquid gold butter ghee, is what makes the most delicious sauce for those scallops to swim in. ( If you don’t want to bother making it, you can just order some Here from Amazon.

Then you can mop it up with some crusty bread or serve them with rice, asparagus, steamed vegetables, frutti di mare or angel hair pasta aglio e olio + lots of lemon. Garlic spinach and pea puree also make lovely pairings.

So dust off that old cast iron skillet, it’s the only way to get perfectly seared scallops without overcooking them, and ending up with a rubbery mess.

Garlic Scallops Healthy

TIP: make sure your scallops are completely patted dry well on paper towels!

You can’t work with watery scallops!

Simply coated in a little bit of olive oil, seasoned well and quickly seared in a hot skillet for no more than 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Easy, simple, perfect, deliciousness! 

Then you add your clarified butter, lots of garlic and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to brighten it all up.

Healthy Italian Pan Seared Garlic Scallops

FAQ: Are Sea Scallops Healthy ?

They are a low fat, low calorie, lean protein source, rich in vitamin B-12, essential minerals and Omega-3 fatty acids; but honestly if you look at scientific research they are far from healthy and should be avoided. 

Golden Brown Cast Iron Pan Seared Garlic Scallops in Healthy Clarified Butter

UPDATE: since first posting this garlic scallops recipe I’ve become aware of the overwhelming scientific nutritional research and evidence and can no longer support anything but a Plant-Based diet, for the human health, animal welfare and our Planet. We can still enjoy some Vegan Scallops made from king oyster mushrooms and cooked in plant based butter, check out the recipe here.

Garlic Scallops
4.94 from 15 votes

Healthy Garlic Scallops Recipe

Italian garlic scallops, seared to a golden perfection in a cast iron pan and cooked in healthy clarified butter for the ultimate seafood meal!
Print Recipe
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:5 minutes
Total Time:10 minutes


  • 1 lb large scallops
  • 1/4 c clarified butter ghee
  • 5 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 large lemon zested
  • 1/4 c Italian parsley roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt + more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp peppercorn medley freshly ground
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • A pinch of sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil


  • Make sure to pat dry the scallops on paper towels very well before cooking.
  • Heat up a large cast iron skillet on medium flame.
  • Meanwhile in a medium bowl toss the scallops with a drizzle of olive oil or butter ghee, just enough to coat it all over. Sprinkle them with the sea salt, cracked pepper, red pepper flakes and sweet paprika. Toss to coat gently.
  • Add a little drizzle of butter ghee to the hot skillet, just enough to coat the bottom. Add the scallops making sure not to overcrowd the pan, and sear for about 2 minutes on each side until nicely golden. ( Use a small spatula to flip them over individually )
  • Add the butter ghee to the skillet with the scallops and then add the garlic. Remove from heat and using a spatula push the garlic around to infuse the sauce for about 30 seconds. The heat from the skillet will be enough for the garlic to work its magic into the butter. This is how you avoid that pungent burnt garlicky taste we don’t like.
  • We are just looking to extract all that sweetness from the garlic, and this is how you do it, without burning.
  • Squeeze half of the lemon all over the scallops and move the skillet around a little so it combines with the butter. Sprinkle with the minced parsley, lemon zest and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve with crusty bread or al dente capellini noodles.


If serving with capellini noodles, make about 1/4 pound per person, and stretch the sauce with some of the pasta water the noodles cooked in.


Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 1481mg | Potassium: 537mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 705IU | Vitamin C: 16.2mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1.5mg
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: scallops, seafood
Servings: 2
Calories: 391kcal
Author: Florentina

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  1. 5 stars
    Its a true winner and i am truly appreciate the way you made this. Everything is so nicely describe that really helped me. I am looking forward for more such recipe sin future too.

  2. Made this tonight for the second time in a month I n one of my many cast iron pans. So delicious! Added extra garlic as you can never have too much garlic. Had the scallops and sauce over long grain wild rice and a side of asparagus. Oh and bread to wipe up the garlicky sauce on every inch of my plate

  3. Made this tonight and it turned out wonderfully .I added shrimp so that I could have the scallops and shrimp with pasta. Made ghee for the 1st time and what a really nice addition..should not be missed. Adds a lovely buttery nutty flavor. Thanks for the recipe! I am new to your website look forward to seeing what else is there. Thanks.

  4. 5 stars
    Made this recipe tonight — delicious, nutritious, looks professionally prepared, and couldn’t be easier to make. Highly recommended!

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe was awesome! I love the lemon zest, and adding the garlic at the end made it perfect. The only thing I didn’t care for was the Italian parsley, and I will leave it out next time. Everything else was awesome! My husband and daughters loved it too!

  6. 5 stars
    I was so nervous about how these would turn out. They came out amazzzzzing! My fiancé LOVED them. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe:)))

  7. 5 stars
    These were amazing. Every scallop I have ever tried in fancy or not so fancy restaurants have been a disappointment. Made these at home with this recipe and for first time I have enjoy scallops!! Thank you!

  8. 4 stars
    This is such a wonderful recipe- I’ve used it more than once (with halibut, too) but its FAR from healthy with all that butter and oil!

    1. Hi Mel, I’m not sure I understand the question. Ghee is clarified butter that is good for you 🙂 You can quickly make your own or just purchase it at the store. Hope that helps!

  9. Just got home from the grocery store picked up all the ingredients can’t wait to try these they look amazing!!

  10. I made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious. This will definitely be a go to for scallops. Making this dish in the cast iron fry pan really gave the scallops a beautiful browning; which I never achieved in other pans. We had rice and oven roasted broccoli with it and it made a great pairing.

    Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    1. I am so glad Ginny! Cast iron really does its magic here. Roasted broccoli sounds so good with scallops, gotta try that combo myself! Happy Weekend! ~Florentina

  11. I cannot cook in a cast iron skillet. I have a genetic illness where my body has too much iron – hemochromatosis. Can I use a stainless steel pan instead and get equally good results?

    1. Hi Margi, so sorry to hear that. You can definitely still cook the scallops, I do not recommend stainless steel in this case just because it is difficult to work with because of sticking. I would say go for a skillet with enamel or ceramic, something that won’t stick. Also make sure your scallops are patted dry very well and at room temperature for a good 20 minutes. Then coat them well in olive oil so they won’t stick. Let me know how it goes ~ Florentina

    1. Thanks Billy, these scallops are perfect over a bed of polenta or mashed potatoes. You can also make some thin capellini noodles to toss together. Enjoy ~ Florentina

  12. I made this recipe tonight and it was fantastic and cooked to perfection with a great flavor blend. The simplicity was perfect too. Thank you!

  13. 5 stars
    Florentina, great recipe, with great photos. You know, we begin to eat a meal with our eyes before the food ever touches our tongues. I did not have to stand in the corner for 20 minutes, as my cast iron pot gets used often. Seasoned well, and kept oiled and ready to use. I enjoy the way you write. As if we were having a conversation. That makes it enjoyable to read. I will post some of my kitchen escapades when I have put together a recipe and photos. Mostly, I make other folks recipes. Some are from family recipes, but not many. Thanks for sharing this one. I’ll bet I could even make this while camping. Because, camping food isn’t always hamburgers, hot dogs, and smores for me. Regards, Richi Ackerman

    1. Thank you so much Richi, so glad you enjoy the site, and so proud of you for having that cast iron skillet ready to rock and rocll 😉 For sure you can make this while camping, let me know if you do it and send us photos. That would be such a great camping trip ! ~ Florentina

  14. The lemon directions are confusing. The ingredients say 1 lemon but down below in directions it say half a lemon.

    1. Hi Lyn, that’s because some people like more lemon over their scallops than others. So this way you can have extra on the side if you prefer an extra fresh squeeze. Enjoy the scallops- Have a great weekend !