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Learn how to make seared scallops like a professional chef! Easier than you think, cheaper than dining out, and pair well with Cauliflower Risotto! #searedscallops #cauliflower #risotto | https://withpeanutbutterontop.com

Lemon Garlic Butter Scallops with Cauliflower Rice

Learn to make perfectly seared scallops like a chef! Cheaper than dining out, easier to make than you think, and they come together in under 10 minutes! Pair it with sautéed asparagus and cauliflower risotto for an incredible combination.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Cauliflower Risotto, Lemon Garlic Butter Scallops, Scallops, Seared Scallops
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 487kcal
Author Samantha Buckner



  • 1 lb jumbo scallops, thawed
  • 2-3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (or more if you're a garlic lover)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Sautéed Asparagus:

  • 1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Cauliflower Risotto:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped white onion
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 cups cauliflower rice (12oz - 16oz bag, thawed)
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 3-4 tbsp mascarpone
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups chopped baby spinach
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Sautéed Asparagus:

  • Place a large, nonstick pan over medium heat with olive oil. Once heated, add the asparagus in a single layer. You may need to work in batches.
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sauté 8-10 minutes, checking for desired tenderness with a fork.

Cauliflower Risotto:

  • Place a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat with butter. Once butter has melted and is bubbling, add the chopped onions. 
    Sauté 3-4 minutes, or until translucent.
  • Add minced garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add cauliflower rice, stir, and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Pour in the half and half and stir. Add the mascarpone and stir until melted. Add the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper (to taste). Cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes to allow the risotto to thicken a bit.
  • Add the chopped spinach, stirring for 1-2 minutes, or until the spinach has wilted. You will want to wait until the sauce thickens a bit before adding the spinach.

Lemon Garlic Butter Scallops:

  • Line scallops up on a paper towel and pat them dry - firmly but gently. You want to remove as much water as you can. This helps to crisp the outside of the scallops.
    I find it's easier to line them up on a paper towel to dry. Grab one and wrap it in another paper towel in your hand and gently apply a little pressure. You do not want to squeeze too hard.
  • Place a large cast iron skillet (or nonstick skillet) over medium-high heat with the butter.
  • Season the tops of the scallops with salt, pepper, and garlic powder as they rest on the paper towel.
    Alternatively, you can add minced garlic to the sizzling butter for garlic butter flavoring if you do not have garlic powder.
  • Once the butter is bubbling and starting to brown, add the scallops one at a time using tongs. Place seasoned side down.
    The key is to have them sizzle/crackle when added to the pan. If they are not, remove and increase the heat slightly. Your pan needs to be hotter.
  • Sear for 2-3 minutes, seasoning the opposite side with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Squeeze 1/2-1 full lemon over the tops. The amount of lemon juice will depend on how much lemon flavoring you prefer. I used 1/2 a large lemon.
  • Flip and sear for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve promptly.
  • Serve with sautéed asparagus over cauliflower risotto - garnished with freshly chopped chives and don't forget to spoon some leftover butter from the skillet over the top!


SODIUM: Scallops are naturally salty. I recommend searing in unsalted butter and seasoning very lightly with salt (if preferred). You may want to try searing them without salt FIRST and see how you like them.
RISOTTO: If the risotto is not thickening up, I recommend adding an additional tablespoon (making 4 tbsp total) of mascarpone or additional parmesan cheese. Allow it to simmer a bit before adding. It may take time to thicken.
OIL/BUTTER: If you prefer to sear in oil, I recommend using an oil that has a high smoke point, such as grapeseed oil or avocado oil.
GARLIC AND LEMON FLAVORINGS: Feel free to add more than 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder or more than 1/2 of a lemon squeezed to increase the flavorings. Each taste profile is different!


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 487kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 704mg | Potassium: 452mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3245IU | Vitamin C: 79.3mg | Calcium: 378mg | Iron: 3.5mg