Keto Recipes - Created Date : 11.11.2019

Scallops with Citrus Ginger Sauce

Scallops with Citrus Ginger Sauce

Scallops with Citrus Ginger Sauce

Scallops are healthy, super easy and delicious to make at home. These restaurant-worthy scallops are pan seared and topped with a delicious citrus ginger sauce. They’re so tender and smooth they’ll melt in your mouth!

Scallops (Pan Seared)

Pan seared scallops have always been my mom’s favorite recipes. If they’re are on the menu at a nice restaurant, I guarantee that’s what she’ll be ordering. She knows what she likes!

Scallops can be a bit pricey, especially for fresh, wild ones so they can be a bit intimidating to cook at home. But the funny thing is they’re one of the easiest seafood items to cook. Just sear both sides make a quick sauce and you’re done! They’re perfect for when you want a special, celebratory or indulgent meal at home.

Most scallops are prepared with a simple garlic butter sauce, but I’m personally a fan of this citrus ginger sauce. It’s light, refreshing, sweet and spicy all at the same time.

Are Scallops Good for You?

Yes! Scallops are high in protein (they’re actually 80% protein) and important vitamin and nutrients, such as B12, magnesium and potassium. They also contain a good amount of iron and calcium and per serving they’re low in calories. A 3.5 ounce serving contains just 110 calories.

Scallops are related to clams and oysters as they’re all mollusks, but they’re lower in cholesterol and low in mercury.

Frozen versus Fresh Scallops – Which is Best?

I’m fortunate that I live close to the ocean and have access to many great fishmongers. So I always splurge on fresh, wild sea scallops. But I understand that many might not have that same accessibility.

While fresh is always best, frozen scallops are still packed with the same health benefits, so don’t let that deter you. If you do purchase frozen scallops, just thaw them in the fridge the night before you’d like to cook them.

What’s the texture of Scallops?

When cooked right, scallops are soft, tender and delicate. They’re not slimy, chewy and they shouldn’t smell fishy (if yours do, that likely means they’re not fresh). I’d say the texture is similar to crab or lobster, but more buttery smooth.

How to Cook Scallops

Scallops cook incredibly fast so it’s key that you don’t overcook them. Remember that different varieties can range in size (sea scallops can be three times bigger than bay scallops) so always adjust the time accordingly. This scallop recipe is based on using larger sea scallops.

Blot the scallops dry and sprinkle with salt.

Add avocado oil to a pan and heat on high until it’s very hot and sizzling (*see notes below on different oils).

Place the scallops in the pan and cook for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes each side, until golden.

Remove the scallops to a plate and add butter, orange juice, lemon juice and ginger to the pan until simmering.

Place the scallops back in the pan, drizzle the sauce over the scallops and garnish with fresh thyme before serving.



Pat your scallops dry with a paper towel and sprinkle them with sea salt.

Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. When the oil is nearly smoking, place your scallops in the pan and sear for approximately one and a half to two minutes on each side. Remove scallops to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the orange and lemon juice, orange zest, grated ginger and butter to the pan. Whisk the sauce together in the pan until it's simmering, then add the scallops back to the pan and spoon the sauce on top.

Plate your scallops, drizzle more sauce on top and garnish with thyme.

Lisa's Tips

Avocado oil is preferred over olive oil in this recipe as its heated to nearly its smoke point. Avocado oil is more stable at those higher temperatures.

Scallops are always best slightly undercooked rather than overcooked. Like most meats and fish, they'll continue to cook after they're removed from the stove.

To make the scallops dairy-free and Whole30 compliant you can use ghee or coconut milk instead of the butter.


Tried to duplicate your recipe for pan seared scallops last night. Didn’t even come close to your results. I used a non stick pan but couldn’t get that sear you got. Scallops reduced And lots of white liquid. What did I do wrong?

Hi Paul – You really do want a stainless steel or cast iron pan for this recipe to get that great sear. Non-stick pans also shouldn’t be heated on high and you really need a high temperature for this recipe. There shouldn’t have been white liquid from the scallops either, unless they were frozen. They should be at room temperature (or slightly chilled from the fridge) when adding them to the pan. Hope that helps!

I’ve made it three times in three months, only for the most special people in my life I’d like to impress. Would love some advice on how to make the scallops brown a little’s possible I’m using the wrong pan, or possibly the scallops need to be at from temperature before adding them to the pan?

Your meal prep advice has transformed my 12 hour shifts as a nurse. I’m starting the day with a delicious smoothie you’ve recommended using the vitamix wich is such an incredible appliance. I’m prepared throughout the day to control my cravings not to mention I have a sense of pride for pre-planning out the day with your help.

Sorry to go on and on.

Thank you, thank u, thank u. I’ve found a sense of pride I lost for a long time.

Hi Caitlin – I’m so happy you love the scallops recipe and many others from my blog. The scallops really are a great recipe to impress (and yet so simple). The key to getting them to brown is to use a REALLY hot pan. The oil should be almost smoking when you add them. Then you don’t want to touch or move them until they’re ready to flip. And it sounds like you’ve got a good rhythm going with your smoothies and healthier habits – big kudos to you! You should absolutely feel proud of yourself. It’s all of those little steps that really add up over time. :) x

This was truly delicious! We also had the bok choy and I roasted Japanese sweet potatoes. This will be on my menu rotation as long as I can get fresh wild caught scallops. It was easy and quick too which is a big plus for a weeknight meal. Thank you!

Good catch! I just added it in the notes. Essentially, I recommend avocado oil over olive oil in this recipe given the high heat used on the stove. Avocado oil is more stable at higher temperatures. :)

Gorgeous! I want to try your recipe, the flavors sound delicious and your instructions are really detailed. So important for scallops, I think. They can be a little intimidating to cook when you’re inexperienced with them. That sear though! :)

OMG! These were so unbelievably good! Thank you Lisa! I will definitely be making them more often at home now that I have this amazing recipe. The orange ginger sauce was perfect and just mild enough to bring out the soft flavor of the scallops. Best of all… they weren’t over cooked so that made them so sweet and melt-in-your-mouth tender. These were the best I’ve ever had! As far as needing a traveling buddy goes… when and where? Love you!

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Hello and welcome to Downshiftology! I’m Lisa, a real food lover, gluten-free recipe developer, world traveler and wellness blogger. I’m also a big advocate of self-care and taking life “down a notch” – while chasing adventures half-way across the globe! Because it’s all about balance.

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