Grill Seared Scallops with Herb-Butter Pan Sauce

I decided to do something special yesterday, so while at Costco I purchased 2 lobster tails and 1/2 lb of sea scallops. Why? Because I felt like it.

I grilled the lobster tails — grilled 12 oz tails 5 minutes on each side, that wasn’t enough, they were completely raw in the middle. So I split them down the middle and did another 4 minutes, which was perfect!

The scallops called for something more — searing seemed right, so I invented this recipe based upon several pan-seared scallops recipe.

Quick finance lesson: We see 2 oz lobster tails on sale for $4. Do the math, that is $32/lb! Yikes!

The $20/lb that Costco charges for 8 to 16 oz lobster tails is a bargain in comparison.


Grill Seared Scallops with Herb-Butter Pan Sauce


  • 1 lb. dry large sea scallops
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • Tools: grill and grill topper (typically used for vegetables).


  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 Tbsp finely diced shallot
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley and chives
  • salt & ground black pepper

Assemble all ingredients for this recipe before you start! Things move quickly and you won’t have time to find things once you start. The scallops are on the grill for less than 5 minutes.

Scallops: Rinse the scallops and pat dry with paper towels. They must be dry to sear properly. Place in a bowl, season with salt, and add the olive oil. Stir to coat the scallops evenly.

Preheat the grill and spray the grill topper with cooking oil, or lightly coat with oil. While the grill is heating, prepare the sauce (see below).

Once the grill is hot, keep it hot (if using a gas grill). Place the topper on it and let it heat — you want this puppy really hot.

Place the scallops on the topper, leaving the lid open. If you close it the scallops will burn rather than sear. After 2 minutes flip the scallops. After 2 minutes remove from the grill into a bowl.

I put the scallops into the sauce and covered it while finishing other dinner preparations, although they can be served immediately.

Note: On my grill I got great sear marks on one side, less so on the second side. So I served them best side up for the presentation.

Sauce: Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a small skillet over medium heat. When the butter sputters, reduce heat to low and add the shallots. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. The shallots should not brown, just soften.

Add the wine and herbs. Simmer for 2 to 4 minutes, or until the wine is reduced by half. Stir in the remaining butter, 1 Tbsp at a time, stirring until each pat is melted. Season with salt and pepper.

Notes: The recipe I based this on said dry vermouth could be used — I had champagne open so I used that. Any dry white wine will probably work.

I discovered (way too late!) that my fresh herbs were no longer fresh, so I used 1 tsp dried chives. Fresh would have been better, although I’m thinking 1/4 cup might be way too much for this recipe. I’d start with half of that and taste before adding more.

The recipe also called for 1/4 tsp finely grated lemon zest. Didn’t have any, so I omitted it, but next time I’ll make sure I do. I also want fresh chives on hand.

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