Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr
Total Time
40 Mins
4 servings (serving size: 4 1/2 ounces scallops, 2 tablespoons sauce, and 3/8 teaspoon thyme)

Ask for "dry" scallops when you make this scallop recipe. This means the scallops haven't soaked in a salty brine and  they'll release less moisture in the pan as they cook, making it easier to get a gorgeous golden crust.

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine first 4 ingredients in a small heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to about 1/4 cup (about 8 minutes). Remove from heat; discard thyme sprigs. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, stirring constantly with a whisk until butter is thoroughly incorporated. Strain mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl, pressing to release all of the sauce; discard solids. Stir in sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

Step 2

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle both sides of scallops evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add scallops to pan; cook 2 minutes. Turn scallops over; cook 1 minute or until desired degree of doneness. Serve scallops with sauce; sprinkle with chopped thyme, if desired.

Ratings & Reviews

Great...on everything!

November 10, 2015
I have made this recipe several times...the first time "by the book", and subsequently adapting it to whatever it is accompanying. I use a bit more butter (8 tbsp. is not uncommon), I prefer coconut palm sugar or light brown sugar to white sugar (adds a bit more depth of flavor), and I frequently add a couple tablespoons of capers at the end. We particularly love it over angel hair pasta. My kids call it "crack sauce" because it's so addictive! It's awesome over grilled chicken, and we love it with asparagus too! Basically, the food is just the vehicle to get the sauce to my mouth (I'd be just as happy with a bowl of sauce and a spoon!)

Tinahw's Review

March 25, 2014
Love scallops and love lemon, however this sauce way overpowered the scallops. Used Meyer lemons and followed the recipe exactly. Won't make again.

JNBank's Review

September 30, 2013
This was wonderful. My kids who are rather young loved it. Will definitely make it again.

LauriKT's Review

March 24, 2013
Fabulous recipe, made this with my husband, we both agree the sauce pops, it was crisp, flavorful and exciting! We served it with black forbidden rice and sautéed baby kale. This recipe will go in our book as a do over!

sprky182's Review

April 25, 2012
Good flavor. The sauce tasted very very sour alone, but when paired with the scallops it was a nice dish. Very easy to prepare, not too time consuming. Next time I will pair it with asparagus- what a good idea!

Belladonna714's Review

July 01, 2011
Don't get me wrong this recipe was good but way too lemony to the point of bitter. May have been my fault since I used regular lemons, Meyers were not available. Just to prevent others from making my mistakes, I also used Vidalia onion instead of shallots, and garlic butter because that's what I had on hand. I had to add more sugar to final product to tone down the lemon. I served this with CL grilled asparagus. I most likely would not bother to make this recipe again.

fairydragonstar's Review

March 26, 2011
This was absolutely one of the best recipes I have tried in a while...the flavor was out of this world This is something that you easily could serve for a small dinner party I made as directed and the white wine I used was a Sauvignon Blanc and I roasted asparagus in the oven to go with....the sauce was spectacular and DH who is not a big fan either asparagus or scallops licked the plate clean

MTN326's Review

March 24, 2011
Lovely flavors and easy to make. Served with rice and a salad, but asparagus would go nicely also. Yummy enough for a dinner party.

Holley's Review

March 20, 2011

franMc's Review

March 18, 2011
Restaurant quality! Sharp,clean flavors. This was my first time making a beurre blanc sauce and it came out perfect. I used red snapper instead of scallop since that was what i had on hand. Pairs well with vegetables too - i dipped a steamed asparagus into extra sauce.