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skillet with seared scallops basil and a lemon sauce
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Cast Iron Scallops with Bacon and Lemon Butter Pan Sauce

Craving some pan seared scallops? These Cast Iron Scallops with Bacon and Lemon Butter Pan Sauce are top notch, and easy to make. Grab a cast iron skillet to get the perfect golden brown crust making the perfectly seared scallops. Serve in a juicy butter sauce made with lemon juice, white wine, bacon, fresh herbs, garlic and onion.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bacon, one skillet meal, scallops, Seafood
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 381kcal
Author: Briana

Ingredients

  • 5 slices bacon, cut into small pieces 
  • 1 tablespoon reserved bacon fat 
  • 1.5 pounds scallops
  • 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt 
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 2 medium shallots, diced (can substitute yellow onions)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup white wine 
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • parsley and fresh basil to garnish

Instructions

  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add bacon bits and cook for 6-8 minutes until cooked through. Remove from the skillet and set aside. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat.
  • Dry the scallops with paper towel, season with salt and pepper. Heat the skillet until very hot, then add the olive oil. Sear the scallops for about 1-2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Do this in batches so you don’t over crowd the pan. After scallops are cooked through, remove from the skillet and set aside. 
  • Allow the skillet to cool down to a medium heat, for about 10 minutes before adding some of the butter and shallots, or else you will burn them. Add shallots to the skillet with the butter with a pinch of salt. Cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add lemon juice, zest and white wine. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes, then add back the bacon bits. Stir in basil, parsley, and remaining butter to the sauce. Return scallops to the skillet to warm through. Garnish with parsley and basil. Enjoy! 

Notes

  • To get a nice golden crust on the scallops, you will want to make sure they are dried off really well. Moisture and a nice crust on your scallops just don't mix. Take some paper towels and dry your scallops very well.
  • Season with salt and pepper, and make sure your pan is really hot. You really do want the pan to be smoking hot, on high heat. Add olive oil to the pan right before adding the scallops.
  • Add the scallops in a single layer, but leave plenty of space between them. You don't want to overcrowd the pan! Overcrowding will produce extra moisture, and you don't want that. You will want to cook the scallops in batches.
  • Once the scallops are in the pan, don't touch or move them for at least 90 seconds. The scallops will naturally release once they have seared. Once they're browned, flip them over for another 30-60 seconds. That's it!

Nutrition

Calories: 381kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 1158mg | Potassium: 346mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 529IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg