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Brown Butter Seared Scallops on a black plate

How to Cook Frozen Scallops: Brown Butter Seared Scallops

  • Author: Christina
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 1x



For Scallops:

4 tablespoons butter

1 pound sea scallops

2 tablespoon neutral oil

Salt and black pepper, to taste

For Charred Corn Polenta:

1 1/2 cups fresh corn, (23 cobs)

1/2 cups polenta or grits

1 cup vegetable stock

1 cup milk

Juice of half lemon (plus wedges, for serving)

Fresh basil, for service

Salt and pepper, to taste


To begin, thaw frozen scallops overnight in the refrigerator. Dry scallops well with a paper towel to remove as much excess moisture as possible. Ensure the side muscle is removed from each sea scallop.

Before searing the scallops, prepare the charred corn polenta. Combine stock, milk, a few pinches of salt and pepper to a medium saucepan. Heat over medium until simmering. Add dry grits or polenta, stirring to prevent lumping. Stir occasionally, cooking until the liquid has absorbed and the grits are tender.

While the polenta is cooking, heat a large pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add your fresh corn cobs to the pan and turn occasionally until charred. Remove from the skillet and cool until you can handle. Cut the corn away from the cob. Add 1 cup of the charred corn to the polenta and stir to combine. Cover and set aside.

Wipe out the skillet where you charred the corn. Heat it over medium-high heat with neutral oil and 2 tablespoons butter. Place scallops in the hot pan in a single layer. Sear without moving the scallops for 3 minutes, until they achieve a golden brown good sear. Reduce heat to medium and turn scallops. Add last 2 tablespoons butter to pan. Saute for final minute while basting in butter, until scallops are just cooked through. Remove scallops and tent with foil. 

Return the pan over the heat and squeeze the juice of half lemon to the pan. Gently swirl the pan and scrape up any tasty bits at the bottom of the pan. Taste and adjust seasoning. 

Portion charred corn polenta into shallow bowls. Top with seared scallops and lemon brown butter sauce. Garnish with remaining charred corn kernels and fresh basil. 


The size of your scallops drive your cooking time, so if your sea scallops are jumbo sized, add 30-60 seconds to your cook time. 

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Easy Recipes
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Brown Butter Scallops, How to cook frozen scallops, Scallop Recipe, frozen scallop recipe

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