Pan-seared scallops with cilantro

SmartPoints® value per serving
Total Time
20 min
8 min
12 min
Pan-searing scallops is our favorite way to prepare them. It's quick and easy (this recipe takes just 20 minutes to prepare) and infuses them with lots of flavor. Just keep in mind that two things are very important when you're searing any food: use a very hot skillet, and cook the food in small batches so you don't overcrowd the pan. The high heat seals in the juices so that the scallops brown quickly. Also be sure to scrape up those browned bits as you're building the spicy, citrusy sauce after you've seared the scallops—that's where all the good stuff is.


Uncooked scallop(s)

1 pound(s)

Chili powder

1 tsp

Table salt

½ tsp

Black pepper

¼ tsp

Light butter

1 Tbsp, divided

Cooking spray

1 spray(s)


¼ Tbsp

Jalapeño pepper(s)

½ medium, seeded and minced

Fresh lime juice

2 Tbsp


2 Tbsp, minced


  1. Sprinkle both sides of scallops with chili powder, salt, and black pepper.
  2. Melt 11⁄2 teaspoons butter in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add half of scallops; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove scallops from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining butter and scallops.
  3. Add water, jalapeño pepper and lime juice to pan; cook 1 minute, scraping bottom and sides of pan to loosen browned bits. Spoon sauce over scallops; sprinkle with cilantro. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces scallops and about 2 tablespoons sauce).