Photo of Pan-Seared Scallops with Cilantro by WW

Pan-Seared Scallops with Cilantro

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