How to Cook Frozen Sea Scallops

Things You'll Need

  • 1 stick butter

  • Large, heavy skillet

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

  • Wooden spoon

  • 1 tablespoon mixed Italian spices (optional)

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

  • 1-pound bag frozen sea scallops

  • Tongs

Frozen sea scallops are generally the only choice for purchasing for those who do not live near a seaport or in a large city where fresh scallops are offered. Because frozen sea scallops thaw and cook quickly, they are perfect for using straight from the bag in recipes calling for scallops. Cooking scallops to perfection means keeping a watch on the cooking time, as frozen or fresh scallops become tough and rubbery if overcooked.

Step 1

Melt the stick of butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

Step 2

Add the 3 tablespoons lemon juice and stir to distribute throughout the butter. Stir in the spices, if desired.

Step 3

Open the bag of frozen sea scallops and carefully pour them into the simmering butter mixture.

Step 4

Use the tongs to lay the scallops into the butter in a single layer.

Step 5

Simmer the scallops for 2 minutes.

Step 6

Use the tongs to turn the scallops over to the opposite side and let cook until the scallops lose their translucency and are a consistent white color.

Step 7

Remove the skillet from the heat and serve.


Frozen sea scallops should take no longer than 5 to 6 minutes to cook fully.

The scallops will continue to cook in the hot butter sauce, so be sure to remove them from the heat as soon as they are consistently white on both sides.

Serve the scallops over pasta, using the butter as the pasta sauce.

Depending on the size of the sea scallops, plan on approximately 1/4 pound of scallops per person.

Frozen shrimp can be cooked the same way as the scallops. Remove the shrimp from the heat as soon as they all turn light pink.