As you’ve probably been able to tell, I absolutely love scallops and I’ve recently discovered that I really love bay scallops. That being said, I’m working on my next round of recipe plans, but this recipe for lemon-butter scallops was SO good and SO delicious that I just absolutely had to share it.For these lemon-butter scallops with tomatoes, we used bay scallops due to how economical and easy to prepare bay scallops are! You can substitute bay scallops with large scallops or with peeled, deveined shrimp!
We served these lemon-butter scallops with tomatoes, beans, and wilted arugula for an easy-peasy one-pot meal that comes together in about 30 minutes.
This recipe for lemon-butter scallops only requires one pot and is so easy to prepare but still has an amazing depth of flavor thanks to a simple lemon marinade on the garlic and red pepper and a quick chicken stock reduction. This recipe for lemon-butter scallops with tomatoes also offers great opportunities to adjust and substitute as necessary!
Scallops with tomatoes is honestly a great combination, especially because this recipe uses butter and scallops are kind of rich on their own, so the acidity from the lemon and the sweet acidity of the tomatoes pairs wonderfully with bay scallops.
Skill Level: Easy
Time to Make: 35 minutes
Ingredients for Lemon-Butter Scallops with Tomatoes, Beans, and Wilted Arugula
1 pound bay scallops
1 14.5-ounce can cannellini beans
4 cloves garlic
1 red Fresno chili pepper (or use crushed red pepper)
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chicken stock
2.5 ounces arugula
Salt and pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil and crusty bread, optional, for serving
Prepare the Marinated Garlic: Juice and zest both lemons. Reserve 1 teaspoon of lemon zest for garnish. Mince the garlic. Trim and remove the seeds of the chili pepper and slice thinly into rounds. In a bowl, combine half the lemon juice (reserve the other half of the lemon juice for later in the recipe) and all the remaining lemon zest with the garlic and red pepper and toss to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Prepare Ingredients: As the garlic is marinating, prepare the remaining ingredients. Pat the bay scallops dry, season with salt and pepper, and refrigerate until ready to use. Drain and rinse the beans. Halve the cherry tomatoes.
Cook the Bay Scallops: Add the butter to a deep sauté pan and melt over medium high heat. Once melted and frothy, add the marinated garlic and red pepper along with all of the lemon juice and zest in the bowl. Cook for 2-4 minutes until fragrant and beginning to brown. Add the scallops and cook for 2-4 additional minutes until just cooked through and opaque. Pour the scallops and all the juices in the pan into a medium bowl and set aside.
Cook the Tomatoes: Return the sauté pan to medium heat and add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes until just beginning to soften. Add the beans and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the beans are tender. Add the chicken stock and remaining lemon juice and bring to a boil. Cook for 10-12 minutes until reduced by over half.
Finish the Dish: Add the arugula to the sauté pan and cook for 1-3 minutes until just wilted. Stir in the bay scallops and any juice remaining in the bowl and toss to coat and cook for an additional minute until the scallops are warmed through. Turn off the heat.
To Serve: Divide the bay scallops between bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of reserved lemon zest and a crack of fresh black pepper. Drizzle with a touch of extra virgin olive oil and crusty bread, if desired. Enjoy!