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lemon butter scallops with risotto in speckled bowl with silver fork

Lemon Butter Scallops With Spring Risotto

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


The perfect dinner has arrived in this lemon butter scallops with spring risotto meal! Flavorful, buttery, and tender scallops paired with a delicious risotto with peas and asparagus, so incredible!



For The Scallops

  • 1 lb fresh sea scallops
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic or garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • freshly chopped parsley, for garnish- optional

For The Spring Risotto

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 8 asparagus spears, chopped into 1-inch pieces, ends trimmed
  • 1 large shallot, cut into half moons and sliced thinly
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
  • 6 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. To do ahead of time: Take the sea scallops out of the refrigerator and place them onto a cleaned plate to come up to room temperature on your counter before cooking the scallops.

For The Risotto

  1. In a large deep saucepan or dutch oven, melt one tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Once the butter/oil sizzles, toss in the peas and asparagus. Stir together and lightly sauté for about 4-5 minutes, and then use a slotted spoon to transfer the veggies to a bowl and set aside while you make the risotto.
  2. Add the remaining two tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil into the same pot. Once sizzling, add in the shallots and stir together until they soften and become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the minced garlic and continue cooking while stirring throughout to avoid burning the garlic, about 1 minute.
  3. Pour in the rice, stirring together for 1-2 minutes, rice will begin lightly toasting. Deglaze the pan by pouring in the wine and then stir the mixture together to fully incorporate.
  4. Stir in 1 cup of stock. Continuously stir the rice together until you see that the liquid is fully absorbed. Once absorbed, add in another 1 cup of stock, continuing to cook and stirring throughout until all liquid is absorbed. Repeat this same process until you reach the last full cup of stock and the risotto is plump. This process of adding the stock cup by cup and stirring often may seem tedious but it ensures that the risotto cooks evenly and does not burn.
  5. Once the last cup of stock has absorbed, turn off the heat, and add in the reserved peas/asparagus, and sprinkle in the parmesan cheese. Taste the risotto and season with salt/pepper, as desired. 

For The Scallops

  1. Season the scallops with salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. Using a large non-stick skillet, add 2 tablespoons of the butter in the the skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter is sizzling and hot, go ahead and add the scallops into the skillet in a single layer (the first scallop you place into the skillet should sizzle immediately- if not, your pan isn’t hot enough and wait until it’s hot before adding in more scallops). Careful not to overcrowd the pan, cook the scallops in batches if you need to.
  3. Let the scallops fry and do not flip them until about 2-3 minutes (look for them to be lightly browned and crisply seared on the outside with an opaque center) and then flip them to cook on the other side for another 1-2 minutes- remove them from the skillet and set aside on a plate.
  4. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and add in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter along with the garlic and lemon juice. Stir together thoroughly to combine and let the mixture cook for about 1 minute. Then take off the heat and add the scallops back into the skillet. Use a spoon to baste the scallops with the butter/lemon sauce all over.

Serving: Serve the lemon butter scallops warm alongside/on top of the risotto and garnish with chopped parsley, if desired. Enjoy!


  1. Risotto can be reheated by adding in more stock/broth to help loosen.
  2. Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.

Keywords: scallops, risotto, lemon, spring, butter, peas, asparagus