Check out this affordable recipe for whiskey glazed sea scallops. Buying them frozen is a great way to enjoy scallops without spending a ton of money.

whiskey glazed sea scallops
I’m a BIG seafood fan.  Always have been and always will be.  There is nothing better than fresh seafood.  Unfortunately, fresh seafood doesn’t come cheap unless you live in South Alabama and buy shrimp from random roadside stands.  I grew up in Fairhope, Alabama on Mobile Bay and I happen to know that you haven’t had shrimp until you’ve had it from LA (Lower Alabama).  I didn’t know how good I had it until I moved away.  You’d think that since I live in Florida, near the beach, that I’d have access to amazing seafood.  This is not the case.  I’ve talked to some of my friends that work in fisheries and they let me know that it is cheaper for our local restaurants to use imported seafood instead of buying it fresh.  Isn’t that sad?  Anyway, it’s a constant battle for me to find fresh, local seafood.


During my last trip to our local seafood market I noticed that the sea scallops had a label letting me know that they were previously frozen.  A quick Google search informed me that sea scallops come off the coast of the Northeast.  No matter where I buy them in Florida they are likely to have been previously frozen.


For some reason I couldn’t get frozen sea scallops out of my mind.  I love, love, love sea scallops.  If they weren’t so damn expensive, I’d order them every time we eat out at a restaurant.  When I saw a bag of frozen sea scallops at Trader Joe’s, I knew I had to try them.  Even though they were frozen, they still weren’t cheap.  This bag of 12 sea scallops put me back $17 and I almost put them back about 15 times before I made it to checkout.

Thank God I didn’t put them back, I couldn’t be happier that I decided to try them.  Three scallops each were more than enough to fill us up, but this amazing recipe still left me craving more.  Tom isn’t a sea scallop fan so he had a few hesitations.  He said they were too “fishy” for his taste, but I found them to have just the right amount of sea salt flavor.  If you don’t love sea scallops, this isn’t the purchase for you.  However, if you’ve been looking for an inexpensive way to feed your sea scallop craving, you’ve got to buy these!

sea scallops recipe

Whiskey Glazed Sea Scallops

serves 2

  • 6 defrosted sea scallops
  • 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced or grated
  • 1/4 C. of whiskey  (or any other alcohol to deglaze the pan)
  • 1/2 of a lemon
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  1. Heat the butter or margarine over medium/high heat
  2. Rub the sea scallops on both sides with the garlic
  3. Sear the scallops for 3-4 minutes on each side or until browned enough to your liking
  4. Squeeze the juice of half the lemon over the scallops
  5. Sprinkle half the thyme over the scallops
  6. Deglaze the pan with the whiskey and flip the scallops, let sit for 30 seconds to a minute
  7. Plate the scallops and garnish with remaining thyme

We served ours with cauliflower rice (thanks for the idea, Mary).  I grated half a head of cauliflower, added garlic powder, margarine and 2 tbsp. of water to it and microwaved for two minutes to soften.

No need to feel like you have to use whiskey.  I honestly wanted to use white wine, but didn’t have any on hand.  Any type of alcohol will work to deglaze the pan.  I did, however, enjoy the extra flavor from the whiskey.  We used Johnnie Walker Red Label and I wouldn’t mind using it again if Tom doesn’t mind sharing.  I had to ask his permission to use it since he loves whiskey so much.

I feel like I have to add that I would consider this an EASY, MOM APPROVED, meal.  It only took me about 15 minutes from start to finish, including the cauliflower rice.  I can’t get over how fancy the pictures look when it took me so little time.  In fact, I think I spent more time taking the pictures than I did making the meal!

What tips do you have for buying inexpensive seafood?  I’m still feeling guilty for paying $17 for this bag.  It came out to $4.25 a serving, much cheaper than buying them at a restaurant!  You certainly can’t beat that price since they came out well.  Had they been a bust, I would have been pretty depressed about wasting so much money.

Get more tips for buying inexpensive seafood in this post:

Tips for Buying Seafood on a Budget