Pan Seared Scallops in Vermouth Cream Sauce are an elegant, easy entree for date night, or any night! Serve with pasta, polenta or salad for an easy meal. 

Oh, date night, you elusive thing. When you read tips online about how to keep your marriage alive, saving time for date night is always on the list. We get in a few dates a year, and also try for a weekend trip alone. 

I know we should reserve more nights for dates, but we don’t have family in town, and our regular babysitters have MUCH busier social lives than we do, so we can’t count on them in a pinch. To fix this, we’ve started having date night at home. Sometimes, we cook awesome, fancy dinners like these Pan Seared Scallops in Vermouth Cream Sauce. 

” We made this on New Year’s Day, and it was great!”

– Mike
Pan Seared Scallops with Vermouth Cream Sauce

Sometimes, we buy wine, a bunch of cheese and cured meats, and sit on our porch with candles and lanterns lit. The perks of doing this at home? We don’t miss out on time with our little buddy.

We can spend time together as a family, put him to bed, and then fire up the stove and have a great date night at home (and sometimes in sweatpants).

Serving Suggestions

I like to serve these pan seared scallops with a simple side dish like a Goat Cheese Twice Baked Potato and Julie’s Italian House Salad. Add in some beautiful Moules Marinières for an elegant appetizer.

And, don’t forget dessert! I love these Valentine’s Day Desserts if you need some inspiration.

Pan Seared Scallops with Vermouth Cream Sauce

If you’re like me, you’re a little scared of cooking scallops at home, but absolutely love getting them in restaurants! I don’t want you to be scared of cooking scallops at home. 

Yes, they’re expensive and cooking expensive meat feels risky. But they aren’t hard to make, not by any stretch of the imagination! I want to walk you through the steps of a cleaning and cooking the perfect scallop at home. 

Pan Seared Scallops with Vermouth Cream

How to cook the perfect scallop at home:

  1. Choose jumbo scallops that are fresh, if possible. If you live in the Midwest like me, you’ll probably have to buy previously frozen scallops. That’s okay, just check to make sure they are firm to the touch and don’t have a strong smell. 
  2. Wash the scallops in cold water.
  3. Pull the “boot” off. Some of my scallops had this, some didn’t. If you miss one, it’s okay. It’s just a little tough to eat.
  4. Pan Seared Scallops
  5. Wash the scallops in cold water, then pat dry with a paper towel. Rest on a plate (no paper towel liner).Pan Seared Scallops
  6. Heat butter on medium-high in a large skillet. I used my favorite, trusty pan, the Calphalon Signature™ Nonstick 12” Skillet. This worked fabulously to get the perfect sear and caramelized crust on the scallops, and I can even use my favorite metal utensils with them! Cleanup was a breeze and I can pop the pan in the dishwasher if I don’t feel like hand washing. 
  7. Pan Seared Scallops with Vermouth Cream
  8. Place dried scallops in the melted butter in the pan and sear on high heat. Allow them to sear for 2 to 2.5 minutes on each side, flip when a golden brown crust has formed.
  9. Remove to a plate and serve while hot. I like to eat my scallops with polenta or grits. Pasta and salad are great choices as well.
Pan Seared Scallops with Vermouth Cream Sauce
Pan Seared Scallops with Vermouth Cream Sauce
Pan Seared Scallops with Vermouth Cream Sauce

Pan Seared Scallops with Vermouth Cream Sauce

Yield: Serves 2-3
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This pan seared scallops recipe is surprisingly easy to make! Served with a simple creamy white wine sauce.


  • 1 pound jumbo sea scallops
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup vermouth or dry white wine
  • ½ cup cream
  • ⅛ teaspoon each, salt and pepper


  1. Clean scallops (see instructions above this recipe). Make sure to pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Heat butter in large skillet on high heat.
  3. When melted, add well dried scallops into butter. Sear on high for 2 to 2.5 minutes, then flip.
  4. Sear for another 2 minutes until a golden crust is formed.
  5. Remove seared scallops to a plate, turn skillet heat to low.
  6. Add vermouth or dry white wine to skillet, and simmer for 1-2 minutes to reduce, stirring. Scrape up any butter or scallop remains in the pan; they will add flavor to your sauce!
  7. Add cream, salt and pepper. Stir, simmering for another 1-2 minutes to combine.
  8. Serve sauce over scallops.
Nutrition Information
Yield 2 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 663Total Fat 35gSaturated Fat 21gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 191mgSodium 1697mgCarbohydrates 20gFiber 0gSugar 5gProtein 49g

The nutrition for this recipe is calculated by an app and may be incorrect.

Did you make this recipe?

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Interested in other yummy date night recipes like these perfect pan seared scallops? I recommend:

Pan Seared Scallops with Vermouth Cream Sauce