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Easy Scallop Scampi is ready in less than 10 minutes. Butter, lemon and garlic make these seared scallops a decadent, elegant meal for company or date nights at home!
The first time I made this Scallop Scampi recipe was for an at-home date night. A few years ago, my husband and I started marriage counseling. I won't get into the gory details because we're fine now, but I definitely recommend counseling if you're struggling! One of the things our counselor really emphasized was the importance of date night! At least once a month, ideally twice a month. This felt like a lot to me, but once we started doing it, it helped.
Our counselor's reasoning for prioritizing date night was that when you're both working high stress jobs, and you're parents, it's easy to lose sight of the good reasons why you married each other. You start to see each other as a means to an end, a person to help you get through the day, and not as the individual you loved and married. Date night helps to get you out of your routine and start again to see them as the person you dated and fell in love with.
I have to admit that while we both recognize the importance of regular date nights, we absolutely suck at scheduling them. We don't have family in town and our sitters are busy at times with activities or school commitments. Sometimes the act of scheduling a date is literally impossible. When I raised this issue to our counselor, she calmly said, " Well, what's keeping you from doing them at home?"
When she said this, I groaned a little. One of the things I love about date night is that I don't have to do anything. I don't have to plan a meal, get groceries, cook or clean up. I mean, I do that for a living, right? I need a break from it sometimes! But, she was right, so we started incorporating at-home date nights into our schedule.
If we have a date night at home, we mostly keep it super easy. We will put our son to bed a bit early, pop open some wine and spend about 10 minutes cutting up the ingredients for a cheeseboard! We then head out to our screened in porch, turn on music and just hang out for a few hours.
So, where does this Easy Scallop Scampi come in? I swear, it is the PERFECT date night recipe for the times we do want to spend some time cooking dinner for our date night. It is so stinking easy. It looks and tastes like an elegant, restaurant-quality meal that takes hardly any effort. It's ready in about 10 minutes, so that you can make the most of your time together!
So, what should you serve with this Easy Scallop Scampi? I'd recommend these recipes, and I've noted if they can be made ahead of time!
- Cranberry Pecan Brussels Sprouts Salad (can be made ahead of time and stored in fridge)
- Sauteed Green Beans with Bacon and Mustard Glaze
- Caramelized Onion and Bacon Mashed Potatoes
- Drunken Mushrooms (Beer Braised Mushrooms)
What is your go-to date night recipe? I'd love to hear!
- 1 pound sea scallops
- 3 tsp olive or avocado oil
- salt and pepper
- 1.5 tbsp minced garlic (about 4 fresh cloves)
- 1/3 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- Clean the scallops by removing the small side muscle that looks like a flap. Pat them dry with paper towels.
- Add oil to saute pan and heat on high heat. Once the oil is sizzling hot, add the scallops, making sure each has space around it.
- Sear the scallops for 1.5 minutes per side, turning gently when a golden crust has formed.
- Remove scallops from pan and allow to rest on a plate.
- To the pan, add minced garlic and saute for about 30 seconds.
- Then, add the white wine or broth and red pepper flakes. bring to a simmer for about 2 minutes, allowing the wine to reduce down.
- Return the scallops to the pan. Add butter, lemon juice and parsley and stir well.
- Take off heat and serve while warm.