Lemon Butter Scallops Over Parmesan Risotto Recipe

Simple lemon butter scallops served over my favorite risotto recipe made with shallots, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and a little white wine.

Lemon Butter Scallops Over Parmesan Risotto Recipe

Lemon butter scallops over risotto has become one of our new favorite fancy weeknight meals. It’s a tad more involved than your typical 20 minute dinner because the risotto requires a little extra attention, however you should NOT be intimidated to undertake risotto

Risotto isn’t difficult make. It’s just a little time consuming and you have to pay attention to what you’re doing. No leaving the kitchen to do laundry or falling asleep on the couch while preparing risotto. This is CRITICAL.

Scallops over risotto is a delicious and hearty, yet simple celebration meal. I started off by using my lemon butter scallops recipe and paired with my absolute favorite complementary risotto recipe. The caramelized lemon butter scallops are the perfect addition to the creamy and savory characteristics of risotto.

Sadly, whenever I think of risotto I think of Gordon Ramsay’s old reality TV show, Hell’s Kitchen. EVERYONE screwed up the risotto recipe, to the point where I always thought to myself, “Good lord, I should never, ever attempt risotto.”

But you should…

The Best Risotto Recipe.

This recipe is really all about the risotto. The scallops need to be just right, but the risotto carries the recipe. My favorite risotto recipe is made with shallots, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and a little white wine. It’s cheesy, creamy, garlicky and fresh.

A big tip on risotto, use a solid non-stick pan. Cast iron may not be the best choice as the risotto will stick and burn the pan easily. Don’t rush the process or let the broth run dry. Dry risotto in the pan isn’t cooking.

Prep is another really important factor. This recipe has a few synchronized moving parts so laying out all your ingredients beforehand in prep bowls cuts down on stress and the frantic panic of zooming from your stove to the fridge. Am I the only one who does this?

While risotto is certainly a fancy addition to any date night, it’s easy enough to nail if you take your time and also don’t have Gordon Ramsay and his camera crew breathing down your neck.

Lemon Butter Scallops Over Parmesan Risotto Recipe
Lemon Butter Scallops Over Parmesan Risotto Recipe

Lemon Butter Scallops Over Parmesan Risotto Recipe

  • Author: Shawn
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x



  • 8 large sea scallops, side muscle removed
  • 4 cups of chicken broth ( I prefer low sodium)
  • 3/4 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic clove minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste

lemon butter sauce

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • juice of half a lemon, squeezed


For the risotto

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic. Simmer until softened, 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add risotto and stir for 1 minute. Add the white wine and simmer for an additional minute. Add chicken broth to the pan ½ cup at a time, stirring after each addition. Allow risotto to absorb most of the broth before each addition. Continue until soft and creamy, about 25-30 minutes. Note, the chicken broth will absorb in about 1-2 minutes after each addition.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and stir in Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley. Divide and transfer to bowls when ready to serve.

For the scallops

  1. While risotto is cooking, pat scallops dry and season with salt and pepper. Mince the parsley and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil (affiliate link) to a 12 inch cast iron skillet and bring to high heat.
  2. Once skillet is hot, add the scallops to the pan and sear for 2 minutes per side or until golden brown on the top and bottom.
  3. Remove scallops from the skillet and set on a plate. Add the butter, lemon and fresh parsley to the skillet, stirring occasionally until fully melted.
  4. Return the scallops to the skillet and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes per side. Divide scallops and serve over risotto in a bowl and drizzle with extra lemon butter sauce as desired. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve immediately.