Lemon Butter Scallops Over Parmesan Risotto Recipe

Simple lemon butter scallops served over my favorite risotto recipe.

Pan-seared 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. It’s simple to make, you just have to pay attention to what you’re doing. No leaving the kitchen to do laundry or falling asleep on the couch while preparing. This is CRITICAL.

Lemon Butter Scallops Over Parmesan Risotto Recipe

Lemon butter scallops over Parmesan risotto is a delicious hearty, yet simple dish. The caramelized lemon butter scallops are the perfect complement to the creamy and salty characteristics of risotto. Adding in some Parmesan cheese and white wine to your risotto adds worlds of creamy flavor.

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, “Wow, I should never, ever attempt risotto.”

While risotto is certainly a fancy addition to any entree, I’m here to tell you it’s easy enough to make if you take your time and don’t leave it to burn on the bottom of your pan. Also, it’s flavor and consistency is second to none. I started off using my lemon butter scallops recipe and paired with my favorite risotto recipe made with shallots, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. A big tip, use a solid non-stick pan. Cast iron may not be the best choice as the risotto will stick and burn.

Scallops over risotto is incredibly simple but so satisfying, especially on a cool fall night.

Lemon Butter Scallops Over Parmesan Risotto Recipe
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.