Pan Seared Scallops with Cream Sauce

This recipe for Pan Seared Scallops features a cream sauce with a touch of dijon mustard and a hint of tarragon. Drizzle the creamy goodness on top, or use it as a dipping sauce for the scallops. This gourmet scallop recipe is easy to make at home. These scallops can be part of a low-carb, keto, Atkins, gluten-free, or diabetic diet.

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American, French
Keyword keto scallops, low carb scallops, mustard tarragon cream sauce, scallops with cream sauce, sea scallops, seared scallops
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 3
Calories 282 kcal
Author Annissa Slusher


  • 12 ounces sea scallops (completely defrost if using frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard (preferably whole grain)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh tarragon (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • Additional tarragon for garnishing (optional)


  1. Rinse the scallops and remove the small side muscle if necessary. Place the scallops on a paper towel, then cover them with another paper towel. Gently pat dry. Repeat, if needed, to dry them completely.  Lightly salt scallops, if desired.

    Pan Seared Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce-Dried scallops ready for searing.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. I used a PFAO-Free non-stick skillet like this one, but a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, or stainless steel skillet would work as well.When skillet is hot, add the avocado oil then the butter. 

  3. When the oil is hot, place one of the scallops in the pan. If you do not hear it sizzle, the oil is not yet hot enough, so remove the scallop and allow the oil to heat longer. If you do hear the scallop sizzle, continue adding scallops to the pan, making sure they do not touch each other.

  4. Allow the scallops to fry for 3-5 minutes, or until the first side is golden brown. Flip the scallops and all them to brown on the other side. When scallops are opaque throughout, remove them to a plate and set aside.

    Pan Seared Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce-before removing from pan.
  5. Pour the heavy whipping cream in the skillet and place over medium-low heat. Stir in dijon mustard and any liquid that has accumulated under the scallops. Bring mixture to a simmer and simmer until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the tarragon and sea salt.

    Pan Seared Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce-Making the sauce
  6. Serve the scallops with the sauce. Garnish with additional tarragon, if desired.

    Pan Seared Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce-recipe photo.

Recipe Notes

Serving size= 4 ounces of the scallops and 1/3rd of the sauce.

Nutrition Facts
Pan Seared Scallops with Cream Sauce
Amount Per Serving (4 ounces)
Calories 282 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 86mg29%
Sodium 272mg12%
Potassium 359mg10%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 16g32%
Vitamin A 1600%32%
Calcium 50%5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.