These garlic butter scallops are summer on a plate!

garlic butter scallops with watermelon salsa and rice

And those may look like tomatoes, but nooooo. These scallops are covered in a refreshing, crisp, watermelon salsa. It’s slightly sweet, a little spicy and the perfect crunch on top of the buttery scallops!

seared garlic butter scallops in skillet

This is going to be on repeat all summer long!

watermelon salsa

It has been AGES since I’ve shared a recipe with scallops. They are one of my favorite things and remind me of our summers at the jersey shore. My dad’s recipe is even in my first cookbook

When I was pregnant with Max I took somewhat of a hiatus from shrimp and scallops. I really lost any desire to eat them and it hasn’t been until the last year that the taste for them has come back.

And boy am I glad.

watermelon salsa over garlic butter scallops

First, watermelon salsa. Look at this! Remember when I went through a big fruit salsa phase when I first started the blog? It was years ago and I would put fruit salsa on anything and everything. Whatever fruit I had, boom. 

So watermelon salsa isn’t new to me but it sounded SO good on scallops Just super refreshing and crisp but not overwhelming, so it wouldn’t take over the scallops.

garlic butter scallops with watermelon salsa and rice

Now the scallops – they are seared in garlic butter and it’s basically the only flavor you need. You cook them for just a few minutes. They couldn’t be easier.

Holy cow. These are so perfect, they practically melt in your mouth.

I love to serve this with jasmine rice (I did a leftover mix of white and brown above!), but I’ve also made it as an accompaniment to steak for a surf and turf like meal. It’s also an awesome dish for a dinner party or even a starter app with the salsa alone.

It’s summery and fresh and perfect!

garlic butter scallops with watermelon salsa and rice

Garlic Butter Scallops with Watermelon Salsa

Garlic Butter Scallops with Watermelon Salsa

Garlic butter scallops that melt in your mouth topped with refreshing and flavorful watermelon salsa created the perfect summer dish!
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watermelon salsa

  • 1 ½ cups diced watermelon
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • salt and pepper


  • Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel. Season them with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter. Once melted, stir in the garlic and the pepper flakes. Add the scallops in a single layer, making sure not to crowd the pan. You may need to do this in two batches. Cook the scallops until they are opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Don’t cook longer or they will be too tough!
  • Serve the scallops topped with the watermelon salsa. I love to serve these with jasmine rice too. However, if you’re having a dinner party or making them as an appetizer, they are great on their own with the salsa. As a great accompaniment to surf and turf!

watermelon salsa

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir. I like to make this first so the flavors can marry together. You can also store leftovers in the fridge.

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garlic butter scallops with watermelon salsa and rice

And pink salsa… yes!