Keto Scallops with Jarlsberg Cheese Sauce

Keto Scallops with Jarlsberg Cheese Sauce is a delicate and delicious appetizer. The Jarlsberg cheese is mild and pairs well with the sweet taste of the seared scallops. The nice part of Jarlsberg cheese is that it will not overpower the scallops. When blended with heavy cream the sauce becomes so creamy and tasty! If you are looking for a restaurant style appetizer or main seafood dish this recipe is what you need.

In the non-low carb world, this recipe is often shown over a wheat pasta. You will also see versions using bread crumbs and a broiler. These are generally Scallops with Jarlsberg au Gratin. They are tasty, but loaded with carbs. Our version is definitely light and tasty, as well. A low-carb delight with only 4g of carbs! This is a recipe we have made for many years. It is simple and comes together quickly.

Scallops with Jarlsberg Cheese Sauce


Scallops are the main player in the recipe. They can be expensive, especially when purchasing “dry scallops” or ones that have not been previous frozen and without additives. Regardless, you will need to make sure that they are patted dry with paper towels and are not packed with water. The scallops are going to be seared over high heat – you do not want them to be poached. Too much liquid will cause them to become rubbery. You want a buttery crunch on the outside and a melt-in-your-mouth texture on the inside.

Dry scallops are shucked on the boat and preserved dry. They are more expensive than those that are shucked and then preserved in water. They have a sweeter flavor, and are definitely harder to locate. You may also see “diver scallops” advertised in exclusive markets. This means the scallops have not been dredged , but rather divers secure them. They are very expensive, but are more eco-friendly. We look for dry scallops, but regardless, you need to make sure to get rid of as much water as possible.

We can usually find a Jarlsberg spread at our local market. It is simply grated Jarlsberg cheese with mayonnaise, a bit of red onion, and chives. If you cannot find the spread you can easily make your own. Experiment with the amount of each ingredient to render the taste you want. Jarlsberg is so good, you will not mess it up regardless of your ingredient blend. For this dish tonight we made our own. We even doubled the Jarlsberg spread recipe below. We will use the leftovers for broccoli with cheese sauce or for dipping grilled shrimp tomorrow.

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Jarlsberg has a rich, buttery flavor, with just a bit of nuttiness. It is from Norway and made from cow’s milk. A similar cheese would be Swiss – Jarlsberg even has holes, like Swiss cheese. Jarlsberg is the most imported cheese in the United States. It is delicious!

Preparation Tips

The main preparation tip is to properly sear the scallops. Use a non-stick pan or cast iron skillet. We like cast iron since it allows for the even high-heat needed for quickly searing. You should also use a high-smoke oil for searing. We have found that Avocado oil works best (it’s smoke point is 520 degrees). Cook them initially for two minutes, do not move them around, and flip them just once. As soon as you flip the scallops, add the butter and cook for only one more minute. Remove and cover very loosely with foil while you make the sauce.

The sauce is also simple! First, remove most of the cooking fat from the pan. Second, reduce the heat to medium, or even remove your skillet from heat, and add the Jarlsberg spread and heavy cream. Finally, whisk rapidly for 2 minutes to thicken, and then add-back the scallops for one minute. Serve sprinkled with cut fresh chives.

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Scallops with Jarlsberg Cheese Sauce – the Perfect Appetizer

If your are looking for a simple and delicious appetizer, or a perfect meal for guests, this is the one! Keto Scallops with Jarlsberg Cheese Sauce is so creamy and tasty. The scallops are the key – perfectly seared! They will nearly melt in your mouth and be so sweet. That is why we choose Jarlsberg – it allows the scallop flavor to come through. Enjoy this Tasty Low Carb delight!

Keto Scallops with Jarlsberg Cheese Sauce

Recipe by Joanie and Chris
5.0 from 21 votes
Course: Small Plates, Fish and SeafoodCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




Net Carbs


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Keto Scallops with Jarlsberg Cheese Sauce is a delicate and delicious appetizer. A slightly sweet and rich seafood recipe – creamy and tasty!

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  • Scallops with Jarlsberg Spread
  • 1 pound 454 g Sea scallops about 12

  • 2 tablespoons 2 tablespoons Avocado oil or Grapeseed oil

  • 2 tablespoons 2 tablespoons Butter

  • Sea salt

  • Pepper

  • 6 ounces 170 g Jarlsberg cheese spread (pre-made grocery store)

  • 3 ounces 85 ml Heavy cream

  • Jarlsberg Cheese Spread
  • 4 ounces 113 g Jarlsberg cheese shredded

  • 2 tablespoons 2 tablespoons Mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon 1 tablespoon Red onion finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoons 1 teaspoons Chives chopped


  • Pat scallops dry on paper towels. Make sure you get as much water out as possible. Buy dry scallops if you can. Allow to reach room temperature before searing.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the scallops on one side with salt and pepper.
  • Add the avocado oil until heated. Add scallops, salted side down. You will hear them sizzle. Immediately salt and pepper the second side. Cook the scallops for 2 minutes, do not move them at all.
  • Flip the scallops with tongs and add the butter to the pan. Let the scallops cook for 1 minute more. Baste with the butter. Remove the scallops, plate, and cover lightly with foil.
  • Turn the heat to medium-low. Remove most of the cooking fat from the pan. Add heavy cream and Jarlsberg cheese spread. Whisk vigorously for 2 minutes until blended into a creamy sauce. Add scallops back in for 1 minute.
  • Serve with sprinkled chives for garnish.


Chef’s Notes

  • You can use any high smoke-point oil (Grapeseed or Avocado). If pre-made Jarlsberg spread is not available in your grocery store simply blend the noted ingredients to make your own. Each serving is 3 large scallops.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 564.3kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 4.5g
  • Protein: 32.2g
  • Fat: 46.4g
  • Saturated Fat: 22.9g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 119.9mg
  • Sodium: 995.4mg
  • Potassium: 260.1mg
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Sugar: 0.8g
  • Vitamin A: 995IU
  • Calcium: 529.9mg
  • Iron: 0.4mg
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  1. Cindy Albert

    I make this all the time! I used scallops, chicken and even through some pasta in. It’s delicious!

    • Joanie and Chris

      Nice to hear! Jarlsberg is one of my favorites. The pasta would add carbs for us, but it would go well. Enjoy and thanks for the comment . . . Joanie.

  2. Roxana Lopez

    I’m drooling just looking at these gorgeous scallops!

    • Joan and Chris

      Thank you, so much. We have been making Jarlsberg Scallops for years, it is a favorite. We hope you enjoy the scallops and check back often. As always, we want our journey to produce recipes that are “Tasty” – first and foremost. Again, thanks for the nice comment . . . Joanie.

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