35 Easy But Impressive Scallop Recipes
Make a quick weeknight dinner or date night in feel utterly impressive by preparing delicate scallops at home with ease. Scallops cook within minutes making it an easy seafood to pair with your favorite starch and/or vegetables for an elegant meal. You can simply season them with a dash of salt and black pepper or go a step further and coat them with a buttery pan sauce. Once you prepare them successfully for the first time, scallops will become a favorite go-to selection from your seafood counter.
Pan Seared Scallops with Mustard-Caper Sauce
Sea scallops are perfect for speedy (yet totally elegant) weeknight dinners, as they cook to perfection in no time flat. In fact, this ideal dinner for two can be ready on your table in 30 minutes. The capers in this recipe deliver a delicious punch of briny salinity that we absolutely love paired with fresh shellfish. The whole-grain Dijon mustard adds delicate texture to the sauce and the lemon zest delivers an extra touch of brightness. Stirring in the butter at the very end of cooking creates a touch of velvety richness, in that special way only butter can do. Serve this dish over a bed of leafy greens, mashed potatoes, or rice. Feel free to swap basil or cilantro for the chopped fresh parsley we call for here.
Scallops come one of two ways: wet or dry. Ask at the fish counter for dry scallops, which are in their natural state, have a milder, purer flavor than wet scallops, and sear beautifully.
Seared Scallops with Fresh Tomato-Basil Sauce and Orzo
Cherry tomatoes are cooked until slightly softened and flavored with fresh garlic creating a light sauce. They are spooned over orzo, a grain-like pasta that takes on the tomato flavor well. The seared scallops are topped over the orzo mixture completing this easy, yet elegant weeknight meal.
Grilled Scallop Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
We call this one an end-of-summer salad, but as long as you can get the ingredients, you can make it in any season! Citrus flavors define the salad: A homemade Citrus Vinaigrette and orange slices as toppings give this dish its summery flair, but fresh bay scallops skewered and grilled steal the show.
Pro tip: Do not overcook the scallops—they’ll become tough and rubbery if left on the grill for too long.
Grilled Scallop Tacos with Smashed Avocado and Charred Corn Pico
This quick taco filling is perfect for weeknight dinners. Smashed avocado and charred Corn pico brings a rich, earthy flavor to these seafood scallop tacos.
Seared Scallops with Bacon and Oranges
With only five ingredients and less than 20 minutes, you'll have a surf and turf meal that is set to impress. Serve this company-worthy platter with a green salad, and you're set for an elegant, fuss-free meal. For a more affordable (but equally tasty) option, try using shrimp in place of the scallops. Seared scallops are so easy and pair so well with the crispy, buttery flavor of the bacon and fresh navel oranges. As the scallops sear in the bacon drippings, they become crisp on the outside and cook slowly on the inside.
Seared Scallops with Chestnut Puree
Blood orange vinaigrette brightens this simple dish.
Seared Scallops with Chile-Garlic Spinach
The trick to perfect scallops is to leave them alone once they hit the pan—they’ll stick to the skillet at first then release once they sear. If you prefer less heat, use just one Fresno chile and remove the seeds before adding to the pan.
Grilled Scallop Scampi Kebabs with Arugula and Herb Salad
Loads of flavor come from a simple combo of olive oil, garlic, and reduced white wine that serves as both a basting liquid and a dressing for the herbaceous salad.
Chilled Corn Soup with Seared Scallops and Crisp Onions
We've balanced sweet corn and rich cream here with earthy cumin and a splash of bright Champagne vinegar. You can make the soup a day ahead and chill. Also chill six small, wide bowls for serving, to keep the soup cold.
Sautéed Scallops with Shaved Celery Salad
Celery is an underrated vegetable, often used as a flavor accent for soups or Thanksgiving stuffing. But it shines as the star in a salad, thanks to its fantastic crunch and naturally salty flavor. For ease and speed, we advise slicing thinly on a mandoline. To cut by hand, line up 3 stalks and slice all at once instead of slicing each stalk individually.
Scallops with Baby Bok Choy and Prosciutto
This recipe, inspired by a dish we had at Mister Jiu's restaurant in San Francisco's Chinatown, is simpler than chef Brandon Jew's version but delivers the same umami goodness. Serve with steamed rice.
Wine pairing: Dutton-Goldfield 2015 Chileno Valley Vineyards Riesling (Marin County; $30)
Baked Scallops au Gratin
Seared Scallops with Bacon, Cabbage, and Apple
Quick but hearty. Serve with roasted potatoes.
Pan-seared Scallops with Summer Succotash
An elegant yet easy summertime meal, pan-seared scallops are always a winner. Serve scallops over a beautiful bed of corn and edamame succotash.
Seared Scallops with Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc
Ask for "dry" scallops when you make this scallop recipe. This means the scallops haven't soaked in a salty brine and they'll release less moisture in the pan as they cook, making it easier to get a gorgeous golden crust.
Nantucket Bay Scallops with Bay-Scented Butter
Small bay scallops, now in peak season, are often sweeter and more tender than larger sea scallops. Pat them dry before coating with cooking spray so they will sear rather than steam in the pan. Bay-scented butter tinged with a hint of lemon flavors the scallops, while panko provides crunchy texture. Serve in scallop shells for a handsome presentation.
At his restaurant, Aziza, San Francisco chef Mourad Lahlou uses day-boat scallops--generally the largest of the scallops. They are collected by hand and are never soaked in phosphate dip, which extends the shelf life but compromises the flavor and quality. Bringing the scallops to room temperature helps them cook evenly. This recipe goes with Saffron and Preserved Lemon Risotto
Seared Scallops over Bacon and Spinach Salad with Cider Vinaigrette
Savory umami tastes from the scallops and bacon lay the foundation for this dish, which delivers apple flavor in three layers.
Seared Sea Scallops with Satsuma, Parsley, and Shallot Salsa
Cook the scallops in two batches if needed to prevent crowding the pan. If you can’t find satsumas, use tangerines.
Pan-Seared Scallops with Bacon and Spinach
Scallops are simple to prepare, and with a screaming hot skillet, you get a gorgeous crust without having to bread the shellfish. Serve with a multigrain baguette and a glass of wine.
Seared Scallop Salad with Prosciutto Crisps
Be sure to pat the scallops dry to ensure an even sear. Also, if serrano ham is available, it makes a tasty substitute for the prosciutto.
Watermelon and Scallop Ceviche
If you can’t find bay scallops, which are small, buy a pound of sea scallops and cut them into quarters.
Creamy Rice with Scallops
This recipe is impressive enough for company but easy enough for a weeknight. Smoky, salty bacon tastes delicious with naturally sweet foods like corn and scallops. Here, we combined all three ingredients in this sophisticated risotto-like dish made with Arborio rice. We recommend sea scallops for this recipe. The smaller bay scallops are not large enough to get a good sear without overcooking. For a crisp, golden brown sear, ensure the pan is very hot and pat the scallops dry with a paper towel before adding them to the pan. Instead of stirring the charred corn into the rice, you can serve it over the scallops, if you prefer.
Perfectly Seared Scallops
Scallops may be a little intimidating to cook at home—but trust us, once you nail the perfect sear once, you’ll be gunning to cook them any chance you get. Follow this foolproof method for perfectly seared scallops to nail the technique.
Grilled Scallop-and-Mango Salad
Seared Scallops with Fennel and Citrus
Scallops are the perfect choice for an effortless date-night dinner. To get the best golden, crispy sear, let your scallops come to room temperature and pat them dry before cooking. Track down dry-packed scallops; they’re lower in sodium.
Spicy Scallops with Watermelon Salsa
Here we season quick-cooking scallops with inspiration from Caribbean pepper pot recipes. To get a nice sear on the scallops without any sticking, be sure to thoroughly pat your scallops dry and preheat the skillet until it’s nice and hot. The spicy scallops are cooled by the sweet, minty watermelon salsa. Ask for “dry” sea scallops at the fish counter. Other scallops have been treated with a sodium solution that prevents them from browning nicely and can make the texture of the meat less pleasant.
Instant Pot Risotto with Seared Scallops
Elegant date night worthy dinner out of your Instant Pot? Oh yes you can. This Instant Pot risotto is ready in half the time as the classic stovetop method. Just be sure the grains are well coated in oil before adding your liquid in order to prevent clumping. Using this easy technique, the richly creamy rice dish makes a perfect blank canvas for experimenting with all of your favorite add-ins, such as green peas or butternut squash. If you’re not feeling scallops, shrimp would be equally delicious in this elegant yet effortless seafood dinner.
Pan-Seared Scallops with Tomatoes and Pesto
Entertain on the fly with a quick-cooking and delicious scallop dinner.
Seared Scallops with Shallot-Herb Sauce
There are few foods so naturally balanced in flavor as scallops, and they pair beautifully with all sorts of seasoning. Salmoriglio—a Southern Italian condiment—serves as both marinade and finishing sauce. Be sure to reserve half of it prior to marinating the scallops for drizzling at the end.
Bay Scallop Fritto Misto
Italy’s perfect antipasto, fritto misto is mixture of deep-fried vegetables and seafood. Just choose what’s freshest and in-season. Come spring, swap in some asparagus and fennel. In fall, thinly slice all your favorite squashes (kabocha, acorn, butternut). Fishmonger out of bay scallops? Feel free to use shrimp, squid, or a mild-tasting white fish like cod. In a nutshell: making fritto misto is as laidback as its Italian origins.
Scallop Pasta with Catalan Romesco Sauce
Coming from the Catalonia region of Spain, Romesco is a versatile sauce made from nuts and red peppers. It works great on roast chicken, grilled vegetables, or this Spanish-inspired pasta adorned with shaved Manchego cheese and slivered almonds.
Bay Scallop Salad Sliders with Chile Mayo
Chicken and tuna have some competition in the “salad” department. Think outside of poultry and its aquatic counterpart with bay scallops folded with an herby, chile-spiked mayo. Pro tip: perk up rice, eggs, or lifeless Chinese takeout with the spicy chili crisp (such as Lao Gan Ma) featured in the recipe. Sriracha fans, this is guaranteed to be your new favorite condiment.