ComScore

How to Cook Scallops Like a Pro (Plus 30 Easy Scallop Recipes to Get You Started)

Scallops are typically served at fancy restaurants—with a high-end price tag to match. But we’ll let you in on a little secret: The shellfish is actually really easy to cook at home. They take about five minutes max if you know how to prepare them properly. Read on to learn how to cook scallops, then bookmark the following scallop recipes so you can flex your new skills. (Your dinner party guests will be so impressed.)

But first, you should know what to shop for. Look for scallops that are evenly white with firm, slightly damp flesh. (We prefer additive-free dry scallops.) The other common variety, wet scallops, are soaked in a preservative and don’t brown as well in a skillet. And by all means, if you happen to spot harder-to-find bay scallops, snatch them up. They’re small, sweet and tender.

Wondering What to Serve with Scallops? We Have 30 Tasty Ideas


LauriPatterson/Getty Images

How to Cook Scallops

  1. Clean the scallops. Give them a quick rinse under cool water.
  2. Make sure the abductor muscle isn’t attached. It won’t always be there, but if it is, it looks like a little crescent-shaped tag on the side of the scallop. If it’s there, gently peel it off and discard.
  3. Thoroughly dry the scallops. This is the most crucial step in ensuring your scallops sear well. If they’re too wet, they won’t brown on the outside. Simply blot each scallop very well with paper towels.
  4. Prepare your skillet. There are lots of ways to cook scallops, from poaching to grilling, but our favorite way is seared in a skillet with plenty of butter. This makes for a crispy exterior and juicy inside. Heat the skillet over high heat and swirl a generous pat of butter around until it melts.
  5. Add the scallops to the skillet. You can add multiple, just be careful not to crowd the pan. Cook them for a couple minutes undisturbed.
  6. Flip the scallops. To make sure it’s ready, gently prod a scallop with your spatula. If it releases from the pan, it’s time to turn it over. Flip the scallops, add some extra butter for good measure and cook for about two more minutes.

Ready to cook? Read on for 30 of our favorite scallop recipes to make at home.

how to cook scallops scallop recipes pan seared scallops with citrusy corn succotash recipe
Erin Kunkel/The Vibrant Life

1. Pan-Seared Scallops with Citrusy Corn Succotash

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, high protein

This dish screams alfresco summer supper. The recipe calls for fresh corn, but feel free to use canned kernels in the off season—the scallops are the main event anyway.

how to cook scallops scallop recipes seared scallops with green peas mint and scallops recipe
Amanda Frederickson/Simple Beautiful Food

2. Seared Scallops with Green Peas, Mint And Shallots

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, special occasion-worthy

How fancy does that minty pea purée look? If that's not drool-worthy enough, the scallops are seared in reserved bacon fat instead of butter for an extra savory spin.

how to cook scallops scallop recipes seared scallops with citrus scallop salad recipe
Katherine Gillen

3. Seared Scallops with Citrus-Shallot Salad

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, dairy free

It doesn't get any easier than this, friends. Feel free to add sliced melon to your plate in the warmer months, or even crispy prosciutto.

scallops mushroom white wine sauce over polenta recipe
Floating Kitchen

4. Scallops and Mushrooms in White Wine Sauce over Polenta

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: gluten free, special occasion-worthy

Coterie member Monique Volz knows the way to our heart: crème fraîche-kissed polenta. Use a buttery, vegetal wine like Chardonnay for the sauce.

shrimp scallop cviche stuffed avocados recipe
Foodie Crush

5. Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche-Stuffed Avocados

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, no cook, dairy free, gluten free, high protein

So. Darn. Brilliant. (Thanks, Coterie member Heidi Larsen.) We won't tell if you skip the avocado "bowls" in favor of plantain or tortilla chips.

one pan lemon scallop pea spaghetti recipe
I Am A Food Blog

6. One-Pan Lemon, Scallop and Pea Spaghetti

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, beginner-friendly, <30 minutes

This dinner is decidedly non-fussy, considering the recipe calls for pantry staples that are already in your kitchen and frozen peas instead of fresh.

brown butter scallops parmesan risotto recipe
Pinch of Yum

7. Brown Butter Scallops with Parmesan Risotto

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, high protein

Elevated comfort food > everything else. The last step is dousing the risotto, scallops and sautéed spinach in brown butter, so you'll taste liquid gold in every bite.

scallop pancetta kebabs balsamic glazed chicken recipe
The Mom 100

8. Scallop and Pancetta Kebabs with Balsamic Glaze

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 30 minutes (includes marinating time)
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, low carb

Coterie member Katie Workman says these flavorful, unexpected skewers pair best with your favorite salad. Substitute bacon or prosciutto for pancetta if you can't get your hands on any.

pan seared scallops creamy lemon beet puree recipe
Healthfully Ever After

9. Pan-Seared Scallops with Creamy Lemon-Beet Purée

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, special occasion-worthy, beginner-friendly

The pink purée is just the ticket for a Valentine's Day dinner date. In case you're worried about pulling it off, Coterie member Carlene Thomas will walk you through the presentation.

citrus seared scallops recipe
Spoon Fork Bacon

10. Citrus-Seared Scallops

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, <30 minutes, beginner-friendly, dairy free

This simple meal is worthy of your finest white tablecloth. Don't skip the microgreens and blood orange zest on top—they make the scallops look extra gourmet.

20 minute honey garlic butter scallops orzo recipe
Half Baked Harvest

11. 20-Minute Honey-Garlic Butter Scallops and Orzo

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

Sorry, what? We were too busy drooling and got distracted. Might we suggest making a second batch of the sweet-and-spicy sauce to drizzle on chicken wings?

kale pesto pasta perfectly seared scallops recipe
Plays Well with Butter

12. Seared Scallop Pesto Pasta

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, dairy free

Coterie member Jess Larson guarantees this will soon become your go-to pasta recipe. Make your own kale pesto or opt for store-bought instead to save time.

easy scallop pasta recipe
Lexis Clean Kitchen

13. Easy Scallop Pasta

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: gluten free, <30 minutes, Paleo-friendly

Since pasta is swapped for spiralized zucchini, this gem is totally gluten free. Did we mention it all comes together in a single skillet?

how to cook scallops scallop recipes cioppino recipe 100
Feasting at Home

14. Authentic Cioppino

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, one pot

Cioppino is a seafood stew that originated in San Francisco, where Italian fishermen would pool their catches to make a meal. This version boasts scallops, fish, mussels and clams.

scallop apple noodle spinach spiced walnuts recipe
Inspiralized

15. Scallop and Apple Noodle Spinach Salad with Spiced Walnuts

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, dairy free, gluten free

Yup, you can spiralize apples, and tart Granny Smiths are the ultimate match for swicy cinnamon-cayenne walnuts and citrusy scallops.

citrus scallops en papillote herb emulsion
Salt and Wind

16. Citrus Scallops en Papillote with Herb Emulsion

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, dairy free, gluten free

Instead of being seared, these scallops are baked in parchment paper pouches for 20 minutes. Open them in front of your guests to wow them with the steam.

how to cook scallops scallop recipes garlic butter steak and scallops keto steak recipes
Damn Delicious

17. Garlic Butter Steak and Scallops

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, special occasion-worthy

Surf and turf is most definitely our love language—especially when we don't have to fuss with lobster to pull it off. Use beef tenderloin, sirloin or filet mignon if you're feeling fancy.

Get the recipe

how to cook scallops scallop recipes grilled scallops recipe
The Modern Proper

18. Grilled Scallops

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, dairy free

It sounds complicated, but all you really need is skewers and a killer marinade (like this one, made with honey, lemon juice and garlic). If you're using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water before placing them on the grill.

how to cook scallops scallop recipes browned butter scallop and burst tomato basil pasta recipe
Half Baked Harvest

19. Browned Butter Scallops and Burst Tomato Basil Pasta

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

Linguine has never looked so good. It has cherry tomatoes, summer corn, white wine and burrata to thank, along with impeccably seared scallops.

how to cook scallops scallop recipes garlic butter scallops with watermelon salsa recipe
How Sweet Eats

20. Garlic Butter Scallops with Watermelon Salsa

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, gluten free

Complete with tender jasmine rice and a flourish of chopped cilantro. Make extra watermelon salsa to put on chips, tacos, salmon or greens.

how to cook scallops scallop recipes seared scallops pumpkin risotto
Spoon Fork Bacon

21. Pumpkin Risotto with Seared Scallops

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, gluten free

Your Thanksgiving guests will be totally swooning over this autumn dish. The pumpkin purée would also pair beautifully with warm-spiced chicken thighs or roasted Brussels sprouts.

how to cook scallops scallop recipes air fryer scallops2
The Recipe Critic

22. Air Fryer Lemon Dill Scallops

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: air fryer recipe, <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

Yup, you can prepare this coveted shellfish in your trusty air fryer—in 15 minutes flat to boot. We're betting you have nearly all the ingredients you need already.

how to cook scallops scallop recipes salt and wind scallop crudo v1
Salt & Wind

23. Scallop Crudo with Jalapeño Citrus Sauce

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no cook, <30 minutes, beginner-friendly, dairy free

The scallops are raw, but that doesn't mean they're plain. Crudo is usually thin-sliced and lightly dressed. Here, the shellfish is tossed in citrus juices and a few pantry staples before being plated.

how to cook scallops scallop recipes seared scallop ravioli with lemon rosemary butter sauce 1
Half Baked Harvest

24. Seared Scallop Ravioli with Lemon Rosemary Butter Sauce

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

The easiest shortcut for DIY ravioli? Using store-bought wonton wrappers instead of homemade pasta. Not only is there a seared scallop in each piece, but they're also bursting with ricotta and manchego cheeses.

how to cook scallops scallop recipes grilled scallops tomato vinaigrette
Feasting at Home

25. Grilled Scallops with Tomato Vinaigrette

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

A few simple ingredients can transform scallops into an unforgettable dish. To keep them from overcooking on the grill, remove the scallops after about 2 minutes of charring per side, then cover with foil.

how to cook scallops scallop recipes brown butter scallop shrimp scampi recipe
A Cookie Named Desire

26. Brown Butter Shrimp Scampi with Scallops

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, high protein

Don't let the fancy name fool you. The addition of scallops doesn't make this simple pasta dish any more difficult to pull off—only more delicious.

how to cook scallops scallop recipes seared scallopes butternut squash
Spoon Fork Bacon

27. Seared Scallops over Roasted Sweet Potato Purée

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, gluten free

The garnish may look like caviar, but it's really from-scratch pickled mustard seeds. Be sure to leave yourself at least an hour before dinnertime for them to marinate.

how to cook scallops scallop recipes bacon scallops
Damn Delicious

28. Bacon Scallops with Garlic Butter Sauce

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, <30 minutes

If there's any dish that's going to persuade your picky kids to give scallops a taste, it's this one. Come on, they're seared in bacon fat and drenched in garlicky seasoned butter—how can they say no?

how to cook scallops scallop recipes lemon butter scallops spring risotto1
Butter Be Ready

29. Lemon Butter Scallops with Spring Risotto

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

With all those fresh peas and asparagus spears, this beauty is destined for your Easter menu. Drive the spring theme home by adding mushrooms and radishes to the risotto.

how to cook scallops scallop recipes scallop uni crudo1
Spoon Fork Bacon

30. Scallop and Uni Crudo

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, no cook, special occasion-worthy

Your guests will never see the sea urchin coming. Lay the miso-yogurt sauce on thick for extra tang, creaminess and umami.