Scallops are a fairly meaty type of seafood that are most popular for their juicy texture and buttery flavor. These tasty mollusks can be eaten both raw or cooked in a variety of ways.
If you’ve ever been lucky enough to eat scallops at a restaurant, you’ll be excited to know that you can easily recreate these delicious dishes at home. Turns out, scallops (see also ‘The 27 Best Side Dishes To Serve With Scallops‘) aren’t too difficult to cook!
Here are the 30 best scallop recipes for lovers of seafood.
Pasta with tomatoes and herbs is a bit of a simple yet mundane meal, but the moment you add scallops, it suddenly becomes a luxury dish that could be served at a restaurant.
Not only is this dish delicious, but it’s also surprisingly quick and easy to make. Just be sure to be patient when searing the scallops (see also ‘What Do Scallops Taste Like?‘), ensuring a golden brown crunchy finish.
Virtually all seafood works beautifully in a curry, including scallops! It’s no secret that scallops perform best in a creamy sauce, which is why this coconut curry works so well.
The combination of coconut milk and whole milk yogurt along with the delicious curry spices really makes the scallops soak up the flavors, ensuring a warming and sumptuous finish.
Make sure to serve this curry with fluffy white rice and naan to soak up the juice!
Scallops work brilliantly in a salad as a source of essential omega-3 fatty acids, plus they are a great source of lean protein! So, if you’re looking to eat healthily, then try this special scallop salad recipe.
On the surface, this seems like a regular tasty salad, filled with nice vegetables and a lovely dressing. However, it’s the seared scallops that make it special.
Possibly the most popular way to cook scallops is in a creamy lemon pasta. Searing the scallops in a pan of a lemony creamy sauce is the best way to soak up the juicy flavors and ensure a delectable juicy texture.
The combination of lemon and garlic also promotes the delicate natural sweetness of the scallops, making for a mouth-watering meal.
Serve this pasta with chunks of bread to soak up the juice after.
If you really want to impress your significant other, here’s the perfect date night recipe. The buttery seared scallops work beautifully with the white wine creamy risotto, making for an effortlessly flavorful dish with a hint of luxury.
In fact, the scallops are the easiest part of this recipe! The key with the risotto is to be patient to prevent burning, but it should take 30 minutes overall.
“Crudo” is Italian for “raw”, which gives a huge hint about this dish. That’s right – scallop crudo is a simple dish that features raw scallops that are totally safe (and delicious) to eat!
In fact, eating scallops raw is one of the best ways to make use of their natural sweetness, especially when met with a lemon, orange, chili, and soy sauce dressing.
This is a good meal for a starter dish.
Another fantastic starter idea is the humble carpaccio – an Italian appetizer (see also ‘35 Simple Italian Appetizers To Get The Party Started‘) that features thinly cut slices of meat. Instead of meat, however, this carpaccio features lightly seared scallops that are browned to a light golden brown.
The key is to marinade the scallops in a teriyaki marinade before searing them to allow the flavors to soak into the meat.
Finish with thinly sliced mozzarella cheese and beetroot.
Let’s get the record straight – New England stews aren’t technically stews, they’re more like creamy broths.
Still, this take on the traditional oyster stew (replaced by scallops, of course), is still a hearty and comforting meal to make in fall or winter. It also doesn’t take long to make this broth, meaning it can be made after work on a weekday.
Serve alongside chunks of bread to mop up the remaining broth.
For the lovers of seafood and meat, you have to try this recipe. The combination of seared scallops with bacon blends together the two fantastic flavors of the sweet mollusks alongside the smoky meat, making for a delicious appetizer.
You can also pair this with pasta or layer the fish and meat on top of ribbon zucchini to turn it into a main dish.
If you love seafood and Mexican food, time to combine your true loves with these delicious seared scallop tacos.
This is a great way to utilize the natural sweetness of the scallops, especially when they’re met with the savory flavors of guacamole, red cabbage, and other toppings.
Plus, the homemade pineapple salsa will teleport you straight to a Mexican beach. Serve with a generous dollop of salsa and sour cream.
What’s that? Another scallop pasta dish? You read that right – this pasta with pesto and scallops recipe is both easy to follow and effortlessly tasty.
You can never go wrong with coating everything in pesto, and that includes scallops! The inclusion of white wine, garlic, lemon juice, and seasoning also helps to bring all the flavors together. Delicious!
If you want to add more color, swap the green bell pepper for a red or yellow one.
It’s the heat of summer and the perfect time for grilling, so now’s your chance to make some delicious grilled scallop kebabs!
These seafood kebabs make for a lovely change to regular burgers and hot dogs, especially thanks to the refreshingly zesty lemon and thyme dressing that compliments the sweet scallops beautifully.
You can never go wrong with homemade pizza. This scallop and bacon pizza will take your pizza making skills to the next level, especially with the inclusion of garlicky béchamel.
It’s not like your typical cheesy and greasy pizza, which is why this is the perfect meal to make for a special occasion or date night.
Serve with homemade fries.
If you’re looking for a way to celebrate the Lunar New Year, you should try this simple Chinese scallop and vegetable stir-fry recipe. This stir-fry is easy and quick to make, plus it’s super colorful!
The key is to marinade the scallops in rice wine before cooking them. The scallops don’t need to be seared, as they will cook in a delicious stock.
This recipe is ideal if you’re making a 3-course dinner at home. Despite only taking 20 minutes, this is an elegant starter featuring sweet pan-seared scallops in a light yet flavorful orange and ginger sauce.
It’s not too filling – instead, the sweet and savory flavors help to warm up your taste buds and energize you for the meal ahead.
You don’t get more comforting than a bowl of warm, creamy chowder – especially when the chowder features delicious scallops.
This scallop chowder recipe is perfect for a cold fall or winter’s day thanks to the thick and creamy broth and the hearty scallops. The inclusion of bacon adds a smoky flavor that works beautifully with the sweet scallops, too.
You don’t have to sacrifice hours of your time to make a highly flavorful and delicious dinner. This recipe is proof of that, with the sweet and buttery pan-fried scallops along with the salty chorizo making for a unique combination of flavors.
When placed on top of a bed of sweet mashed potatoes, you’ve got yourself a simple yet decadent meal.
Time to impress your guests with an impressive scallop starter! The combination of buttery seared scallops with a smooth pea purée not only looks restaurant-worthy, but also tastes fantastic.
The inclusion of crispy pancetta and zesty gremolata adds a flavor combination of smoke and citrus. When prepared properly, this is a fancy starter.
If you love a creamy, buttery, garlicky dish, look no further than this Tuscan scallops recipe.
Nothing quite tops this creamy, white wine-based sauce with sumptuous seared scallops – especially with additional flavors like the Parmesan cheese, which adds a hint of smokiness.
Serve your creamy Tuscan scallops alone or on top of low-carb vegetables, such as zoodles (zucchini noodles) or cauliflower rice.
Possibly one of the easiest ways to cook scallops is to sear them like usual, and then roll them in a mixture of crushed pistachio and lemon zest.
It really is as simple as that! The nutty savory flavor of the pistachio works beautifully with the juicy, sweet insides of the scallops, making for a surprisingly tasty entrée.
If you’re looking for something refreshing and energizing for summer, check out this scallops with corn and tomatoes recipe.
This recipe consists of a handful of key ingredients, including scallops, corn, Boursin cheese, cherry tomatoes, and salted butter.
The creamy corn works beautifully with the sweet scallops and tomatoes, making for a light and refreshing dinner.
Another surprising food combination is seared scallops and hazelnuts.
The aromatic and savory nuttiness of the hazelnuts compliments the natural sweetness of the scallops beautifully, not to mention when paired with the explosive acidic sun gold tomatoes.
This is a great dish to prepare in summer or fall when the tomatoes are in season.
Buttery and creamy scallops are delicious, but if you love spice, it’s time to crank it up a notch.
These pan-seared Thai chili scallops are extremely quick to make and absolutely divine for those who love a lot of flavor – from the spicy chili paste to the refreshing and complimentary basil.
Salsa verde is a herb-based Italian dip that works beautifully with a range of foods, including scallops. Sure, you can buy a jar of this at the store, but it’s so easy to make salsa verde at home.
When drizzled over seared scallops, you’ve got a flavorful and simple meal that can serve as a starter or quick lunch.
25. Scallop Ceviche
Another great way to eat raw scallops is by making your own scallop ceviche.
This South American seafood dish features raw scallops marinated in a mixture of lime juice, honey, tomatoes, and more, making for a highly flavorful and refreshing dish. Serve the ceviche with tortilla or plantain chips (see also ‘23 Simple Plantain Recipes‘) for scooping.
Another dish that could be easily found in a restaurant, this scallops with asparagus and prosciutto recipe is a decadent and surprisingly filling meal.
It’s all about bringing together complimentary flavors from the savory asparagus, the sweet scallops, and the salty prosciutto, along with a drizzle of lemon juice. Super tasty!
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you don’t have to miss out on scallops! Instead, you can make vegan-friendly scallops out of king oyster mushrooms, which offer a similar texture to scallops when thinly sliced and pan-fried.
Just make sure to marinade the mushrooms in a garlic butter sauce, and you’ve got yourself a fish-less scallop meal!
Thai red curry is fantastic with seafood, particularly scallops. The sweetness of the scallops works beautifully with the creamy coconut milk and the Thai spices, making for a lovely mixture of spicy and sweet.
Serve on a bed of rice with a lime wedge.
You don’t just have to pan-fry scallops – they can be baked to a crisp, too! When coated in a mixture of breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and seasonings, the once-soft scallops bake into a golden brown outer layer with a juicy interior.
Just make sure not to overcook the scallops to prevent them from turning rubbery!
Last but not least, this recipe is one for the lovers of spice. The sweet scallops soak up the crunch, seedy, spicy oil, making for highly flavorful mollusks with a combination of textures.
When paired with a bed of white rice (and the optional avocado), this is a healthy and filling dinner that everyone will enjoy.
So, there you have it! While they might be expensive, scallops are surprisingly easy to cook with in a variety of ways. Happy cooking!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Should Scallops Be Cooked?
The best way to cook scallops is to sear them in a pan. This method only takes a matter of minutes to complete.
Before you do anything, make sure you take the time to marinade the scallops if you are following a particular recipe. If not, dry the scallops slightly with kitchen paper.
Then, preheat a large pan with a hot oil (such as rapeseed, unless you’re following a particular recipe). When the pan is completely hot, add the scallops and sear for roughly 2 minutes per side until the outside is golden brown.
When you press the scallops, they should be slightly squishy, with the inside being completely soft.
Avoid overcooking the scallops, as this can lead to a rubbery texture. It’s completely safe to eat raw scallops, so don’t worry about undercooking them!