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This baked scallop recipe features a delightful balance of a crunchy, golden-brown topping and tender, sweet scallops. They feel decadent like scallops should, thanks to the tasty lemon-butter sauce.

EatingWell.com, October 2019; updated December 2022

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Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

active:
10 mins
total:
20 mins
Servings:
4
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Tips for Perfect Baked Scallops

If you want a quick, fuss-free dinner, look no further than baked scallops. These tender, sweet morsels cook quickly once you pop them in a hot oven. Dressed with a crispy topping and a squeeze of lemon, you'll have a delicious main-dish ready in just 20 minutes. Here are tips for perfect baked scallops:

Buy the Right Sized Scallops

Scallops come in many sizes from small bay scallops to large sea scallops that can weigh several ounces each. Scallops are sized by how many equal 1 pound. Scallops in a bag labeled "U-10" means there are less than 10 scallops per pound. Scallops labeled 10/20 mean there are 10-20 scallops per pound. We recommend buying 16 individual scallops from the seafood counter to ensure you are getting the right amount of scallops that are equal in size. If you are buying them frozen, a 10/20 count bag will work. Keep in mind bigger scallops (closer to the 10 per pound size) will need longer to cook, while smaller ones will need less time.

Look For "Dry" Scallops

What are "dry" sea scallops? They are scallops that haven't been treated with STP (sodium tripolyphosphate). STP is an additive that can make seafood appear fresher. STP can raise the sodium content of scallops and can result in an off taste and texture compared to fresh. Ask for dry sea scallops at the fish counter or check the nutrition information on the bag if you're buying frozen. While STP may not be listed on the label, if the sodium is high, chances are they've been treated with STP.

How to Prep Scallops

Part of what makes scallops so convenient is the minimal amount of prep work they require before cooking. Sea scallops sometimes have a small, tough muscle attached to their side that should be removed before you pop them in the oven. You don't need a knife - it comes off easily by hand. If you're using previously frozen scallops, make sure they are fully thawed before cooking. To thaw scallops, let them sit in the refrigerator overnight and plan on using them within 24 hours.

Should You Rinse Scallops before Cooking?

It's always a good idea to gently rinse scallops under cold running water to remove any grit. Pat them dry with paper towels before cooking.

What Is the Best Cooking Method for Scallops?

There are several ways to cook scallops. You can grill them on a gas or charcoal grill, broil them underneath a broiler, sear them in a hot skillet or even cook them in an air fryer. For this easy recipe, the scallops are baked with a crunchy, golden-brown topping of panko and Parmesan. It only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to cook, making it a quick and delicious meal for any day of the week.

Additional reporting by Hilary Meyer and  Jan Valdez

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil.

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  • Pat scallops dry; arrange in a single layer in the dish. Sprinkle the scallops evenly with salt and pepper.

  • Whisk melted butter, lemon juice and shallot in a small bowl. Pour the butter mixture over the scallops. In the same bowl, combine panko, Parmesan, parsley and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle the panko mixture evenly over the scallops.

  • Bake until the scallops are opaque and the topping is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Equipment

8-inch square baking dish

Nutrition Facts

3 to 4 scallops
281 calories; protein 17g; carbohydrates 13g; dietary fiber 1g; sugars 1g; fat 18g; saturated fat 6g; calcium 57mg; potassium 282mg; sodium 407mg.
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