In this baked scallops recipe, the scallops are cooked in a lovely sauce of butter, lemon, and Parmesan.
This dish is ready in about 30 minutes, is truly easy to make, and is perfect when served over cauliflower rice or mashed cauliflower.
These baked scallops are especially good. They are rich, buttery, and flavorful. I like to make them for guests because this foolproof recipe is enjoyed by everyone (a recent guest has declared it "restaurant-level!"). I also make them for my family because it's such an easy recipe.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Large sea scallops: Bay scallops won't work in this recipe. They are too small and will become overcooked.
- Unsalted butter: I like European butter, but any butter will be great.
- Dry white wine: The wine adds a nice layer of flavor, but it's OK to skip it.
- Fresh lemon juice: It's best to use fresh-squeezed lemon juice.
- Grated Parmesan cheese: Use finely grated cheese, not coarsely shredded.
- To season: Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, dried parsley, cayenne pepper, and paprika.
- Chopped fresh parsley: I use it primarily for garnish, but it also adds flavor.
- Sometimes, I add a tablespoon of hot pepper sauce for an extra kick.
- A flavorful variation that my husband likes is topping the finished dish with bacon bits.
- Sprinkle the finished dish with chopped scallions or chives.
- Replacing the paprika with smoked paprika adds a lovely smoky flavor.
Baked Scallops Instructions
Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps for making this recipe:
Prepare a mixture of butter, wine, lemon juice, Parmesan, and spices. Spoon the mixture on the scallops.
Cover and bake the scallops in a broiler-safe dish until cooked through, about 25 minutes, in a 350°F oven.
Remove the baking dish from the oven and sprinkle the scallops with more cheese and paprika. Place the baking dish under the broiler until the tops of the scallops are browned and crispy.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
- Instead of 2 pounds of large scallops (15 per pound), you can use 3 pounds of jumbo scallops (12 per pound) and cook them in a 9 X 13-inch pan, as I do in the video below. The remaining ingredients can stay the same.
- It's important to use large sea scallops in this recipe. Small ones, especially tiny bay scallops, will become overcooked.
Bay scallops are much smaller. They are sweeter and milder in flavor. Sea scallops have a more robust flavor and a relatively chewy texture.
Because of their size, bay scallops are most suitable for salads and pasta dishes, while sea scallops can be grilled, broiled, seared, or baked.
You can sear scallops, broil, grill, or bake them. Baking is the easiest method; when baked in a buttery sauce, the scallops come out succulent and flavorful.
It depends on the recipe. When sauteing them, you only need to sear them for about 3 minutes per side.
But in this recipe, we're taking a different approach and baking them covered, so we're cooking them for about 20 minutes.
When cooked through, scallops become opaque. You can make a small slit in one of them to check.
But the best way to ensure they're done is to use an instant-read thermometer inserted through their side. According to America's Test Kitchen, it should read 115°F. According to the USDA, it should read 145°F.
These baked scallops come out of the oven saucy, and the sauce is exquisite, so you should make the most of it and serve them on something that would absorb the sauce. Here are a few options:
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for up to 3 days. Reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave at 50% power. I don't recommend freezing the leftovers.
More Scallop Recipes
👩🏻🍳 I aim to publish a new recipe once or twice a month. Want these recipes in your inbox? Subscribe today! You can unsubscribe at any time.
Baked Scallops Recipe
- 2 pounds sea scallops large (15 per pound)
- 6 tablespoons butter unsalted, melted
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
- ¾ cup Parmesan cheese grated, divided
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (or ½ teaspoon of any other salt)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Rinse the scallops and pat them dry. Place them in a lightly greased oven-and-broiler-safe casserole dish.
- In a small bowl, use a fork to mix the butter, wine, lemon juice, ½ cup of Parmesan, salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried parsley, and cayenne. Set aside for a couple of minutes until the mixture thickens.
- Spoon a little of the mixture on top of each scallop.
- Cover the pan with foil and bake until the scallops are cooked through and opaque and their internal temperature is 115°F. This should take about 25 minutes if your scallops are extra-large and less if they’re smaller. Start checking after 20 minutes.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven. Switch the oven to broil and set a rack 6 inches beneath the heating element (not directly below).
- Uncover the scallops, sprinkle them with the remaining Parmesan and paprika, and broil until their tops are browned and crispy, 2-3 minutes. Check on them constantly to ensure they don't burn. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
- It's important to use large sea scallops in this recipe. Small scallops, and especially tiny bay scallops, will become overcooked.
- You can make this recipe with 3 pounds of jumbo scallops (12 per pound for a total of 36 scallops) and use a 9 X 13–inch pan, as I do in the video above. The remaining ingredients can stay the same.
- You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for up to 3 days. Reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave at 50% power. I don't recommend freezing the leftovers.
- According to the USDA, scallops should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F.