scalloped baked in their shell on a cookie sheet topped with panko breadcrumbs and fresh parsley

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Why I love this baked scallops recipe

For a incredibly long time, I was convinced that I would hate scallops. I wouldn’t eat them, wouldn’t try them, and really wanted nothing to do with them. It wasn’t until I was at an event where scallops were served (where I couldn’t get out of it) that I gave them a try.

I realized then that I was so wrong about scallops, and I never looked back. Now, I love serving them as an appetizer, and I think they’re especially perfect for the holidays because they’re a little bit fancy and something we don’t have all the time.

Are scallops really hard to cook? Scallops can be hard to cook, especially if you’re searing them on the stove, but this technique for baked scallops makes them incredibly simple. This method is more forgiving and there’s way less of a chance to screw them up.

We made this baked scallops recipe during our “Spain week” (we are trying food from different countries to get our kids to try new things), and I loved them so much, I think I’m going to make them again for Christmas Eve this year.

baked scallops recipe served in the shell topped with panko breadcrumbs

To make them even more festive for the holidays, I baked them in their shells – something I learned in while we were living in France – and they came out so pretty.

Here’s what you’ll need to make them

Baking your scallops in the shell is totally optional, but it’s a really fun way to present this dish, and it will definitely impress your guests if you try it. I ordered these food safe shells from Amazon, but I’m sure you can buy them at a local culinary store if you have one. Just make sure they’re food safe.

baked scallops in the shell on a gray plate with a lemon wedge

How to make scallops in the oven

Make the topping. Heat a large frying pan or skillet to medium high. When it’s hot, add the olive oil, diced onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt. Sauté this mixture until the onion is soft and translucent.

Add the white wine and let it come to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Panko breadcrumbs until the liquid has been mostly absorbed.

Prep the scallops. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. You can line a baking sheet with parchment if you want, but it’s not really necessary, especially if you’re baking them in the shell.

Rinse the scallops and gently pat them dry with a paper towel. Place them into their shells – or onto the baking sheet if you’re not using shells. I usually do a mix of both if I have a lot of scallops.

Bake the scallops. Top each scallop with a tablespoon or two of the breadcrumb mixture and bake in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes, depending on their size.

Remove the scallops from the oven and garnish with fresh chopped parsley before serving.

scalloped baked in the shell topped with panko breadcrumbs, garlic and white wine

FAQs and tips for making the best baked scallops

Can you bake frozen scallops?

Technically, you could, but I recommend thawing scallops overnight in the refrigerator before cooking them to make sure you get the best texture possible.

Do you need to rinse scallops before cooking?

Yes. It’s always a good idea to give your scallops a good rinse before cooking them. Be sure to remove any muscle tissue and pat the dry before cooking as well.

How do you know when a scallop is done?

When the scallops are cooked, they will become more opaque and whiter than they were when they were raw.

Why are my scallops chewy?

Chances are, if your scallops are chewy, they are probably over cooked. Since scallops contain very little fat, it’s hard for them to retain their moisture when they’re overcooked.

If you followed the recipe exactly, and they still didn’t turn out, you might want to double check your oven temperature, or your scallops may be on the smaller side.

More dairy free appetizer recipes:

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Print

Baked Scallops

These easy baked scallops (in shell optional) are topped with panko bread crumbs, garlic and white wine and cooked in the oven for a simple appetizer recipe that’s perfect for holiday entertaining. #dairyfree #scallops

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1012 servings 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 pounds large scallops (about 40-50)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs*
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. If not using shells, line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Rinse scallops and pat dry. Place them into their shells or onto prepared baking sheet.
  3. Heat a skillet to medium-high. Add olive oil, diced onion, garlic, pepper flakes and salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent – about 5 minutes. Pour in white wine and bring to a simmer.
  4. Remove pan from heat and stir in breadcrumbs. Stir until the liquid has absorbed.
  5. Top each scallop with about 1 tablespoon of breadcrumb mixture.
  6. Bake scallops for 12 – 15 minutes, depending on size, or until cooked through. Scallops will be opaque and whiter in color when cooked.
  7. Remove from oven and garnish with fresh parsley before serving.

Notes

*Be sure to double check your breadcrumbs ingredients for hidden dairy.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 155
  • Sugar: 1.1 g
  • Sodium: 665.3 mg
  • Fat: 4.6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.1 g
  • Fiber: 0.7 g
  • Protein: 15.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 27.2 mg

Keywords: dairy free, seafood, easy, christmas, scallops

Recipe adapted from Spain.

Last Updated on November 11, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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One Comment

  1. I’ve never baked scallops on the shell, but these look so pretty. I made the recipe using shucked Weathervane scallops and they might not have been as pretty as yours, but they sure tasted great!