Baked Scallops

DinnerLentenQuick and EasyScallop

These baked scallops are so easy and delicious! First, simmer them with a little wine, and then briefly bake them with a creamy sauce.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

My father’s first experience with scallops was with this baked scallop dish prepared by his friends Fred and Patricia. He was so inspired by these scallops he spent the better part of a month experimenting trying to recreate them! These delicious baked scallops are the result.

What I love about this recipe is that it’s so easy to make and it cooks up so quickly. The scallops are essentially baked in a white sauce of butter, white wine, and flour, with a breadcrumb topping.

Baked Scallops in breadcrumbs on plate

Sea Scallops vs. Bay Scallops

When it comes to scallops, you have a choice between sea scallops and bay scallops. We use the larger sea scallops for this version, but my father remembers Patricia using bay scallops when she made them for him.

Sea scallops are fairly large — the diameter of a quarter or larger — while bay scallops are quite small, maybe just an inch across or even smaller. Sea scallops are usually more common (and less expensive), so these are most likely what you’ll find at the store.

Their size obviously affects how quickly they cook, so if you end up using bay scallops, be sure to shorten the overall cooking time.

Fresh scallops are best for this recipe if you can find them, but frozen scallops are also fine to use. Thaw frozen scallops before making the recipe according to package instructions.

How to Tell when Scallops are Done

Scallops are cooked when they are just barely opaque all the way through. The texture should still be quite soft; if they’re very firm or tough, that means they’re overcooked. Err on the side of undercooking them. You can always heat them a minute or two longer if they need more cooking.

This recipe has a longer cooking time than most scallop recipes, but the scallops are cooked very gently — first with a little wine on the stovetop, and then nestled in baking dish in the oven. Follow the timing in the recipe and you should be just fine.

What to Serve with These Scallops

Serve these scallops on their own with a squeeze of lemon. A simple side salad and a hunk of crusty bread round out the meal.

You could also spoon the scallops and their sauce over some pasta or rice. This would be great for a dinner party or a date night in.

More Easy Seafood Recipes!

Updated May 17, 2019 : We spiffed up this post to add some new information about cooking scallops. No changes to the original recipe.

Baked Scallops Recipe

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  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds sea scallops (about 4 cups), fresh or thawed if frozen
  • 1 cup dry white wine (such as a Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs

Method

1 Preheat oven to 400°F.

2 Simmer the scallops on the stovetop: Place scallops in a medium sauté pan. Add the wine and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and simmer for 4 minutes, no longer.

Transfer the scallops to a 1 1/2-quart casserole baking dish using a spatula and arrange in a single layer. It's ok if they're a little crowded or if a few overlap. Pour off the cooking liquid to a separate container and reserve.

3 Cook the onions: Heat 3 tablespoons butter in the sauté pan on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until wilted, a couple minutes.

4 Make the sauce: Slowly sprinkle the flour over the butter onion mixture and stir to combine. Let cook for a minute or two. Then add the cooking liquid over the butter onion mixture, whisking vigorously while you do so.

As soon as the sauce is thickened, add it to the scallops in the casserole baking dish. Stir gently to fully incorporate the scallops into the sauce.

5 Bake: Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the scallops and dot with the remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Bake in the oven at 400°F until bubbly and brown, approximately 15 minutes.

Serve with lemon slices.

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Links:

Sea Scallops Baked with Sweet Butter and Endive from French Revolution Blog

Baked Scallops with Cheese from Noob Cook

Baked Scallops (Capesante al Forno) from Bell'Alimento

If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

22 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Cari

    There’s no volume indicated for the cooking liquid which is ultimately incorporated into the white sauce.
    An experienced cook could estimate by gauging thickness of white sauce, but a person searching recipes online is probably not an experienced cook.
    Please add this information. Otherwise, it sounds like a recipe I would definitely use. Thank you.

  2. Cheryl A.

    I saw scallops at the grocery store yesterday but opted to buy cod instead cuz of price but I totally think this recipe will still work. I’m going to give it a try… Thanks and when I do get scallops will try it again – :)

  3. A

    I just tried this over pasta and it is delicious and easy! I’m from Maryland, though, so I had to add minced garlic and plenty of Old Bay Crab Seasoning.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Luis

    Ah, This recipe looks delicious and rather simple, I’m defintely going to try it since I always cook scallops. Extra points for having such a straight forward recipe

  5. Elizabeth Bradshaw

    Just made this tonight! I put some whole wheat pasta in with it and used garlic and herb bread crumbs instead of just plain. It was delicious! Thanks so much for sharing!

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