How to Cook Scallops

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cooked scallops served with green beans
Photo by stu_spivack is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0

Rich in buttery sweet flavor, scallops are a delicious seafood delicacy that are sure to delight any dinner guests. This succulent seafood is great for appetizers or main courses, whether prepared simply to let their natural flavors shine – or jazzed up for a true culinary experience. 

Here we’ll review two classic preparations – seared and grilled scallops – both cooking methods that allow the natural flavor of the seafood to shine. 

Here at Maine Lobster House, we procure the freshet Atlantic Scallops from the Maine coastline and ship them directly to your door. These high-quality scallops boast rich, natural flavor that are truly some of the best you can buy. 

With our scallops on hand, and these cooking methods mastered, you can have an exquisite meal prepared in no time. 

How to Sear Scallops

Searing scallops is a perfect preparation year-round, resulting in a delicious outer crust and succulent center. This balance of texture, combined with the unbeatable flavor of the scallops,  results in a mouthwatering meal that anyone is sure to love. 

Make sure to begin with defrosted seafood. Remove scallops from vacuum packaging and place them in a zip-top bag. Place the scallops in the refrigerator to defrost overnight. Alternatively, remove scallops from the package, place in a zip-top bag, and submerge in a bowl of cool water for about 15 minutes. Repeat the process if necessary to ensure that the scallops are fully thawed.

Next, gather the following ingredients: 

Ingredients for Seared Scallops: 

(Serves 4) 
  • 1-2 lbs. of Fresh Atlantic Sea Scallops 
  • Canola Oil
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • Salted Butter
  • Fresh Herbs (optional, for garnish) 
  • 1-2 fresh lemons, cut in wedges (optional) 
  1. Begin by removing defrosted scallops from the zip-top bag and patting them dry. Removing the excess moisture from the scallop will help result in the brown outer crust. Season each side with salt and pepper.
  2. Next, preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
  3. Once hot, add 1-2 tablespoons of canola oil 
  4. Next, place the scallops in the pan, listening for a sizzle when scallops hit the oil. Make sure to leave a few inches between each scallop to allow for proper browning. Overcrowding the pan will disrupt the searing process. 
  5. Sear the scallops on the first side for 2 minutes. Flip each scallop and sear for another 1-2 minutes. 
  6. While the scallops are searing on the second side, add butter to the pan, spooning it over the scallops as they finish cooking. 
  7. Repeat as necessary with remaining scallops. 
  8. Serve seared scallops hot with a sprinkle of fresh herbs and squeeze of lemon, if desired. 
  9. Enjoy! 

This easy and elegant meal requires just a few simple ingredients, making it a simple yet sensational dinner. Serve seared scallops alone as an appetizer, or plate with mashed potatoes, jasmine rice, or vegetables for a mouthwatering main course. 

How to Grill Scallops

Another simple, yet sensational way to serve scallops is to grill them. Perfect for those warmer months, this preparation is equally as easy as searing, but imparts unbeatable grilled flavor. Begin by defrosting your scallops and gathering the following ingredients: 

Ingredients for Grilled Scallops:

(Serves 4)
  • 1-2 lbs. of Fresh Atlantic Sea Scallops 
  • 2-4 tablespoons of Olive Oil 
  • 2-4 teaspoons of garlic powder 
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste) 
  • Fresh Herbs (optional, for garnish) 
  • 1-2 fresh lemons, cut in wedges (optional)
  1. With defrosted scallops ready, remove them from zip-top bag and pat scallops dry.
  2. Next, preheat your grill on high. 
  3. While the grill is heating, drizzle scallops with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. 
  4. Using your hands, massage the oil and seasonings into the scallops, making sure they are well seasoned on all sides. 
  5. Once your grill is hot, place the scallops on the grill and let cook untouched for 2-3 minutes. Using tongs, flip the scallops and let them cook on the second side for another 2 minutes or so. 
  6. Check for doneness by inserting a cooking thermometer into the center of the scallop. The internal temperature should read 125 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  7. Once cooked, remove from the grill and serve immediately. If desired, pair grilled scallops with a side of garlic butter, a sprinkle of fresh herbs (such as parsley), and lemon wedges. 
  8. Enjoy! 

Similar to seared scallops, grilled scallops can be enjoyed on their own as an appetizer, or plated as the main course with fresh grilled vegetables, rice, potatoes, and more! 

If you’re ready to get cooking, place an order for our scallops today! If you’re looking for more recipe inspiration or cooking tips, our Seafood University has you covered for all kinds of seafood and more.