15 Savory Scallop Recipes Even a Beginner Cook Can Master

Seared Scallops Baby Spinach Spiced Pomegranate Glaze
Photo: Scott Little

Don't be intimidated by cooking scallops at home—it's easier than you think. Whether you save these tender scallop recipes for a special occasion or try one on a weeknight to spice up your usual routine, these easy scallop recipes will impress everyone at your table. Scallops take just a few minutes to cook, so many of these recipes can be ready in 30 minutes or less for a seemingly special weeknight meal.

01 of 15

Pan-Seared Five-Spice Scallops

Pan-Seared Five-Spice Scallops on orange background
Andy Lyons

Not familiar with five-spice powder? It's a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and Szechwan peppercorns. Sprinkling some on your scallops before searing them creates a powerful burst of flavor. Serve this seared scallops recipe with wilted spinach and ham to make it a satisfying skillet meal.

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02 of 15

Seared Scallops and Baby Spinach with Spiced Pomegranate Glaze

Seared Scallops Baby Spinach Spiced Pomegranate Glaze
Scott Little

You don't have to be a professional chef to make this sea scallop recipe, but you'll definitely feel like one when it's finished. For picture-perfect presentation, serve the scallops on top of wilted spinach, then sprinkle the plate with pomegranate seeds and a drizzle of bright red pomegranate sauce. You might think these pan-seared scallops would take all night, but the whole dish is ready in just 30 minutes.

03 of 15

Grilled Drunken Shrimp and Scallop Skewers

Grilled Drunken Shrimp and Scallop Skewers
Karla Conrad

These shrimp and scallop skewers are a perfect make-ahead seafood meal for grilling season (especially when you've had more than your fill of burgers and brats). Marinated in tequila and served with a boozy jicama slaw, this entrée is ready for a backyard party with neighbors and friends. This grilled scallops recipe also makes a great appetizer if you're not willing to completely give up your burger.

04 of 15

Prosciutto-Wrapped Scallops with Roasted Red Pepper Aïoli

Prosciutto-Wrapped Scallops with Roasted Red Pepper Aioli
Blaine Moats

Every party needs a showstopping appetizer, and these prosciutto-wrapped scallops are ready to take the spotlight. To make them even more special, serve these savory treats with a roasted red pepper aïoli for dipping. Make sure you snag a skewer of these sea scallops before your guests arrive—once they do, this app will go quick.

Test Kitchen Tip: You can easily swap the meat to make bacon-wrapped scallops.

05 of 15

Quick Scallop and Noodle Salad

Quick Scallop and Noodle Salad with radishes
Jacob Fox

This healthy scallop recipe has a sneaky swap when it comes to the noodles: zucchini instead of wheat. The scallop recipe is supported by healthy ingredients like zucchini noodles, fresh spinach, cucumber, and radish slices. It's great for putting all your extra garden veggies to work.

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06 of 15

Weeknight Paella

Weeknight Paella shrimp scallops rice in metal pan
Andy Lyons

Trust us: Making homemade paella is much easier than taking a trip to Spain for the real thing—but just as tasty. Ready in just 25 minutes, this shrimp and scallop recipe will leave you dreaming of the Spanish coast. You can't re-create the Spanish scenery, unfortunately, but you can nail the flavors with this tasty scallop recipe.

Buy It: Magefsa Paella Pan ($33, Bed Bath & Beyond)

07 of 15

Scallops-Pecans Wilted Salad

Scallops-Pecans Wilted spinach salad
Greg Scheidemann

Once you get a taste of this scallop and pecan salad, you'll never go back to plain spinach again. Top it off with a warm homemade dressing for a hint of sweet and spicy flavor to complement the subtle scallop flavor. Is your mouth watering yet? This is one of our best scallop recipes for beginners (because it's so simple), and this tasty dish takes only 20 minutes to make.

08 of 15

Seared Scallop-Tequila Shooters

Seared Scallop-Tequila Shooters in shot glasses
Andy Lyons

These scallops are definitely here to party. Puree pineapple and mango together to make each shot of tequila a little sweeter, then garnish each glass with a few mango cubes and a seared scallop. This scallop appetizer is going to kick off the party in tasty style.

09 of 15

Orange-Pistachio-Stuffed Grilled Scallops

Orange-Pistachio-Stuffed Grilled Scallops with white wine
Jason Donnelly

Scallops might be small, but you can still fill them with a fresh, crisp stuffing. Use pistachios, fennel leaves, and parsley to make the gremolata filling, then serve the grilled scallops with arugula and orange slices. It's worth splurging on fresh scallops for this recipe.

10 of 15

Scallop and Asparagus Alfredo

Scallop and Asparagus Alfredo with white wine
Jason Donnelly

You can never go wrong with creamy Alfredo sauce. Adding seared scallops to the mix makes this pasta entrée extra special. It's not all decadence, though—using whole wheat pasta and stirring in a full pound of asparagus makes this indulgent meal a little healthier, too.

11 of 15

Air-Fryer Scallops with Lemon-Herb Sauce

Air Fryer Scallops with Lemon-Herb Sauce
Jennifer Causey

It might seem weird to put seafood in your air fryer but stick with us here. In just 20 minutes, you'll have a fancy-looking dinner for two. We use a simple salt-and-pepper seasoning, but the finishing drizzle of oil, parsley, capers, lemon zest, and garlic really make a standout dish.

12 of 15

Gluten-Free Scallops with Noodle Salad

Gluten Free Scallops with Noodle Salad
Kritsada Panichgul

This scallop dinner recipe is inspired by Asian flavors. Sesame oil, fresh ginger, and yuzu peel all play a role in bringing big flavor to this easy noodle bowl. Garnishing with cucumber and sesame seeds adds some crunch. If you want to put a twist on more traditional pan-seared scallops, this is a great way to do it.

13 of 15

Chilpachole (Seafood Stew)

Chilpachole (Seafood Stew) with french bread
Karla Conrad

If plain scallop recipes aren't enough to satisfy your craving for seafood, this stew is a must. We can't imagine a dish with more seafood than this—it's loaded with shrimp, tilapia, scallops, and mussels. Mix and match your favorites or make this stew with the freshest seafood available—clams, calamari, and crab are all great substitutions.

14 of 15

Piri Piri Scallops with Spinach-Pineapple Salad

Piri Piri Scallops with Spinach-Pineapple Salad in wooden bowl
Scott Little

Homemade piri piri (an Asian-inspired sauce) serves as a marinade and a sauce in this yummy grilled scallops recipe. Serve over a sweet and savory spinach-pineapple salad (with bacon bits, mmm) to turn grilled scallops from an easy appetizer into a satisfying meal. Because the scallops need time to marinate, you'll have to be a little more patient for this scallop recipe than some others, but it'll be worth it.

15 of 15

Scallops with Garlicky Tomatillo Salsa

Scallops with Garlicky Tomatillo Salsa and lime wedge
Scott Little

Scallops and salsa may not sound like a match, but this homemade tomatillo salsa will have you convinced that it's meant to be. While the scallops marinate, you'll have plenty of time to whip up the salsa so it's ready to go when the scallops come off the grill. Of course, if you have any salsa leftover from this scallop recipe, make sure you have a few chips on hand to scoop it up.

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