11 Satisfying Scallop Recipes

scallops with rice and beans
scallops with rice and beans - Catherine Brookes/Mashed

Scallops might be seen as the gateway to the wonderful world of shellfish since they are mild, sweet, and not remotely fishy-tasting so even people who aren't quite ready for mussels or crawfish might be perfectly happy eating them. Scallops, like clams or oysters, are mollusks, and they are known for their pretty ridged shells that are sometimes used as serving vessels as in the classic coquilles Saint-Jacques. If you don't live by the sea, however, you're more likely to find them in frozen form sans shell. All of our scallop recipes can be made with the kind you buy in a bag.

Scallops come in two main varieties, bay ones, which are smaller and sweeter, and sea scallops, which are larger, meatier, and generally more expensive. Some of our recipes call for one kind, some use the other, but in most cases, you can substitute one for the other. Bear in mind that bay scallops will cook more quickly than sea ones, so you might need to adjust the cooking times accordingly. If you're using sea scallops in place of bays, you can always just cut them into quarters to mimic their smaller counterparts.

Read more: 41 Must Try Hot Sandwich Recipes

Scallop Casserole

scallops on white plate
scallops on white plate - Erin Johnson/Mashed

While the word "casserole" may call to mind something you'd be served in a Midwestern church basement that involves layers of canned vegetables, cream of something soup, and tater tots, this casserole is nothing of the kind. Instead, it's a simple, yet elegant concoction of scallops baked in butter and wine and topped with a crust of crunchy crushed crackers. (You know it's extra-fancy since it's made with shallots instead of onions.)

Recipe: Scallop Casserole

Gordon Ramsay's Scallops

scallops with salad
scallops with salad - Ksenia Prints/Mashed

Gordon Ramsay likes to take scallops and pan-fry them (it is one of the best ways to cook them, after all), then serve them with a salad made with tart green apples. Our version of the dish, however, replaces the apples with radishes and peas. Use whichever one you like, though, since it's the simple dressing of fresh lemon juice and olive oil that really sets this scallop salad apart from so-so seafood recipes.

Recipe: Gordon Ramsay's Scallops

Easy Cajun Scallop Pasta

blackened scallops with spaghetti
blackened scallops with spaghetti - Tricia Wheeler/Mashed

While scallops are usually pale white in color when cooked, the ones in this dish present a rather startling contrast with their charred looking exterior and pale sides. They're not burnt, though, but rather blackened Cajun-style, meaning that the spice coating may be slightly singed, but the meat of the scallops is still as tender as ever. Oh yeah, there's a side of spaghetti with cream sauce and cherry tomatoes on top.

Recipe: Easy Cajun Scallop Pasta

Easy Scallops Alfredo

pasta with peas and scallops
pasta with peas and scallops - Ksenia Prints/Mashed

If you're partial to a paler pasta dish, this one's for you. White noodles: check. Creamy beige sauce: check. Barely blush-colored scallops: check. The dish is far from monochromatic, however, since the inclusion of both peas and parsley lend it some verdancy. As the dish has two forms of protein, counting the parmesan cheese in the sauce, as well as a starch and a very green vegetable, it makes for a quick and easy one-pan meal.

Recipe: Easy Scallops Alfredo

Creamy Garlic Scallops

scallops with lemon and bread
scallops with lemon and bread - Ksenia Prints/Mashed

The scallops in this recipe are pan-fried (a matter of mere minutes), then drenched in a creamy sauce made with butter, garlic, white wine, lemon juice, and cream (hence the creamy part). Since the sauce is so saucy, you could use it on noodles, or else just take a hunk of bread and sop up every last bit of it that's not needed for the scallops. (You might even want to eat the sauce with a spoon if no-one's looking.)

Recipe: Creamy Garlic Scallops

Copycat Legal Seafood Baked Scallops

scallops on white plate
scallops on white plate - Molly Madigan Pisula/Mashed

You may rest assured that the scallops used by Legal Seafoods — and the ones in this copycat recipe — are 100% law-abiding, as per the chain's name (even if it does seem an odd thing for the restaurant to highlight). If we weren't trying to cut back on clichés, though, we might be tempted to say something about how this cracker-topped casserole of buttermilk-baked scallops is so good it's criminal.

Recipe: Copycat Legal Seafood Baked Scallops

Lemon-Garlic Air Fryer Bay Scallops

scallops with parsley
scallops with parsley - Erin Johnson/Mashed

Just because the name of the appliance is air "fryer" doesn't mean that all your food is going to come out crunchy. Here the air fryer is being used more as the mini-convection oven it is, gently baking scallops in a sauce of butter, lemon, and garlic. If you have no air fryer, you could always bake them in a regular oven or sear them on the stove top instead for a very similar effect.

Recipe: Lemon-Garlic Air Fryer Bay Scallops

Frutti Di Mare

spaghetti with clams
spaghetti with clams - Beth Chen/Mashed

Frutti de mare is a flowery-sounding Italian phrase that translates to mean "fruits of the sea." As you might expect, it is made with various types of seafood (although no actual fruit, as that is a bit of poetic license). What you'll be making here, should you choose to accept the mission, is a tomato-based pasta sauce studded with clams, mussels, shrimp, and scallops — this latter inclusion, of course, being the reason it's on this list.

Recipe: Frutti Di Mare

Creamy Seafood Pasta

linguine with mussels
linguine with mussels - Ksenia Prints/Mashed

Roses are red, violets are blue, creamy pasta sauces are white, and this one is, too. Well, except for the seafood part, that is. In this seafood pasta recipe, you get both pink shrimp and black-shelled mussels providing plenty of color contrast. What about the scallops we promised, though? These paler shellfish are lurking in the linguini, making for a lovely surprise when you find one on your fork.

Recipe: Creamy Seafood Pasta

Slow Cooker Seafood Paella

shrimp and rice on plate
shrimp and rice on plate - Jason Goldstein/Mashed

Let's get one thing straight right from the get-go -- scallops aren't one of those foods that normally takes well to the crockpot, since low and slow tends to make them rubbery. In this paella recipe, however, it's the rice and sausage that simmer for hours. The scallops, shrimp, and peas go into the pot straight from the freezer and only cook for 30 minutes so they stay nice and tender.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Seafood Paella

Classic Seared Scallops With Chile Garlic Butter

scallops with parsley and peppers
scallops with parsley and peppers - Catherine Brookes/Mashed

While many scallop recipes call for mild flavors such as cream sauce so as not to overwhelm this most delicate of shellfish, this recipe opts for a bold addition of spicy serrano peppers. The rest of the ingredients in the pan sauce, however, are all the usual suspects: butter, garlic, lemon, and parsley, all of which seem to have worked out some kind of endorsement deal with scallops (or vice-versa). Like any less-incendiary scallop/sauce combo, this dish can be served atop noodles or rice or accompanied with bread as a sauce soaker-upper.

Recipe: Classic Seared Scallops With Chile Garlic Butter

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