Bacon-Baked Scallops Recipe

Whether scallops regularly make it on your menu or you're looking for new ideas for a special occasion, this recipe for bacon-baked scallops is worthy of being added to your repertoire. Not only is it an incredibly easy recipe to whip up, but it's also a particularly flavorful dish thanks to a special step in the baking process, in which you bake the scallops in rendered bacon fat. "[This] adds tons of flavor to these scallops," says recipe developer Molly Madigan Pisula of Vanilla Bean Cuisine. "Much more so than just sprinkling some bacon on top." 

And because the scallops themselves are packed with so much flavor, that gives you the flexibility to keep your sides simple. "It's delicious with rice and a steamed green vegetable, or try it with a side of garlic bread or focaccia," Pisula suggests. Either way, you'll have a delicious recipe ready to eat in less than an hour's time. 

Gather the ingredients for these bacon-baked scallops

You actually need quite a few ingredients to make this recipe, but many of them you likely already have on hand. Of course, you'll need bacon and sea scallops — those are the stars of the show. To make the sauce you bake the scallops in, you'll need butter, white wine, and lemon juice. For the crispy breadcrumb topping, you'll need panko breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan, garlic powder, lemon zest, kosher salt, and pepper. Finally, for serving, you may want to have chopped parsley and lemon wedges, but these are optional. 

Given the lemon juice, lemon zest, and lemon wedges called for, Pisula notes that a single fresh lemon should suffice for all three. And if you're wondering how many scallops to buy, Pisula recommends a package of 10 to 20 for the dish. If you choose to use smaller scallops, remember to reduce the baking time.

Cook and chop the bacon

First things first, you'll need to prep the bacon. Preheat your oven to 425 F and place the bacon strips in a single layer in a 10x7-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the bacon with 1 tablespoon of water — it's an important step! "That little bit of water added to the bacon helps the bacon cook more evenly without curling up too much," Pisula notes. When the oven is hot, pop the dish inside and bake the bacon for 20–25 minutes, until it's nice and crispy. 

When its done, take the bacon out of the oven and let it cool slightly before removing it from the pan and placing the slices on a paper towel to drain. Pat it dry, then chop it roughly into small pieces. Remember, you want to save all the bacon fat rendered out into the pan, so don't pour it out or rinse it off.

Prep the scallops

While the bacon is cooking, you can go ahead and prep your scallops. Rinse them well and pat them dry with a towel. "Make sure to dry your scallops really well, or the dish can become watery," Pisula warns. 

When the scallops are dry, remove the side muscles — Pisula says these become very tough and chewy when cooked, so you don't want them interfering with your final dish. If you haven't worked with scallops before, Pisula says locating the side muscles are pretty obvious. "They're just a small, somewhat rectangular piece of flesh that looks like scallop but is attached to the side. Using your fingers you can easily peel it off, leaving the main scallop ready to go." 

Whip up the sauce and breadcrumb mixtures

The last two pieces of prep work are creating the sauce and the breadcrumbs that you'll bake with the scallops and bacon. Start by melting the butter in a liquid measuring cup, then add the white wine and lemon juice, stirring them together well. "Choose a dry white wine like a sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, or an unoaked Chardonnay," suggests Pisula. 

Then, in a separate bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. 

Build the scallops, sauce, breadcrumbs, and bacon in the baking dish

With everything prepped and ready to go, you can go ahead and "build" your dish. Using the same baking dish that you cooked your bacon in, arrange the scallops in a single layer. Pour the sauce over the top as evenly as possible, then sprinkle the scallops with the breadcrumb mixture. Last, but certainly not least, add the chopped bacon on top. 

Bake the scallops and serve

Pop your baking pan in the oven and bake it all for 15 minutes — the scallops should be cooked through, and the breadcrumb mixture should end up looking crispy and lightly browned. If it's not quite crispy enough, Pisula suggests broiling it for an extra minute or two. 

Now, it's ready to serve! Simply remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the top with parsley before divvying it up between dishes alongside your preferred sides and lemon wedges. While you can keep this in the fridge for up to 24 hours if stored in an airtight container, it's certainly best enjoyed the same day. If you do decide to reheat it the next day, Pisula says you should do so in the oven to keep the topping crispy.

Bacon-Baked Scallops Recipe
5 from 47 ratings
These bacon-baked scallops are particularly flavorful because they're baked in the rendered fat left in the pan from cooking the crispy bacon topping.
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
35
minutes
Servings
4
Servings
bacon-baked scallops on plate
Total time: 55 minutes
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces bacon (4–6 strips)
  • 1 ½ pounds sea scallops
  • For the sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • For the breadcrumb topping
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
Optional Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, for garnish
  • Lemon wedges, to serve
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Lay out bacon strips over a 10x7-inch baking dish and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of water.
  3. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until bacon is crispy.
  4. Remove from the oven, and let the bacon cool slightly.
  5. Remove from the pan using tongs, and place on a folded paper towel.
  6. Pat bacon dry and chop roughly.
  7. Rinse scallops and pat them dry with a paper towel. Remove the side muscles.
  8. Melt butter in a liquid measuring cup, then stir in white wine and lemon juice.
  9. Make the topping by combining the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.
  10. Arrange the scallops in a single layer in the baking dish, leaving the bacon fat that is left in the pan.
  11. Pour the butter mixture over the top.
  12. Sprinkle the scallops with the panko mixture, then with the chopped bacon.
  13. Put the pan back in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, until the scallops are cooked and the topping is crispy and lightly browned.
  14. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with parsley.
  15. Serve with lemon wedges.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 335
Total Fat 19.4 g
Saturated Fat 7.6 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 75.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 9.7 g
Dietary Fiber 0.4 g
Total Sugars 0.8 g
Sodium 977.2 mg
Protein 27.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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