Baked Scallops

published Feb 22, 2022
Baked Scallops

Buttery breadcrumbs turn simple baked scallops into a dinner that's extra special.


Prep10 minutes to 12 minutes

Cook12 minutes to 14 minutes

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baked scallops on a plate
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Baked scallops are a taste of my New England roots. My childhood was filled with buttery breadcrumb-topped seafood (cod, shrimp, scallops, or even lobster). Here, tender sea scallops are baked under a blanket of garlic- and lemon-infused panko for a special dinner that couldn’t be easier to pull off.

Should Scallops Be Rinsed Before Cooking? 

There is no need to rinse scallops before cooking. In fact, doing so might cause them to absorb too much water and become rubbery when cooked. Instead, simply pat the scallops dry with a paper towel, then season them lightly with salt and pepper.

How Do You Know When Scallops Are Done in the Oven? 

It can be a little tricky to know when scallops are cooked through — especially if you’ve never prepared them before. They also can go from perfectly cooked to overcooked quickly. What you’re looking for is the moment when they become opaque and firm to the touch when lightly pressed. The ideal internal temperature for scallops is between 125°F to 130°F, but you’ll actually want to pull them from the oven when they hit 115°F on an instant-read thermometer. As they sit in the baking dish for a few minutes before you dig in, the carryover cooking will bring them to the perfect temperature.

What Should I Serve with Baked Scallops?

Buttery baked scalloped deserve to be the center of attention at your dinner table, but a side or two rounds out the meal. A few of my favorites are as follows:

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Baked Scallops

Buttery breadcrumbs turn simple baked scallops into a dinner that's extra special.

Prep time 10 minutes to 12 minutes

Cook time 12 minutes to 14 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 1 pound

    dry sea scallops (12 to 16 medium)

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 3 cloves


  • 4 sprigs

    fresh parsley

  • 1

    small lemon

  • 5 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup

    panko breadcrumbs


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil in an 8x8-inch baking dish and tilt to coat the bottom of the dish.

  2. Gently peel off the side muscle from 1 pound scallops if they are still attached. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels and season all over with 1/4 teaspoon of the kosher salt and 1/4 of the teaspoon black pepper. Place in a single layer in the baking dish.

  3. Mince 3 garlic cloves. Pick the leaves from 4 fresh parsley sprigs and finely chop until you have 2 tablespoons. Finely grate the zest of 1 small lemon (about 2 teaspoons), then juice the lemon (about 2 tablespoons).

  4. Melt 5 tablespoons unsalted butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the melted butter over the scallops. Add the garlic and 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs to the skillet and cook until the breadcrumbs are lightly toasted in spots and the mixture is fragrant, about 1 minute.

  5. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the lemon zest, parsley, remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and stir to combine.

  6. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice over the scallops. Sprinkle the panko mixture evenly over the scallops.

  7. Bake until the scallops are opaque, firm to the touch, and just cooked through, and the topping is golden-brown, about 10 minutes. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice before serving.

Recipe Notes

Storage: These baked scallops are best eaten immediately, but leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.