how to cook scallops

How to Cook Scallops: The Ultimate Guide

Everything You Need to Know About Cooking Scallops at Home

Greetings to all seafood lovers out there! There’s nothing more satisfying than having a plate of perfectly cooked scallops. Scallops are a delicate and delicious seafood that can be easily prepared at home. Whether you’re an amateur home cook or a seasoned pro, this ultimate guide on how to cook scallops will help you master the art of cooking scallops like a pro.


Before we dive into the recipe, let’s get to know more about scallops. There are primarily two types of scallops – sea scallops and bay scallops. Sea scallops are larger in size and come from the Atlantic Ocean, while bay scallops are smaller in size and come from the bays and estuaries along the coast. Scallops are a rich source of protein and low in fat. They are also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for maintaining good health.

Scallops can be cooked in a variety of ways such as frying, baking, grilling, or sautéing. In this guide, we will focus on pan-searing, which is one of the most popular methods of cooking scallops as it gives the scallops a beautiful golden brown crust while keeping the center tender and juicy.

So, let’s get started!

How to Cook Scallops: Step by Step Guide

Step 1: Buying Fresh Scallops

The first step towards cooking delicious scallops is to choose the right scallops. Fresh scallops should smell slightly sweet and should not have a strong fishy smell. They should also be slightly translucent and firm to the touch. Avoid scallops that are slimy, have a strong odor, or are discolored.

Step 2: Preparing Scallops

Before cooking, it is important to remove the side muscle and pat dry the scallops with a paper towel. The side muscle is a tough, chewy tendon that runs along the side of the scallop, and it should be removed to make the scallops more tender.

Step 3: Seasoning Scallops

Seasoning is crucial when it comes to cooking scallops. You can use a simple seasoning of salt and pepper or add other seasonings like garlic powder, paprika, or cayenne pepper to give it a different flavor.

Step 4: Cooking Scallops

Now, it’s time to cook the scallops! Heat a non-stick pan with a little bit of oil on medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the scallops to the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan as it can cause the scallops to steam instead of searing. Cook the scallops for 2-3 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown. Be careful not to overcook the scallops as they can become tough and rubbery.

Step 5: Serving Scallops

After cooking, plate the scallops and sprinkle some chopped parsley or chives over them. Serve the scallops with some lemon wedges and enjoy!

Table: How to Cook Scallops

Steps Description
Step 1 Buying Fresh Scallops
Step 2 Preparing Scallops
Step 3 Seasoning Scallops
Step 4 Cooking Scallops
Step 5 Serving Scallops


1. How do you know when scallops are cooked?

When scallops are cooked, they should be slightly firm to the touch, and the flesh should be opaque. Overcooked scallops can become tough and rubbery, so be sure to cook them for no more than 2-3 minutes on each side.

2. Can you eat scallops raw?

While it is possible to eat scallops raw, it is not recommended. Raw scallops can carry harmful bacteria and parasites that can cause food poisoning. Cooking scallops to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) kills any harmful bacteria and parasites.

3. Do you need to thaw scallops before cooking?

If you’re using frozen scallops, it is best to thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before cooking. This will ensure that the scallops cook evenly and prevent them from becoming soggy.

4. What is the best way to store scallops?

Scallops are highly perishable, so it is best to store them in the refrigerator at a temperature of 32°F to 38°F (0°C to 3°C). Keep them in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap to prevent them from coming in contact with other foods.

5. Can you overcook scallops?

Yes, scallops can become tough and rubbery if they are overcooked. Be sure to cook them for no more than 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on their size.

6. What are some good ways to season scallops?

Some good seasonings for scallops include salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, and paprika. You can also use fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, or rosemary.

7. Are scallops healthy?

Yes, scallops are a healthy seafood option. They are low in fat and calories and high in protein. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for heart health.

8. Can you freeze scallops?

Yes, you can freeze scallops. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store them in an airtight container. They will last up to 3 months in the freezer.

9. What are some good side dishes to serve with scallops?

Scallops pair well with a variety of side dishes, including roasted vegetables, sautéed spinach, risotto, pasta, or mashed potatoes.

10. How do you remove the side muscle from scallops?

The side muscle is a tough, chewy tendon that runs along the side of the scallop. You can remove it by gently pulling it off with your fingers or using a butter knife to scrape it off.

11. Can you cook scallops in the oven?

Yes, you can bake scallops in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Place the scallops in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil or melted butter. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the scallops are cooked through.

12. How do you know if scallops are bad?

Bad scallops will have a strong fishy odor, be slimy or sticky to the touch, and have a dull, grayish color.

13. What wine pairs well with scallops?

Scallops pair well with white wines like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or Pinot Grigio.


Now that you know how to cook scallops like a pro, it’s time to put your skills to the test! Remember to choose fresh scallops, season them well, and cook them for no more than 2-3 minutes on each side. With this guide, you can create restaurant-quality scallops in the comfort of your own home. So, what are you waiting for? Grab some scallops and get cooking!

Thank you for reading, and we hope you enjoy your scallops.


This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide medical or nutritional advice. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle. The authors of this article are not responsible for any adverse effects or consequences that may arise from the use of the information presented here.

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