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Fire up the grill or heat up the stovetop grill pan! This easy Grilled Scallops recipe is a delicious and healthy dinner that’s ready from start to finish in just 10 minutes. Perfect for special occasions or quick weeknight meals!

Close up front shot of an easy grilled scallops recipe

Shrimp make a frequent appearance on our dinner menu each week, but scallops have quickly become another go-to seafood favorite. After all, when we find something that the kids will actually eat, it’s served on repeat — and this grilled scallops recipe is one of those gems!

Best of all, you only need 4 simple ingredients and about 10 minutes to throw together this quick meal. You can use the outdoor grill or put them on a grill pan in the kitchen. Either way, it’s an easy and healthy dinner that everyone at the table can agree on!

Front shot of grilled scallops on a blue and white plate

How to make the best Grilled Scallops Recipe:

Simple is best! We skip the marinade, glaze or fancy seasonings, and instead let the sweet, buttery texture and flavor of the scallops shine in this easy recipe. Five minutes of prep, five minutes on the grill, and dinner is ready!

Ingredients for Grilled Scallops:

  • Sea scallops
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Step 1: Dry the Scallops

Use a dish towel or paper towels to dry the scallops really well.

Sea scallops on a blue and white striped dish towel

Step 2: Season the Scallops

To season the scallops, drizzle or brush them with olive oil, and then sprinkle salt and pepper on all sides. You can add garlic powder, onion powder, or other herbs; however, we find that simple is best!

Raw scallops tossed with olive oil in a glass dish

Step 3: Grill

Cook the scallops on an outdoor grill or on an indoor grill pan over medium-high heat for about 2-3 minutes per side. Be sure to rub the grates of the grill with an oil that has a high smoke point (such as canola or vegetable oil) to prevent the scallops from sticking.

Scallops on the grill

What to serve with Grilled Scallops:

Grilled scallops are a light and healthy protein that goes nicely with just about any of your favorite summer side dishes. Here are a few good options to serve with the scallops:

Overhead shot of a plate of grilled scallops

Health Benefits:

Scallops are a heart-healthy lean protein and a great source of magnesium and potassium, which are both important for heart and brain health. They also promote blood vessel relaxation, help control blood pressure and enable better blood circulation. A 3-ounce portion of scallops is only 75 calories, has around 15 grams of protein and less than a gram of fat (source). Impressive benefits from a dish that tastes indulgent!

Preparation and Storage Tips:

  • Scallops will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When they’re fresh, they have a sweet ocean smell. When the scallops start to spoil, they smell “fishy.”
  • Wrapped tightly, cooked scallops can be frozen for up to 2 months.
  • To reheat the scallops: Be very careful not to overcook the scallops, or they will become rubbery and chewy. Reheat the scallops in a skillet over very low heat or in the microwave (on half heat) just until warmed through.
Front shot of a plate of grilled scallops served with pasta and salad

Cook’s Tips and Recipe Variations:

  • Sea scallops work best for grilling, so I do not recommend substituting with bay scallops. Sea scallops are up to three times larger in size than bay scallops, so you can put them directly on the grill (without fear that they will fall through the cracks).
  • Scallops can be labeled as either “wet” or “dry.” When at all possible, it’s best to purchase “dry” scallops. A wet scallop has been soaked in a preservative phosphate solution, which makes the scallop absorb more water. When you cook a wet scallop, it tends to shrivel up more and doesn’t brown as well. The wet scallops also don’t taste quite as fresh. By contrast, a dry scallop is not treated with any chemical additives or solutions.
  • Make sure that you dry the scallops really well with a dish towel or paper towels. This helps them brown on the outside, while still staying moist and tender on the inside.
  • You can tell that the scallops are done when they are opaque. This only takes a few minutes on each side, so keep a close eye on them and be careful not to overcook the scallops (or they will turn out tough and rubbery).
  • You can use fresh or frozen scallops. If starting with frozen sea scallops, I prefer to thaw them before grilling.
  • To thaw Scallops: Leave the frozen scallops in the refrigerator overnight. If short on time, place the frozen scallops in a bowl of cold water for about 15-25 minutes. Take them out of the cold water and gently pat them dry and absorb all the liquid before seasoning and grilling.
  • To sear the scallops instead of grilling them, follow the preparation instructions, but instead of placing the scallops on a grill, place them in a very hot skillet with 1 tablespoon oil. Make sure the skillet is really hot, and be sure to use an oil with a high smoke point (like canola oil or vegetable oil). Sear the scallops for about 2 minutes on the first side, then flip them over, add a pat of butter to the pan (for flavor), and continue cooking for about 2-3 more minutes. They should be golden brown on both sides.
Overhead image of grilled scallops served over pasta with a side salad

More easy grilled seafood recipes that you might enjoy:

Close up front shot of an easy grilled scallops recipe

Grilled Scallops

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
0 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 129.7 kcal
This easy Grilled Scallops recipe is a healthy dinner that's ready in 10 minutes!

Ingredients
  

  • 16 ounces sea scallops
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Canola or vegetable oil (for the grill)

Instructions

  • Pat scallops dry with a dish towel or paper towels. It’s very important to get out as much of the liquid as possible.
  • Drizzle or brush scallops with olive oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper. Place back in the refrigerator until the grill is ready (it’s important to keep scallops cold for as long as possible).
  • Preheat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan over medium-high heat. Rub the grates liberally with an oil with a high smoke point (such as canola or vegetable oil) to prevent the scallops from sticking. Place the scallops directly onto the grates and grill for 2-3 minutes per side, or until slightly charred on the outside and completely opaque.

Notes

  • Sea scallops work best for grilling, so I do not recommend substituting with bay scallops. Sea scallops are up to three times larger in size than bay scallops, so you can put them directly on the grill (without fear that they will fall through the cracks).
  • Scallops can be labeled as either “wet” or “dry.” When at all possible, it’s best to purchase “dry” scallops. A wet scallop has been soaked in a preservative phosphate solution, which makes the scallop absorb more water. When you cook a wet scallop, it tends to shrivel up more and doesn’t brown as well. The wet scallops also don’t taste quite as fresh. By contrast, a dry scallop is not treated with any chemical additives or solutions.
  • Make sure that you dry the scallops really well with a dish towel or paper towels. This helps them brown on the outside, while still staying moist and tender on the inside.
  • You can tell that the scallops are done when they are opaque. This only takes a few minutes on each side, so keep a close eye on them and be careful not to overcook the scallops (or they will turn out tough and rubbery).
  • You can use fresh or frozen scallops. If starting with frozen sea scallops, I prefer to thaw them before grilling.
  • To thaw Scallops: Leave the frozen scallops in the refrigerator overnight. If short on time, place the frozen scallops in a bowl of cold water for about 15-25 minutes. Take them out of the cold water and gently pat them dry and absorb all the liquid before seasoning and grilling.
  • To sear the scallops instead of grilling them, follow the preparation instructions, but instead of placing the scallops on a grill, place them in a very hot skillet with 1 tablespoon oil. Make sure the skillet is really hot, and be sure to use an oil with a high smoke point (like canola oil or vegetable oil). Sear the scallops for about 2 minutes on the first side, then flip them over, add a pat of butter to the pan (for flavor), and continue cooking for about 2-3 more minutes. They should be golden brown on both sides.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of the grilled scallopsCalories: 129.7kcalCarbohydrates: 2.7gProtein: 19gFat: 4.4gSaturated Fat: 0.6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.7gMonounsaturated Fat: 2.5gCholesterol: 37.4mgSodium: 462.5mgPotassium: 364.9mg
Keyword: grilled scallops, scallop recipe
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    GRILLED SCALLOPS is something new that I have seen and I will definitely try to make it. I will tell you how it is after making it in my home.