Scallops with Bacon – aka, scallops topped with “real” bacon bits. These sea scallops are pan-seared in butter then topped with crispy bacon bits, chopped fresh parley and lemon zest. Perfect for a bite-sized appetizer, or main dish served alongside rice and any seasonal vegetable you’re loving at the moment.
Bacon wrapped scallops – are you a fan?
I’ve always loved the idea of bacon wrapped scallops. The idea is so simple. And who doesn’t love those 2 foods together? They’re the perfect match. Crispy and salted bacon + sweet, creamy and smooth scallops. The problem is, I’ve never met a bacon wrapped scallop that I liked – the bacon is always slimy and soft – not crispy. And the scallops never have that nice sear or crust. And they are always overcooked. Plus, bacon wrapped scallops are often served at large catered events (weddings, graduation, business events etc) – where the food is usually subpar to say the least.
There is so much potential with bacon wrapped scallops … how come they aren’t ever done right?!
So, enter these Scallops with Bacon. These are done right. The bacon is cooked separately, so it gets crispy – and it’s chopped up like bacon bits (are those bacon bit containers still around?!). And the bacon is mixed with fresh lemon zest and fresh chopped parsley – so the topping is crisp and salty, but also bright, acidic and fresh. Easy. Quick. So good.
Is this scallop recipe an appetizer or entree?
This recipe serves 4-6 as an appetizer (pictured here is 1/2 the batch) or 2 adults as an entree. This recipe would be great for a dinner party … though looks like there are no dinner parties coming up in anyone’s near future, so for now, enjoy with your family. Since this recipe is so quick (scallops cook in mere minutes), it would be great as a weeknight dinner alongside some rice and any veggie.
What kind of scallops are these?
These are sea scallops and they’re locally harvested here on the Cape and Islands. Sea scallops are larger and slightly less sweet than their smaller bay scallop counterparts. Bay scallops are seasonal – usually available November through April-ish, while sea scallops are available year-round.
What’s the secret to the best pan-seared scallops?
There are a few important things to remember when preparing your sea scallops:
- Make sure you pat them VERY dry with a paper towel or clean dish towel – this is key to getting a good sear and a nice crust.
- Do not crowd the pan! Cook your scallops in batches – if you crowd them, they will steam vs sear.
- Make sure your pan with your butter or oil is HOT before adding the scallops – you want to hear that sizzle. I heat my nonstick pan over medium high heat, add a pat of butter (or drizzle of oil) then swirl the butter and wait until the butter begins to foam a bit before adding the scallops. I season the scallops right before going in the pan with s&p then sear them for about two minutes on each side. Stay by their side, as they overcook easily. Don’t multitask!
- Serve them right away! Cook the scallops last. Have every other part of the meal ready (and in this case the scallop topping), so when the scallops are ready, you’re putting them on plates and eating them right away. Hot scallops are great. Raw scallops are great. Luke warm scallops are not so great, in my opinion.
Seared sea scallops have got to be one of the most delicious things in the world – and they are so quick and easy to prepare, making them perfect to cook up any night of the week. I hope you give this scallop dish a try!
Here’s how to make these scallops:
Scallops with Bacon
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 1 pound sea scallops, patted dry
- 4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 lemon zested and cut into wedges
- Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add butter, swirl the pan to melt the butter. Once butter is hot and begins to foam, add the scallops.
- Do not crowd the scallops, you’ll need to work in batches. Let scallops cook on the first side for about 2 minutes.
- Once the underside forms a nice golden crust, flip scallops and cook an additional 1-2 minutes, or until desired doneness. We like our scallops a bit undercooked in the center.
- Remove from heat, plate, top with crumbled bacon, chopped parsley and lemon zest. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges.
PIN this scallop recipe for later:
Love scallops? Check out these other popular sea scallop recipes on My Cape Cod Kitchen: