Broiling scallops is the fail-proof way to serve up one of the seas’ most succulent gifts. Tender and sweet, the scallops sing when served with this savory, herbaceous Italian salsa verde. It’s an unforgettable combination you’ll make again and again!
This simple broiled scallops recipe is a tasty and healthy dinner for busy weeknights, but fancy enough for date night at home or a weekend dinner party. If this is your first time making scallops, or you’ve been hesitant to cook them at home, broiling is the perfect way to get more comfortable with the process! It’s simple and quick, yielding tender scallops every single time.
Italian salsa verde is the perfect sauce for these sweet morsels of magic. Similar to Argentinian Chimichurri, but with a little more briny umami, salsa verde is a delicious sauce to serve with grilled fish, shrimp and, of course, scallops. For the non-pescatarians among us, it’s equally amazing on grilled steak and chicken!
Saddle up, friends! Let’s get this big flavor party started.
Looking for more delicious scallop dishes? Try these superstars next!
What you’ll need to make this fresh and easy broiled scallops recipe:
Sea scallops: Scallops are so much easier to prepare than you think! If possible, choose scallops that are roughly the same size, as that will make cooking simpler. Fresh scallops can be hard to find, so frozen sea scallops work fine for this recipe. Just thaw overnight in the refrigerator then dry very well with paper towels before seasoning and broiling. If using bay scallops, reduce cooking time
Kosher salt, black pepper, paprika: These dynamic trio is all the seasoning you need on the scallops! Paprika adds a light smokiness and beautiful color.
Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil adds complex flavor to the salsa verde and holds all those savory herbs and fillings together.
Anchovies: Grab 3-4 anchovies from a jar and mince them for the sauce. I promise it doesn’t taste fishy, but it adds umami and deep flavor that’s unmissable! Substitute finely diced capers, if you must.
Fresh garlic: Please buy whole garlic cloves instead of a jar of already-minced garlic. The freshness and flavor make a difference in a dish with just a handful of simple ingredients!
Shallots: Xelicate, sweet onion flavor is a lovely addition to this herby green sauce. Substitute finely diced sweet yellow onions or leeks, if needed.
Flat leaf parsley: This fresh green is the traditional main ingredient for this type of Italian salsa verde. In combination with fresh chives, it’s an herbaceous match made in heaven! Substitute basil or cilantro, if you prefer.
Fresh chives: This delicate allium is the second half of our all-star herb combo! Substitute diced green scallion tops, if needed.
Dijon mustard: Mustard adds flavor, spice and a little creaminess to the sauce. Omit if mustard is not your favorite.
Lemon juice: The perfect citrus note to balance the rich flavors in the dish. Zest the lemon before squeezing and feel free to garnish your finished dish with a few curls. If you’re fresh out of lemons, use lime juice or red wine vinegar instead.
Fresh red chili: Finely diced red chili adds perfect flavor and spice to the sauce. If you don’t want any heat, skip altogether.
Full measurements and directions included in the printable recipe card below.
Step by step instructions for Broiled Scallops Recipe with Salsa Verde:
To begin, make the fresh salsa verde. Combine minced anchovy fillets, garlic, shallot, parsley and chives with the dijon, lemon juice and olive oil. Taste and add salt – I usually start with 1/2 teaspoon. If using chilis, add now. Stir well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside.
Next, preheat broiler, positioning your oven rack about 6 inches from the overhead heat source. Dry scallops well with paper towels, then dip each scallop in melted butter and place in a single layer on a shallow baking pan or broiler pan. (The scallops will give off water when broiled, so be sure to use a rimmed baking sheet.) Season each scallop with salt, pepper and paprika.
Gently slide your seasoned scallops under the preheated broiler. Then broil scallops until cooked through (120°F internal temp) and lightly golden brown – about 6-8 minutes. (Note that the cook time will depend on the size of your scallops. Using a temperature pen is the easiest way to ensure your seafood is perfect!)
Remove from oven and plate the scallops with fresh salsa verde, a sprinkle of lemon zest and a big loaf of crusty bread to soak up every last drop of sauce.
FAQ’s and Serving Suggestions for this Broiled Scallops Recipe:
Absolutely! It’s tough to find fresh sea scallops, even at a proper seafood counter, so frozen are my go-to. The day before using, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then dry them very well with a paper towel before seasoning and broiling.
I love these scallops with Mediterranean Tossed Salad, Basmati Rice with Lemon and Dill or French Au Gratin Potatoes. All are superstar sides that will make this a delicious meal and an unforgettable spread. And a sauce this delicious really deserves good bread. A warm baguette will do the trick. If you really want to gild the rose, make this easy Baguette Garlic Bread.
To store, transfer leftover broiled scallops to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Scallops are always better eaten the day they are first cooked. But if you have leftovers, reheat them gently over medium-low heat along with a few tablespoons of broth or butter. Remove and serve as soon as they are just heated through.
Looking for more dinner party dishes? Try these next!
- Mussels with Caramelized Fennel & Shallots
- Sauteed Sea Bass with Herb Butter Sauce
- Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Pistachio Chimichurri
- Shrimp Scampi Fettuccine