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Bacon-wrapped scallops may sound like an appetizer only served at fancy cocktail parties, but these two-ingredient surf-and-turf bites of crispy, salty bacon around briny, sweet scallops can be prepped and cooked in less than 30 minutes. With the help of a technique we also use in bacon-wrapped asparagus, these elegant-looking scallops can be served at your next dinner party or when you feel like splurging on a restaurant-quality dinner at home.
With so few ingredients in this recipe, focus on scallop quality here. Look for sea scallops rather than bay scallops, since bay scallops are too small and throw the bacon-scallop ratio off. Scallops can range in size, so if you find really large ones like U-10s (which means 10 scallops per pound), you can always buy fewer than the 16 scallops called for in this recipe to keep it more budget-friendly -- just know that you'll need one strip of bacon for every two scallops. Before wrapping them in bacon, check the scallops for the tough little side muscle that can still be attached and remove it first.
When I was figuring out the best way to make bacon-wrapped asparagus -- I needed the bacon to cook up crispy without overcooking the asparagus -- I discovered the microwave was my best friend. Microwaving the bacon slices first quickly renders out a lot of the fat so that once it goes into the oven, the bacon needs less time to brown and get crisp. The same principle applies here, and when it comes to the type of bacon, regular or thin-cut bacon is best -- not thick-cut.
To wrap the scallops in bacon, start by cutting each slice of microwaved bacon in half lengthwise, as they're too wide on their own. After wrapping the scallop, it's up to you if you want to trim off the excess bacon if it's a bit too long. Secure the bacon with a toothpick so that it doesn't unravel during broiling.
Scallops cook quickly, especially under the broiler. To make sure the bacon doesn't burn and crisps up evenly, broil on the middle rack and rotate the baking sheet every few minutes so that all the scallops cook evenly. These scallops are simply seasoned with salt and pepper to let their sweet flavor shine, but you can also add an extra layer of flavor by brushing the bacon with maple syrup or honey before you wrap the scallops.
8 slices bacon (not thick cut)
16 large sea scallops
Freshly ground black pepper
16 wooden toothpicks, soaked in water for 30 minutes
1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to broil. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, then fit it with a wire rack. Meanwhile, prepare the bacon and wrap the scallops.
2. Place a double layer of paper towels on a large plate. Place 4 slices of the bacon on the paper towels in a single layer, then cover with another layer of paper towels. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Transfer to a cutting board. Repeat with microwaving the remaining bacon using the same paper towels. Cut each slice of bacon in half lengthwise. You should now have 16 strips of bacon.
3. If there are any side muscles attached to the scallops, remove them. Pat very dry with paper towels, and then season all over with salt and pepper. Wrap a strip of bacon, like a belt, around each scallop, and secure with a toothpick. Place on the wire rack.
4. Broil until the bacon is browned and crisp and the scallops are cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes total. Check halfway through, and rotate the baking sheet as needed for even broiling. Serve immediately.
Recipe notes: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two days.
This article is written by Christine Gallary from The Kitchn and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.