How to Make Bacon Wrapped Scallops: Classic New England Recipe

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Smoky bacon combined with sweet, succulent scallops are the duo every seafood lover needs. Bacon wrapped scallops are a perennial favorite whether you’re looking for an easy and elegant appetizer or a cocktail party classic. Scallops wrapped in bacon are pure, sweet sea candy.

How to Make Scallops and Bacon
Scallops Wrapped in Bacon

The holidays are just around the corner and with it all of the gatherings and festivities. What better way to celebrate with family and friends than with a delicious and easy appetizer? With just a couple of simple ingredients, you will become the MVP of your next party. With jumbo sea scallops from LobsterAnywhere as the star of this dish, it doesn’t take much to let them shine.

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

Here at LobsterAnywhere we like to think our New Bedford scallops are perfect on their own with an expert sear. However, bacon really does make everything better including these bacon wrapped scallops. Smoky, salty bacon is the ideal accent to the naturally sweet and delicate flavor of the scallops.

  • Quick Cooking Process – When it comes to cooking proteins, seafood in general and scallops specifically require both minimal prep and also only minutes of actual cooking time. Your friends and family will love this restaurant worthy dish.
  • Minimal Ingredients – There are only two main ingredients for this scallop recipe, the scallops themselves, and bacon. Everything else is probably pantry ingredients you already have.
  • Versatility – These tender nuggets of the sea are the ultimate appetizer, but also delicious as an entree. Add them to your next game day spread along with lobster sliders for the ultimate double play.
  • Classic Flavors – Bacon and scallops are a classic pairing and a fun spin on surf and turf. Just like coconut fried shrimp, this seafood recipe never lasts long at any gathering.
  • Balance of Flavors and Textures – Scallops are one of the sweetest bites of the sea. When quickly seared, they remain tender. Partially cooking the bacon prior to wrapping the scallops will give you that crispy bite to compliment the tender scallop while the saltiness of the bacon plays off of the delicate scallops.

Playlist

Skip the long list of ingredients the next time you want to create an Instagram worthy dish, such as William Horst of @hooked_on_bbq. Starting with the best fresh sea scallops, all you need is a little of that magical stripe of swine to make Bacon Wrapped Scallops.

William Horst of Hooked on Barbecue shows off a grilled scallop wrapped in bacon.

Tools

Just like you only need a few simple ingredients to create these sumptuous bites at home, you also only need a few basic kitchen tools. This recipe can be easily adapted to your preferred cooking vessel, whether it’s a griddle or skillet.

  • Skillet/Griddle To achieve a beautiful sear on your scallops you want a cooking surface that can handle high heat such as a plancha, griddle, or cast-iron skillet.
  • Baking Sheet – Partially cooking your bacon allows the bacon to finish cooking without overcooking the scallops. The easiest way to precook your bacon is by baking it in the oven at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Not only is this a quick way to cook a large batch of bacon it also makes for easy cleanup if you line the baking sheet with foil.
  • Toothpicks – Secure the bacon tightly around the scallops with toothpicks. If you plan on doing these on the grill, you can use metal or wood skewers to cook multiple at a time. Always make sure to soak your wood skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.
  • Instant Read Thermometer – When in doubt, temp check. If you’re new to cooking scallops and want to ensure you don’t overcook them, check their internal temperature with a digital thermometer. You want to pull them out of the skillet at between 115-120 degrees.
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How to Make Scallops Wrapped Bacon

How to Make Bacon Wrapped Scallops:

Not only are these irresistible to eat, they’re also easy to make. With just a few tips and tricks you will be searing your way to appetizer superhero status. Get your skillet heating on the grill while you’re firing up grilled shrimp and sausage skewers for a double dose of surf and turf with a twist.

  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • Scallops – Jumbo and colossal scallops work best for this recipe. This will allow you to easily wrap them in bacon without there being too much excess overhanging the top and the bottom.
  • Bacon – Thin bacon works best in this recipe. Not only is it easier to wrap the scallops with, but because the scallops cook so quickly, a thinner cut of bacon is suited for the fast cook time.
  • Seasoning – Bacon brings a lot of salt content to these poppable treats. It doesn’t take much to season them. A pinch of fine sea salt and sprinkle of freshly cracked pepper are great accents. You can also use your favorite seafood blends, but keep in mind you don’t want to add too much salt.
  • Oil – Pick an oil with a high smoke point such as grapeseed or canola oil. For a buttery flavor, ghee also works well. Because the milk fats have been removed, resulting in a clarified butter, it can take the high temperatures without burning like traditional butter.

Instructions

  1. Prep: Remove the side muscle from the scallops. This is called the abductor muscle and is tough but is easily removed with your fingers. Thoroughly pat both sides of the scallops dry with a paper towel.
  2. Par Cook: Cut a piece of bacon in half. Depending on the size of your scallops you will use half a strip of bacon per scallop. Either cook your bacon in the oven at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or pan fry your bacon. You want it to be slightly browned with the fat beginning to render, but still be pliable. Drain well and allow to cool.
  3. Season: Lightly season your dried scallops.
  4. Wrap: Tightly wrap your bacon around the scallops. You can secure the bacon with a toothpick if desired.
  5. Sear: Heat a large skillet, cast iron pan, or griddle over medium high heat. Add oil and allow to heat through. Place the scallops on the hot surface, careful not to crowd. You can work in batches if necessary. Cook the first side of the scallop for 2 minutes, not moving them. Flipping them too early can cause them to tear.
  6. Flip them and allow them to cook for another 2 minutes. The internal temperature should be 120 degrees. Remove the toothpicks before serving. Just shell out a tasty cocktail and you will be toasting to your tasty creation.

Notes

Whether you’re firing up your grill with your trusty cast iron skillet or griddle, or pulling out your chef moves in the kitchen, these one to two bite treats are sure to become a new favorite.

  • Author: Nicole Stover
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Scallops wrapped in Bacon, bacon wrapped scallop

Variations

While Bacon Wrapped Scallops are a classic duo, there are other options as well of the combination of cured pork and sweet scallops. Here are a few options.

Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops
Scallops Wrapped in prosciutto prepared by Nicole Stover of Beach Girl Grills
  • Prosciutto di Parma – This unsmoked, dry-cured Italian ham gives that same kiss of savory salt as bacon, but without the smoke. Sliced wafer thin, there’s no need to par cook it. In addition, it tends to glue to itself so there is no need to use a toothpick to secure it. You can also use domestic prosciutto.
  • Pancetta – Salt cured pork belly that is similar to bacon but without being smoked. Slab pancetta works best for this as opposed to the rolled pancetta. Ask your deli to slice the pancetta thinly.
  • Speck – Similar to prosciutto but smoked. Speck gives both the salty, savory flavor of bacon, but also the smokiness. If it is thinly sliced there is no need to par cook it.
  • Jamon Serrano – This ham is similar to prosciutto. It’s a dry-cured ham from Spain that is often found in tapas. Just like prosciutto, you want it sliced paper thin and there is no need to cook it prior to wrapping your scallops.
  • Trifecta – Bring triple the taste of the sea by adding lobster and shrimp to your seafood extravaganza. Not only are our jumbo dry packed scallops included in the Maine Fresh Catch Dinner, but luxurious lobster tails and succulent shrimp also join the feast.
  • Grilled – While searing scallops on a flat surface such as a griddle or cast-iron pan will give you an even golden crust, you can also cook these over direct heat on the grill. Make sure that your grill grates are clean and lightly oiled. For easy control when flipping, skewer your scallops with either metal skewers, or bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water for at least 30 minutes. Allow them to cook over direct heat for 1 1/2-2 minutes, or until they easily release from the grates.

How to Serve Bacon Wrapped Scallops

When it comes to serving up hors d’oeuvres at your next cocktail party, holiday gathering, or dinner party, there is nothing like a luxurious and decadent bite of seafood. These perfectly sized bites are an ideal appetizer that will be at home next to your lobster rangoons. Here are a few more ideas and tips on how to serve them.

  • Appetizer – When it comes to picking crowd pleasing appetizers, it’s nice to have dishes that are one to two bites. Whether you’re wrapping your scallops in bacon or prosciutto, these smoky and sweet bites will have your guests going back for seconds. For an appetizer size serving plan on 2-3 per person.
  • Salad – Give your traditional cobb salad a fun twist by swapping out the chicken or turkey with these bacon wrapped delicacies. For an entree salad sized portion plan on 3-4 per person.
  • Tailgate – What is a tailgate party without a little bacon? Whether you’re adding these to your lobster roll menu as a starter or serving them next to your brats, these are a fun addition to any game day celebration. Don’t forget the craft brews!
  • Surf and Turf Skip wrapping your filet mignon in bacon and wrap your scallops instead. These are a beautiful accompaniment to any steak that will bring the upscale steakhouse experience home.

How to Buy Scallops

Because scallops are the star of the dish, you want to start with the best. When you buy your scallops from LobsterAnywhere, you know you can always count on both the quality of texture and flavor. Here are things you should always look for when buying scallops.

  • Flash Frozen – Individually Quick Frozen scallops, IQF, means that the scallops were flash frozen to preserve both their texture and flavor. The scallops from LobsterAnywhere are day boat scallops meaning they are harvested at sea, shucked on deck, and IQF.
  • Dry Packed – Have you ever tried to achieve that restaurant quality sear on scallops and just couldn’t get that bronzed crust? There is a good chance that you bought wet packed scallops. Always look for scallops that are dry packed. This means that they aren’t preserved with Sodium Tripoly Phosphate but are instead shucked and packed on ice to preserve their freshest flavors and tender texture.
  • Free of Additives – Just like there is no crying in baseball there shouldn’t be chemicals in your scallops. Always purchase scallops that are free of preservatives and are 100% natural.
  • Color – Occasionally you will come across scallops in shades of light orange and pink. Don’t worry! This just means they’re female scallops and are actually slightly sweeter than their male counterparts.

Make sure to check out our complete guide on purchasing scallops and facts about this tasty bivalve mollusk.

Tips for Cooking Scallops

While scallops are one of the fastest cooking proteins, they can go from beautifully seared to rubber in a blink of an eye. With a few simple guides and also practice, these marshmallows of the sea are sure to become part of your regular cooking repertoire for both dishes like Bacon Wrapped Scallops and other seafood sensations such as baked sea scallops.

  • Defrost – Always allow your scallops to gently defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Dry – A dry scallop is a happy scallop. Make sure to thoroughly pat your scallops dry for any scallop recipe. You can remove the adductor muscle and place the scallops on a wire rack fitted into a baking sheet ahead of time and keep them refrigerated until ready to cook. The circulating cool air will also help dry them out.
  • Season – Only season your scallops just before cooking them. Salt draws out moisture and will prevent them from getting that golden crust.
  • Temperature – Make sure your skillet or griddle is fully heated before placing your scallops on it. if it isn’t hot enough you will steam your scallops instead of searing them.
  • Time – Scallops cook quickly. Now is not the time to run in for another beer. The first side of the scallop should only sear for about two minutes. The second side will be about the same. If your scallops don’t easily release, wait another 30 seconds to prevent tearing them.
  • Color – For most scallop recipes you can tell by the color on the side when they’re ready to flip. They will begin to turn an opaque white and you will see a sliver of golden brown on the very bottom.
  • Touch – Feel your scallops. When you think they are done they should feel slightly firm, but still have spring when you touch them.
  • Texture – There is something magic about biting into a tender scallop. While there is nothing prettier than the contrast of that bronzed sear with the white flesh of the scallop, always put the texture first over appearance.

Seafood Savvy

Whether you’re looking for scallops caught from the scallop capital of the world, or Maine Grade A live lobsters to serve for the holidays, always know your source. LobsterAnywhere has been providing the freshest seafood since 1999. With over 4,000 five-star reviews, you know you are getting the freshest flavors of New England. Need more appetizer ideas, see our post about the best sides to serve with lobster.

Frequently Asked Questions about Bacon Wrapped Scallops

What size scallops should I use for bacon wrapped scallops?

You want to pick scallops that will accommodate the width of the bacon and be easy to wrap. U-10/20 scallops are ideal for this recipe.

Why should I precook the bacon?

Scallops cook fast. By the time the fat would render in the bacon the scallops would be overcooked. Par cooking the bacon will allow you to have the best texture for both the bacon and the scallops.

How long do I cook scallops for?

Scallops should be cooked approximately two minutes per side, depending on their size. They should easily release from the pan when ready to flip.

What internal temperature do I cook scallops to?

Whether you’re grilling, baking, or searing scallops, always cook your scallops to 115-120 degrees. It is better to slightly undercook your scallops than overcook them.

What should I look for when buying scallops?

Always make sure that your scallops are dry packed and that they are flash frozen, or IQF.

Can I season scallops ahead of time?

Unlike steak that does well being salted ahead of time, you want to season your scallops just before cooking. You don’t want to draw out any excess moisture.

How long can I store scallops for?

If you have defrosted your scallops in the refrigerator you will want to cook them withing one to two days. Cooked scallops can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

How much bacon do I need for bacon wrapped scallops?

Depending on the size of the scallops you will only need half a strip of bacon per scallop.

What type of bacon should I use for Bacon Wrapped Scallops?

You will want to use a thin cut bacon for this seared scallop recipe. This will give you the best ratio of bacon to scallop. Thicker cut bacon won’t render as much during the short cooking time.

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