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    Grilled Sea Scallops Recipe

    Published September 26, 2023. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This Grilled Sea scallops recipe is marinated in lemon and garlic and grilled to perfection for the perfect seafood meal. You will love how easy this is to make and how flavorful the marinade makes the scallops.

    I’m a massive fan of cooking and serving seafood because it’s simple to prepare and it cooks in minutes. If you are similar and love it, you must try my Sicilian Swordfish or my Blackened Salmon.

    grilled scallops with polenta


     

    Grilled Scallops

    Grilled scallops are simply scallops that are coated in oil, seasoned, and grilled over high heat until their desired internal temperature is achieved. There are many ways to serve grilled scallops, including using a rub or marinade. This will enhance the flavor of the shellfish; however, they are delicious when prepared only with salt and pepper.

    Scallops are delicate and the first thing you need to do is remove the “foot” from the scallop. The foot is the little muscle that secures the scallop to the shell. It’s as easy as pulling it right off the scallop and discarding it.

    Ingredients and Substitutions

    • Scallops – I used dry-packed fresh 10/20 wild-caught sea scallops. You can use any size sea scallop larger than these up to under eight sizes.
    • Oil – Olive or avocado oil is great to use.
    • Garlic – This is used in the marinade to help enhance the flavor. You can substitute with one tablespoon of garlic granules or powder.
    • Lemon – Some lemon juice will help brighten up the flavor of the scallops.
    • Accompaniments – For this recipe, I served the scallops with chive oil, roasted cherry tomatoes, and polenta. These are optional and can be made following the directions below in the recipe card.  

    How to Make Grilled Scallops

    Add the scallops, oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to a medium-sized bowl and mix. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2-24 hours. The longer the marinade, the more flavorful it will be.

    marinating scallops

    Preheat the grill to 450° to 550°. Once the grill is hot, add the scallops to the grill and cook for 3 minutes on one side, and then flip and cook for 30 seconds. This will give you a medium-rare to medium internal temperature. Serve with optional accompaniments.

    grilling scallops

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: Scallops are meant to be eaten as soon as they are finished cooking.

    How to Reheat: Re-grill the scallops in the exact same method but cut the cooking times in half so as to not overcook.

    How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. These will not freeze well, and I would recommend freezing them un-cooked.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    Chef Notes + Tips

    • Scallops are meant to be eaten at a more medium-internal temperature.
    • They will overcook very quickly and become very chewy.
    • If you have the option, always buy dry-packed scallops. Wet-pack scallops are packed in cold sea water along with preservatives to extend the shelf life.
    • Also, try serving the scallops with a simple beurre blanc.
    • If you are nervous that the scallops will fall through the grill grates, you can use two skewers pierced through 6-8 scallops. The skewers should be about a ½” inch from each other all the way through so that the scallops are balanced and not turning when lifting them up on the skewers.

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    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Grilled Sea Scallops Recipe

    5 from 5 votes
    This Grilled Sea scallops recipe is marinated in lemon and garlic and grilled to perfection for the perfect seafood meal.
    Servings: 6
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 30 minutes
    Total Time: 50 minutes

    Ingredients 

    For the Scallops:

    • 2 pounds 10/20 Alaska Wild Caught Scallops, feet remove
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 4 finely minced cloves of garlic
    • juice of 1 lemon, then thinly sliced
    • coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

    For the Accompaniments:

    • 5-6 bunches of cherry tomatoes on the vine
    • 1/2 cup olive oil + 3 tablespoons
    • 1 bunch of fresh chives
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 1 polenta recipe
    • coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

    Instructions

    • Add the scallops, oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to a bowl and mix. Cover and place in the refrigerator and marinate for 2 to 24 hours.
    • Preheat the grill to 450° to 550°.
    • Once the grill is hot, add the scallops along with the lemon slices to the grill, cook for 3 minutes on one side, and then flip and cook for 30 seconds. This will give you a medium-rare to medium internal temperature. Serve or keep warm.

    Optional Accompaniments:

    • Coat the tomatoes in the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and add to the grill just to blister, about 1 to 2 minutes. Keep them warm.
    • Add the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil, lemon juice, and chives to a blender and blend until completely smooth. Let sit for 5 minutes and then finely strain. There will be plenty of leftovers to use in other recipes.
    • Serve the scallops over top of the polenta, along with a drizzle of chive oil and a side of roasted tomatoes.

    Notes

    Make-Ahead: Scallops are meant to be eaten as soon as they are finished cooking.
    How to Reheat: Re-grill the scallops in the exact same method but cut the cooking times in half so as to not overcook.
    How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. These will not freeze well, and I would recommend freezing them un-cooked.
    Scallops are meant to be eaten at a more medium-internal temperature.
    They will overcook very quickly and become very chewy.
    If you have the option, always buy dry-packed scallops. Wet-pack scallops are packed in cold sea water along with preservatives to extend the shelf life.
    Also, try serving the scallops with a simple beurre blanc.
    If you are nervous that the scallops will fall through the grill grates, you can use two skewers pierced through 6-8 scallops. The skewers should be about a ½” inch from each other all the way through so that the scallops are balanced and not turning when lifting them up on the skewers.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 265kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 19gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 595mgPotassium: 349mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 69IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 1mg
    Course: dinner, Main
    Cuisine: American, French, Italian