Scallops are one of my favorite seafoods. Sweet and mild with a delicate texture that caramelizes well, these little bivalves lend themselves to many recipes but especially appetizers. If you've got fresh scallops (or frozen), here are the very best scallop appetizers to try. I hope you enjoy!
Scallops are elegant enough for special occasions and easy enough for a family dinner. Whether you want to go simple or get fancy, be sure to buy the freshest scallops you can get. Here are the best appetizer recipes for swimming scallops in their shell, larger, shucked sea scallops and small bay scallops.
Planning a special dinner? Delicious pan fried scallops are an easy appetizer that never fails to impress. Be sure to pat scallops dry with paper towels before searing for a perfect, golden brown crust. Using a cast iron skillet helps retain heat and achieve the perfect sear.
Squishes of lemon juice and generous scatterings of herbs or green onions are the perfect finishing touch for your scallop recipe. Nut encrusted and classic scampi style also make a spectacular starter.
In The Shell
If you're lucky enough to get some swimming scallops in their shell, they make a showy and impressive appetizer. Steam them up Vongole style with garlic, butter and white wine or broil them in a creamy sauce with a bubbly cheese topping for a great way to show off the beautiful shells.
You don't have to be a professional chef to enjoy restaurant worthy bacon wrapped scallops! Feel free to play around with them too. Try pancetta or prosciutto wrapped scallops and serve them up on a bed of lightly dressed herb or arugula salad for a pop of bright green color and flavor.
Primi Pasta + Risotto
Do like the Italians and serve up a small portion of scallop pasta or risotto for a great appetizer. Olive oil, black pepper, Parmesan, white wine, bacon and lemon juice add big, complimentary flavors to these easy recipes.
These recipes are shown with scallops in shell but bay scallops or large shucked scallops (just the firm, white adductor muscles) work just as well in these comforting appetizers.
If you've got an air fryer, use it for your scallops. This bright, lemon pepper recipes is a fresh and tasty take that's less mess than pan frying.
Grilled + Broiled
Fresh seafood loves the grill and the broiler. Fast, hot heat sears the outside while keeping the inside of your scallops tender and juicy. Big bold red pepper dip pairs well with smoky grilled scallops. Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs add extra crispiness to oven broiled scallops.
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Cheers and happy cooking, Friends! Sabrina