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Bacon-Wrapped Scallops are the perfect appetizer or even main course that is sure to keep your people happy! They are coated in a sweet and savory herb glaze and baked to perfection in just around 30 minutes!

Everything is better with bacon, right? If you are a bacon lover like me, be sure to check out my Bacon Wrapped Asparagus, Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers, and this refreshing Creamy Pea Salad with Bacon.

Bacon Wrapped Scallops baked with a brown sugar, butter, and herb glaze held together with a toothpick

Easy Bacon Wrapped Scallops

If you are visiting the state of Massachusetts, chances are you are going to see scallops on the menu at many restaurants, possibly even bacon wrapped scallops like I’m sharing here. There are two types of scallops found in North America: the smaller bay scallops and the larger sea scallops. It’s the larger sea scallops that you typically get when ordering scallops a a restaurant. The smaller, sweeter bay scallops are most often used in seafood stews.

I wanted to make scallops for my American Eats Series to represent the popularity of seafood in Massachusetts. They are so tasty and actually very easy to make in your own kitchen, even if you live nowhere near the coast. I have already shared how we make restaurant-quality Pan Seared Scallops, but these bacon wrapped scallops take things to a whole other level and are another one of our favorite ways of enjoying this delicious variety of seafood!

Freshly baked bacon wrapped scallops served on a plate sprinkled with fresh parsley

Bacon wrapped scallops are not only one of the tastiest things you’ll ever eat, but also very versatile. You can easily switch up the glaze to something sweeter or spicier and in the New England region, you may even see them wrapped in prosciutto rather than bacon, which would also be delicious.

But my favorite approach that I’m sharing here is made with a sweetened glaze with brown sugar, a little savory garlic, salt and pepper, and some fresh or dried herbs like parsley. However you make them, I guarantee you’ll be happy.

This is a great appetizer recipe for a game day party, New Year’s Eve party, or other gathering. They make fabulous finger foods that everyone will be raving about.

But it also makes a wonderful main dish, which is most often how we serve it at home. You can enjoy the scallops on top of some angel hair pasta tossed simply with a little olive oil or butter and parmesan cheese, or with mashed potatoes and a side of roasted veggies. If you do decide to make this a main course, plan on serving 3-4 scallops per person.

baked scallops wrapped in bacon

Recipe Ingredients

  • Large Sea Scallops: If I had access to super fresh scallops like they do in Massachusetts, I would use those, but since I don’t I like to go for the big frozen ones from the freezer section at Costco! Just thaw them completely in the fridge overnight and make sure they are patted dry.
  • Bacon: You can use regular or thick cut bacon. If using thick cut bacon, you will need to increase the cooking time a bit to make sure it gets done all the way.
  • Butter: Salted butter works great in this recipe.
  • Brown Sugar: This is actually optional but that little bit of sugar plays on scallops natural sweetness and goes so well with the saltiness of the bacon.
  • Parsley: I use fresh chopped parsley for the best flavor but you can also use dried if that’s all you have on hand.
  • Garlic: I recommend using fresh garlic cloves that you either mince or press through a garlic press.
  • Salt & pepper: Seasoning your dishes is important for the best flavors!
Plate of raw scallops, salt & pepper, butter, raw bacon, brown sugar, and fresh chopped parsley

How to Make Bacon Wrapped Scallops

  1. Partially cook the bacon. Simply place your bacon on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for about 10 minutes. You want to cook it only until some of the fat has rendered but the bacon is not crispy yet since we still need to fold it around the scallops.
  2. Prepare the scallops. Wrap your scallops with the piece of bacon and secure it with a toothpick. You will only need to use 1/2 piece of bacon on each scallop, unless the scallops are really large, in which case you might need 3/4 to 1 full slice of bacon for each scallop. If you have smaller scallops, you could even wrap two of them together in each piece of bacon.
  1. Make the glaze. Combine the melted butter, brown sugar (if using), parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Brush or spoon some of the mixture over each bacon wrapped scallop.
  1. Bake and serve. Bake them on a baking sheet until bacon is done and scallops are cooked through. Be careful not to overcook as the delicate meat of the scallops can get rubbery when overdone. To know when the scallops are done, they should be tender and opaque through the center. If you test them with a digital meat thermometer (affiliate link) they should register 125 to 130 degrees F in the middle. These are best served immediately.
Bacon wrapped scallops right out of the oven on a baking sheet

Bacon Wrapped Scallop FAQ

How do I choose the best scallops?

The biggest factor for me is how they smell. Scallops should have a fresh ocean scent and be opaque. If they smell overly fishy or pungent, they will probably taste that way too. Look for scallops that are all about the same size so they cook evenly. You want the larger sea scallops rather than small bay scallops.

Can I use frozen scallops?

Oftentimes the best scallops I can find are frozen ones. They work great, just be sure to thaw them completely in the fridge and pat them completely dry. I usually get mine at Costco.

Can I cook these on the grill?

This is a great approach in the summer. In this case, I recommend soaking wooden skewers and skewering 3-4 scallops on each skewer rather than using toothpicks to secure the bacon. Grill over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until the scallops are done and the bacon is crisp.

What is the best way to store leftovers?

Leftovers should be stored in the fridge and will be good for a day or maybe 2. Just reheat in pan to warm them up and crisp the bacon a bit.

What pairs well with scallops?

 Bacon Wrapped Scallops go great with pasta tossed with olive oil and seasoned with grated parmesan cheese and pepper, mashed potatoes, green vegetables, or rice pilaf.

If I can’t find scallops, can I make these with shrimp?

This recipe works great with shrimp in place of the scallops, if you prefer or can’t find good scallops.

Why are my scallops rubbery?

There are two main reasons why your scallops came out rubbery: too wet or overcooked. Be sure to pat your scallops dry before cooking and only cook them until they register 125-130 degrees F in the center.

A main entree plate of pasta, bacon wrapped scallops and fresh herbs

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Bacon Wrapped Scallops
Yield: 4 servings

Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Bacon-Wrapped Scallops are the perfect appetizer or even main course that is sure to keep your people happy! They are coated in a sweet and savory herb glaze and baked to perfection in just around 30 minutes!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds large sea scallops, patted dry (about 12 large scallops)
  • 6-8 bacon slices cut in half crosswise (about 1/2 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar (optional but delicious)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. Partially cook the bacon until it is about 3/4 done. This can be done by arranging the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and placing in the oven for 8-12 minutes, or in a pan over medium-high heat until some of the fat has rendered, but the bacon isn't crispy or all the way done.
  3. Dry the scallops by patting them well with paper towels. Wrap each scallop with 1/2 piece of bacon, unless the scallops are large, in which case you might need 3/4 to 1 full slice of bacon for each scallop. If you have small scallops, you could even wrap two of them in each piece of bacon. Secure with toothpicks and arrange on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. In a small bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar (if using), parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper. Brush or spoon some of the mixture over each bacon wrapped scallop.
  5. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes until bacon is done and scallops are cooked through. Be careful not to overcook. The scallops should be tender and opaque and if you test them with a digital meat thermometer they should register 125 to 130 degrees F in the center. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Choosing scallops: The biggest factor for me is how they smell. Scallops should have a fresh ocean scent and be opaque. If they smell overly fishy or pungent, they will probably taste that way too. Look for scallops that are all about the same size so they cook evenly. You want the larger sea scallops rather than small bay scallops.
  • Frozen scallops: Oftentimes the best scallops I can find are frozen ones. They work great, just be sure to thaw them completely in the fridge and pat them completely dry. I usually get mine at Costco.
  • Air Fryer: My other favorite way to make these is in the air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F then cook the bacon wrapped scallops for 11-13 minutes until the scallops are done and the bacon is crisp.
  • Grill: This is a great approach in the summer. In this case, I recommend soaking wooden skewers and skewering 3-4 scallops on each skewer rather than using toothpicks to secure the bacon. Grill over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until the scallops are done and the bacon is crisp.
  • Serve with pasta tossed with olive oil and seasoned with grated parmesan cheese and pepper, mashed potatoes, green vegetables, or rice pilaf.
  • Storage: Leftovers should be stored in the fridge and will be good for a day or maybe 2. Just reheat in pan to warm them up and crisp the bacon a bit.
  • Bacon wrapped shrimp: This recipe works great with shrimp in place of the scallops, if you prefer or can't find good scallops.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 382Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 1728mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 43g

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.