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Learn how to make perfect Broiled Scallops with a Parmesan Crust. Easy recipe and guide to make tender breaded scallops in the oven.
Parmesan Crusted Scallops are simple yet mouthwatering, with sweet flavor, moist centers, and crispy tops. They're perfect for a memorable dinner or as a party appetizer. What's even better?
Much like scallops fettuccine or scallops and spinach, this recipe won't keep you tied to the kitchen. You can prep them in advance, and when the time is right, simply place them under the broiler for a mere 10 minutes.
This beloved recipe is from our meal prep stores and has graced countless tables. So if you splurged on gorgeous sea scallops and are looking for a tried and true recipe, I have your back.
I'll guide you step-by-step on how to broil scallops with a breadcrumb coating, sharing the valuable lessons learned over the years.
Parmesan crusted scallops are perfect for holiday gatherings and romantic dinners. So they've earned a spot in our special occasion dinners collection. But there's no reason why you shouldn't treat yourself today!
Hungry yet? Let's get cooking!
Here's what you'll need to make Parmesan Crusted Broiled Scallops:
- Sea Scallops are the best choice for this recipe. Bay scallops are too small and cook too quickly. Larger Patagonian scallops will work too. See the section below on purchasing scallops.
- Butter and/ or Olive Oil coats the scallops so the breading adheres.
- Bread crumbs - Italian seasoned breadcrumbs add to the overall flavor. Unseasoned and panko breadcrumbs can be used instead.
- Parmesan cheese - Finely grate the cheese.
- Parsley - Fresh minced parsley or dried parsley flakes can be used.
- Sweet Paprika gives the breading a little color and enhances the taste. Avoid smoked paprika which will have a strong flavor.
- Black pepper is part of the breading too.
Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions.
What to Look for When Buying Scallops
You're faced with many decisions when buying scallops at the grocery store. Here's what to look for so you can make the best decision:
- Dry vs. wet - Buy dry scallops because they don't contain chemicals and are more flavorful. Wet scallops have been dipped in a preservative (sodium tripolyphosphate) to extend their shelf life. If the package is not labeled, steer clear of bright white scallops swimming in a milky white liquid. Dry scallops range from ivory white to pale pink, orange, and tan.
- Frozen vs. Fresh - Frozen and fresh scallops are both excellent choices. Frozen scallops should be "dry" and individually quick frozen (IQF.) Defrost scallops overnight in the refrigerator before using.
- Size - Scallops are sold by weight, and you'll find anywhere from 10-20 (jumbo size) to 20-30 (large scallops) in a one-pound bag. Either size is perfect for broiling or baking in the oven.
Directions with Pictures
Here's how to broil scallops with a parmesan crust in the oven.
1. Preheat the oven.
Preheat the oven to 425°F and place the oven rack about 10 inches from the heat source.
Note: If your stove has only one setting, the broiling temp is most likely between 500°F to 550°F. If it has more than one option, then low is about 400°F and medium is about 450°F. We settled on the lower side to minimize the risk of burning!
2. Prep scallops.
Rinse sea scallops to remove debris or ice particles, and pat them dry with a paper towel.
3. Prepare the breading and butter mixture.
In a shallow bowl, combine breadcrumbs, grated parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, paprika, and black pepper.
Melt butter in the microwave (or stovetop) and combine it with olive oil in a different bowl. This mixture will coat the scallops so the breading adheres nicely.
4. Bread scallops.
Lightly coat each scallop with melted butter mixture, allowing excess butter to drip off. Butter thickens when it comes in contact with a cold scallop, so be ready to move quickly to the next step.
Tip: Use a silicone pastry brush to lightly brush the scallops with butter. It's not as messy, and applying a thin coat of butter is easier. A thick butter layer results in soggy breading.
Next, roll each scallop in the parmesan breading. Putting little to no breading on the bottom of the scallops is best. Shake off excess breading.
Alternative Method: Don't bread the sides and/or bottom of the scallops. Simply sprinkle bread crumb mixture over the top before broiling!
5. Broil scallops.
Place scallops on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray and under the preheated broiler for 10 minutes or until they are moist and white in the center and the tops are golden brown.
Tip: If you have a grill rack or cookie cooling rack that fits over a shallow baking pan, use it. This will help the bottoms of the scallops to crisp and not get soggy. Alternatively, you can skip breading the bottom of the scallops.
The exact timing will vary depending on the oven, the size of the scallops, and how heavily they are breaded. They cook very quickly, so keep an eye on them, opening the oven door if you have to in order to get a good look at the progress.
Tips for Success
Broiling scallops with a breading is a delightful contrast between the tender, sweet scallop, and the crispy exterior. Here are our top tips to achieve perfectly broiled scallops:
- Buy high-quality, dry scallops that don't contain added preservatives.
- Dab away any excess wetness with a paper towel before breading the scallops.
- Avoid heavily breading scallops so the natural flavor shines through.
- Use a baking sheet with a wire rack insert to raise the scallops off the flat surface and help circulate the heat around them, resulting in even cooking and a crispier crust.
- Don't bread the bottom of the scallops if you don't want to worry about the bottoms being soggy.
- Monitor the cooking progress. Because the broiler operates at high temperatures, watching scallops closely is essential to ensure they don't burn. You're aiming for a golden crust and a translucent center.
- Enjoy right away!
Storage and Make Ahead
Leftovers: Store leftover broiled scallops in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator and up to 2 months in the freezer. Reheat in the oven or an air fryer.
Meal Prep: Bread scallops using the method above, but don't cook them. Freeze them in a single layer in an airtight container for up to 2 months. When you are ready to cook them, allow them to defrost in the refrigerator overnight and then cook them as usual.
What to Serve With Broiled Scallops
The goal of a meal with broiled scallops is to serve sides that complement their natural sweetness but don't overpower it. Here are some classic pairings:
- Roasted vegetables, such as asparagus, green beans, or sauteed spinach
- Mixed green salad
- Mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower
- Risotto or polenta
- Pasta, lightly tossed in garlic and olive oil or with a lemony sauce
- Couscous, rice, or roasted cauliflower rice
Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley!
Optional Sauce for Broiled Scallops
If you'd like to add a sauce, make this easy one. Drizzle it over veggies too!
Melt ¼ cup butter in a small saucepan over low heat. If using unsalted butter, add salt to taste or about ¼ teaspoon. Remove from heat once it has melted and stir it with 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice. You can also add chopped herbs, like parsley!
More Seafood Recipes
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Perfect Broiled Scallops with a Parmesan Crust
- 2 Pounds Sea Scallops
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspon parsley finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and place the oven rack about 10 inches from the top heating element.
- Rinse the sea scallops to remove any debris or ice particles and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Melt butter in the microwave (or on the stovetop) and combine it with olive oil.
- In a second shallow bowl combine breadcrumbs, grated parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, paprika, and black pepper.
- Lightly brush each scallop with the butter mixture, allowing excess butter to drip off.
- Roll each scallop in the parmesan breading, shaking off excess crumbs, and place it on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Note: If you have a grill rack or cookie cooling rack that fits over a shallow baking pan, use it. This will help the bottoms of the scallops to crisp and not get soggy. Alternatively, you can skip breading the bottom of the scallops.
- Broil the scallops for 10 minutes or until they are moist and white in the center and the tops are golden brown.The exact timing will vary depending on the oven, the size of the scallops, and how heavily they are breaded. They cook very quickly, so keep an eye on them, opening the oven door if you have to in order to get a good look at the progress.
This recipe was originally published on May 4, 2013, and has been updated to improve the reader experience.