Bacon Scallops with Lemon Butter Sauce - this dish tastes just like bacon-wrapped scallops but is much easier to make! It takes only 30 minutes from start to finish!
These seared scallops with bacon in lemon butter sauce are easy-to-make, they taste delicious, and look like something you would get at the high-end restaurant! It's a great recipe to make as an appetizer or you can pair the bacon scallops with pasta or rice to serve them as the main course! The buttery sauce with lemon and bacon is super yummy - you'll enjoy every bit of it! This recipe is gluten-free and low-carb.
Keep in mind, that what you see in the photo above is 1 pound worth of scallops. After they are cooked, it's only enough to be served as a small portion. Scallops cook down a lot. Below I have some recommendations about what to serve with bacon scallops.
Serve Bacon Scallops as the main course
Serve seared scallops over pasta or rice to make a complete meal. Here are some suggestions:
- Use angel hair pasta. This type of pasta is fine enough to go with the lemon butter sauce without overwhelming the bacon scallops. You can add olive oil and roasted garlic to pasta for extra flavor.
- Prepare orzo and serve the scallops and the sauce over the cooked orzo.
- Cooked jasmine rice or flavored rice are also great options.
Because these pan-seared scallops have bacon and lemon butter sauce, the best side dishes would be green vegetables, such as sautéed spinach, roasted asparagus, or mashed potatoes. You can also serve scallops with Asiago Bacon and Garlic Roasted Asparagus or Garlic and Bacon Green Beans.
How to thaw frozen scallops
If using frozen scallops, it's imperative to thaw them completely. Thaw the scallops overnight in the refrigerator. Do not thaw the scallops by leaving them on the counter.
How to cook perfect scallops on the stovetop
- First of all, bring thawed scallops to room temperature before cooking. That means to let them sit on a plate on the countertop for about 30 minutes (not longer) before cooking.
- After the scallops reach room temperature, blot each scallop with paper towels to remove extra water.
- Sprinkle each scallop with a dash of salt.
- Use a large, non-stick skillet (I used stainless steel skillet which works well for me as non-stick).
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in this skillet on high heat until hot but not smoking. Oil should be rolling easily around the skillet when you move it around, and it should not smoke.
- Immediately, add scallops without overcrowding the pan. Sear on one side for about 3-4 minutes until the bottom of the scallops is a nice golden color. Don't move the scallops around the pan in the beginning. Flip the scallops over to the other side and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Remove the skillet from heat and transfer the scallops to the plate immediately. Important note: Don't let the scallops sit in the hot skillet, off heat, because they will start to steam, lose their crust and harden up.
Key Tip for making perfect seared scallops
The key to making perfect pan-seared scallops is to cook them really fast on a really hot skillet. After you've cooked the scallops, you should immediately remove them from the skillet. This ensures that the scallops retain their nice golden crust and are not overcooked.
Other delicious recipes with scallops
- Seared Scallop with Creamy Lemon Caper Sauce - in this recipe, scallops are seared in a skillet to a nice golden crust and then coated with a creamy sauce made with garlic, lemon juice, and capers.
- Scallops with Creamy Mozzarella Pasta - this is a great recipe that combines scallops with pasta! Scallops are served with penne pasta and creamy sauce made with Mozzarella cheese, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and red pepper flakes.
Bacon Scallops with Lemon Butter Sauce
- 5 strips bacon , uncooked, chopped
- 1 lb scallops
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice , freshly squeezed
- 2 tablespoons wine or use lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons butter , softened but not melted
- 2 tablespoons parsley , fresh, chopped
- Cook chopped bacon in a skillet until cooked.
- Dry scallops with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat the large skillet until very hot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and immediately add scallops. Sear on high heat, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from the skillet.
- Add 3 tablespoons lemon juice (and maybe 2 more tablespoons white wine). Scrape the bottom of the pan.
- Remove from heat, add softened butter (but not melted) - to create a creamy sauce. Add chopped bacon. Add back seared scallops. Top with chopped parsley
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
We made this tonight using bay scallops (cost saving measure). It was an excellent choice! There was a nugget of scallop in every bite. We doubled the sauce, added garlic and Italian seasonings and I’m looking forward to leftovers tomorrow!!!
Carol, I am so happy this recipe was a success! Thank you for sharing this super positive feedback! ❤️
I too made this recipe with modifications. However, it tasted like I was in a 5 star restaurant. I sauteed the garlic in olive oil, butter and white wine just for a couple minutes and then set aside. Added more olive oil to the bits of garlic left in the pan and turned up the heat to cook the scallops. while cooking scallops I tossed in a sprinkle of Italian seasoning. Threw back in the garlic and wine mix along with the bacon and added another tbs of butter and aprox 1/3 cup of heavy cream. Served over linguine and topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese. I couldn't believe how amazing it was. I plan to keep this one for when I need to show off my cooking skills!
Kristi, thank you so much for taking the time to share such a positive comment! I love your changes: the addition of Italian seasoning and heavy cream. This is delicious to serve over linguine - I bet your presentation of this dish was GORGEOUS!
Anyone try this using shrimp??
This will be delicious with shrimp!
It was good however the sauce was too bland. I’ll make it again but add heavy whipping cream and Parmesan cheese like one of the comments suggested.
Kim, I am glad you liked the overall flavor. Adding heavy cream and Parmesan would be quite delicious!
I like that the scallops are not wrapped in the bacon. I tried to make bacon wrapped scallops only once. If the scallop is cooked just right then the bacon is not crispy. If the bacon is crispy then the scallop is overcooked.
Tom, I am glad you found this recipe useful. Bacon-wrapped scallops can be time-consuming, and this is an easy alternative to that.
Recipe turned out delicious! I made some modifications. I coated the scallops with pepper old bay and garlic powder. Remove them from the bacon grease and dump the grease. I added the other ingredients. Then added heavy whipping cream and Parmesan cheese. Put it over zoodles and it was delicious!
Linetta, I love your changes! Especially serving this over the zoodles - what a great idea! 🙂
The sodium count is quite high for someone watching their salt intake. I assume, without adding any additional salt, that the majority of the sodium comes from the bacon, correct? We don't use salted butter, or salt at the table or stove.
But the dish is great!
This looks amazing! But, How do you get the sand out of the scallops?
I have rinsed them each time I have made them
And nothing seems to work.
Awesome, easy, perfection on a plate!
Should have taken a picture but it was gone in a flash. Just delicious!
Do you drain the bacon grease before you put the scallops into the pan or do you use the grease to cook the scallops?
Do you drain the bacon grease or cook the scallops in it?
I drained the bacon grease and used olive oil to sear the scallops.