You can make Broiled Scallops with Parmesan Bread Crumbs in 30 minutes! You'll love this easy sea scallops recipe with an Italian twist!
Behold, our favorite seafood dish! Mom's broiled scallops recipe will rock your world.
Think sweet, tender sea scallops dipped in butter and olive oil, then coated with cheesy, Italian bread crumbs and broiled to savory, browned perfection.
Scallops: It starts with thawed or fresh sea scallops, which are the large ones.
Bread crumbs: I recommend using plain, homemade bread crumbs, but feel free to use store-bought ones and season them as directed in this scallops recipe.
Cheese: You’ll mix the bread crumbs with freshly grated Parmesan and a little Romano. Although you don't usually see cheese used with seafood in Italy, this combination is incredible with scallops!
Seasonings: Garlic powder and pepper go into the bread crumb mixture, then paprika gets sprinkled on later, before broiling. Parmesan and Romano provide salty flavor, so you don’t need to add salt to the scallops, unless you’re using unsalted butter.
Tips to prep the scallops
- Thaw frozen scallops overnight in the refrigerator. Then place them in a drainer in the sink and run cold water over them for 4-5 minutes to finish thawing.
- Examine each scallop closely for any grains of sand. If you see any, scrape them off with your fingernail. Even a speck of sand will be crunchy. (Eww!)
- Peel off and discard the side muscle from each scallop, because it will be tough to chew.
- Pat the scallops dry and let them sit on paper towels to absorb excess moisture. The scallops will turn out soggy if you don’t dry them well.
How to bread them
See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full instructions, but here's an overview.
- Mix the bread crumbs with the cheeses, pepper and garlic powder.
- Melt the butter and mix in olive oil.
- Dip the scallops in the butter mixture, then coat them well with the bread crumb mixture.
How to broil scallops
- Move an oven rack to the top position. Preheat the broiler to medium (500 degrees) if possible, or use the standard high broil setting.
- Broil the scallops on a sheet pan (affiliate link) lined with foil for easy cleanup. Broil for on the first side for two minutes or until browned.
- Flip the scallops over and broil on the second side for about two minutes, or until browned and cooked through.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, but they are smaller and will cook more quickly. Check them after a couple minutes to see how much longer they need.
Scallops are done when they are no longer translucent. They should be white inside and tender. The bread crumbs on the outside will be browned and slightly crispy.
The best way is to simply leave them in the refrigerator overnight in their packaging and then, rinse them under cool water for a few minutes to finish thawing. If you didn't plan ahead, run the water over them for longer, turning them over as needed. Never use the microwave for thawing scallops, or they will become tough.
- For easy cleanup, broil the scallops on a foil-lined sheet pan that's greased with cooking spray.
- Monitor the scallops carefully when broiling. Cooking time will depend on their thickness and how hot your broiler gets.
- If the scallops seem to be getting too dark but still need time to cook through, move the pan to the center rack of the oven to finish cooking, keeping the broil setting.
What to serve with them
We serve these broiled scallops as the main course for dinner. My favorite sides for scallops include Steamed Asparagus and long-grain rice. Broccoli with Gremolata or Rapini (Broccoli Rabe) also work well.
If you have any leftovers, they're perfect over lettuce, like these Breaded Scallops over Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette. You also could serve them with buttered pasta.
But, honestly, my family will stand at the counter and eat these leftover Parmesan-crusted scallops cold, right out of fridge. Those cheesy, buttery bread crumbs are outrageously good!
These Italian scallops might not be traditional, but they're delicious!! I hope you love them as much as we do.
More seafood recipes
- Jumbo Fried Shrimp
- Italian Fried Calamari
- Easy Cilantro-Lime Shrimp
- Baked Parmesan Shrimp with Garlic Butter
P.S. If you try this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and a rating!
Broiled Scallops with Parmesan Bread Crumbs
- 2 pounds sea scallops (10-20 count per pound, can buy frozen and thaw them)
- ⅔ cup plain fresh bread crumbs finely grated
- ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Romano cheese
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 4 tablespoons salted butter (can use unsalted if watching sodium)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- lemon wedges for serving
- If the scallops are frozen, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator. Then, place the scallops in a colander in the sink and run cold water over them for 4-5 minutes until completely thawed. (See notes.)
- Remove the side muscle from each scallop, as it will be tough. (See photo in post.) Look carefully for any specks of sand to scrape off the scallops.
- Pat the scallops dry with paper towels and let them rest on a couple layers of paper towels to continue drying as you proceed with the recipe.
- Move your oven rack to the top position and preheat your broiler. (Use a medium setting of 500 degrees F, if possible. Otherwise use the standard high setting.) Line a sheet pan with foil. Grease the foil with cooking spray.
- Add the bread crumbs, Parmesan, Romano, garlic powder and pepper to a dinner plate (or use a gallon-sized, resealable plastic bag) and stir or shake to combine.
- Add the butter to a microwave-safe, liquid measuring cup. Melt the butter in the microwave, covered loosely. (Try 30 seconds at first, then more as needed.)
- Stir the olive oil into the melted butter in the cup.
- Set up an assembly line from left to right with the scallops, butter mixture, bread crumb mixture, and foil-lined pan.
- Dry the scallops again with paper towels, so you don't end up with a soggy result.
- Place four scallops at a time into the butter mixture. Use a fork to turn them to coat all sides.
- Transfer the scallops to the bread crumb mixture. Coat the scallops well with the bread crumbs and use a different fork to transfer them to your pan. Continue breading all the scallops and placing them on the pan. Discard any unused bread crumb mixture that has touched the raw scallops. (If you pour the rest of the bread crumbs onto the pan of scallops, the crumbs will burn under the broiler.)
- Sprinkle paprika on the breaded scallops. Pour any extra butter mixture over the scallops.
- Broil the scallops on the top rack for two minutes on the first side, or until browned.
- Use a small metal spatula or spoon to flip over the scallops. Broil on the second side for another 2 minutes or until browned but not burned. (Watch them carefully.)
- The scallops are done whey they are white and tender on the inside. If you find that the bread crumbs are getting too brown but the scallops need to be cooked a bit more, you can move the pan to the middle of the oven to finish cooking.
- Squeeze lemon juice on the scallops before serving. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.
(Recipe Source: Adapted from my Mom, who uses unsalted butter and doesn't measure anything. Originally published on April 19, 2018 and updated now with additional photos and text.)