A classic New England favorite, these baked scallops are tossed in butter and coated in a lemon and garlic panko topping then baked until golden and bubbly.
When my husband and I lived in Boston we would go out for seafood at least once a week, sometimes more. He was a native of the North Shore and would speak about his favorite old time restaurants like Hilltop in Saugus, or Heck Allen’s/Spuds.
After moving back to Michigan, and spending more time in the kitchen, I realized just how easy it is to make seafood at home! These New England Baked Scallops with Panko are a favorite in our house, and I know you’ll enjoy them, too!
- Bay scallops: Smaller and sweeter than sea scallops, they are also usually a more affordable option.
- Melted butter: Coats the scallops to keep them moist, soft, and tender while cooking and adding that smooth, buttery flavor.
- Lemon juice: Fresh, bright, acidic flavor that pairs wonderfully with seafood.
- Garlic: Nutty, earthy, and sweet as it cooks, garlic is a staple in all of my cooking.
- Panko bread crumbs: Browns easily to create a delicious, crunchy crust on top of the scallops.
- Parmesan cheese: Paired with the panko, it adds a nutty, salty flavor to the dish.
- Olive oil: Helps to bind the panko and parmesan together and coat the scallops.
How to Make
Start your Baked Scallops with Panko by melting your butter in a medium to large bowl. Then use a microplane to freshly grate your garlic into the butter. Add in some salt and cayenne pepper (if desired).
Next you’ll add in the freshly squeezed lemon juice, though store bought would also work fine.
Whisk it all together until fully incorporated.
Then add your scallops to the bowl and stir to evenly coat in the melted butter mixture.
Move your scallops to prepared ramekins or baking dishes, making sure not to overcrowd the scallops.
Then you’ll portion out your bread crumbs into a small bowl, and add in the olive oil.
Add freshly grated or store bought parmesan cheese to the panko.
Stir together until evenly mixed and coated in the olive oil.
Then top all of your scallops with the panko mixture, sprinkling it evenly over each dish. Then pop them in the oven at 400 degrees for around 20 minutes.
Once the bread crumbs are golden brown and bubbly, remove from the oven. Garnish with fresh scallions or parsley, and enjoy your New England Baked Scallops with Panko!
- No scallops, no problem! If you can’t find bay scallops you can use shrimp, sea scallops, or simply use a piece of fresh white fish.
- Make it gluten free. Panko makes a gluten-free bread crumb, or you could use almond meal or almond flour.
Bay Scallops vs Sea Scallops
Many of you may not have known there is more than one ‘scallop’ out there but there is! What’s the difference?
- About 1/2 inch in diameter
- Caught in cold shallow waters primaraly on the East Coast bays and harbors
- More tender and sweeter
- 75-100 of these make up a pound
- Less expensive than a sea scallop
- Up to 2 inches in diameter
- Caught in 600+ foot waters
- About 20 of these make up a pound
- Chewer than a bay scallop
- More expensive than bay scallops
Where to buy:
Most supermarkets should carry in their seafood department. As with any seafood you buy shop with your eyes and nose. Fresh scallops look moist, won’t appear to be freezer burned and show no signs of darken edges. You can always ask to smell them before you buy to ensure freshness.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do you know when a scallop is done?
Scallops are opaque all the way through when finished cooking, which is difficult to see in this dish. While cooking will firm them up slightly, they should still be quite soft. If they get too tough, they are overcooked. I’d stay on the side of undercooking them, as it’s easy to pop them back in the oven for a couple minutes.
How long do scallops take to cook?
On the stove, scallops take only 4 or 5 minutes to cook all the way through. In the oven, it’s about 20 minutes.
How do you store leftover baked scallops?
Properly stored in an air-tight container, leftovers will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
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Did you try this recipe and love it? The next time you make it, snap a picture and share it to your socials! Tag @thelemonbowl and #thelemonbowl so we can admire and share your meal.
This dish always makes me reminiscent of Boston, but even if you’ve never been, I know you’ll love my New England Baked Scallops with Panko. Let me know in the comments!
Your fork is waiting.
New England Baked Scallops with Panko
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and have one 8 x 8 baking dish or four small ramekins ready to use.
- In a medium bowl, toss scallops with melted butter, lemon juice, garlic, salt and cayenne. Divide mixture evenly between ramekins or place in baking dish.
- In a small bowl, mix together panko, parmesan and olive oil. Sprinkle mixture evenly on top of scallops. Bake until bubbly and scallops are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Garnish with scallions or parsley to serve.