Bacon-Wrapped Scallops – These tender scallops are wrapped in smoky bacon for a double-dose of flavor. They’re the perfect paleo appetizer or special occasion dinner! (Gluten-Free, Paleo, Whole30)
I love going out to eat.
I cook for my job, love mastering new recipes, think about food in my spare time, read cookbooks like novels, and I also really love going out to eat. Michael and I love trying new places (and going back again and again to old favorites), and it was always something we looked forward to sharing with kids.
For several years, it was…less than magical. Our little ones had VERY little patience for waiting, we had some serious struggles with sensory overload, classically wiggly babies/toddlers, and lots of pickiness. (If you’re in the middle of this stage, I see you, and it gets better!)
Now that my kids are a little older, it’s been REALLY fun to take them to restaurants. Sophie, especially, really loves the atmosphere, trying new foods, reading menus, and asking the server to “give my compliments to the chef!”
A few months back, Michael’s work gave him a big family dinner out as a thank-you, and we went to a really fancy (for us!) restaurant. The kids were THRILLED. We ordered all kinds of fun things we wouldn’t normally order to share, trying crab legs, lobster, shrimp, gorgeous salads, incredible side dishes, etc., but the biggest hit of the night was the bacon-wrapped scallops.
Somehow, I made it to my 30s before trying scallops! I. HAVE. BEEN. MISSING. OUT.
We went back again in December to celebrate our “family birthday” (our anniversary), and ordered double the scallops. We finished every last one.
For Valentine’s Day, I wanted to surprise the kids with our own homemade version of this restaurant fave, and I think I’ve nailed it! These bacon-wrapped scallops are the perfect combination. The light, tender scallops are wrapped with savory, smoky, salty bacon and seasoned simply with some salt, pepper, and fresh herbs.
They’re CRAZY easy to put together and make a fun appetizer or fancier at-home meal, perfect for special occasions! Here’s how easy they are…
HOW DO YOU MAKE BACON-WRAPPED SCALLOPS?
WITH JUST 2 MAIN INGREDIENTS! You literally only need scallops + bacon to get started. (Check here for sustainably-caught scallop options) I like to add salt and pepper for some extra flavor,
- Par-cook the bacon so it gets more crispy on the scallops, then cut in half lengthwise so it’s easier to wrap the scallops
- Pat the scallops dry
- Season the scallops with salt & pepper
- Wrap a strip of bacon around each scallop and secure with a toothpick
- Broil till they’re done!
I’ll walk you through each step in detail, so never fear!
WHAT TO SERVE WITH BACON-WRAPPED SCALLOPS:
Bacon-Wrapped Scallops make an awesome appetizer on their own, but if you’re turning them into a full meal (which we usually do), you’ll want a few good side dishes to round things out. Here are some ideas.
CHIPOTLE MASHED SWEET POTATOES. Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes are a delicious and more colorful twist on standard mashed potatoes. These have a smoky vibe that’s LOVELY next to bacon-wrapped scallops.
MEDITERRANEAN CAULIFLOWER RICE. This yummy Mediterranean cauliflower rice is a great lower-carb option to pair with your scallops. Plus, it’s got LOTS of color and flavor!
CRISPY SMASHED POTATOES. Keep the steakhouse vibes going with some crispy smashed potatoes! They’re crispy and golden on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. SO GOOD.
GREEN VEGGIES. These pretty green beans with balsamic pepper relish are great for a fancy feel, or some simply dressed asparagus or broccoli are delicious with scallops.
FRESH BREAD OR ROLLS. If you’re not paleo or doing Whole30, some warm rolls (or gluten-free focaccia) is lovely next to bacon-wrapped scallops!
FAQ + TIPS & TRICKS FOR PERFECT BACON-WRAPPED SCALLOPS
HOW TO GET CRISPY BACON WITH BACON-WRAPPED SCALLOPS. I’m not a fan of floppy bacon, so I like to pre-cook the bacon a bit before wrapping the scallops. You can do this on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- ON THE STOVETOP: Cook 3-4 strips of bacon for 3-4 minutes on medium heat, just till the bacon is opaque but before it’s browned. It should still be flexible. Repeat with remaining bacon.
- IN THE MICROWAVE: Line a plate with paper towels and place 3-4 strips of bacon on the paper towels. Cover with another paper towel (to prevent splatters) and microwave 1 minute on HIGH (regular setting). Repeat with remaining bacon.
LOOK FOR THE LITTLE FLAP on the side of your scallops. This little flap (where the scallop attaches to its shell) can sometimes be tougher than the actual scallop. If you like, you can pinch this little flap and pull it off easily with your fingers before wrapping with bacon. If you forget, it’s honestly not a big deal.
HOW TO THAW FROZEN SCALLOPS. For best results, place the bag/package on a plate or in a bowl of cold water in your refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours (up to overnight) before cooking. If you’re in a hurry, I recommend transferring the frozen scallops to a zip-top bag and placing it in a bowl of cold water on the counter for 30-40 minutes, rotating regularly to help them thaw.
DON’T SKIP THE PATTING DRY STEP. Patting the scallops dry helps salt and pepper stick, and helps the bacon adhere better and tighter. If you skip this step, sometimes the scallops are too wet and the bacon slips off or doesn’t crisp as well.
WHY DO YOU SLICE THE BACON LENGTHWISE? You can slice the bacon lengthwise (the long way) or width-wise (the short way), but I’ve found the most consistent results slicing the bacon lengthwise. That way, I’m positive the bacon can wrap all the way around the scallop. If you cut it the short way, you run the risk of coming up short on some of your scallops.
HELPFUL TOOLS FOR THESE BACON-WRAPPED SCALLOPS:
p.s. Seafood Watch is a great resource for knowing which kinds of seafood have been sustainably caught.Print