Baked Nantucket Bay Scallops

A quick and easy recipe that lets the flavor of these beautiful scallops shine through.

I have been scallop greedy this winter. Some years, New England bay scallops, especially Nantuckets, are hard to find or really expensive because they truly are rigidly protected and the absolute best in the world. They were still expensive this year, but my fish supplier was able to get them for me a couple of times. They are in season from November through February or March, some years only through January all depending on weather.

One of my favorites, as all scallops, they are best cooked quickly and served without a lot of fuss. A simple bake with a little lemon and a crumb coating, just a bit of garlic and Parmesan, a little tarragon, and the scallops shine through as the star.

If you cannot find New England or other local bay scallops, use sea scallops, just cut them in half or quarters! Always ask for “dry” scallops that are not packed in a preservative. In the watery solution, they lose their flavor and absorb so much water they are usually impossible to sear. Plus, who wants to eat a chemical?

Baked Nantucket Bay Scallops Au Gratin

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • ¾ cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. Nantucket or other local bay scallops
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ tsp. fresh tarragon, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp. white wine
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk, or heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an oval casserole dish about “8X10″.

Combine Parmesan, crumbs, parsley, and paprika, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Remove any tough muscles from the scallops and pat dry. Line the casserole with the scallops in a single layer, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a small skillet, combine the butter and olive oil and heat over medium high. Add the shallots and shiitake and sauté for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic and tarragon. Cook until fragrant, about a minute. Pour over the scallops and sprinkle with the white wine. Pour the cream or coconut milk evenly over all.

Top the scallops with the crumb mixture, and drizzle with just a little more melted butter.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until the crumbs are brown and scallops are tender.

Serve with rice or roasted potatoes.

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33 Comments Add yours

  1. Such a tasty looking dish. Wish I could get these scallops. 🙂

    1. Thank you Ronit! I am well aware how lucky I am to live in New England! But every region has its specialities, and I think you could make this dish even with tofu!

  2. Sheree says:

    Those look and smell delicious. Now, where did I leave my fork?

    1. Don’t worry, I have extra forks!

      1. Sheree says:

        Excellent news!

  3. Ooh, ooh, that looks absolutely delicious. If you had takeout, I’d order two to go. 🙂

  4. Nancy Richy says:

    Mmmmm. Looks fantastic!

    1. Thank you Nancy! This is one of my favorites!

  5. I’m giving scallops a second chance. 🤔

    1. Ah! Everyone deserve a second chance!

  6. Sounds like heaven, scallops are my favorite!

    1. Thank you, I think you’d enjoy this one!

  7. Julia says:

    Mmmmm, scallops! This sounds so good!

  8. Fergy. says:

    I adore scallops but in the UK I would need to take out a mortgage to buy them and I have never seen the Nantucket Bay variety. The only thing I know about Nantucket is the sleighride!

    1. You can use any scallop in this recipe, or substitute medallions of a firm white fish. Good luck, and let me know if you experiment.

  9. I love scallops and these look amazing!

    1. Thank you Diane! This is one of our favorites, and it is really simple to make as well.

      1. I wish I could get them fresh.

      2. I hear you! Bay scallops do not freeze well. At the end of the season I’ve tried to put some by, and even a month in the freezer and they lose their flavor and soft texture. So, sigh, they are among those foods that are best enjoyed in season! I’ve had better luck freezing sea scallops for up to two months.

  10. suzannesmom says:

    That looks mouth watering!

    1. Thank you! It’s really a simple and delicious recipe.

  11. How delicious looking!🍂🍮🍂🍮

    1. Why thank you very much my friend!

  12. They look divine! I just started cooking seafood at home. Happy to have this recipe in my kit now!

    1. It’s so easy, you will absolutely love it!

  13. Rekha Unni says:

    Lovely ❤️

  14. I know how delicious this dish had to be. You were indeed lucky to get Nantucket scallops. Friends who have a house on the island just recently said they were $40 a pound this year.

    1. Thank you Karen, it really was out of this world. I got a better deal from my restaurant supplier, but they were still pricy. Worth every cent though!

  15. I love scallops and you are so right that fresh ones that have not been brined are so much better. I can get fresh ones in the shell that I have to shuck myself. I don’t mind the work but they are expensive, like $5 each and you will probably need about a dozen to end up with a pound of scallop flesh! I think in a baked dish like this, where no searing is needed, one could make do with the brined ones. This dish would also be perfect to serve individual portions in the original shells.
    What do you do with the shiitake mushrooms? You list them in the ingredients, but not in the instructions.

    1. Good catch Stefan!!! The shallot and shiitake mushrooms go in just before the garlic!
      I have a nice fish market that get the whole divers’ scallops occasionally and I’ve indulged, making them a special presentation as a starter for a meal. Expensive, yes, but so much fun, and we get to keep the shells for another meal!

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