The “Grill-More” Girls – Simple Grilled Scallops

This week this “Grill-More” Girl tried her hand at another seafood dish, Simple Grilled Scallops.

Grilled scallops can turn a plain steak dinner into a fab surf and turf entrée or they can stand alone as a tasty main dish.   Scallops are a great source of protein, and if prepared properly they have a very unique, sweet flavor.   I’d only ever prepared them on the stove top in a frying pan or broiled in the oven.  My thought was that they might be too delicate for the grill and that I would char them into burnt little discs, but grilling scallops isn’t tough at all.  It’s easy just as long as you follow a few simple rules…

Rule One – Select good scallops.  Nothing is worse than seafood that isn’t fresh.  Like any type of fresh seafood, the should have not (or have very little) a fishy smell to them.  If they are fresh, you may notice a sweetness to them, and that’s a good thing.  Also, try to make sure when you select scallops that they are all about the same size, so they all will take about the same time to cook.  I don’t recommend using frozen ones because they have too much moisture in them.  For this recipe, I used ones that were about a ½ dollar in diameter and about an ¾ of an inch thick.

Rule Two – Make sure that you not use oil on your scallops, but also make sure to lube up your grill as well.  It would be a sin to have your fresh, sweet scallops stick to the grill and fall apart when you try to turn them.  You can use a canned oil spray such as PAM Grilling or Weber Grill‘n Spray or just saturate a paper towel with olive oil and use tongs to spread it on the grill grates.

Rule Three – Make sure your grill is on medium-high heat and cook the scallops over direct heat.  You want to sear the outside, getting some nice grill marks and allowing the scallop to caramelize, which helps to bring out its natural sweetness.

Rule Four When cooking the scallops, do not leave the grill for even one second because they cook very quickly. Cookbooks recommend that scallops should be cooked to medium-rare. It only takes a split second to go from sweet and spongy to tough and rubbery.  It’s also important to remember that they’ll continue to cook a bit once you’ve removed them from the heat. Depending upon their size, I suggest grilling the scallops no more than two to three minutes on each side – turn once and remove once a nice brown color has developed.

Rule FiveEat immediately!  Because they are small, scallops tend to cool quickly – and who wants to eat a cold scallop?  It’s best to prepare the rest of your meal first and bring your scallops to the dinner table directly from the grill.

Now I served my scallops as a compliment to a grilled skirt steak (marinated in Stubbs Beef Marinade and tossed on medium-high grill and cooked to medium-rare) and a green bean/fresh mozzarella & tomato salad, dressed with balsamic vinegar.  I think the entire  meal took about 40 minutes to make from prep to plate.  It was tasty and it would be an elegant dish to serve at a dinner party.

Simple Grilled Scallops
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time:  ½ hour (from turning grill on thru cooking)
Serves: 2-3 people

1 pound scallops, all about the same size
½ cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

1.      Combine olive oil, salt & pepper in a shallow bowl and mix well. Place scallops in bowl and coat with olive oil and spices.
2.      Bring grill to medium-high heat in area where you will be grilling scallops. Once the grill is hot, make sure to lubricate the grates with olive oil before placing your scallops on grill.
3.      Place scallops over direct heat and cook for about two-three minutes per side, using tongs to turn carefully, just until opaque.
4.      Remove from heat, sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve/eat immediately

With just a little bit of planning and preparation there’s always time for a home cooked meal!  Make sure that you check out my “Grill-More Girl” Cristina over at to see what she cooked up this week as well.

But before you hop on over there, don’t forget to link up your yummy grilling recipe below!  If there is a type of specific kind of grilling recipe you’d like for me to try, leave a comment below and I’ll do it!

Copyright © 2012 The Harried Mom. All Rights Reserved.


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    • TheHarriedMom says

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m a big fan of scallops – but was always afraid to cook them on the grill – that they’d either fall thru the rungs or fall apart!

    • TheHarriedMom says

      They are so simple to make….and they tasted so sweet! Wait til you see what I’ve in store for this week – squid/calamari (but not fried!)

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