Grilled scallops have a buttery taste and they take just minutes to make at home. Simply toss scallops with a bit of olive oil, garlic and lemon & grill.

Scallops seem fancy but are honestly easy to make!

Grilled Scallops on a plate with lemons

What Are Scallops?

Scallops are mollusks that come in large and petite sizes.

  • Smaller scallops are called bay scallops and are great in seafood chowder, cooked in sauce, or added to pasta dishes.
  • Larger scallops are called sea scallops and are often served wrapped in bacon, cooked in foil, or threaded onto skewers and grilled, kebab style!

scallops on a plate with lemon , oil and garlic in the background


Like shrimp scampi, these scallops have a very basic preparation. A bit of lemon, some garlic, and olive oil.

Use larger sea scallops in this recipe.

Olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper are used to flavor these scallops! I’ve included a few of our favorite variations in the recipe below as well.

How to Make Grilled Scallops

Just see how easy it is to make grilled scallops!

  1. Pat scallops dry and toss with the marinade.
  2. Grill scallops on a greased grate over medium heat.
  3. Remove from grill and season.

Grilling Tip If your scallops are on the smaller side, thread them on a skewer to keep them from slipping into the grates. If using wood skewers, be sure to soak them in water for 30 minutes first so they don’t burn on the grill.

Grilled Scallops on the grill

Serving Suggestions

Grilled scallops are the star of the show and are great with simple sides like oven roasted asparagus or sesame ginger snap peas.

A simple pasta dish with a fresh light sauce or pesto is great too.

Tips for Perfect Scallops

  • Thaw frozen scallops in the refrigerator and drain any liquid. Dab them dry before marinating.
  • Choose uniformly shaped scallops so they cook at the same rate.
  • Do not overcook. Scallops should be opaque, firm, and lightly browned on the edges.

Once cooked, scallops will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 days. The best way to reheat them is to heat a little olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat so they reheat slowly.

Quick & Easy Seafood

Did you make these Grilled Scallops? Be sure to leave a comment and a rating below!

Grilled Scallops on a plate with lemons
5 from 31 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Quick and Easy Grilled Scallops

Grilled Scallops are simple, yet full of flavor! Enjoy this yummy appetizer any day of the year!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 16 minutes
Servings 4 servings
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  • 1 pound sea scallops thawed if frozen
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • optional additions below
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • additional lemon and parsley for garnish optional


  • Dab scallops dry with a paper towel.
  • Combine olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice (and any additions below if using). Toss with scallops and let rest a few minutes while grill preheats.
  • Preheat grill to medium-high.
  • Once the grill is heated, oil the grates by adding oil to a paper towel and using tongs to rub the oil on the grates.
  • Remove scallops from the marinade (discard marinade) and season scallops with salt & pepper. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side or just until opaque.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.


Optional Marinade Additions (choose 1)
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest (for a stronger lemon flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon each fresh chopped basil and parsley
  • replace lemon juice with lime juice and add 2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
If your scallops are on the smaller side, thread them on a skewer to keep them from slipping into the grates. If using wood skewers, be sure to soak them in water for 30 minutes first so they don't burn on the grill.
To reheat, saute in a pan over medium heat with a little olive oil until heated through. 
5 from 31 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 142 | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 445mg | Potassium: 232mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Appetizer, Seafood, Snack
Cuisine American
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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. Oh, Holly! Seeing these succulent looking ocean scallops cooked just like I like them makes me want to cry! . I haven’t had them in months and months because they cost $30/lb here. And we’re 35 miles from Ocean City MD. Scallops have always been my favorite food, period, since I was a little girl. Right now, your gorgeous picture will have to do! Thanks….for breaking my heart. 5 stars