Brown Sugar Bacon Wrapped Scallops Recipe – these scallops wrapped in bacon and topped with brown sugar is the most delicious bacon wrapped scallop recipe ever!
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Easy Brown Sugar Glazed Bacon Scallops
I love delicious, sweet, salty, and springy scallops – they are hands-down on of my all time favorite foods.
Scallops are amazing with very little work – though they can be a bit tricky if you’re just learning to cook them.
Luckily, I’m adding a ton of easy tips and tricks to make these amazing bacon wrapped scallops in a brown sugar glaze – so you don’t need any experience in the kitchen for a restaurant quality scallop dish!
How to Make Bacon Wrapped Scallops
To make these scallops, we will need the following ingredients:
- Bacon. Bacon’s smoky, meaty, rich flavor is a delicious compliment for the lightly sweet flavor of scallops, making this dish hearty and delicious.
- Butter. Butter is essential in this dish to add a rich, creamy flavor to our scallops and help the scallops from sticking to the pan. If you don’t have butter on hand, you can use olive oil.
- Scallops. Use large, high quality scallops that are fresh or fully thawed, and do not have a fishy smell. Scallops are a light, mild flavor shellfish with a springy texture and almost sweet flavor that is very butter-like.
- Garlic powder. Garlic powder enhances the rich, hearty flavor of bacon and adds complexity to the brown sugar glaze, adding a pungent, addictive quality to our recipe that will leave you wanting more – and won’t burn or turn acrid like raw garlic when pan searing at a high heat.
- Brown sugar. Brown sugar has a rich, molasses like flavor and melts to turn sticky, creating a lovely glaze for scallops that balances the salty bacon flavor and enhances the lightly sweet scallop flavor.
- Ginger. A bit of ginger gives this recipe a bright, strong kick and bit of heat to add complexity and balance.
Once you’ve gathered the ingredients, we will follow this process:
- Prep. Pat scallops dry with a paper towel. In a large pan, start to crisp bacon. Cook bacon until golden brown – but still soft and pliable. In a small bowl, mix salt, pepper, and garlic and then sprinkle generously over scallops. Wrap each scallop with 1/2 bacon strip and secure by pushing a toothpick through the bacon and scallop. In another small bowl, mix brown sugar and ginger. Sprinkle brown sugar and ginger mixture all over scallop, but reserve much of the sugar and gigner to sprinkle after the scallops flip once.
- Sear. Heat butter in large pan until foamy and melted. Add scallops to pan and cook on medium high heat. Flip after 5-6 minutes, sprinkle with more sugar and ginger, and continue repeating steps until scallops are cooked.
- Serve. Serve immediately.
Tips and Tricks to Perfect Bacon Wrapped Scallops & FAQs
Scallops should have no fishy smell. Scallops, like shrimp, should be light, crisp, fresh – without a fishy smell or tough texture. If your scallops smell super fishy before cooking them, they might not be very fresh (scallops will have a bit of a fishy smell, moreseo than shrimp, but it should be at most very faint.) Despite having the freshest scallops, it still can be very easy to mess them up – which actually makes any fishy flavor stronger!
Brown well. Scallops taste best with a little bit of charring from the pan – and starting with scallops that aren’t super wet are a great way to be sure you’ll have a crisp, crunchy crust on the outside of your scallop – giving it the perfect flavor!
Use butter or olive oil. Scallops can stick like nobody’s business – so I am always sure to use a little butter (I prefer the buttery flavor with sweet scallop meat) when cooking scallops – you could use the bacon grease from pre-cooking your bacon, but I prefer a bit of butter to avoid being too bacon-y.
Cook hot and fast. Scallops get very tough when cooked slowly or too long – for the most flavorful scallop meat, cook them hot, and quickly.
Partially pre-cook bacon. For bacon wrapped scallops, I think pre-cooking bacon part of the way is essential for the best scallops that aren’t tough – and bacon that is evenly rendered.
Don’t overcook. Don’t overcook scallops – not only do overcooked scallops taste fishy – they are often tough and hard to chew, too.
Watch scallop’s color. For perfect scallops, brown each side, and watch the middle of the scallop. When the scallop turns bright white and opaque it is cooked.
Defrost properly. If you live somewhere you can’t get fresh scallops (like me in Northern Colorado), never fear – you can still grab frozen scallops and have a delicious dish – if you let the scallops defrost properly. These tips will help you maximize your flavor when cooking previously frozen scallops.
- If possible, break apart any scallops that might be stuck together (don’t pull too hard, but if they will come apart, separate before defrosting or they will defrost unevenly.)
- Set scallops on a dish, on top of paper towels.
- Cover defrosting scallops with another paper towel and set in fridge for 12-24 hours, until scallops look jiggly and are soft to the touch, not frozen.
Bacon is one of the most hands-down delicious things on earth – but bacon that is soggy, limp, and hasn’t been rendered is not good – but getting bacon cooked perfectly without drying out scallops can be a bit tricky!
Bacon browns and crisps up at a much slower pace than what it takes to cook scallops, which need to be cooked very hot and very fast to keep their clean, sweet flavor and springy soft texture.
To combat this, I pre-cook my bacon – so it is browned, but still pliable and soft. I like to think of cooking the bacon to 3/4 the way cooked – so it will just need to crisp up as your scallops cook.
After I pre-brown some bacon, I will then wrap it around the scallop and secure it with a toothpick.
The bacon isn’t done yet, but this will dramatically reduce cook time so you’re not forced to dry out your scallops which will give them a fishier flavor and tough texture.
If you want to use a keto swap for sugar, go for it! We tested this recipe with keto brown sugar replacements and they were all fabulous.
Scallops cook fast, but crunchy bacon doesn’t – so we’re parcooking bacon a bit before wrapping scallops so you can have crunchy bacon and perfect tender, delicious scallops.
Scallops are best when eaten fresh after cooking, however you can flash-freeze them and serve later, or store in the refrigerator for up to one day – however, they will have the best flavor and texture if eaten right away.
What to Serve With Bacon Wrapped Scallops
We love to serve scallops with Pan Fried Ribeye Steaks and Air Fryer Longhorn Steakhouse Parmesan Crusted Steak, with a Pear and Goat Cheese Salad on the side!
For more easy seafood dishes you’ll love, be sure to check out our seafood recipes below:
Brown Sugar Bacon Wrapped Scallops Recipe
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Brown Sugar Bacon Wrapped Scallops Recipe is perfect for a party, easy dinner, appetizer, or BBQ - these brown sugar glazed scallops wrapped in bacon is the most delicious bacon wrapped scallop recipe ever!
- 4 strips bacon, *approximately - used 1/2 slice of bacon for each scallop.
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 lb scallops
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp pepper, fresh cracked
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp ginger
- Pat scallops dry with a paper towel.
- In a large pan, start to crisp bacon. Cook bacon until golden brown - but still soft and pliable.
- In a small bowl, mix salt, pepper, and garlic and then sprinkle generously over scallops.
- Wrap each scallop with 1/2 bacon strip and secure by pushing a toothpick through the bacon and scallop.
- In another small bowl, mix brown sugar and ginger.
- Sprinkle brown sugar and ginger mixture all over scallop, but reserve much of the sugar and gigner to sprinkle after the scallops flip once.
- Heat butter in large pan until foamy and melted.
- Add scallops to pan and cook on medium high heat. Flip after 5-6 minutes, sprinkle with more sugar and ginger, and continue repeating steps until scallops are cooked.
- Serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving Calories 277Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 76mgSodium 1626mgCarbohydrates 16gFiber 0gSugar 8gProtein 29g