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Baked Scallops in White Wine Cream Sauce (Scallop Gratin)

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Baked Scallops in White Wine Cream Sauce is perfect for dinner parties or romantic evenings…with succulent scallops, lemony breadcrumbs, and a creamy sauce that begs for a hunk of crusty bread.

Baked scallops in white wine cream sauce with breadcrumb topping next to slices of bread and a glass of wine.
This recipe is part of the cozy mystery cooking club series.

The Curious Case of Baked Scallops in Creamy White Wine Sauce

Well, not actually curious, but since this is another recipe inspired by our Cozy Mystery Cooking Club book selection, I couldn’t resist adding a touch of intrigue! And, what book would that be? Murder Uncorked, a Wine Lover’s Mystery, by Michele Scott. I’ve been excited to get into this series for no other reason than it takes place in beautiful Napa Valley! The story includes some delicious food and wine pairings and amazing recipes, all surrounded by murder and a few scandalous, yet hilarious personalities.

I always love when I can incorporate a little vino into a recipe, like in Coq Au Vin Skewers, Cornish Hens with White Wine Pan Sauce and Honey + Wine Poached Pear Pie (another Cozy Mystery recipe). This time, I’m sharing my take on scallop gratin…delicate sweet sea scallops, baked in a light white wine cream sauce and topped with lemony, golden breadcrumbs and crispy pancetta. This is a stunner of an appetizer, but can also shine as a light main course when paired with a fresh green salad or a side of angel hair pasta.

So, pour yourself a glass of wine and let’s make this yummy scallop dish for your next dinner party or date night!

Breadcrumb topped baked scallops in white cream sauce in an oval baking dish.

Gather Your Ingredients

In addition to kosher salt + fresh cracked black pepper, you’ll need.

  • Large sea scallops – your grocer’s seafood department may sell cleaned and prepped fresh scallops, as mine does. If you can’t find fresh, look for wild caught frozen and thaw them in the fridge overnight. If your scallops come with the tough side muscles still attached, pinch them off and discard.
  • White wine – a dry white, something you’d like to drink, is the way to go. My top picks…an old world chablis or sauvignon blanc.
  • Heavy cream – a touch of cream makes for a velvety sauce.
  • Panko breadcrumbs – you can use regular bread crumbs. I like Panko for their lightness in contrast with the creamy sauce.
  • Unsalted butter – a little melted butter is going help the Panko get golden and also adds richness to the sauce.
  • Fresh parsley – for it’s lovely color and an herbal note. You could also use tarragon or chives.
  • Parmesan cheese – combined with the breadcrumbs for that crispy topping.
  • Lemon zest – adds lemon flavor without adding acidity, but feel free to add a squeeze of lemon juice to your dish just before serving.
  • Pancetta – this may seem extra, but these crispy, salty nuggets just go so well with scallops. You can also use bacon.
  • Garlic – will add another layer of flavor to the creamy wine sauce. I like to grate or use a garlic press to get really fine garlic that will melt into the sauce.
  • Red pepper flakes – totally optional, but a tiny bit of heat doesn’t hurt.
  • Crusty bread – you’re going to want something to sop up the sauce.
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Menus for Entertaining

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How to Make Creamy White Wine Scallops

You’re going to love this easy recipe that looks totally elegant!

  1. Make the crumb topping – combine Panko, melted butter, parsley, grated parm, lemon zest and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Season with salt + pepper.
  2. Crisp the pancetta – cook the pancetta in a small saucepan over medium heat until crispy, then drain on a paper towel.
  3. Make the sauce – melt butter in the same saucepan, then saute the garlic. Add wine and reduce. Add cream and cook to thicken slightly.
  4. Bake the scallops – arrange scallops in a single layer in a large gratin dish or individual buttered ramekins (on a baking sheet). Pour in the sauce and top with the Panko mixture. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes. For a crispier, golden brown top, broil for another 1-2 minutes.

If using individual dishes, carefully transfer each to a small plate lined with a napkin to prevent them from sliding around. Serve with plenty of bread and lemon wedges, if you like.

An oval baking dish filled with baked sea scallops in white wine cream sauce topped with golden brown breadcrumbs.

How to Select the Perfect Sea Scallops

  • Look for scallops that are labeled “dry-packed” or “dry.” These have not been treated with chemicals or preservatives and are usually fresher and have a better flavor.
  • Scallops should have a pale, ivory color. Avoid those with a milky or opaque appearance.
  • Fresh scallops should have a mild, sweet scent of the sea. If they smell overly fishy, it’s best to pass.

Storing Leftovers

If, by some miracle, you have leftovers of this delicious recipe simply place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The scallops may lose a bit of their crispiness, but the flavors will still be outstanding. Reheat in the oven at a lower temperature to prevent overcooking.

Two baked scallops with crispy breadcrumb topping in a small white oval dish next to a glass of wine.

Wine + Scallops Recipe Lovers, I Got You!

Baked scallops in white wine cream sauce topped with golden crispy breadcrumbs in an oval dish.

Baked Scallops in White Wine Cream Sauce

Linda Feller
Baked Scallops in White Wine Cream Sauce is perfect for dinner parties or romantic evenings…with succulent scallops, lemony breadcrumbs, and a creamy sauce that begs for hunk of crusty bread.
Prep time.5 minutes
Cook time.40 minutes
Custom time.15 minutes
Total time.1 hour
Course.Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine.French
Number of servings.4
Calories per serving.308 kcal

Equipment

  • individual ramekins / gratin dishes, or single baking dish

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 5 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • pinch red pepper flakes, optional
  • kosher salt + fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 ounce pancetta, diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 12 large 'dry pack' sea scallops, blotted dry (fresh or frozen + thawed)
  • crusty bread and lemon wedges for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F. If your broiler is part of your oven, adjust the racks so one is in the center of the oven and another is about 6-8 inches from the broiler.
  • Melt 2 tbsp of the butter in a small dish in the microwave. Brush some of the melted butter to grease a baking dish or individual ramekins (place ramekins on a sheet pan to easily transfer to/from oven). In a small bowl, combine the panko, parsley, grated Parmigiano, lemon zest and red pepper flakes (if using). Add the remaining melted butter and stir to distribute. Season with salt + pepper.
  • Add pancetta to a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until crispy, stirring occasionally. Remove to a paper towel to drain.
  • Add the remaining 3 tbsp of butter to the saucepan to melt over medium heat. Add the garlic; season with a pinch of salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Cook for 30 to 45 seconds. Add the white wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and simmer for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the burner. Taste and season as needed.
  • Arrange the scallops in a single layer in your baking dish / ramekins. Pour the cream sauce over the scallops. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the tops. Bake for 15 minutes on the center rack.
  • If you prefer the tops to be crispier, transfer the scallops to the rack under the broiler (turn the broiler on) and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes to your liking.
  • Garnish with the crispy pancetta. Serve with crusty bread. (If using ramekins, carefully transfer each to a plate lined with small napkin to prevent sliding around.)

Notes

  1. The estimated nutrition data does not include crusty bread.
  2. Selecting scallops: Look for scallops that are labeled “dry-packed” or “dry.” These have not been treated with chemicals or preservatives and are usually fresher and have a better flavor. Scallops should have a pale, ivory color. Avoid those with a milky or opaque appearance. Fresh scallops should have a mild, sweet scent of the sea. If they smell overly fishy, it’s best to pass.
  3. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven at a lower temperature to prevent overcooking.
  •  

Nutrition

Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 586mg | Potassium: 255mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 850IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords.oven, seafood, stove top
Did You Make This Recipe?Be sure to share a comment below!

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