Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Looking for an easy seafood appetizer? You’ll love these sea scallops wrapped in bacon! You might also know that as devils on horseback.

angled shot of plate of scallops wrapped in bacon


Let me cut to the chase. Bacon wrapped scallops, in theory, are very simple. You get a scallop, wrap it in bacon, secure and cook. Maybe add some sauce or seasoning.

But to get perfection: perfectly cooked scallop and crispy bacon without starting a house fire from burning toothpicks, there are actually a few more steps.

sauce pouring over bacon wrapped scallops

Pre-Cooked Bacon

Pre-cooking your bacon is going to be the trick to perfect scallops. You want to cook it about 75% of the way so it is still pliable without breaking (not super crispy) but cooked enough that it will only take a few minutes under the broiler to finish it off.

Nope, you want a middle-of-the-road center cut bacon with a good amount of meat, but also some fat. That fat will let the slice nestle up to your scallop like shrink wrap and also impart flavor. You can even use a flavored bacon like maple or peppered.

The other trick here is the type of bacon you use. For this recipe you do not want the thickest, meatiest slab bacon you can find. It needs to be thin; which in turn makes it easier to work with.

Since you’ll be cooking the bacon ahead of time, there will be an opportunity to drain off bacon grease. For this purpose, bacon gets cooked in the oven so it stays long and flat instead of shrinking up to the rippled version done in a pan.

overhead shot of plate of bacon wrapped scallops

Sea Scallops

The next question is inevitably what scallops to use. I don’t care as much about size (as long as they aren’t the tiny bay scallops) but that they were dry packed.

Dry packed means they have not been soaked in a brining liquid. This bloats them up and after they cook and release all of that water, they also shrink.

So you have this lovely piece of bacon that fit snugly around your scallop when it entered the oven, but by the time it came out looked like a 2 year old wearing her dad’s suit jacket.

Look for larger sea scallops (sometimes labeled U-10). Frozen is totally acceptable, just make sure they are fully thawed before cooking since the cook time is quick and furious.

close up overhead shot of plate of scallops wrapped in bacon


The ingredient list for these bacon-wrapped scallops is quite short and simple.

  • Center cut bacon – I like my slice of bacon to be both crisp and of high quality. But you can use regular bacon if you’d like. Just avoid thick cut bacon because it gets harder to wrap.
  • Scallops – You want them to be dry packed and make sure the muscle is removed. Check the section above for details. Larger is better here, they are easier to work with.
  • Salt and pepper – I like to use a combination of fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Smoked paprika – You can certainly use regular paprika if that’s all you have, but I like the smoky flavor the smoked version has.
  • Chives or scallions – These are used as a garnish, so can easily be omitted. But I love the color and flavor they add to the dish.
overhead shot of bacon wrapped scallops in oven ingredients


Lemon butter sauce, as listed in the recipe card, is pretty spectacular and classic. Tangy mustard and bright lemon notes with garlic and delicious butter. Can’t go wrong!

But a simple way to change it up is with other dipping sauces or basting sauces.

  • BBQ Sauce– To make BBQ Bacon Wrapped Scallops, follow the same instructions but when you take them out of the oven, baste with a BBQ sauce and put them back into the oven for 1 minute to get the sauce nice and sticky.
  • Aioli – An easy and customizable sauce that can be drizzled or used as a dipping sauce. Pesto aioli or garlic aioli are classics.
  • Asian Sauces– Consider adding a sauce like ponzu sauce, teriyaki or even tiger sauce or sweet and sour sauce.
overhead shot of plate of scallops wrapped in bacon

How to Make Bacon Wrapped Scallops

You will have this bacon-wrapped scallop recipe ready in no time at all.

  1. Clean your scallops. If present, remove the small muscle on the side. Dab them dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle liberally with coarse salt, pepper and smoked paprika.
  2. Prep the bacon. Heat your oven and arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. bake until bacon is starting to cook, but not fully crispy. Remove, drain and let cool slightly just so it is easier to handle. This can be done ahead and cooking times will vary based on the thickness of your bacon.
  3. Soak toothpicks. The biggest hazard here is securing your bacon on the scallop and it being wood, which tends to create fire when put under heat. But have no fear, just like soaking kabobs for the grill, a quick soak in water, the amount of time the bacon cooks and you’ll be fine.
  4. Wrap bacon around scallops. When the bacon is cool enough to handle, wrap a slice around each scallop. Overlap the ends slightly so you can secure with a toothpick, but try not to do two layers the whole way or the rest of the bacon won’t cook.
  5. Bake. Preheat the oven and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easier clean up. Place the scallops on the baking sheet, allowing about 1/2 inch between them. Bake until tops are lightly browned and bacon is sizzling.
  6. Allow to rest and garnish. Remove and allow to rest for before serving. Garnish with chives or scallions or serve with a dipping sauce.

Bacon Wrapped Scallops on the Grill

You can certainly make these on the grill! Follow all the same instructions for precooking the bacon and then instead of giving each scallop its own toothpick, thread 3-4 scallops onto large metal or wooden skewers. Be mindful to allow a small amount of space between each or the touching are won’t cook.

Heat grill to medium high heat and place scallops on oiled grates on direct heat leaving the lid open. Sear for 2-3 minutes, then flip, searing for another 2-3 minutes.

Shut off heat, baste with BBQ sauce and close the lid for 2-3 minutes to allow sauce to warm.

close up overhead shot of plate of bacon wrapped scallops in oven

Make it a Meal or Appetizer

Scallops wrapped in bacon make a great party appetizer. I definitely anticipate making these for many holiday parties this year and there’s no doubt that I’ll be serving them up as an appetizer to impress dinner guests soon.

However, these baked scallops can also be turned into a meal, which is what I did when I first made them. Honestly, it might be better this way because there’s no way you’ll want to eat just one!

They can served over a bowl of carbonara or fettuccine alfredo or even on salad. They make an excellent addition to steak or even crab cakes. Serve as a main dish with side dishes like some sort of potatoes and a veggie like asparagus or brussels sprouts.

Storage and Freezing

While I wouldn’t suggest making these fully ahead, you can cook the bacon and wrap the scallops. If it is within 2-3 hours of cooking, go ahead and secure with soaked toothpicks too. Otherwise, wrap and then secure right before broiling.

How to Store Bacon Wrapped Scallops

If there are leftovers, store in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days. For best results, reheat in the oven, but a microwave can be used.

Can I Freeze Scallops Wrapped in Bacon

Unfortunately, I do not suggest freezing these bacon wrapped scallops. They will become quite soggy upon thawing.

overhead shot of three bacon wrapped scallops on a plate

More Easy Scallop Recipes

Scallops are a favorite around this house! Here are more easy scallop recipes that we know you’ll love too.

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angled shot of plate of scallops wrapped in bacon with text overlay
BBQ Bacon Wrapped Scallops are an easy and tasty seafood appetizer or dinner. With just a handful of ingredients, they're ready in just 15 minutes! #baconwrappedscallops #bakedscallops

Bacon Wrapped Scallops

4.66 from 20 votes
Scallops wrapped in bacon and brushed with barbeque sauce. 
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 10


Bacon Wrapped Scallops:

Lemon Butter Sauce (optional):


Bacon Wrapped Scallops:

  • Soak the toothpicks in water for up to an hour, but a minimum of 15 minutes.
  • Heat the oven to 400°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the bacon strips on the baking sheet and cook for 10-12 minutes. Bacon should be partially cooked and pliable, but not crispy. Remove and set aside.
  • Rinse the scallops, making sure the small muscle on the side is removed on them all. Pat dry.
  • Prep another rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and increase oven temp to 425°F. Wrap each scallop with a strip of the cooked bacon, securing with a toothpick. Place on the baking sheet.
  • In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper and paprika. Evenly sprinkle on the tops of each scallop.
  • Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned. *Cooking times will vary greatly depending on the size of scallop. See note.
  • Remove, garnish with chives and serve immediately.
  • If you've tried this recipe, please come back and let us know how it was in the comments/ratings section.

Lemon Butter Sauce (optional):

  • In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the Dijon mustard, garlic and salt. Allow the mixture to simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley, lemon zest and lemon juice. Serve while hot.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.


*Scallop size can vary greatly and therefore so can cooking times. These scallops were colossal size, about 2 inches wide and 1 1/2 inches thick. They took a total of 10 minutes to cook. Make adjustments based on your scallop size. This will also impact your bacon size.
*Longer toothpicks are better especially if you got the jumbo scallops. 


Calories: 188 kcal, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Protein: 5 g, Fat: 18 g, Saturated Fat: 9 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6 g, Trans Fat: 0.4 g, Cholesterol: 43 mg, Sodium: 381 mg, Potassium: 100 mg, Fiber: 0.4 g, Sugar: 0.3 g, Vitamin A: 378 IU, Vitamin C: 6 mg, Calcium: 10 mg, Iron: 0.3 mg
Author: Chef Jessica Anne
Calories: 188
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bacon wrapped scallops
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
collage of bacon wrapped scallops

Check out even more tasty, perfect bacon recipes!

Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Chef Jessica Anne Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal, Mashed and more!

Read More About Jessica

4.66 from 20 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating

Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness what an absolutely delicious sounding idea to make. I have to admit I wouldn’t have thought of wrapping scallops in bacon but what a wonderful idea.

  2. Pre-cooking the bacon is a genius idea. I hate having lumpy, soggy bacon around my scallops.

  3. Oh wow! That looks so good. I’ve never seen scallops done with barbecue sauce before. I think that plus the bacon is going to be pure heaven. Yum!

    1. Really? As long as you don’t use too much or one that is too spicy, they are divine and a great pairing.

  4. 5 stars
    Scallops and bacon are two of my favorite things separately. I’m so happy to find a recipe that brings them together in such a delicious way. Thank you for sharing!

  5. what a good idea to mix up the menus. Seems like we get in a rut with the same old things over here. I’d like to make these to change it up a bit.