Pancetta-wrapped scallops are succulent and flavorful, wrapped in thinly sliced salty pancetta that adds a delicate smokey flavor and crispy texture on the outside. They’re easy to make and delicious as an appetizer or main dish!
Level up your appetizer game with pancetta-wrapped scallops! They’re super easy to make yet fancy enough to impress your guests!
These scallops are perfect for entertaining a large crowd or a dinner for two at home. The glorious combination of salty pancetta and succulent scallops makes a fine meal with your favorite wine!
- Use high-quality, dry-packed scallops for the best taste and texture. These natural scallops aren’t treated with chemicals and are sweet-tasting and tender. They’re usually tan or vanilla in color versus wet scallops that are white in color from soaking in a bath of phosphates.
- Thinly sliced pancetta works best for wrapping around the scallops easily. They will also cook quickly to become nice and crispy in time for the seafood to cook through.
- Scallops have a briney, mildly sweet taste and, in my opinion, do not need a myriad of seasonings and spices to be delicious. The recipe calls for a simple mixture of garlic powder and red pepper flakes for a little kick of flavor and heat.
- If using “wet scallops”, soak first in a solution of 1 quart water, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of salt for about 30 minutes to make them sear better.
- If substituting bacon, use thin-cut rashers and partially cook them before wrapping, so they’ll crisp congruently.
- Toothpicks can be used to secure the pancetta to the scallops and keep them from unraveling during cooking. Be sure to soak the toothpicks in water for at least 10 minutes before using them to prevent them from burning in the oven.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do you soak scallops in milk before cooking?
Soaking scallops in milk before cooking is a way to improve texture and remove any fishy taste and aroma. It’s thought that enzymes in milk help to break down the proteins in the scallops and make them tender.
Place the scallops in a bowl of milk, enough to cover them fully, and allow them to soak for at least 30 minutes. Drain them well, and pat dry before continuing with the recipe.
Serve these pancetta-wrapped scallops immediately, garnished with lemon wedges and fresh herbs. Enjoy them as an appetizer or served alongside your favorite sides, such as simple green salad, roasted vegetables, rice, polenta, quinoa, or crusty bread for a filling meal.
Storage and reheating instructions
Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat before serving using your preferred method.
- Oven– Place scallops in a baking dish, add a splash of water, and cover tightly with foil. Warm in a 300 F oven for about 10 minutes or until completely heated.
- Stovetop– Heat a wide skillet over low heat. Add the cooked scallops in a single layer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until heated through.
- Microwave– this method might not yield the best results, but it is the easiest. Place the cooked scallops in a microwave-safe dish, add a few drops of water, and cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap. Microwave on high at 20 to 30-second intervals until heated through.
- Air Fryer– place in the air fryer basket in a single layer and cook at 375 F for about 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through.
- 8 jumbo dry-packed scallops
- 8 slices pancetta bacon, thinly sliced
- red pepper flakes to taste
- garlic powder to taste
- juice from one lemon
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Pat scallops dry. Wrap pancetta around scallops, securing with toothpicks if necessary.
- Arrange in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet with seam side down. Season with red pepper flakes and garlic powder to taste.
- Bake in a 425 F oven for 20 minutes or until bacon is crisp and golden brown and scallops are firm and opaque.
- Serve hot with a drizzle of lemon juice.
“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”