Grilled Scallops with Salsa Verde

Cooking fish and seafood can often seem intimidating, but I’ve got a fool proof method for cooking THE BEST grilled scallops! They’re fast, easy and melt-in-your-mouth, so go ahead and read on for all my best scallop-cooking tips.

  • Step 1 – If you’re using fresh scallops, remove them from the package and thoroughly dry them off with paper towels. If you’re using frozen scallops, let them thaw in the refrigerator, then thoroughly dry them off with paper towels. For this recipe, use the large scallops, often called sea scallops.
  • Step 2 – Some scallops are cleaned and others are not. If the scallop has a small piece of extra flesh on the side, peel them off. These will not harm you, they are just extra chewy and firm and we don’t want to eat them.
  • Step 3 – Brush the scallops with a bit of olive oil, then season them with salt and black pepper on all sides. You can use other herbs and spices, but for this recipe we are serving them with a very flavorful sauce, so no additional spices/herbs are necessary on the actual scallop.
  • Step 4 – Preheat the cooking apparatus. In this case, we’re using a grill or grill pan. I’d suggest heating to medium or medium high because the actual scallop will cook quickly, but we want to achieve those beautiful grill marks like you see in the picture. Be sure to oil the pan before adding the scallops to it. This will help avoid sticking. They only need to cook a minute or two on each side, just until the scallop is a bit firm to the touch and doesn’t “bounce back” when you press on it. You can also use a thermometer to test for doneness – the safe temp for fish and seafood is 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Step 5 – Serve the scallops right away! They’re best hot off the grill and pair wonderfully with the homemade salsa verde recipe I’ve included below.

And just like that, you’ll have perfectly grilled scallops! You’ll note that in the salsa verde recipe, I provided two versions – one for roasted salsa verde and one for raw salsa verde. Both are equally delicious and nutritious!

Also, to round out the meal, serve these scallops with black beans, on tacos, with roasted or grilled sweet potatoes and other veggies, with homemade potato salad or another fun summer salad AND watermelon granita for dessert. The sky is the limit!

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Grilled Scallops with Salsa Verde

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 10-15 mins
  • Cook Time: 5-10 mins
  • Total Time: 15-25 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Grilled, No-Cook, Roasting


Simple grilled scallops with roasted or fresh salsa verde.



Salsa Verde:

  • 1 ½ pounds tomatillos, husks removed, halved
  • ½ medium white onion, peeled and quartered
  • ½ medium jalapeno, stemmed and seeded
  • 34 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¾ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • Zest and juice of 2 medium limes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • Pinch granulated sugar (optional)

Grilled Scallops:

  • 2 pounds sea scallops, cleaned and patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper


  1. To make raw salsa verde: place all salsa verde ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth, scraping the sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. To make roasted salsa verde: preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the tomatillos, onion, jalapeno and garlic on a baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Roast 10-12 minutes or until the vegetables are caramelized. Let cool, then transfer the roasted vegetables to the bowl of a food processor, along with the cilantro, lime, salt and sugar (if using), and process until smooth, scraping the sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. To make the scallops: preheat the grill or grill pan to medium heat. Brush the scallops with most of the olive oil, then season with salt and black pepper. Once the grill or grill pan is hot, brush with the remaining olive oil, then place the scallops on the grill or grill pan. Cook 2-3 minutes per side or until scallops are lightly firm. Remove and top with salsa verde.


Cooking Tip: If you have leftover salsa verde, you can serve it on tacos, nachos or enchiladas or on top of fish, chicken or steak.


  • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories: 201
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Sodium: 428mg
  • Fat: 6g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 5g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 26g
  • Cholesterol: 47mg

Keywords: entree, dinner, grilling, grilled, salsa verde, scallops, seafood