Bacon wrapped scallops are a party classic. Tender scallops are wrapped in bacon strips and cooked in the oven until the bacon is crispy and the scallops are cooked through. Add a pomegranate sweet and spicy dipping sauce and turn that classic into a whole new taste experience.
Spice things up!
As I was thinking about preparing hors d’oeuvres for an upcoming party, I knew bacon wrapped scallops would be at the top of my list, but I wanted to do something to change it up a little. The addition of a dipping sauce is the perfect solution. You maintain what you love about this classic but can create something completely new at the same time.
So, what flavors go well with crispy salty bacon and tender scallops? Well, something sweet, tart, and spicy of course. I love the sweet tart flavors and beautiful red jewel like seeds of pomegranates. Since I am preparing for a holiday party, this seemed like the perfect fruit for a spicy agrodolce sauce. Agrodolce means sweet and sour in Italian and since I am from Sicily, it is only appropriate that this should have a Sicilian twist!
What type of scallop works best for this recipe?
There are several different types of scallops. They come in many varieties and sizes. Most commonly you will find bay scallops (typically small) or sea scallops. For this recipe you will want to use sea scallops as they are larger and can be easily wrapped in the bacon.
If you want to know more about the varieties of scallops check out this post from Bake it With Love. She does a great job giving you just want you need to know about selecting scallops.
Is this an appetizer or main dish?
Scallops make a great appetizer, as this recipe suggests, but they can also be a main course. A couple of scallops per person makes a wonderful hors d’oeuvre, but 4 or 5 per person can easily be an entree. When ordering scallops in a restaurant as a main course, this is the normal serving size.
This recipe is about as straightforward as it gets. The ingredients are pretty simple:
1 pound of scallops (between 12-16)
6-8 slices of bacon
Honey – any kind you like
White wine vinegar
Red pepper flakes
How to make the scallops and dipping sauce
To make the sauce
Combine the vinegar, honey, pomegranate juice and red pepper flakes in a small sauce pan and reduce it over medium heat.
Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl then add it to the juice.
Stir it until it starts to thicken, then remove it from the heat.
To make the scallops
Wrap each scallop with a small strip of bacon, secure with a toothpick and season them.
Bake for 15-18 minutes.
Make sure to dry off the scallops before you begin making this recipe. Just dab the scallops with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture.
The sauce can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature.
Scallops are best enjoyed warm.
Bacon Wrapped Scallops FAQ’s
Either cooking method is fine for this recipe. I recommend baking the scallops at 425 ° because you have more control over how quickly they cook, then finishing them under the broiler just to make sure the bacon is crisped to your liking. With broiling alone you run the risk of the bacon crisping up or burning before the scallop is fully cooked.
Scallops should be opaque all they way through and feel tender. You want to be careful not to overcook them because they will become rubbery. Keep an eye on them to make sure that they are too firm to the touch. That is a sure sign that they are overdone.
1) Make sure that the scallops are not wet. Any extra moisture will keep your scallops from searing nicely and can make them rubbery. Use paper towels to help soak up any extra moisture from the scallops before cooking.
2) Cook the scallops at a high temperature, 425° and finish it under the broiler for a final crisping.
3) Brush the scallops lightly with olive oil before placing them in the oven.
Once cooked, you can store the scallops in the refrigerator for up to 3 days if they are in a sealed plastic bag or container.
The best way to reheat scallops is in the oven. Preheat your oven to 400° Place the scallops on a lightly greased baking sheet and put them in the top 3rd of the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes. You want the scallops to be heated through and the bacon to be crisp, but you don’t want to overcook them so make sure to keep an eye on them. The internal temperature of the reheated scallop should be 125°.
These are other recipes that can be served as a main course or appetizer:
Oven Bacon Wrapped Scallops with a Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce
- 16 Toothpicks
- 1 lb Sea scallops
- 6-8 slices Bacon
- ⅓ cup White Wine Vinegar
- ⅓ cup Honey
- 3 tbsp Pomegranate juice
- ⅛ tsp Red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp Cornstarch
- 1 tbsp Water
- Olive Oil for brushing on scallops
- Salt and Pepper
Pomegranate Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce
- In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, honey, pomegranate juice and red pepper flakes.
- Cook over medium heat until the mixture starts to boil and has reduce by one third, about 2 minutes.
- Mix the cornstarch with the water in a small bowl, until the cornstarch has dissolved completely.
- Add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan and stir briskly. Once the mixture beings to thicken remove it from the heat. Allow it to cool to room temperature before serving.
- Preheat the oven to 425°.
- Cut each slice of bacon in half. Dry the scallops with a paper towel. Wrap one piece of bacon around one scallop and secure it with a toothpick. Repeat with the remaining bacon and scallops.
- Lightly grease a baking dish or rimmed cookies sheet. Place the scallops on the dish leaving a couple of inches between each one.
- Brush the scallops with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place the scallops in the oven and cook for 15-18 minutes. Just until the scallops are opaque but still tender. If you want the bacon to be more crisp, turn the broiler on for a minute or two, but be careful not to over cook the scallops. Serve with the dipping sauce.