Lemony Shallot Scallop Gratin: a Thrilling Quick and Easy Dinner

Do you have a repertoire of quick and easy weeknight dishes, recipes you turn to over and over again until you’re so bored you could just spit? I do. My family gets more than their share of Parmesan Breaded Chicken Bites and Pork Roast with Apples. But every once in a while, I stumble upon a new recipe that’s not only delicious but also a snap to whip up, and my excitement knows no bounds. That’s just what happened with the Sunday Roasts Cookbook I reviewed yesterday. The seafood section included a recipe for a scallop gratin that looked so good I ran out immediately to Whole Foods to buy scallops.

Lemon Butter Scallops with Bread Crumbs
Topped with sweet summer corn, these lemon shallot butter scallops are delicious.

I modified the recipe slightly and it turned out better than anything you would order in a restaurant, taking comfort food into a thrilling new territory. The scallops were rich and sweet, the breadcrumbs provided interesting texture contrast, and the lemony butter kept the dish fresh and exciting. Scallops seem like a luxury ingredient, but a few go a long way. You don’t need more than 5 or 6 medium scallops per person, less if you’re in Europe and your fishmonger sells them with the sweet orange section still attached.

Sea Scallops Topped with Lemon ButterThe secret of this recipe is this delicious lemon and shallot butter mixture generously slathered over and under the scallops. I wouldn’t mind being massaged in this yummy butter!  I made some extra to throw on shrimp next week. Having these types of butter blends (beurre compose) on hand is a great idea to jazz up weeknight dinners.

Recipe: Scallop Gratins with Lemon Shallot Butter

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 12 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Summary: Adapted from Sunday Roasts Cookbook by Betty Rosbottom.


  • 2 Tablespoons of Parsley, preferably fresh
  • 4 Tablespoons of salted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons of shallots, finely chopped
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of bread crumbs
  • 1 lb of fresh sea scallops
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Take the butter out to bring it to room temperature and soften it.
  2. Combine the lemon zest, butter, parsley, shallots, salt and pepper and mash together. (Make extra of this to have on hand. I guarantee you’ll use it and love it.)
  3. Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the bread crumbs to toast. 3-4 minutes.
  4. Arrange a rack at center position and preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Grease the bottom and sides of individual ramekins with the seasoned butter.
  6. Place the scallops on top and top with generous smears of the butter.
  7. Shake the bread crumbs on top of the scallops. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top and season wtih salt and pepper.
  8. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and roast until the scallops are cooked through, about 12 minutes. Serve immediately.

Microformatting by hRecipe.

4 Responses to Lemony Shallot Scallop Gratin: a Thrilling Quick and Easy Dinner

    • There has to be a spa somewhere great where we can be slathered with this lemon butter and then fed delicious scallops. Preferably on the beach!

  1. This looks delicious and so easy, too! I love scallops, but admit I’ve never cooked them at home. (I’m very nervous about cooking seafood; it’s something about growing up in central Illinois, very far from the sea!) So is there any prep work you have to do when you bring them home from the store? Or are they ready to go?

    • Tara,
      I agree that scallops seem daunting and like fancy food restaurant, but, unlike mussels with their rinsing and brushing, you have nothing to do when you buy scallops. Just roast them and eat them.

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