Easy Brown Sugar Bacon Wrapped Scallops Appetizer

by Eat Well with Lex

Brown Sugar Bacon Wrapped Scallops are often served as an appetizer at parties and are loved for their crowd-pleasing appeal. The large sea scallops are wrapped in bacon and coated with a sweet brown sugar glaze then cooked until tender, crispy and golden brown. The combination of flavors and textures makes for a mouthwatering experience. So, if you are looking for an impressive yet easy to pull off appetizer that will have your guests asking for seconds, this brown sugar scallops recipe is for you.

For more appetizer recipes check out my most popular recipe, Parmesan Crusted Potatoes – a fan favorite and top-rated dish.

Let’s be honest, scallops wrapped in bacon sounds like the kind of food you’d expect at a fancy holiday party. Imagine the sweet meets the savory, and the tender embraces the crispy, creating a dish thats nothing short of extraordinary. And trust me, your guests will take one bite and declare you the host or hostess with the mostest!

I was literally speechless when I first made this recipe because they were so elegant, impressive and yet so simple. They are actually so easy to make than they seem. With only a few simple ingredients and a few minutes, you’ll have the perfect dinner or holiday party appetizer that your guest won’t be able to resist.

Why This is the Best Bacon Wrapped Scallops Recipe

  • Flavorful: This recipe captures the perfect balance of flavors. The combination of the savory bacon and the sweet caramelization of brown sugar on the scallops creates a mouthwatering contrast that’s simply unparalleled.
  • Impressive Presentation: This is a crowd-pleasing scallop appetizer that not only taste amazing but also look stunning on a party platter. This recipe never fails to leave a lasting impression on my guests.
  • Easy Preparation: Despite the gourmet appearance and complex flavor, this bacon wrapped scallops appetizer is surprisingly easy to prepare. It allows you to spend more time enjoying your party and less time in the kitchen.

Brown Sugar Bacon Wrapped Scallops Ingredients

  • Large Scallops: The main star of the dish. Make sure to buy fresh large scallops.
  • Bacon: Adds a smoky and savory element to the dish. It wraps around the scallops and becomes crispy during cooking.
  • Brown sugar: Used to create a sweet caramelized glaze for the scallops. It adds a rich sweetness that complements the saltiness of the bacon.
  • Paprika: Adds a subtle smokiness and flavor to the bacon wrapped scallops
  • Thyme: Enhances the flavor profile with herby aroma and flavors.
  • Garlic: Infuses the brown sugar glaze with aromatic garlic flavor and adds depth to the overall taste.
  • Soy sauce: Adds a savory and salty depth of flavor to balance the sweetness of the brown sugar. It also provides a rich umami component that truly enhances the overall taste of the scallops.
  • Red pepper flakes: Adds hint of spiciness and heat to the brown sugar glaze.
  • Ground ginger: Complements the sweetness of the brown sugar with a slight warm and earthy note.
  • Unsalted butter: It helps to baste the scallops and bacon, ensuring they stay moist and flavorful during cooking, The butter also enhances the glaze’s overall richness.
  • Onion powder: Complements the other seasonings and add enhances the flavor profile.
  • Salt & pepper: Enhances the overall taste.
  • Fresh parsley: Used for garnishing and adds a bright and fresh element to the fish.
  • Toothpicks or wooden skewers: These are essential for securing the bacon around the scallops. They also make for convenient serving and presentation.

How to Make Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Prepare the Scallops

I highly recommend using fresh large scallops but if your scallops are frozen, thaw them according to the package instructions.

Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. This will help with browning.

In a bowl, season the scallops with salt, pepper, paprika and onion powder.

Cut the bacon strips in half to have shorter pieces. Then, wrap each scallops with a piece of bacon and secure it with a toothpick. Ensure the toothpick goes through both the bacon and scallop to hold them together.

a close up of seasoned scallops wrapped with a strip of bacon.

Brown the Bacon:

Heat a skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Place the bacon wrapped scallops in the pan, bacon side down.

Cook for about 3-5 minutes until the bacon becomes crispy and golden brown. Make sure to continuously flip the scallops and focus more on browning the bacon. You may need to adjust the heat to prevent the bacon from burning and the scallops from overcooking.

Once the bacon is crisp, remove the bacon wrapped scallops from the pan and set aside. Discard bacon grease from the pan.

golden brown bacon wrapped scallops sizzling in a pan. eatwellwithlex.com

Make the Brown Sugar Glaze

Using the same skillet, add unsalted butter, brown sugar, soy sauce, water, garlic, thyme, ginger and red pepper flakes. Whisk it all together until the sugar dissolves. Allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes until it starts to thicken. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper if needed.

Lower the heat and add the bacon wrapped scallops back to the skillet. Toss them in the sauce until they are fully coated and the scallops are tender. Make sure to continuously baste the scallops with the sauce.

You can serve the scallops with the toothpicks or carefully remove the toothpicks.

Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy!

How to Know When Scallops Are Done:

You might be wondering, how do I know when the scallops are done. To be honest, I asked the same question too. Knowing when your scallops are cooked can be daunting especially if its your first time making them. But don’t worry! With practice and the right set of sensory clues, you’ll be able to master it in no time! So here are some clues that I look for to know when scallops are done:

  • Color: Scallops will change color as they cook. Raw scallops are typically translucent and slightly gray or off-white. As they cook they will become opaque and turn white.
  • Texture: When scallops are cooked, they should be firm and slightly tender. They should no longer feel squishy when you press them with a form or your finger. Firm to touch but not rubbery.
  • Internal Temperature: For safety and accuracy, you can use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of a fully cooked scallop should reach 145°F (63°C)

Tips for Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Select Fresh Scallops: Make sure to choose fresh, high-quality scallops for the best flavor and texture. After all, you are trying to leave a lasting impression on your guest with the scallop appetizer.

Dry the Scallops: Pat dry the scallops thoroughly because excess moisture can hinder browning.

Choose the Right Bacon: Select the bacon slices that are not too thin or too thick. Also make sure to choose bacon slices that will fit the size of your scallops. It the bacon slices are too small, you can use two pieces to wrap the scallops.

Don’t Overcook: Scallops cook quickly, so avoid overcooking as they can become tough and rubbery. See notes above to know when the scallops are done. Fully cooked scallops turn opaque and white, while the bacon should become crispy and golden brown.

What to Serve with Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Bacon wrapped scallops with brown sugar make for a delicious appetizer or even a main course. When deciding what to serve with these scallops, consider complementary side dishes that balances the richness of the dish. Here are some great options:

  • Green Salad
  • Asparagus
  • Rice Pilaf
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • Creamy Risotto
  • Wine Paring: Consider serving a white wine, such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.
a close-up of brown sugar bacon wrapped scallops. Eatwellwithlex.com

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make bacon wrapped scallops in advance for a party?

You can partially prepare them in advance by wrapping the scallops in the bacon and refrigerating them. However, it’s best to cook them just before serving for the freshest taste and texture.

What type of bacon is best for bacon wrapped scallops?

I recommend using regular-cut bacon for better results.

How do I prevent the bacon from unraveling during cooking?

Tooth picks or wooden skewers are used to secure the bacon around the scallops. Make sure the toothpicks go through both the bacon and the scallop to hold them together.

More Brown Sugar Glazed Recipes:

DID YOU MAKE THESE BACON WRAPPED SCALLOPS?

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Brown Sugar Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Eat Well with Lex
Brown Sugar Bacon Wrapped Scallops are often served as an appetizer at parties and are loved for their crowd-pleasing appeal. The large sea scallops are wrapped in bacon and coated with a sweet brown sugar glaze then cooked until tender, crispy and golden brown. 
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 15 Scallops

Ingredients
  

  • 15 large sea scallops
  • 8 strips regular-cut bacon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

Brown Sugar Glaze

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes optional
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley finely chopped for garnish

Instructions
 

Prepare the Scallops

  • I highly recommend using fresh large scallops but if your scallops are frozen, thaw them according to the package instructions. Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
  • In a bowl, season the scallops with salt, pepper, paprika and onion powder.
  • Cut the bacon strips in half to have shorter pieces. Then, wrap each scallops with a piece of bacon and secure it with a toothpick. Ensure the toothpick goes through both the bacon. and scallop to hold them together.

Brown the Bacon

  • Heat a skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Place the bacon wrapped scallops in the pan, bacon side down.
  • Cook for about 3-5 minutes until the bacon becomes crispy and golden brown. Make sure to continuously flip the scallops and focus more on browning the bacon. You may need to adjust the heat to prevent the bacon from burning and the scallops from overcooking.
  • Once the bacon is crisp, remove the bacon wrapped scallops from the pan and set aside. Discard bacon grease from the pan.

Make the Brown Sugar Glaze

  • Using the same skillet, add unsalted butter, brown sugar, soy sauce, water, garlic, thyme, ginger and red pepper flakes. Whisk it all together until the sugar dissolves. Allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes until it start to thicken. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper if needed.
  • Lower the heat and add the bacon wrapped scallops back to the skillet. Toss them in the sauce until they are fully coated and the scallops are tender. Make sure to continuously baste the scallops with the sauce.
  • You can serve the scallops with the toothpicks or carefully remove the toothpicks and transfer the scallops to a serving plate. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy!

Notes

Select Fresh Scallops: Make sure to choose fresh, high-quality scallops for the best flavor and texture. After all, you are trying to leave a lasting impression on your guest with the scallop appetizer.
Dry the Scallops: Pat dry the scallops thoroughly because excess moisture can hinder browning.
Choose the Right Bacon: Select the bacon slices that are not too thin or too thick. Also make sure to choose bacon slices that will fit the size of your scallops. It the bacon slices are too small, you can use two pieces to wrap the scallops.
Don’t Overcook: Scallops cook quickly, so avoid overcooking as they can become tough and rubbery. See notes above to know when the scallops are done. Fully cooked scallops turn opaque and white, while the bacon should become crispy and golden brown.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Share your creations on Instagram! Tag us @Eatwell.withlex and use #eatwellwithlex! Don’t forget to leave a star rating and comment.

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Creamy Lobster Mac and Cheese | Eat Well With Lex December 21, 2022 - 9:55 pm

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