Scallop Gratin

4 servings
Prep Time 14 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Scallop Gratin is an easy baked scallop recipe with a creamy, cheesy, white wine sauce you will LOVE in just 20 minutes!

We love Seafood Recipes on the site and recently we’ve started posting more scallop recipes. You can do so much with fresh scallops, like making Baked Scallops or Pan Seared Scallops, this recipe takes the richness factor up a few notches.

Scallop Gratin in white bakerSCALLOP GRATIN

Scallop gratin is so rich and delicious that this may end up being one of your favorite ways to cook seafood. The savory flavor of the cheese and the natural saltiness of the scallops make this recipe the perfect comfort food. The cheesy sauce is so good you may try to eat it straight with a spoon.

If you are making this as a main course, you can serve it up as is, or stick a toothpick in the side of each scallop to make them an easily shareable appetizer for your next fancy get together. Trust me, this is the best use for a broiler ever.

Something to remember when you buy the ingredients for this recipe: you want to use sea scallops and not bay scallops. Bay scallop gratin won’t feed as many people, and unless you want to serve it up as an appetizer you want more meat to go around.


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Combine cream cheese, wine, lemon and spices in a small bowl until smooth.
  • Add scallops to your baking dish, and cover with the sauce, let it sit for five minutes.
  • Top with Parmesan and tarragon.
  • Bake for 4-5 minutes, then broil for just a minute until golden brown.

Flavor Mix-in Ideas

  • Garlic: I love the creamy white wine sauce complementing the scallop’s natural flavors, but you know garlic would give this gratin and amazing flavor. Keep to just 1 clove or it will overwhelm all the flavors..
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: just like I did in my recipe for baked scallops, you can add a tiny pile of panko breadcrumbs to the top of each scallop. This dresses them up a bit if you’re serving them as an appetizer for a fancy event, or if you’re just in the mood for a classy dinner.
  • Shallots: finely chop shallots and sprinkle them onto the gratin when you put it in the oven. You can also dust the tops with some cayenne or black pepper to mix it up.
  • Prosciutto: fold slices of prosciutto onto a plate and set a single scallop on top. Drizzle some sauce over the top and stick a toothpick into it to make a beautiful and delicious hors d’oeuvres. Sprinkle some fresh parsley over it for a dash of color.

Up Close Scallop Gratin

What to Serve with Scallop Gratin:

  • Garlic Bread: garlic bread is a classic, delicious side that’s perfect for this scallops au gratin recipe because you can use the thick French bread baked in garlic butter to soak up the sauce.
  • Scalloped Potatoes: I didn’t just choose this side because I was being clever with the name. Scalloped potatoes are rich and full of flavor, which makes them a great side to serve with scallop gratin.
  • Bacon Parmesan Brussels Sproutsyou won’t have to force your kids to try these Brussels sprouts, they’ll love them almost as much as you will. They’re rich, earthy and full of bacon.

What is a “gratin”?

The term gratin is a mixture of two French words. “Gratter,” which means “to scrape,” and “gratiné” which means “crust” were thrown together to describe the method of cooking a cheesy top layer that gets crispy in the oven.

Over time, le gratin became slang for something high class or high society in France, kind of like the English term “upper crust.”

How to Store Scallop Gratin:

  • Serve: you shouldn’t leave scallop gratin out for longer than 2 hours at room temperature.
  • Store: your leftovers should last up to 3 days in the fridge before you will want to throw them out.
  • Freeze: frozen scallop gratin is good for about 6 months. For the best flavor, you should thaw it out and eat it well before then.


According to the USDA’s official website you can safely enjoy scallops when the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F (62.7 degrees C.)

Scallop Gratin in white and yellow baking dish

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Scallop Gratin

Scallop Gratin is an easy baked scallop recipe with a creamy, cheesy, white wine sauce you will LOVE in just 20 minutes!
Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 14 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 1/2 pounds sea scallops , (u-13 size)
  • ¼ cup cream cheese , softened
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 lemon , juiced and zested
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon , chopped
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese , shaved
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper , optional (to taste)


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Add the scallops to your baking dish.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the cream cheese, white wine, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, tarragon, Parmesan cheese and cayenne pepper (if using).
  • Pour the sauce onto the scallops and let them sit for five minutes before putting into the oven.
  • Bake for 5 minutes, then turn on the broiler and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until the tops are golden brown.


Calories: 216kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 960mg | Potassium: 469mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 315IU | Vitamin C: 15.2mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 1.5mg

Scallop Gratin collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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    1. It is a necessary ingredient as it is not just for taste but also to add tang to the sauce.

    2. I didn’t have wine so I used chicken broth. I also put shredded cheddar on top as well as more Parmesan. Absolutely delicious!

  1. These are delicious!!! And quick and easy to throw together. I am so happy I found frozen scallops in my freezer, but I thoroughly thawed them and paper-towelled them dry before adding them to the pan.

    I love this recipe!!! Thank you.

  2. The best recipe for scallops I’ve ever had ! The slight sour taste of the lemon and cream cheese is perfect.thankyou !

    1. I would assemble the rest of the ingredients outside the scallops. Then add the scallops and sauce and bake on the day of.

  3. In convection oven, cooked for at least 15 minutes because it wasn’t getting hot!
    Followed this recipe with sweet potatoes and had no problem.

  4. This was very good! I used bay scallops and sautéed them on the stove with butter (because they release a ton of water) for about 5 minutes on medium low heat. Drain scallops and them follow the recipe. I did broil between low and high for about 5-10 minutes at the end to get a nice brown color. Very good and creamy and not watery as stated in comment above(due to cooking on stovetop first). I would suggest only squeezing half a lemon as the lemon was a little overwhelming. ?

  5. I made these to go with Christmas dinner. They look nothing like the picture. The sauce is watery and runny and there is nothing creamy about it. I also had to broil for about 5-7 minutes to have any browning occur (I also had some larger scallops and 5 minutes with 1-2 minutes of broiling would have not been enough to cook through appropriately). While the scallops turned out fine and had good flavor, it was not as described – there was nothing creamy or cheesy about it. It was more like scallops cooked in a white wine sauce.

    1. I’m glad the flavor was still there even though it didn’t look the same. Were the scallops completely thawed and patted down before beginning? I’m wondering if they released liquid which made the sauce more runny than creamy.

  6. So runny! And white. I’m an experienced cook, especially with seafood since we are Heart Healthy. The large sea scallops we get delivered are pricey so this was a huge disappointment!I took a picture to show the white, watery sauce but can’t put it here. I will go back to searing in avocado oil next time. No sauce needed.

    1. Hmm, I might need more information to figure out what happened. Were the scallops you were using completely thawed? Were you cooking from frozen? Did you change any of the other ingredients listed.

      1. Hi, Sabrina. I’ve never posted here before but I think YOU as well as all those whose dinner was a letdown, deserve to know. When scallops are sold they’re sold as dry or wet, but the wording can be very different. Some scallops have water added, probably to increase weight, therefore price (I guess 20 bucks or more for one pound isn’t enough). But it’s not advertised. It’s up to the lowly, and assumed ignorant, consumer, like you, me and the others here who’ve stated their recipes, though made just as directed, came out less than they’d hoped. The scallops are labeled accordingly, but you have to really read the ingredients with a critical eye. Look for the words “water” or “moisture added” and always look for the words “dry” or “dried”. The latter will be much easier to find because these people sell the seafood the way nature intended and they WANT you to know what you’re getting. Whereas those who add water or other liquids, try to hide it behind confusing terms or print that’s so small only Barbie dolls are able to read it. After all, when you’re spending that much for a few scallops, you don’t even think anyone would want to greedily up the price at your expense. You expect to get what you pay for. So don’t feel guilty. This is due to the dishonesty and greed of people in general today, not you. I hope this helps soothe your mind. And I hope everyone reading your recipes reads this and spreads the word. Maybe together we can stop others from getting ripped off unnecessarily the way so many here (and elsewhere) have. You have a wonderful day! And eat some good scallops (LOL)!

  7. Can I use this same application for shrimp? I’m allergic to shrimp, but not scallops & would like to make this using shrimp while I use it for scallops. What adjustments should I make?

  8. Delicious way to make Scallops for my first time. My picky Father wanted to eat all the leftover sauce! This was a great recipe… we had a 2 lb bag of Sea Scallops so I upped the ingredients a bit. The Lemon taste and Tarragon are amazing!

  9. I thought those dish was super lemon flavored, Next time I would probably do half a lemon otherwise very very good

  10. This recipe is a fail. I followed it exactly and the result was a runny, far from golden result. To even bring the “sauce” close enough to browning resulted in 20+ minutes of overcooking the scallops. I would suggest adding a 1/4 cup more of cream cheese,1/4 cup more of Parmesan, an 1/8 cup of wine, and the juice of 1/2 lemon.

    1. I’m curious at what temperature you cooked this at. Next time, make sure not to overcrowd your pan. Allow space between the scallops for the sauce to cook down and the tops to get brown. Hope this helps for next time.

  11. You must have used that ‘yellow’ cream cheese, or that ‘yellow’ Parmesan……my dish did not look anything like your picture, since all my ingredients were white. It didn’t look thick and creamy either, since there wasn’t any thickening agent in it. I just hate when photos of a dish look so good, and the real thing, not so much. I took a picture to show you, but I see there is no way to attach it. Tasted good, at least, and if that pic didn’t raise my expectations so high, I would probably be a lot more satisfied. Just sayin’…

    1. Oh no, it doesn’t let you pin the photos? That is not how it should work! I will test it out and try and resolve it, I’m sorry it is doing that.

    1. I harvested my own scallops from the Gulf of Mexico the day before I made this recipe. Although it said “sea” scallops I am seasoned enough to adjust. I used the same weight of scallop. I would reduce the tarragon and lemon add more salt and pepper and add two cloves of garlic minced. I diced 2 tablespoons of butter and mixed into scallops before adding sauce as in experience with recipes did know how original ingredients would give a yellow appearance. I cooked for 5 minutes on 450 but found In order to get light browning it took 6-7 minutes of watching carefully. My sauce was very white and runny as other comments. I would not describe it as cheesy at all. My scallops were perfectly cooked and tender. The flavor was good except as noted above for preference. I would like to know why your picture was cheesy and yellow?

        1. This recipe totally disappointed me !! I followed the recipe instructions, the sauce was so watery !! I definitely will not be making this again… 🙁

      1. +1 to it being super runny and i even viewed comments before making. Having to cook scallops way longer to try to thicken the sauce and get golden.

  12. Wow, this looks so cheesy & delicious!! Love that it doesn’t take long to bake. Can’t wait to make it!

    1. At 450° it takes more than five minutes to cook adequately. Two minutes under the broiler didn’t brown anything. The sauce is white, not yellow. Given the price of scallops, No, no, no. Sear your scallops in butter, maybe wrap some bacon around them, you’ll be a lot happier.

      1. Way too runny for me, didn’t look anything like the photo, and I even kept it in the broiler an extra long time to attempt to brown the top. On the other hand, it was quite tasty, so not a complete loss. I ate it in a bowl as scallop soup.