Sea Scallops with Pancetta

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This dish is truly amazing and ideal for that “special occasion” dinner.

We love serving this for guests, especially during the holiday season. It’s the perfect beginning to an amazing meal starring a wonderful roast such as a standing prime rib roast, roast rack of lamb, or royal crown roast of pork. It’s truly as elegant as it is delicious, and comes together in less than 30 minutes.

Three sea scallops with pancetta sitting on a black plate with a yellow egg and chive sauce on the plate, as well.

How To Make Sea Scallops with Pancetta

We love everything about this dish. Even folks who aren’t crazy about seafood love it, too.

And it is so easy to prepare!

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The Ingredients You Will Need

There really are just a handful of ingredients for this amazing dish, but they all work together incredibly well.

Here is what you’ll need

Scallops – We love sea scallops for this dish, but there are other options, too.
Pancetta – Thinly sliced. You could also go with prosciutto, or even thinly sliced bacon.
Fresh herbs – Such as thyme, but a little goes a long way.
Olive oil – Just for brushing the dish.
Eggs – Just the yolks, please.
White wine – Dry, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, or Pinot-Grigio.
Salt and pepper – Just a pinch, pancetta is fairly salty.
Chives – Fresh and snipped (finely chopped).

EXPERT TIP: To roll the scallops, you may need to cut the pancetta strips in half. Start with the scallop on its side in the middle of the strip of pancetta. The ends should overlap.

NOTE: Go easy on the fresh thyme on the pancetta. If you’re heavy-handed, the thyme taste will overpower the scallop.

A person wrapping a thin slice of pancetta around a sea scallop with a small bowl of freshly chopped thyme nearby.

Tips For Perfect Sea Scallops with Pancetta

Don’t Over Season – The natural flavors of the key components of this dish really are what makes it sing. Just a few pinches of fresh thyme sprinkled over the strips of pancetta is all that’s needed. And a very small sprinkling of salt in pepper over the tops of the scallops and then in the sauce is all that’s needed, too.

Keep a Close Eye on The Sauce – A double boiler will help you when cooking the eggs and wine for the sauce. But, you can certainly use a heat-proof pan over another pan of simmering water. Just don’t let it get too hot too quickly, or it will scramble the eggs. If the sauce gets a little too thick, thin it with a little more lemon juice, and/or water. Take it nice and slow.

Don’t Overcook the Scallops – It may seem like 10 to 12 minutes isn’t long enough to get the pancetta crispy. Don’t worry, you’re not looking for extra crispy pancetta. It will be soft and should cut easily. The scallops will be juicy and melt-in-your-mouth tender after 10 minutes. This is what you want.

A stainless steel saucepan filled with an egg yolk foam sauce with a whisk in the middle.

How To Serve

This is one of those dishes that truly has a “wow” factor to it. It’s stunning in presentation and the flavor profile is elevated. Your guests will be impressed with the quality of what you are serving.

We love to serve them on dark dinner plates, as the bright-colored sauce and white scallops make for a beautiful contrast.

Depending on the size of your sea scallops, you will probably only want to serve 2 to 3 per plate for each guest as an incredible appetizer. Serve with rice pilaf and balsamic shaved Brussels sprouts for an amazing entree.

EXPERT TIP: When arranging the pancetta-wrapped scallops in the dish, you’ll want to gently press them against each other to help hold the pancetta in place. Don’t worry if some of the pancetta pulls away from the scallops, they will be tender and easy to eat.

A black oval baking dish filled with sea scallops that have been baked with thin strips of pancetta wrapped around them.

Other “Special Occasion” Appetizers to Try

The sea scallops are truly spectacular in every way, but here are some of our other favorite appetizers that truly have that “wow” factor.

Southern Crab Beignets
Creamy Polenta with Wild Mushrooms
Bacon and Parmesan Cheese Puffs
Air Fryer Phyllo Triangles with Artichokes and Shrimp
Baked Brie with Praline Pepper Sauce
Best-Ever Charcuterie Board
Marinated Olives
Spanish Garlic Shrimp

In the meantime, take a look at this show-stopper of a dish!

A close-up view of sea scallops with pancetta wrapped around them sitting on a black plate with an egg and chive sauce surrounding them.

These sea scallops with pancetta are perfect for entertaining. They are not difficult to prepare, and can even be assembled in advance.

Every time we serve these, folks rave about them and want the recipe.

They are perfect for the holidays, “special occasion” dinners, or just a fun date night at home. Just incredible.

A pancetta-wrapped scallop that has been split open and is sitting in a yellow egg and wine sauce.

Ready to make an appetizer dish that folks will be talking about for seasons to come? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!

A close-up view of sea scallops with pancetta wrapped around them sitting on a black plate with an egg and chive sauce surrounding them.

Sea Scallops with Pancetta

Sea Scallops with Pancetta are truly a visual and taste sensation. Add in the foamy egg, white wine, and chive sauce, and you've got an elevated appetizer that guests will rave about.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American / French
Keyword: Holiday appetizer recipe, how to cook scallops, how to cook sea scallops
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 188kcal

Equipment

  • 1 baking dish

Ingredients

  • 3 oz pancetta sliced thin
  • tbsp thyme fresh, finely chopped
  • 1 lb sea scallops
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup white wine dry
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp chives snipped, plus whole ones for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Arrange the pancetta slices on a cutting board. Each slice should be about 6 inches long. You may need to slice them in half.
    3 oz pancetta
  • Sprinkle a few scant pinches of the fresh thyme over the pancetta slices. Add a scallop on its side in the middle of each pancetta slice. Use your fingers to roll the pancetta around the side of the scallop, overlapping the edges. Repeat with all scallops and pancetta slices.
    1½ tbsp thyme, 1 lb sea scallops
  • Brush your baking dish with olive oil. Place the prepared scallops into the baking dish, slightly touching each other.
    1 tbsp olive oil
  • Sprinkle the tops of the scallops with a small amount of salt and a pinch of black pepper.
    Salt and pepper
  • Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan (or double boiler) filled with water (about 2 inches deep) to a boil. Immediately lower the heat to a low simmer. Place the egg yolks, wine, and lemon juice in a heatproof pan (or bowl), or in a double boiler.
    4 large egg yolks, ½ cup white wine, 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Place the baking dish with the scallops in the oven and place the pan with the eggs/wine/lemon juice just over the simmering water. Don't let the pan touch the hot water. Whisk constantly, not letting the eggs scramble. If the sauce gets too thick, thin it with lemon juice and/or water.
  • Remove the thickened sauce and stir in the chives and a small pinch of salt and pepper.
    2 Tbsp chives
  • Remove the scallops from the oven. Use a spatula to transfer 2 or 3 scallops to plates. Spoon the sauce around the scallops. Garnish with whole chives. Serve immediately.

Notes

See the video near the top of the blog post for visual guidance. If you liked the video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel
The entire dish can be assembled for up to 4 hours of baking. Cover and keep in the fridge. Remove about 15 minutes before baking. 
Use a dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, or Pinot Grigio.  If you prefer to not use alcohol, simply omit it and substitute water in its place. 
This dish is definitely served best warm, right from the oven. Leftovers will keep covered in the fridge for several days. We don't recommend freezing them once they have been cooked. 

Nutrition

Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 150mg | Sodium: 397mg | Potassium: 228mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 298IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
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2 Comments

  • Is this sauce supposed to be Hollandaise? If so where is the butter? If not, does this sauce have a name? P.S. Have enjoyed soo many of your recipes!

    • Hi Lin, it’s more of a bearnaise sauce. No butter is needed. It’s light and complements the scallops nicely. And we are so so happy you are enjoying our recipes! We really think you’ll love these scallops! Please let us know if you make them and what you think! Best, Kris & Wesley

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