Whether you’re sautéing, baking, or grilling them, scallops are an easy—and delicious—seaside staple to prepare.

By Taylor Eisenhauer

Small but mighty, scallops are a buttery, sweet, and incredibly versatile seafood treasure. No matter what kind you have—bay scallops or sea scallops—or how you prepare them, these bivalves will bring flavor and a bit of restaurant elegance to your plate. You can buy them by the pound at your local seafood market, or dive for your own. Here, we explain how to cook scallops three ways, and we even include a recipe for each to get you started.

RELATED: What’s the Difference Between Bay Scallops and Sea Scallops?

How to Sauté Scallops

Recipe: Steak and Scallops with Champagne-Butter Sauce

When you’re sautéing scallops on the stovetop, make sure to pat them dry before seasoning with salt and pepper or your herb and spice combo of choice. A dry surface is necessary to develop a delicious crust in the hot heat of a pan. Warm butter or extra-virgin olive oil (we recommend using a tablespoon of either) in a large, heavy skillet, like cast iron, over medium-high heat, and sear scallops for two minutes on each side. Once you remove them from the heat, make sure to cover the scallops so that they stay warm before serving.

How to Bake Scallops

Recipe: Baked Scallops au Gratin

To bake scallops, start by lightly greasing a baking dish (for a half pound of scallops, use a one-quart dish) with extra-virgin olive oil. For scallops au gratin, coat the scallops in panko breadcrumbs, butter, lemon juice, and garlic. Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. The scallops will turn opaque when they're done.

RELATED: 28 Delicious Scallop Recipes

How to Grill Scallops

Recipe: Scallops with Mango Vinaigrette

When you’re grilling scallops, let the grill heat up thoroughly. Otherwise, the scallops will stick and tear when you try to turn them. Before grilling, toss scallops with a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with your seasoning of choice. If you’re trying to keep it simple, we recommend using salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat for two minutes on each side. The edges will become opaque when done.