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Creamy Baked Scallops in Shell (Coquilles St. Jacques)



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Indulge in the creamy, savory delight of Coquilles St. Jacques with this simplified recipe for Creamy Baked Scallops. This classic French dish transforms simple ingredients into a decadent culinary experience.

Three extra large scallop shells filled with a creamy scallop mixture and broiled with cheese on top until golden brown. The shells on sitting in a baking pan filled with coarse salt to keep the shells steady.

What is Coquilles St. Jacques?

Coquilles St. Jacques, a French culinary delight, translates to “scallops of Saint James” in English. Originating from the coastal regions of France, this dish traditionally features scallops served in their shells, bathed in a creamy sauce, and gratinéed to golden perfection.

What you Need to Make this Creamy Baked Scallops Recipe

If you are lucky enough to find live scallops, use this guide to learn how to shuck them, clean them and use both the scallops and scallop shells for this easy seafood recipe.

Alternatively, as for most of us, live scallops may not be easy to find. However, food-grade scallop shells are available:

Scallops for Creamy Baked Scallops

While the traditional method for Coquilles St. Jacques involves poaching the scallops before baking or broiling them in a creamy sauce, there can indeed be variations in how the scallops are prepared within the dish. Here are a few alternative approaches:

  1. Pan-Seared Scallops: Instead of poaching the scallops, some recipes may call for pan-searing them (often with a light dusting of flour) before adding them to the creamy sauce. This method adds a caramelized crust to the scallops, enhancing their flavor and texture.
  2. Raw Scallops: In some modern interpretations, chefs may opt to use thinly sliced raw scallops instead of poached or pan-seared ones. The raw scallops can be marinated briefly in lemon juice or vinegar to “cook” them slightly before being incorporated into the dish.
  3. Grilled Scallops: For a twist on the traditional recipe, scallops can be grilled before being added to the Coquilles St. Jacques. Grilling adds a smoky flavor to the scallops and can provide a contrasting texture to the creamy sauce.
  4. Smoked Scallops: Another variation involves using smoked scallops in the dish. The smoky flavor of the scallops can add depth to the overall flavor profile of the Coquilles St. Jacques.
  5. Crispy Scallops: Instead of keeping the scallops whole or in large pieces, some recipes may call for cutting them into smaller pieces and crisping them up in a hot pan before adding them to the sauce. This technique adds a textural contrast to the dish.

How to Poach Scallops for Creamy Baked Scallops

In my experience, I find that gently poaching the scallops is the optimal method for preparing this Creamy Baked Scallops recipe, rather than opting for pan-searing.

It’s essential to simmer the scallops gently and remove them promptly, as soon as the whole scallops or scallop pieces turn opaque. Remember, it’s better to err on the side of undercooked, as the scallops will continue to cook under the broiler.

  1. Start with large, U10-U12, dry-packed scallops. Remove the foot. Cut into three pieces each (or leave whole, if desired). Season with salt.
  2. Poach scallops in a mixture of clam juice, white wine and fresh thyme, until just opaque.
  3. Remove the scallops and reserve on a plate.
  4. Strain the poaching liquid. Keep warm on the stovetop.

How to Prepare the Mushroom Cream Sauce

  1. Sauté mushrooms and shallots in butter for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for another minute before dusting the mushroom mixture with flour.
  3. Cook off the raw flour taste.
  4. Pour poaching liquid to the mushroom mixture, simmer until thickened.
  5. Stir in heavy cream and fresh parsley and allow to simmer for another five minutes to thicken.
  6. Gently fold in the reserved scallops.

How to Fill Scallop Shells and Broil

  1. Arrange scallop shells on a baking sheet. If needed, use rock or coarse salt to keep the shells steady.
  2. Spoon a generous amount of the creamy scallop mixture into shells.
  3. Top with shredded Gruyère cheese and breadcrumb mixture.
  4. Broil until bubbly, and golden brown.
  5. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

How to Serve and Store Creamy Baked Scallops

Creamy Baked Scallops are best served hot and fresh from the oven, accompanied by crusty bread or a simple green salad.

As a seafood appetizer, serve the Coquilles St. Jacques in small, individual portions.

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. To reheat, place in a preheated oven until heated through, ensuring not to overcook the delicate scallops.

More Scallop Recipes to Love

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Three creamy baked scallops in shell (Coquilles St. Jacques). Scallop mixture is baked in three extra large scallop shells. The top is golden brown from the broiled cheese.

Creamy Baked Scallops in Shell (Coquilles St. Jacques)


Indulge in the creamy, savory delight of Coquilles St. Jacques with this simplified recipe for Creamy Baked Scallops.


  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds large, U10-U12, dry-packed scallops, cut into pieces 
  • 3 to 4 extra-large or 6 medium scallop shells
  • 8 ounces clam juice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 10 ounces baby bella or cremini mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 6 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Coarse salt for keeping scallops steady in pan, optional


  1. Prep the scallops by removing the foot. Cutting each into three pieces (leave whole, if desired). Season with salt. 
  2. In a pot, simmer clam juice and white wine with fresh thyme.
  3. Add scallops and poach until just opaque. Remove scallops and reserve on a plate.
  4. Strain poaching liquid and keep warm on the stovetop.
  5. In a small bowl, melt one tablespoon of butter in the microwave. Mix in breadcrumbs and 1/2 tablespoon parsley. Set aside.
  6. In a pan, melt two tablespoons of butter. Add mushrooms and shallots Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Cook until tender. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
  8. Dust mushroom mixture with flour and cook until raw flour taste dissipates.
  9. Pour in about a cup of the reserved poaching liquid, scraping the bottom of the pan. Allow to thicken.
  10. Reduce heat and pour in heavy cream. Simmer for about five minutes, or until slightly thickened.
  11. While the sauce is simmering, place scallop shells on a sheet pan. Add coarse salt on the bottom of the pan for stability, if needed.
  12. Stir in fresh parsley and gently fold in reserved scallops. Spoon mixture into shells.
  13. Top with cheese and breadcrumb mixture.
  14. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes, or until bubbly and golden.
  15. Serve immediately, garnished with fresh parsley.
  16. ENJOY!

Creamy Baked Scallops Recipe – Coquilles St. Jacques! Indulge in the creamy, savory delight of Coquilles St. Jacques with this simplified recipe for Creamy Baked Scallops. This classic French dish transforms simple ingredients into a decadent culinary experience. #scallops #frenchfood #seafood #easyrecipe #dinnerideas #seafoodrecipe #whatsfordinner #dinnerwithme

♬ Paris – 3Hzwave


  • Opt for large, U10-U12, dry-packed scallops, if possible.
  • Cut each scallop into three pieces.
  • Check with your fish monger to see if they have scallop pieces available. They are great for this recipe and usually half the price of whole scallops.
  • Gently simmer the scallops until they just turn opaque. Do NOT boil.
  • Strain the poaching liquid to remove and dirt/debris from poaching the scallops.
  • You will not need all of the poaching liquid for this recipe. Start with a cup and add in more, as needed.
  • This recipe is enough to fill 3 extra large or 6 medium-sized scallop shells.
  • Ramekins can be used in replacement of scallop shells.
  • Do not use the top rack placement for broiling. Place the rack one level down from the top to ensure the breadcrumbs do not burn before the cheese is browned and melty.
  • Serve immediately.
  • Leftovers can be place in the fridge for up to 2 days. Gently reheat in the oven.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dinner, Appetizer
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Seafood

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WELCOME! My name is Melissa Latin aka. Charlotte Fashion Plate. Happy to meet you! I am more than just recipes. I love fashion and style too! Most importantly, I love my Family (my Hubby and my Fur Babies). My Husband (aka my “Kitchen Bitch”) means the world to me. He’s pretty damn cool too. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he also has had a lengthy career in professional hockey. Not only winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ’90’s, but most recently winning the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers, amongst many other accolades. If you live in Charlotte and play hockey, or have a family member who plays, be sure to contact him!

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