Skip to content

Spicy Citrus Scallop Ceviche


*This post may contain affiliate links. See my privacy statement for details.

This Spicy Citrus Scallop Ceviche is infused with the vibrant goodness of fresh grapefruit juice, lime juice, lemon juice, and orange juice. Topped with thinly sliced, fresh jalapeño and red pepper, this easy seafood dish is full of zest and spicy flavors. Whether you’re a seafood enthusiast or just looking for a unique appetizer, this scallop recipe is a must-try!

Three scallop shells filled sitting on a bed of rock salt filled with Citrus Scallop Ceviche


Ceviche is a popular and refreshing seafood dish originating from Latin America, particularly in countries like Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico. It typically consists of raw, fresh fish or seafood, such as fish, shrimp, scallops, or octopus, that is “cooked” or marinated in a mixture of citrus juices.

It is traditionally served as an appetizer or a light main course and is known for its delightful combination of fresh, zesty flavors and a firm, yet tender texture.


Scallops are bivavlve mollusks (shellfish) with a hinged shell. The part that is most often savored, is called the adductor muscle. This muscle can range in color, and in size. Raw scallops are translucent, and turn opaque when fully-cooked. Furthermore, you will generally see them referred to either sea scallops, bay scallops, diver, and dayboat.

For this Scallop Ceviche recipe, it’s best to use fresh, high-quality sea scallops. Sea scallops are larger and sweeter compared to bay scallops, making them an excellent choice for ceviche. When selecting sea scallops, consider the following tips:

  1. Freshness: Choose scallops that are as fresh as possible. Look for scallops with a mild, briny ocean scent and a translucent appearance. Avoid scallops that appear dull, dry, or have an overly fishy odor.
  2. Dry Scallops: Dry-packed scallops, which are free of added preservatives or chemicals, are preferred. They sear and absorb flavors better than wet-packed scallops, which may have excess moisture.
  3. Size: Sea scallops are typically larger, ranging from about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. These larger scallops work well for ceviche because they can be diced into bite-sized pieces, allowing for a more substantial texture and presentation.
  4. Sustainability: Whenever possible, choose sustainably sourced scallops to support responsible fishing practices and protect marine ecosystems.
  5. Ask Your Fishmonger: If you’re unsure about the best scallops available in your area or need advice on selecting the freshest seafood, don’t hesitate to ask your local fishmonger. They can provide recommendations based on what’s in season and available.

Cleaning Scallops

For the most part, scallops are relatively easy to prep. Although not required, I like gently rinse the scallops in cold water as I remove the tiny muscle (foot) on the side of the scallop.


This Spicy Citrus Scallop Ceviche recipe is perfect for gatherings, parties, or simply indulging in a delicious appetizer at home. The combination of fresh seafood and vibrant citrus flavors is sure to make it a crowd-pleaser.

  • Refreshing and Unique Flavor Profile: This ceviche recipe is a full of flavor, thanks to the combination of fresh grapefruit juice, lime juice, lemon juice, and orange juice. The citrus juices infuse the scallops with a bright and zesty taste that’s both refreshing and unique.
  • Healthy and Nutrient-Rich: Scallops are a low-calorie and protein-rich seafood option. Combined with the vitamin C-packed citrus fruits and the vibrant colors of fresh peppers and cilantro, this dish is not only delicious but also nutritious. It’s a guilt-free appetizer that’s perfect for those looking to maintain a balanced diet.
  • Quick and Easy: This recipe is surprisingly simple to prepare. With minimal cooking involved (just the “cooking” of the scallops in citrus juices), it’s a great option for busy weeknight dinners or last-minute gatherings. Plus, the marinating time allows you to get other things done while the flavors meld together.
  • Impressive Presentation: The vibrant colors and artful arrangement of thinly sliced jalapeño, red pepper, and fresh cilantro make this ceviche visually appealing. It’s a dish that not only tastes fantastic but also looks stunning when served. I love presenting this fresh scallop dish in scallop shells. Be sure to lay the shells on top of a bed of ice cream salt to keep them steady.
  • Customizable Heat Level: The addition of jalapeño peppers allows you to customize the heat level to your liking. If you prefer a milder ceviche, you can remove the seeds from the jalapeño or use less of it.
  • Perfect for Social Gatherings: Whether you’re hosting a party, a barbecue, or a picnic, this Spicy Citrus Scallop Ceviche is an ideal appetizer. It’s a conversation starter and a crowd-pleaser, making it a fantastic choice for social events and gatherings.


  • Prepare the Scallops: Rinse gently and pull off the side muscle. Slice each scallop into thin circles. Place into a bowl.
  • Juice the Citrus Fruits: Squeeze in the fresh grapefruit, lime, lemon, and orange juices.
  • Add Some Heat: Thinly slice the jalapeño pepper and red pepper. If you prefer a milder ceviche, remove the seeds from the jalapeño. Add them to the bowl.
  • Marinate: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30-60 minutes. The acid in the citrus juices will “cook” the scallops, turning them opaque.
  • Serve: Serve this Scallop Ceviche with tortilla chips or crackers for a delightful crunch.


  • Use Fresh Sea Scallops: Start with the freshest sea scallops you can find. Freshness is key to achieving the best texture and flavor in your ceviche.
  • Uniform Scallop Size: When slicing the scallops, aim for uniform-sized pieces to ensure even marination and a consistent texture in your ceviche.
  • Don’t Rush the Marination: Allow the scallops to marinate in the citrus juices for the recommended time. This process “cooks” the scallops and infuses them with flavor. Over-marinating can make the scallops tough, so stick to the suggested times.
  • Adjust Spiciness: Tailor the spiciness to your taste.
  • Fresh Citrus is Key: Always use freshly squeezed citrus juices. The vibrant, natural flavors of fresh juice will make a significant difference in the taste of your ceviche.
  • Mix Gently: When combining the ingredients, mix everything gently to prevent overworking the scallops, which could affect their texture.
  • Season Thoughtfully: Taste the ceviche before serving, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Remember that the peppers and other ingredients also contribute to the overall flavor.
  • Serve Chilled: Ceviche is best enjoyed when it’s well-chilled. Keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.
  • Food Safety Note: Ceviche involves “cooking” the seafood using the acidity of citrus juices rather than heat. While this process can kill some pathogens, it may not eliminate all of them. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure the scallops you use are fresh and of high quality, and to follow safe handling practices throughout the preparation.


Feel free to customize this Scallop Ceviche recipe to your liking:

  • Variety of Seafood: Feel free to experiment with different types of seafood, such as shrimp, fish, or even a combination of seafood. Just ensure that the seafood is fresh and suitable for raw preparations. Check out my recipe for Shrimp Ceviche!
  • Citrus Variations: While the recipe calls for grapefruit, lime, lemon, and orange juices, you can adjust the citrus mix to your preference. For a more intense tang, use more lime or lemon juice.
  • Heat Level: If you prefer a milder ceviche, substitute milder chili peppers like poblano or bell peppers for the jalapeño. Conversely, if you love heat, consider using habanero peppers for an extra kick.
  • Fresh Herbs: While cilantro is a traditional herb used in ceviche, you can experiment with other fresh herbs like parsley or mint for a unique twist.
  • Extra Ingredients: Add diced avocado, mango, or cucumber for added freshness and texture.


Ceviche, of any kind, is best enjoyed on the day it’s prepared when its flavors are at their peak. If stored properly, this homemade scallop ceviche can be safely kept in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours after it’s made. However, its texture and flavor may change over time, and it may become less vibrant.

It’s not recommended to freeze ceviche. Freezing can significantly alter the texture of the scallops, making them less appealing when thawed.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
A white bowl of Spicy Citrus Scallop Ceviche i

Spicy Citrus Scallop Ceviche


This Spicy Citrus Scallop Ceviche is infused with the vibrant goodness of fresh grapefruit juice, lime juice, lemon juice, and orange juice. Topped with thinly sliced, fresh jalapeño and red pepper, this easy seafood dish is full of zest and spicy flavors. Whether you’re a seafood enthusiast or just looking for a unique appetizer, this scallop recipe is a must-try!


  • 6 U10-U12 dry-packed scallops
  • juice of one grapefruit
  • juice of one lemon
  • juice of one lime
  • juice of one orange
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red onion, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro


  1. Gently rinse the scallops and remove the foot (side muscle that attaches to the shell)
  2. With a very sharp knife, slice each scallop into thin circles.
  3. Add the scallops to the bowl with the remaining ingredients. Mix gently to coat the scallops.
  4. Cover and place in the fridge. Allow to “cook” for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
  5. Stir a few times while the in the fridge to “cook” evenly.
  6. Serve and ENJOY!

This Scallop Ceviche recipe is easy-to-make, so light and very refreshing! Sushi-grade scallops “cook” in a pool of fresh citrus juices. Fresh, thinly sliced red pepper, red onion and jalapeño give this seafood dish added texture and flavor! #ceviche #scallops #scallopceviche #seafood #appetizer #healthyrecipe #foodtiktok #easyrecipes #sushi #scalloprecipe

♬ Au Revoir – Sweet After Tears


  • it’s essential to ensure the scallops you use are fresh and of high quality, and to follow safe handling practices throughout the preparation
  • use a sharp knife, and gentle back and forth motion to thinly slice the scallops
  • if you so desire, you can “cook” the scallops in the citrus juices for about 30 minutes in the fridge prior to adding the remaining ingredients. Once added, place back in fridge for another 20-30 minutes to allow the flavors develop even more.
  • serve chilled
  • see post for additional notes and tips
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer, Lunch
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Seafood

Keywords: Spicy Citrus Scallop Ceviche, Spicy Ceviche Recipe, Appetizer Idea, Appetizers, are scallops sushi-grade, Best Scallop Ceviche recipe with a spicy twist, can you eat scallops raw, Ceviche Recipe, Cilantro garnished Scallop Ceviche for seafood lovers, Citrus Ceviche, easy seafood appetizer, fish and seafood, Fresh Citrus, Fresh grapefruit and lime Scallop Ceviche, healthy appetizers, Healthy seafood ceviche with grapefruit and orange, Homemade Ceviche, how to cook seafood in citrus, How to make homemade Citrus Scallop Ceviche, how to make scallop ceviche, Impress your guests with homemade Citrus Ceviche, Refreshing Citrus Scallop Ceviche for summer parties, Scallop Ceviche, Scallop Ceviche recipe with citrus juices, Scallop Dish, seafood appetizers, Seafood Recipe, Step-by-step guide to preparing Scallop Ceviche, Tangy Seafood, what are dry scallops, what is a scallop, what is ceviche, Zesty Ceviche, Zesty seafood appetizer with red pepper and jalapeño


A photo of me in a black floral dress cooking at the stovetop at Williams-Sonoma

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!

Our life has changed dramatically in the past few years with the passing of our two goldendoodles, Vegas and Viva. We were lucky enough to have Vegas for five years (totally wish it was longer). Most recently, losing our Viva to a brain tumor in July of 2020. We welcomed our mini goldendoodle 7, almost seven years ago. We just added the amazing Hazel! Of course, I am always posting tons and tons of photos! Be sure to check out my recipe for Pet Bone Broth! This broth is super rich in nutrients and will provide your pet with a multitude of health benefits!

Let’s Get Social!

Be sure to follow me on social media! I’m always talking food, fashion, and family! I also love sharing some of my favorite Amazon Finds too. Click here to check out my Amazon page! FacebookInstagramTikTokTwitter and Pinterest! THANK YOU!

More to Plate...

A stockpot of simmered lobster shells, celery stalks, onion, parsley, thyme and bay leaves for rich homemade lobster stock.

Rich Homemade Lobster Stock

Get ready to take your seafood dishes to a whole new level with this easy-to-make, Rich Homemade Lobster Stock recipe. Homemade lobster

A white bowl filled with Lobster and Corn Chowder garnished with homemade croutons, fresh parsley, and crisp diced bacon.

Homemade Lobster Corn Chowder

Homemade Lobster Corn Chowder is packed with savory flavors from diced bacon, tender lobster meat and sweet corn. This seafood chowder recipe

A wooden cutting board holding three naan flatbread pizzas with melted cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms and fresh basil as toppings.

Easy Naan Flatbread Pizza

Looking for a hassle-free dinner option that’s bursting with flavor? This Easy Naan Flatbread Pizza recipe is your answer! With store-bought naan

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.