Maple Scallop Recipes - Spice and Sweet

Lemon, pepper, maple and more.
A true scallop recipes experience!

The secret of our maple scallops recipe is the scallops themselves. You want the biggest sea scallops you can afford.

The smaller, bay scallops will work, because of the delicious sauce. But the larger sea scallops have a taste and consistency all their own.

Expensive and tricky to prepare, we know this recipe isn’t for everyone. If only the best will do, and you’re up for the challenge, were with you!


This recipe will feed 50 people, if you are you are serving other snacks, and/or appetizers, dinners, etc. Read about Party Food Quantities and how to plan for the right amounts.

Maple Scallops Recipe Shopping List for 50 People:

___5 pounds Scallops. We like to use the extra large, sea scallops that come around 12 to a pound, or larger. If cost and/or availability won’t cooperate, smaller is OK, smallest is probably not.

___8 oz pure maple syrup – the real deal

___Small bottle of Vodka, cheap is fine

___Small bottle of water, or filtered tap water

___Small bottle of Franks Hot Sauce

___12 lemons, for the recipe and the garnish

___1 Stick of butter

___ salt and pepper

___2 heads leafy lettuce for the garnish

___Coconut Oil/Fat – small amount

You won't need a lot of coconut oil - just about the same amount that you'd use when frying anything, so don't buy a big jug.

Coconut oil is a saturated fat, similar to butter. When it's cool, it is a white paste - warm it up and it's a clear liquid.

With a low (350°f) smoke point, it will begin to burn with much less heat than something like vegetable oil. Run the vent fan and open your kitchen window!

Expensive and a little inconvenient yes - but coconut oil does add a flavor like none other.


To save time, we’re going to cook the scallops in two stages. The day before the party, you will sauté them quickly, returning into the refrigerator. On the day of the party, just when you’re ready to serve, you’ll finish the cooking process in the microwave. We’ll build two sauces, first the Sauté Sauce and second the Serving Sauce.

One Day Before the Party:

TIP: Keep the scallops in the refrigerator when you’re not working with them. Don’t let them sit out unnecessarily.

The Sauté Sauce:

In a small bowl combine ½ cup of the maple syrup and ½ cup vodka.

Stir in the juice of one lemon. Add 2tsp. of salt, 1tsp. of black pepper and two or three drops of the Frank’s hot sauce. Stir until the salt is dissolved.

Sauté the Scallops:

Now’s the time to use that heavy bottomed sauté pan that those gourmet catalogs are always talking about… We like to use an 8 or 10in. pan because it concentrates the heat quite well. This means that you’ll be making several batches, because you’ll need to clean the pan in between each sauté. (That maple syrup sugar is going to make quite a mess, especially at high heat.)

You will need a tight fitting lid for the pan that you’re going to use. Keep it near the stove.

Heat your heavy sauté pan for several minutes over high heat. You want that pan to be very hot.

While the pan is heating, take the amount of scallops out of the refrigerator that can fit into the pan at one time. Leave the rest of the scallops in the cold.

Lay the scallops out on a plate. Season one side with salt and pepper.

When the pan is nice and hot, and a heaping tablespoon of the coconut oil. The oil will melt and begin to smoke almost immediately. Use your kitchen fan and were open a window… can’t tell you how much we hate to sound of the smoke alarm…!

Just after you have the coconut oil, begin to add the scallops, seasoned side down. Work quickly and carefully to get them all in. Keep the heat on high.

Shake the pan to make sure the scallops don’t stick. Season the uncooked side of the scallops with more salt and pepper.

After two minutes, flip them to the other side using tongs.

After one more minute, you’re going to add some of the Sauté Sauce. Because there is alcohol in the sauce, it may flame up.

Pour just one ounce of the sauce with one hand - while you’re holding the lid in your other hand. As soon as you add the sauce, cover the pan with the lid. This will help to extinguish any flame – but be prepared to have a flare up.

SAFETY TIP: Be very careful when working with alcohol. You want a flame to be present, but you want to control the flame. Move flammable materials away from the stove top. Be careful not to stand too close, and watch out for terri cloth potholders or cleaning clothes and aprons.

Keep the pan covered, and wait for 30 seconds – no more. The Remove the scallops from the pan. Place them on a clean plate and put them right into the refrigerator to cool down.

TIP: The scallops are not cooked all the way through. We’re going to finish the cooking process tomorrow, just before you’re ready to serve them.

Continue this sauté process until all the scallops are seared on both sides and in the refrigerator.

TIP: The pan needs to be clean before you start the next batch. If you’re using a nonstick surface, you may be able to carefully wipe out the hot pan with a disposable paper towel. We do this because it’s just faster than using soap and water. But, if the maple syrup sugar has caramelized in the pan, it will just burn and ruin your next batch, and it needs to be completely clean.

On the Day of the Party:

The Serving Sauce:

In a small saucepan combine ½ cup of the maple syrup and ½ cup water. Stir in the juice of one lemon. Add 2tsp. of salt, 1tsp. of black pepper and two or three drops of the Frank’s hot sauce.

Heat over a low flame. Add the stick of butter. When the butter is melted, remove from the heat and keep near the stove or someplace warm so that the butter does not begin to harden.

One plate at a time, microwave the scallops for one minute on high heat. Based on what size scallop you’ve used, you may need more time.

Scallops are done when they are white throughout, not opaque or “fleshy”. Cut one and half and check.

Presentation: Your Eyes Eat First

On a serving platter covered with the leafy lettuce and decoratively cut lemons, carefully arrange the scallops. Pour a small amount of the Serving Sauce on each one.

We like to serve this appetizer by presenting it to each guest, then making more as needed. This way the scallops stay warm, and a certain amount of elegance is added to your party.

For larger parties that are being served over a longer period of time, the scallops can be transferred to a chafing dish and kept warm.


Scallops will freeze very well. We like to cover them with water before freezing, which prevents freezer burn. They should be fully cooked, served in perhaps a hot soup when reusing.

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