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5 from 1 vote

Grilled Scallops and Grits

This is summer comfort food at its finest. Scallops caramelize perfectly on the grill and can be done in just two minutes. Serve atop cheesy grits and some crispy panko for a complete meal.
Course: Entree
Servings: 4 servings
Author: We are not Martha


  • 5 T unsalted butter divided
  • C panko
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 t finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • 16 sea scallops each about 2 oz., muscle removed and patted dry
  • 1 ¼ t Cajun seasoning
  • 4 scallions ends trimmed
  • 1 T hot pepper sauce plus more for topping
  • 1 T finely chopped parsley
  • Cooked Grits recipe below


  • 3 ½ C whole milk plus more if needed
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 3/4 t salt
  • ¾ C quick-cooking grits
  • 4 oz. grated sharp white cheddar cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • In a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Pour about 3 T of the butter into a small bowl and set aside, keeping warm.
  • Add panko and minced garlic to the remaining 2 T butter in the skillet and cook until panko is golden, about 3 to 4 minutes, being sure to stir often.
  • Stir in the thyme and about ⅛ teaspoon salt. Remove from the heat.
  • Heat grill for direct cooking over high heat, about 450° to 550°F.
  • In a medium-sized bowl combine the scallops, Cajun seasoning, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Toss scallops in the seasonings and add 2 T melted butter and toss to coat.
  • Place scallops on the grill, flattest side down. Grill over direct high heat, with the lid closed. After one minute, turn scallops with tongs. If scallops are resistant to turning, continue to grill another few seconds. Let scallops cook for another minute on other side, until they're lightly browned and just opaque in the center.
  • During the last minute of grilling time, grill the scallions over direct heat, turning once.
  • Transfer the scallops to a clean bowl and add hot pepper sauce and the remaining 1 T melted butter and toss to coat.
  • Move scallops to cutting board and roughly chop.
  • Divide the grits among four plates. If the've solidified, you can loosen them with a few tablespoons of water or milk and continue to warm through.
  • Top grits with the scallions, scallops, and toasted panko.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve immediately with more hot pepper sauce, if desired.


  • In a saucepan combine milk, garlic, and ¾ teaspoon salt.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and then slowly whisk in grits.
  • Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, until the mixture thickens and the grits are very tender, about 6 to 9 minutes. Be sure to whisk often. Add more water water ¼ cup at a time if the mixture thickens too much.
  • Stir in cheddar cheese and season with pepper. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.