Can you cook frozen scallops?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you cook frozen scallops” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can cook frozen scallops. Moreover, we are going to discuss the proper way to freeze and thaw the scallops.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Can you cook frozen scallops?

Yes, you can cook frozen scallops but it takes about 50% more cooking time to thoroughly cook frozen scallops as compared to the fresh scallops or the one that has been thawed first. 

The particular method that you want to use to cook your scallops depends upon your personal preference as you can boil, grill, fry, or bake your frozen scallops.

It is worth mentioning that the time it takes to cook scallops depends upon several factors like the number of scallops, whether it was frozen or not, the internal temperature to which scallops are cooked, the way you are going to cook it (roast in the oven, boil in a saucepan or fry in the pan, etc), the storage conditions in which the scallops were kept, the time for which the scallops have been stored, humidity and temperature. 

One thing to keep in mind is that you should cook the scallops thoroughly till their internal temperature reaches about 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

How long does it take to cook frozen scallops?

Generally, it takes about 3-6 minutes to cook frozen scallops depending upon the size of the scallops. It is worth mentioning that you should cook scallops till their internal temperature reaches about 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to boil frozen scallops?

It is recommended to thaw the scallops before cooking them to ensure even cooking but if you are in a hurry, you can also boil frozen scallops.

In order to boil scallops, what you have to do is to clean the scallops. Now rinse the scallops with cold water and add them to a large pot containing water. It is worth mentioning that the water should be enough to submerge all the scallops.

Now add some lemon zest, butter, and a dash of salt in it and let it boil. Once the water has boiled, let the scallops simmer for about 2-3 minutes. It is worth mentioning that in the case of frozen scallops let them simmer for additional 1-2 minutes (so total boiling time for frozen scallops is about 3-5 minutes depending upon the size of scallops). Drain the excess water and serve them.

You can read how to make seared lemon garlic butter scallops here.

Can you cook scallops in the oven?

Yes, you can cook scallops in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Take an oven-safe tray and add melted butter and minced garlic to it. Line up the scallops in the dish. Now take a bowl and add bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and parsley. Mix them and sprinkle them on the scallops for a light coating.

Place the baking tray in the center rack of the preheated oven and let the scallops bake for about 18-20 minutes. Check if the internal temperature of the scallops is 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Voila! Your baked scallops are ready to serve.

The proper way to freeze scallops

You can easily store the scallops by wrapping them in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and afterward putting it in the plastic freezer bag or heavy-duty freezer container before storing them in the freezer to protect your scallops from freezer burns. 

Moreover, to preserve the quality of the scallops for quite a long time you can opt for vacuum sealing it which is quite effective in prolonging its shelf life.

Vacuum sealing involves the process of putting the scallops in a plastic zipper bag, removing air from it, and almost sealing the bag with a little space left while lowering it into water. Afterward, press out the bubbles from the bag starting from the bottom of the bag and once you reach the sealed end, you should press the seal closed. 

The reason behind doing vacuum sealing is to ensure that there is minimum air present in the plastic zipper bag with the scallops. As air has moisture and oxygen in it that favors bacterial growth, so by removing air, scallops can retain their freshness for a long time.

It is a good practice to divide the scallops into portions or serving sizes that you generally need. By doing so you will be able to just thaw the number of scallops that you need while the rest of the scallops can stay in the freezer untouched. Thus keeping the scallops in the freezer will increase their shelf life considerably owing to the cool temperature of the freezer that halts the bacterial growth on the scallops.

The proper way to thaw scallops

When it comes to thawing the scallops, there are a couple of ways to do so and you can choose any of them depending upon your choice.

  1. The recommended way to thaw the frozen scallops is to leave them in the refrigerator overnight and let them thaw there. 
  1. You can thaw the frozen scallops in a bowl of cold water but you should cook them immediately after thawing. 
  1. If you are thawing the scallops in the oven or microwave it is recommended to cook them immediately. 

The reason behind cooking the scallops immediately after thawing them in a cold water bowl or microwave is that when you warm scallops using these methods, the temperature at the surface of the scallops gets higher than that of 40 degrees Fahrenheit before the core temperature can become 40 degrees Fahrenheit and it can thaw completely and that’s when the bacteria can start to grow on the surface rapidly.

Therefore it is advised to cook such thawed scallops immediately until their internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Because it is only by cooking the scallops properly that we can get rid of the bacteria completely.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you cook frozen scallops” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can cook frozen scallops. Moreover, we discussed the proper way to freeze and thaw scallops.


Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.