Skip to Content

Grilled Scallops with Lemon Aioli and Arugula

Served with garlicky lemon aioli, grilled scallops become the luxurious dinner that’s ever come off your grill.


honey and smoked paprika Grilled Scallops with Lemon Aioli 5

Heck Yes, You Can (and Should) Grill Scallops!

Quick, high heat is ideal for a food that you want to be certain not to overcook and scallops are a food that you want to be extra careful with. Not only are they pricey, but they can become rubbery if they’re overdone. A light, quick kiss of char and smoke brings these gorgeous shellfish to life. And our favorite way to serve them is over a bed of spicy arugula and creamy, lemon aioli for a fresh and summery meal to remember.

grilled scallops on a baking sheet next to arugula and the ingredients to make lemon aioli

What To Serve With Grilled Scallops

When it came to grilling scallops, the word was “skewers”. When it comes to what to serve with grilled scallops, we’ve got just three words for you: homemade lemon aioli. This aioli echoes the garlicky, honey-and-smoked paprika marinade we used before grilling, so it makes for a gorgeous compliment to your grilled scallops. Simply whisk together:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Garlic
  • Lemon zest
  • Lemon juice
  • Pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika)
  • Honey
lemon aioli in a small bowl with a spoon

A Honey-Kissed Marinade for Scallops

Alright, enough nerding out. Let’s get cooking! While we’d never want to overpower their sweet, delicate flavor, sea scallops can benefit from a quick marinade made from a few carefully chosen ingredients. Before these scallops hit the grill, we give them a quick marinade in a combination of:

  • Olive oil
  • Honey
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Garlic
  • Pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika)
honey and smoked paprika Grilled Scallops with Lemon Aioli 5

How To Grill Scallops

If the idea of grilling scallops calls to mind an image of standing over a hot fire while trying to keep 25 little individual sea scallops from falling between the grates of your grill, we’ve got one word for you: SKEWERS. There! Now you’re feeling more confident about this scallop recipe already, aren’t you? Here’s how to do it:

  1. Marinate the scallops for an hour in the fridge. Don’t let them marinate more than an hour—if you’ve got to err, err on the side of less than an hour rather than more.
  2. Skewer the scallops! 4-5 scallops per skewer. Work somewhat quickly—the scallops will be easier to grill if they’re still cold from the fridge.
  3. Grill the scallops! On a nice, hot grill, they will take 2-3 minutes per side. If you’re feeling unsure, you can always slice one open to check for doneness.
  4. Eat the scallops! The best part!
honey and smoked paprika Grilled Scallops with Lemon Aioli 5
honey and smoked paprika Grilled Scallops with Lemon Aioli 5

Yay For Fancy Scallops!

If you make this scallop recipe, we want to hear about it! Snap a photo of your grilled scallops with lemon aioli, and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

💌 Let's Stay Together

There are so many great ways to receive all of our latest recipes, meal tips, and inspiration.

Grilled Scallops with Lemon Aioli and Arugula

  • Serves: 5
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  20 min
  • Calories: 271


lemon Aioli

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (pimentón)
  • 1 tsp honey


  1. Make the lemon aioli by mixing all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Store covered in refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. To serve, arrange arugula and scallops on a platter (or individual plates). Serve immediately with lemon aioli.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories271
  • Protein31 g
  • Carbohydrates14 g
  • Total Fat9 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol66 mg
  • sodium1164 mg
  • Total Sugars5 g

Grilled Scallops with Lemon Aioli and Arugula

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Brandie

    I know you guys love the flat top grill...are there any others you recommend? :)

    Not sure what you are asking exactly. We both have Blackstone flat top grills and love them!

  • Megan

    Do you know the amounts for the marinade mentioned as I don’t see that in the ingredients or directions? Thank you!

    Hi Megan, in the ingredients list the cooked scallops are a link. Click on that and it will take you to our recipes for the marinade. Hope you enjoy!

  • Yolanda

    Is there a way to cook them in the oven verses grilling them?

    Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet on 425F for 12-15 minutes until scallops are translucent. Hope you enjoy Yolanda!

  • Jenn

    These were so delicious. I felt like I was eating at a high end restaurant.

    Thank you, we are glad you loved them!