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Bacon Wrapped Chili Dusted Scallops with Corn Salad

Lauren Collins

Bacon wrapped sea scallops baked and broiled to perfection with a chili and panko dusting and a sprinkle of manchego cheese, topped with tequila lime sauce.

It may sound like a complicated recipe, but I promise you it's really not.  

These are definitely not your typical bacon wrapped scallops you find at parties and weddings, no sir.  Just imagine the buttery taste and texture of fresh scallops, crisp bacon, sharp and salty manchego cheese and a creamy tequila lime sauce that will knock your socks off.  Served with a warm corn salad.


Whenever I'm at a wedding or event, you can usually find me scoping out whoever is carrying around the trays of bacon wrapped scallops and standing as close to them as possible.  I befriend them, flashing my biggest and greatest smile, and sure enough I am stocked with enough scallops to last me through the end of the year.  I can't get enough of them!

This recipe is a culmination of a few life events for me.  One being all the weddings I've attended and of course my own wedding, where I specifically requested a personal plate of bacon wrapped scallops while we took photos.  The other being a very memorable meal we had with my parents while in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, at a wonderful restaurant called Polo's (not to be confused with pollo, which means chicken).  When I say memorable, I mean we went back three times for their food because it was that good.

The dish was called shrimp diablo and it consisted of jumbo shrimp stuffed with manchego cheese, lightly breaded and wrapped in bacon, broiled, then finished with the most incredible creamy tequila lime sauce.  Besides the smoked marlin burrito, we all ordered it multiple times, and for good reason.   I still think about that meal, but it will be another year before I'm back in Mexico, so I figured why not make a Cape Cod version of it?!

The Ingredients 

You certainly don't have to make the tequila lime sauce, but if you want an extra kick in the pants of flavor, I recommend trying it!  You can get yourself some smaller bottles if you won't be drinking the rest of it, but be sure to get a good white tequila.  The Espolon Agave Blanco is one of the best out there, and priced well for how good it is.  Regardless, just make sure it's a white tequila.

The cheeses you see pictured above are for the corn salad and for topping the scallops.  In the corn salad, you can use cojita cheese instead of feta, but it is harder to find depending on where you shop.  Feta is very similar, just a little saltier, and you'll still get really good flavor out of it.  Manchego is a Spanish cheese that is sharp like a cheddar and salty like a parmesan.  

The dusting on top of the scallops is made up of panko, chili powder and a hint of cayenne.  Once the scallops and bacon have cooked through, you'll want to do a quick broil to get the tops golden brown.  Then you'll sprinkle each with a little manchego cheese and you're good to go!

The corn salad is a mix of sautéed fresh corn kernels, red onion, chili powder, cayenne, lime juice and a hint of fresh mint.  It's a little but sweet and a little bit spicy and perfect for the scallops.

The Recipe

The corn salad can be made up to a day ahead, and is delicious served warm or cold.  The optional tequila lime sauce can also be made a day ahead, and easily reheats over low heat on the stovetop.  I say optional because it isn't very necessary given all other other flavors you're tasting in their dish, but it's a fun addition to the meal!

I hop you enjoy this as much as we did!!  You can click here for the recipe or check it out below!

To make the tequila lime sauce:  combine 1/4 cup white tequila, 2 TBS salted butter, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 TBS minced red onion, 2 TBS fresh lime juice and bring to a low boil.  Let the butter melt, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.  Turn the heat off and slowly stir in 1/4 cup heavy cream.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

What do you think?

Let me know by commenting below.

  1. OMG! Looks amazing! I’ll let you know when we try it! Thanks Lauren! And as always I live the way you write! Very witty!

    1. Thank you Leslie! Please let me know what you think when you make it!

  2. Sounds and looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it out. Thanks much!

    1. Thank you! I hope you love it!!


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