Baked Scallops with Ritz Crackers

Baked Scallops with Ritz crackers are simply incredible! Buttermilk and thyme give scallops a special flavor. Buttery cracker topping gives a nice crunch to the tender scallops. It takes only a few minutes to prep and then bake in the oven until the scallops are perfectly cooked. It’s a must-try seafood dish!

Baked Scallops with Ritz cracker topping on a plate.

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Baked Scallops are One of the Easiest Ways to Prepare Scallops

If you want some incredible baked scallops at home, you are going to love this simple recipe for scallops baked with a buttery cracker topping.

Turns out, making scallops in the oven is an easy way to prepare sea scallops. It’s so easy you’ll want to put this on your regular rotation and serve it up quite a few more times!

What Makes Baked Scallops So Good?

When you bake scallops, they end up with a pleasant texture that’s somewhere between firm and meaty.

Their naturally buttery flavor takes center stage due to the help of the buttery Ritz crackers and melted butter. Then, a splash of fresh lemon juice brightens the entire dish, giving a refreshing undertone to the seafood!

Why You Should Try This Recipe

When making this recipe for baked scallops, the only equipment you need is a bowl and a baking dish. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. This is definitely a recipe to make when you want a fuss-free time in the kitchen.

My recipe makes 8 servings, so it’s perfect for a family dinner. It has a delightful crunchy topping and the scallops always turn out the perfect texture.


You might already have most of these ingredients at home. Here’s what I used in my baked scallops:

  • Sea Scallops (do not use the small bay scallops)
  • Fresh thyme leaves
  • Buttermilk
  • Ritz crackers
  • Butter
  • Lemon
Ingredients for baked scallops with Ritz crackers on a marble surface.

Ingredient Notes, Additions, and Substitutions

If you don’t care for thyme, you can use fresh chives or parsley.

You can sprinkle some garlic powder over the scallops for a touch of garlic flavor.

Sprinkle lemon zest over the scallops before topping them with the crushed crackers for extra lemony zing.

Stir some parmesan cheese with the crushed Ritz crackers and use this cracker crumb mixture for a cheesy cracker crumb topping.

How to Make a Buttermilk Substitute

If you don’t have buttermilk at home or forgot to pick some up from the store, you can use this easy hack and make some right at home.

Just add a spoonful of white vinegar or lemon juice to the same amount of milk. Stir it and let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes. You’ll notice it will start to change its texture a bit. Give it one last stir then add it to the recipe.

How to Bake Scallops

  1. Remove any side muscles if there are any attached to the scallops. Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel.
  2. Place the scallops in a bowl and season them with salt and pepper.
  3. Add thyme and buttermilk and toss to coat the scallops.
  4. Place scallops evenly in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish and sprinkle Ritz cracker crumbs on top.
  5. Drizzle melted butter on top.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 400°F for 20 minutes.
  7. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the scallops and serve immediately.

Here are the step-by-step photos:

Collage of making baked scallops with Ritz crackers.

What do you eat scallops with?

I love making my baked scallops with other seafood-type side dishes. To me, seafood is such a light dish that I prefer to eat lighter sides with it too.

You can eat scallops with steakhouse yeast rolls and some buttery mashed potatoes. Or serve it with some buttered rice or rice pilaf and steamed broccoli. Have some lemon wedges on the side in case you want to squeeze more lemon juice over the scallops.

A dry white wine pairs nicely with scallops.

A plate of baked sea scallops with Ritz cracker topping.

How to Store Baked scallops

Unfortunately, with the crunchy cracker topping, the leftovers don’t last very long in the refrigerator. The scallops themselves will last about 4 days in the fridge if you store them correctly. But the cracker topping will become a bit soggy.

But if you take the topping off, store the scallops in an airtight container with a lid. They will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 4 days.

What is the best way to reheat baked scallops?

To reheat baked scallops without compromising their texture and flavor, follow these steps:

  1. Preheat your oven: Set the oven to 325°F (163°C) and allow it to preheat for a few minutes. Using a lower temperature will help to prevent overcooking the scallops, which can make them rubbery.
  2. Prep the dish: Place the baked scallops in an oven-safe dish, preferably in a single layer. If the scallops were initially cooked with a sauce or butter, spoon a bit of it over the scallops before reheating to help retain moisture.
  3. Cover with foil: Cover the dish with aluminum foil to ensure even heating and prevent the scallops from drying out.
  4. Reheat: Place the covered dish in the oven and reheat the scallops for 10 to 15 minutes or until warm. The internal temperature should reach 145°F (63°C) to ensure they are safe to eat. Be cautious not to overcook them, resulting in a tough and chewy texture.
  5. Serve: Remove the dish from the oven, carefully remove the foil, and serve the scallops immediately. Enjoy your delicious and perfectly reheated baked scallops!

Note: Reheating scallops in a microwave is not recommended, as it can lead to uneven heating and a rubbery texture. The oven method described above is the best way to reheat baked scallops while maintaining quality.

Baked scallops with Ritz cracker topping in a baking dish.

Love seafood? Try these recipes!

Be sure to check out more of my easy copycat seafood recipes and the best appetizer recipes for any fun occasion.

Baked Scallops with Ritz cracker topping on a plate.

Baked Scallops with Ritz Crackers

Scallops baked with a buttery cracker topping are incredibly delicious.
4.88 from 33 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Scallops, Seafood
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 179kcal


  • 2 pounds sea scallops
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves minced
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 20 Ritz Crackers hand crushed
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • juice of 1 lemon


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • In a bowl, season the scallops with salt and pepper. Add the thyme and buttermilk and toss to coat.
  • Place the scallops in an oven-proof casserole dish and cover with the hand-crushed Ritz Crackers.
  • Top with the melted butter and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Squeeze lemon juice over the scallops and serve immediately.


Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 577mg | Potassium: 280mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 215IU | Vitamin C: 7.2mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 0.8mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Jean

    3 stars
    We made these yesterday. They were good but not near as good as a recipe for scallops baked in the oven that we use. That recipe does not have buttermilk in it and it also does not have thyme in it. Tried this one because of the wonderful reviews, and it was good but we will not make them this way again.

  2. Carolyn Capp

    5 stars
    Just like Legals. So easy. In terms of making in advance – it doesn’t really work. You can soak the scallops in the buttermilk with the fresh thyme for a couple hours on the counter, then just toss the ritz and melted butter on and bake. A great side dish is sauteed baby arugula. After you take the scallops out, while they rest for a minute, saute up some fresh arugula in a frying pan on medium with a couple of pats of butter and a little squeeze of fresh lemon. It cooks in a minute or less (more wilty than cooked down). The peppery arugula pairs really well. A very pretty, tasty quick meal that goes great with a nice chardonnay (or prosecco).

    FYI you can buy powdered buttermilk in the baking section and store it in your fridge for a while.

    • Stephanie Manley

      I would serve this with a salad that had a vinaigrette salad dressing, so something like a Greek salad dressing, or an Italian seasoning blend that wasn’t too sweet. I would serve this with a typically garden salad, with lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, and the typical fair. I would not serve this with a creamy salad dressing.

  3. Bryn Ingram

    5 stars
    Made this last night & it was delicious. This recipe is so easy & scallops are usually a dish that’s easy to screw up. However this recipe is perfection, the scallops were so tender & the flavor was on point. I’ll definitely make the s again & again.

  4. Randall sanderson

    5 stars
    Followed this recipe tonight. I didn’t have butter milk so I took the other suggestion and mixed lemon juice and fresh sour cream. I also put a bit of old bay seasoning in and some fresh thyme
    Mixed it up and put in a lb of dry sea scallops. While I was at the store Maine lobsters were on sale for 4.99 lb. I couldn’t resist. Got two streamed Broke them down and tossed them in. Covered with a sleeve of ritz crackers and a cup of butter melted. Oven at 400 for 20 mins. Came out perfect. Very easy and satisfying meal!

  5. Jenn P

    5 stars
    This came out really great~! I did not have the buttermilk, but I did have sour cream, so I ended up mixing 2 tablespoons of sour cream with one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice…and coated the scallops in that with the S&P + a couple of dashes of dried thyme… I was only cooking a 1/2 pound of large Maine scallops, so I used a small package of Ritz, and Drizzled that with 2 tbsp of butter…cooked them at 400 for 20 minutes and they were AMAZING…. Plated them along side some fresh steamed asparagus and some rice pilaf and it was PERFECT….

  6. JeanneL

    5 stars
    So easy to make and a delicious new way for me to make scallops. I have been to Legal Seafood many times when I lived in Massachusetts but never tried their scallops. However, everything else I have tried is so good. I am not surprised these were a winner. I usually just saute scallops in butter and garlic and I have gotten bored with that technique so now I have a new and interesting recipe. Thank you.

  7. Baltisraul

    5 stars
    We love Legal Seafood but they closed the nearest one to us in Atlanta. I plan on making this for my wife on Valentine’s Day but with crab or lobster or a combo of both. Do you think I would need to adjust the cooking time since I won’t be using scallops? Scallops always seem to cook a little faster than any other seafood.

4.88 from 33 votes (22 ratings without comment)

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