Legal Seafood Baked Scallops

Legal Seafood Baked Scallops recipe from Rich Vellante is an easy way to prepare baked scallops. This recipe will show you how to make perfectly prepared scallops right at home. It’s so easy!

baked scallops with ritz crackers

Legal Seafood – East Coast restaurant

Legal Seafood is an incredible place to eat if you are ever on the east coast. They have a bunch of restaurants in Massachusetts, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, and more! Since they are right on the east coast, their seafood is incredibly fresh. Believe me, stop by if you can, you will always remember it.

Baked Scallops are one of the easiest ways to prepare scallops

But if you aren’t going to be on the east coast and just want some incredible baked scallops at home, you are going to love this recipe for the much-loved Legal Seafood’s scallops. I always enjoy the baked scallops from Legal Seafood, so it was only natural for me to want to share a homemade version too.

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!

Baked Scallop recipe

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
  • Fresh thyme leaves
  • Buttermilk
  • Ritz crackers
  • Butter
  • Lemon

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 5-10 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. In a bowl, season the scallops with salt and pepper.
    raw scallops seasoned with salt and pepper in a glass bowl
  2. Add thyme and buttermilk and toss to coat the scallops.
  3. Place scallops evenly in a baking dish and top with crushed Ritz crackers.
  4. Drizzle melted butter on top.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
  6. Squeeze the juice of a lemon over the scallops and serve immediately.

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 steak house yeast rolls and some buttery mashed potatoes. Or serve it with some buttered rice and steamed broccoli.

How to Store Baked scallops

Unfortunately, with the crunchy cracker topping, these 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.

Homemade Legal Seafood Baked Scallops with Ritz cracker topping

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baked scallops with ritz crackers

Legal Seafood Baked Scallops

Prepare Baked Scallops just like the famous Legal Seafood does. 
4.91 from 22 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Low Carb, 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 crushed Ritz Crackers
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 lemon


  • Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a bowl, season the scallops with salt and pepper. Add thyme and buttermilk and toss to coat the scallops.
  • Evenly place the scallops in an oven-proof casserole and cover with hand-crushed Ritz crackers. Top with melted butter and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Squeeze juice of lemon 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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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….

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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