Sweet and Smoky Scallops

Scallops are elegant seafood. Even saying it—s-call-ops—sounds graceful. Sweet and meaty nuggets, scallops are delicious practically on their own without seasoning, so it is the wise cook that, before cooking scallops, gathers gentle but flavorful seasonings among his or her mise-en-place. My favorite, flavorful marinades for seafood are salad dressings (think white fish paired with Italian dressing), and I just discovered that I love Litehouse Foods’ Sweet French Dressing as a marinade for scallops. Adding liquid smoky seasoning, salt, pepper, and Litehouse Foods’ new Instantly Fresh Thyme, sparingly, as a garnish produces Sweet and Smoky Scallops.

For this dish, the sweetness shines from the scallops and is accented by the mild tomato flavor and a blend of lemon, onion, garlic, and light chili flavor in Litehouse Foods’ Sweet French Dressing, which is gluten free.

Fresh Scallops Fresh Scallops


Use fresh, large scallops but if you can’t find them, large frozen scallops are an acceptable substitute. Just pat the scallops dry with a paper towel after thawing (if the scallops are too wet, they will not absorb much of the marinade.) The marinade couldn’t be easier to prepare. Use ½ teaspoon of liquid smoky seasoning for every ounce of Litehouse Foods’ Sweet French Dressing and whisk together. Marinate the scallops in the marinade for 15-20 minutes before sprinkling the scallops with a little salt, pepper, and cooking them in a hot skillet or, better yet, use a grill pan to achieve those golden stripes across the scallops.

French Scallops in Pan French Scallops in Pan


Sweet and Smoky Scallops are delicious with the slim shoots of early asparagus, served on a bed of butter or Boston lettuce, or topped on polenta along with a spoon or two of the sweet, smoky marinade. A pinch of Litehouse Foods’ new Instantly Fresh Thyme imparts a slightly minty flavor that balances and tempers the sweetness of the scallops. If you love to eat scallops when eating out but rarely, if ever, prepare them at home, give this recipe a try. Scallops are notoriously easy to prepare and quick to cook—and you’ll love expanding your flavor repertoire with Litehouse Foods’ Dressings and Marinades and the Instantly Fresh Herbs.  

Sweet and Smoky Scallops

Serves 2 | Finish in 26 minutes

The sweet flavor of scallops is accented beautifully with a marinade of Litehouse Sweet French Dressing and liquid smoky flavoring that yields a surprisingly complex, meaty bite. This dish is quick to make and will please the seafood lovers in your life (including you).


6 large sea scallops
4 oz Litehouse® Sweet French Dressing
2 Tbsp. liquid smoky flavoring
¼ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. cracked pepper
¼ tsp. Litehouse® Instantly Fresh Thyme
Non-stick cooking spray


Place fresh scallops in a medium glass bowl and rinse them right in the bowl. Carefully remove scallops and place them on a clean plate or cutting board used only for seafood and meats. Discard water directly down the drain to avoid cross contamination on kitchen surfaces. Pat scallops dry with paper towels. Add Litehouse® Sweet French Dressing and liquid smoky flavoring to a medium or large glass bowl. Whisk to blend ingredients and divide, placing half of the marinade in another bowl. Add scallops to remaining marinade and swirl scallops around bowl to ensure coverage. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate scallops for 15-20 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Leave the other half of the marinade out to maintain room temperature. Remove scallops from refrigerator and uncover. Heat skillet or grill pan on medium-high heat. Add salt and pepper to scallops right before adding to pan. Cook scallops on each side for 3 minutes. Set scallops aside after cooking. Heat the reserve marinade in the microwave for 20 seconds. Place scallops on serving plates and spoon heated, reserve marinade over scallops. Crush Litehouse® Instantly Fresh Thyme with a mortar and pestle or pinch between your fingers to crush. Garnish scallops with thyme and serve

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