Scallop Bacon Salad is tossed with a warm garlic butter sauce and features cherry tomatoes, crispy bacon and bay scallops on a bed of fresh spinach. This salad is a twist on bacon-wrapped scallops and is a quick healthy dinner salad that will satisfy the family. Serve over plain linguine or spaghetti for picky children! Perfect on a busy weeknight for a family of adventurous eaters!
This Scallop Bacon Salad was created on a night when I had to work with the few ingredients I had on hand. Having just gotten back from a vacation out of state, the pantry and fridge were nearly bare aside from the spinach and tomatoes we had brought back with us. It was going to be a night where I threw some nuggets in the toaster for my daughter and tossed together a spinach and tomato salad for me.
Ah, but I love my freezer and freeze anything I can, especially to extend its life. Before settling for an oil-vinegar spinach and tomato salad, I opened the freezer and wa-lah! Bacon and scallops!
I could definitely go for bacon. I mean, who couldn't always eat bacon?? Bacon-wrapped scallops sounded even better, but I had teensy bay scallops, impossible to wrap in bacon. So I came up with a "bacon-tossed scallops" salad. I figured I'd try my hand at a warm spinach salad tossed bacon and scallops, and drizzled with garlic butter. Every salad needs tomatoes, so in they went, too.
I NEVER thought my 4 year old would eat Bacon Scallop Salad, but she keeps me guessing. She climbed her little butt up on the chair and starting eating mine straight with her fingers! "Mmmm, this so good!" I hear. When I turned to look, there she was, a piece of spinach hanging out of her mouth. I'm going to say it was the crispy bacon that did it. Then she ate half of mine and ignored the nuggets. Kids are so predictable. 😉
Hopefully your family will like this too, kids included!
How Do You Make Bacon Scallop Salad?
Bacon Scallop Salad is super simple and quick!
First, cook the bacon on parchment paper in the oven for as long as the package indicated. This usually takes about 12-17 minutes. You want crispy, but not burnt, bacon that is easy to break into pieces, and the parchment will help achieve that perfect crisp. When it's finished, soak up the grease with a paper towel and break into ¼ inch pieces.
While the bacon cooks, defrost the scallops under cool running water. Defrosting scallops takes about 5 minutes. Then squeeze them in paper towels to get as much water out as possible.
Melt butter in a pan and cook the scallops in it for about 4 minutes. Add the sliced garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Toss the scallops when you add the garlic.
How do you know when scallops are done cooking? Scallops are different than most fish because they don't change color or flake apart easily when finished. And they are easy to overcook for this reason. My rule of thumb is no longer than 6 minutes to pan fry bay scallops. Any longer will turn them to rubber, but any shorter and they are not cooked enough for my liking.
Next, cut the tomatoes and divide spinach in bowls. Top with the tomatoes, scallops, bacon bits, and garlic butter sauce. Sometimes I add Parmesan cheese to mine. It's so good! Enjoy!
Bacon Scallop Spinach Salad
- 8 slices of bacon
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup bay scallops
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- 4 sliced garlic cloves
- 10 oz spinach
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375° and cook bacon per instructions.
- Melt butter over medium heat in a skillet and add scallops. Cook 4 minutes.
- Add garlic slices and cook 2 more minutes.
- Remove from heat and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide spinach in bowls. Cut tomatoes and add to spinach.
- Divide scallops and add to spinach bowls. Top with butter sauce.
- Break bacon into small pieces and add to each bowl.