Fish & Seafood

How to Make Baked Scallops with Ritz Crackers Topping

A reader favorite, this simple recipe for baked scallops topped with Ritz crackers has stood the test of time. Here’s how to make it at home.

By Amy Traverso

Jun 03 2022


Perhaps it’s because the combination of flavors in this simple casserole is so classic — just scallops, lemon, butter, vermouth, and Ritz crackers. Taking a bite of baked scallops with Ritz crackers is like going back in time, or hopping a fast boat to some seaside restaurant where a ship’s wheel hangs on the wall and Grapenut pudding is still on the menu. In other words, it’s an old-school pleasure, and we mean that in the best possible way. It’s also purely delicious, and incredibly easy to make.

Here’s how to make homemade baked scallops with Ritz crackers in step-by-step photos. Just want the recipe? Head on over to the Baked Scallops Recipe.

Scallops baked with butter, lemon, vermouth, and cracker crumbs, until they're sweet, tender, and golden brown on top.
Scallops are baked with butter, lemon, vermouth, and cracker crumbs, until they’re sweet, tender, and golden brown on top.
Photo Credit : Amy Traverso

Baked Scallops with Ritz Crackers | Step-by-Step

A note on scallops: the best-tasting ones are natural or “dry” scallops, which look like those in the photo below. Many supermarkets sell scallops that come soaked in a bath of sodium tripolyphosphate, which causes them to swell with water, thereby diluting their flavor. You can easily recognize those scallops because of their milky white appearance. Such treated scallops are  less expensive per pound (though more profitable for the packer, since you’re paying for more water weight per pound). If you can find natural scallops on sale, you’ll enjoy their superior flavor and texture. But this recipe will work well with either type.

All the ingredients you'll need to make baked scallops with Ritz crackers topping.
All the ingredients you’ll need to make baked scallops with Ritz crackers topping.
Photo Credit : Amy Traverso

To start, arrange two pounds of scallops in a single layer in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish (our retro enamel pan was a bit smaller, so we used an additional dish for the overflow). Preheat your oven to 325° and set a rack to the second-from-the-top position.

In a small bowl, stir together 1 cup of crushed Ritz crackers (or similar), and 1/4 teaspoon each of garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle this over the scallops. Next, sprinkle 1/4 cup of Parmesan.

Sprinkle all over with butter, lemon, and vermouth, cover with foil, then transfer to the oven.

How to Make Baked Scallops with Ritz Crackers Topping
Raw scallops (the dish can be full, as long as the scallops are all lying flat), topped with seasoned breadcrumbs, then Parmesan cheese. These baked scallops are now ready for the oven!
Photo Credit : Amy Traverso

Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. At this point, the scallops will be cooked through, but if you’d like to brown the top a bit more, turn your oven to the “broil” setting and let the top sizzle for a minute or two (do not move the pan closer to the flame), keeping a close eye on the pan the entire time.

A coastal meal, even far from the sea
A coastal meal, even if you’re far from the sea
Photo Credit : Amy Traverso

Serve the baked scallops hot, sprinkled with fresh herbs like chopped chives or parsley, if you like, and garnished with a bit of lemon.

For more, check out our scallops guide for the difference between sea scallops and bay scallops, and try our recipe for light and crispy oven-fried scallops.

This post was first published in 2016 and has been updated. 

Get the Recipe:

Baked Scallop with Ritz Cracker Topping Recipe