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Grilled Scallops with Grilled Tomato Sauce (Paleo, Gluten Free)

By August 11, 2022August 16th, 2022Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Paleo

Grilled scallops have a buttery sweet taste and take just minutes to cook on the grill. Here they are paired with a simple grilled fresh tomato sauce, perfect for summer. This is an easy to make light refreshing dinner, ready in 30 minutes.

In the heat of summer I love grilling to keep the heat outside and our kitchen cool. In this recipe we grill the scallops and also grill the tomatoes to make a quick sauce.

This dish has a fresh summer taste and looks beautiful. Great for entertaining friends but simple enough for a weeknight dinner.

The farmers market near me has a fantastic fish vendor where we get local fish from a family of fishermen. It is very fresh and reasonably priced.  Local sea scallops are available all summer long.  

Scallops are one of the healthiest seafoods. Made up of 80% protein and are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Scallops are one of the species with the lowest amount of mercury.

Right now tomatoes are plentiful in the market and my garden. It’s the perfect time to make a simple grilled tomato sauce that goes so well with the grilled scallops.

In this recipe we clean the scallops and season them with salt, pepper and olive oil, then put them back into the refrigerator while we make the tomato sauce.

How to Make Grilled Tomato Sauce

This sauce is simple, use San Marzano or plum tomatoes if available. Cut them in half, brush with a little olive oil and put on a hot grill cut side down. Grill until they just begin to char 2-3 minutes.  Turn them over and grill the other side until they begin to soften. Remove them from the grill into a blender. Blend until smooth.

In the meantime, heat a saute pan, add olive oil.  Add garlic and a little red pepper flakes, saute on medium low heat for 1 minute, don’t let the garlic brown.  Add the blended tomatoes and salt.  Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens.  Click here for photos and full recipe.

While the tomato sauce is simmering, grill your scallops.

How to Grill Scallops

When buying scallops ask your fishmonger for large ones about the same size, so they cook at the same rate.

Rinse them thoroughly but don’t let them sit in water.  

Remove the little muscle (some may not have it).

Dry them on a towel, put on a plate, sprinkle with a little oil and season with Celtic sea salt and pepper.  

Make sure your grill is very hot, very clean and well oiled, this is key.  I keep a rag dipped in oil in a container to oil my grill.  

Once you put the scallops onto the grill don’t touch them for 3 minutes.  You will get nice grill marks and won’t stick if they are on the grill long enough.  If they are sticking leave them for another minute before turning them over.

Turn over and cook another 2-3 minutes. Scallops should be opaque and slightly firm to the touch, but still slightly soft, like Jell-O. Do not overcook or the scallops become tough and chewy.

Remove from the grill. Spread tomato sauce on a plate and top with the scallops. 

To serve top scallops and tomato sauce with a chiffonade of basil.  It’s a very simple knife technique for slicing thin ribbons of basil. When making a chiffonade of basil: stack, roll and slice. 

Serving Suggestions for Grilled Scallops with Grilled Tomato Sauce

Grilled Scallops with Grilled Tomato Sauce is the star of the show and is great served with simple sides like 5 Minute Zucchini Noodles with Garlic and Basil , 3 Ingredient Grilled Zucchini, or fresh corn on the cob.

Enjoy the recipe this summer.

If you like this dish you may also enjoy these other summer fish recipes.

Easy Mediterranean Fish with Tomatoes and Basil

20 Minute Fish Livornese

Fragrant Ginger Shrimp with Golden Cherry Tomatoes

Easy Shrimp and Summer Vegetables

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Grilled Scallops with Grilled Tomato Sauce

  • Author: Ingrid DeHart
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 2-4 servings 1x


Grilled scallops have a buttery sweet taste and take just minutes to cook on the grill. They are paired with a simple grilled fresh tomato sauce, perfect for summer.


  • 1 pound sea scallops
  • 34 medium tomatoes, (San Marzano or plum tomatoes) cut in half
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for brushing
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (a few shakes)
  • ¼ cup basil leaves, cut into chiffonade


  1. Preheat the grill on high.
  2. Rinse scallops thoroughly but don’t let them sit in water.  
  3. Remove the little muscle (some may not have it). Dry them on a towel, put on a plate, sprinkle with a little oil and season with Celtic sea salt and pepper. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  4. Brush the tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Grill cut side down for 2-3 minutes until lightly charred. Turn over and grill another 2-3 minutes until juicy.
  6. Transfer tomatoes to a blender and puree until smooth.
  7. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil on low, in a medium sauté pan.
  8. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, sauté on low heat 2 minutes until garlic is softened. Don’t let the garlic brown.
  9. Add pureed tomatoes and salt.
  10. Simmer on low until sauce is thickened, 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  11. Season with additional salt and pepper. Turn off the heat.*
  12. While the sauce is cooking, clean and oil the grill.
  13. Grill the scallops over high heat, for 3 minutes or until nice brown grill marks form.
  14. Turn over and grill 1-2 minutes more until browned and just firm.
  15. Spoon tomato sauce onto plates, top with scallops.
  16. Garnish with chiffonade of basil and serve.
  17. Left overs can be enjoyed the next day.
  18. Store cooked scallops in the refrigerator for 2 days. The grilled tomato sauce will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


The sauce can be made a few days ahead.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Main Dish, Seafood
  • Cuisine: Seasonal, Paleo, Gluten Free, Diary Free

Keywords: grilled scallops, grilled tomato sauce, summer cooking




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