Scallops Benedict

When seeking a breakfast or brunch dish that marries elegance with hearty satisfaction, Scallops Benedict rises as a delightful choice.

This twist on the classic Eggs Benedict swaps the traditional ham or bacon for plump, seared scallops, offering an indulgent seafood flavor that complements the creamy hollandaise sauce.

A dish that originated as a luxurious start to the day, Scallops Benedict retains this opulence while introducing a refreshing change to the breakfast table.

A plate of scallops benedict sits on a rustic wooden table, garnished with fresh herbs and drizzled with hollandaise sauce. A side of crispy potatoes and a steaming cup of coffee complete the scene

As you break into the dish, the components of Scallops Benedict come together in a harmonious blend.

Beneath the scallops, a toasted English muffin provides a sturdy base, soaking up the flavors while maintaining a slight crunch.

The hollandaise sauce, often infused with subtle alterations such as brown butter, piri piri, or citrus, drapes over the scallops with its rich, velvety texture and tangy taste, transforming each bite into a moment worth savoring.

Eggs Benedict scallops being prepared in a bustling kitchen with sizzling pans and a chef carefully assembling the dish with hollandaise sauce

The meal is not just pleasing to the palate but is also a visual treat.

The golden hue of the perfectly seared scallops against the smooth, yellow cascade of hollandaise makes Scallops Benedict a feast for the eyes.

Whether it’s for a special occasion or just to brighten your weekend morning, this dish elevates the brunch experience, offering a sophisticated yet comforting choice.

History of Eggs Benedict

Your brunch favorite, Eggs Benedict, has a past shrouded with more mystery than the silkiest hollandaise sauce could ever hope to conceal.

While the true originator of the dish you savor on lazy Sunday mornings is up for debate, one claim states that Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York City is the birthplace. Back in 1860, the restaurant’s menu included a claim that this dish originated from its kitchen, and its chef Charles Ranhofer shared a recipe named “Eggs à la Benedick” in his 1894 cookbook, The Epicurean.

Another narrative features a Wall Street stockbroker named Lemuel Benedict.

In search for a hangover remedy in 1894, Lemuel purportedly wandered into the Waldorf Hotel and ordered “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and a hook of hollandaise.”

This improvisation, documented in a Talk of the Town interview by The New Yorker, might have been the inspiration for the Eggs Benedict on the Waldorf’s menu thereafter.

Classic Components

  • English Muffin: A toasted base
  • Poached Eggs: Perched atop the muffin
  • Hollandaise Sauce: Drizzled with creamy perfection
  • Ham/Bacon: A slice of meat completes the ensemble

You’ll find various anecdotes about the genesis of Eggs Benedict, but what you can count on is the combination of its core elements: a split English muffin, topped with ham or bacon, poached eggs, and drenched in hollandaise sauce—a harmony of flavors that has transcended its cryptic origins to become a quintessential American breakfast luxury.

Key Ingredients

Plating a dish: scallops benedict on a white plate with a drizzle of hollandaise sauce, garnished with fresh herbs and a sprinkle of black pepper

In crafting the perfect Scallops Benedict, selecting quality ingredients is paramount. Your dish will include the freshness of scallops, the richness of eggs, and the creamy zest of Hollandaise sauce.


Choose sea scallops for their ideal size and sweetness. The muscle should be firm with a uniform, creamy white appearance.

For this dish, freshness is key, so opt for dry-packed over wet-packed scallops to avoid excess moisture which can hinder the searing process.


Eggs are central to Scallops Benedict, serving as the base for both the poached eggs and the Hollandaise sauce.

Use the freshest eggs you can find; the fresher the egg, the better it will hold its shape when poached. You’ll want the whites to be firm yet delicate, with creamy, flowing yolks.

Hollandaise Sauce

A classic Hollandaise sauce is an emulsion of egg yolks, melted butter, and lemon juice.

The key to a smooth sauce is in its preparation, whisking the egg yolks over gentle heat before slowly incorporating the butter, and finally adding lemon juice to taste.

  • Egg yolks: Bring them to room temperature for a more stable emulsion.
  • Butter: Clarified or melted, unsalted butter is traditional to achieve that rich, velvety finish.
  • Lemon juice: Provides a necessary tangy balance to the buttery sauce.

Preparing the Scallops

Before diving into the scallops Benedict preparation, it’s crucial to select the best scallops and understand the proper seasoning and cooking techniques. This ensures each scallop is perfectly golden brown and ready to elevate your dish.

Choosing Scallops

When selecting scallops, look for dry-packed varieties which have no chemical additives and tend to be fresher.

Opt for uniform size to ensure even cooking, and if available, choose sea scallops for their larger size, which works well for Scallops Benedict.


Generously season the scallops with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

This simple approach highlights the natural flavors. A light coating of olive oil can be applied to help the seasoning adhere and prevent sticking during the cooking process.

Cooking Techniques

To achieve a golden brown crust:

  1. Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel.
  2. Preheat your pan over medium-high heat and add a small amount of clarified butter, canola oil, or grapeseed oil for their high smoke points.
  3. Carefully place the scallops in the pan, ensuring they are not crowded.
  4. Sear the scallops for about 2 minutes on one side until a golden brown crust forms, then flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

The goal is seared scallops that are golden on the outside and tender on the inside.

Avoid moving the scallops around as they cook to achieve a well-formed crust. Remember, overcooking leads to toughness, so watch your timing closely.

Assembling Scallops Benedict

Creating the perfect Scallops Benedict involves poaching eggs to the right doneness, preparing a flavorful hollandaise, and bringing it all together on a well-toasted English muffin.

Precision and timing are key, so have all components ready to assemble.

Poaching Eggs

To poach your eggs:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a light simmer.
  2. Add a teaspoon of white vinegar (this helps the egg whites set).
  3. Crack an egg into a small bowl and gently slide it into the simmering water.
  4. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the whites are set but the yolks remain runny.
  5. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the egg onto a paper towel to remove excess water.

Preparing Hollandaise

For the hollandaise sauce:

  • Combine 3 egg yolks, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a heatproof bowl.
  • Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water (double boiler method), whisking constantly until the mixture thickens.
  • Slowly drizzle in 1 cup of melted butter, whisking continuously until the sauce is thick and double in volume.
  • Optionally, stir in freshly chopped chives or a dash of cayenne pepper for an added kick.


To plate Scallops Benedict:

  • Toast your English muffins until golden and crispy.
  • Place seared scallops on each muffin half.
  • Carefully set a poached egg on top of each scallop.
  • Generously spoon hollandaise over the poached egg.
  • Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped fresh chives and a light grating of lemon zest for a fresh finish.

Variations and Accompaniments

In exploring variations of Scallops Benedict, you’ll encounter thrilling twists like Piri Piri Hollandaise for a spicy kick or indulgent add-ons such as lobster foam.

The right side dishes elevate this already luxurious dish, with classics like asparagus or innovative takes using chorizo.

A plate of scallops Benedict with variations and accompaniments, surrounded by vibrant herbs and colorful garnishes

Alternate Toppings

When you’re aiming to personalize your Scallops Benedict, consider diverging from the traditional Hollandaise sauce. Dare to try variants such as:

  • Piri Piri Hollandaise: Integrating the fiery flavors of Piri Piri sauce to add zest.
  • Brown Butter Hollandaise: Offering a deeper, nuttier taste.
  • Lobster Foam: For a decadent seafood explosion, this is your go-to.

Additionally, topping your Scallops Benedict with chopped bacon or spicy sausage will not only bring a pleasant texture contrast but also an extra layer of flavor.

Sides and Pairings

Complementing your Scallops Benedict with the appropriate side dishes enhances the experience.

A selection of sides to consider includes:

  • Vegetables:
    • Asparagus: A lightly seasoned and grilled asparagus retains a bit of crunch.
    • Potato Cakes: Crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, providing a satisfying base.
  • Biscuits and Savory Breads:
    • Chive Buttermilk Biscuits: These add a herby freshness and a soft textural component.
  • Meats:
    • Bacon: Classic crisp strips or a sprinkle of crumbled bacon for a salty bite.
    • Chorizo: Spiced sausage for those who appreciate a bold taste.
    • Paprika-dusted sides, such as roasted potatoes, for a subtle, smoky note.

Nutritional Information

A plate of scallops benedict with a side of fresh fruit and a garnish of parsley, displayed on a white ceramic plate

When you indulge in Scallops Benedict, you’re not just treating yourself to a luxurious meal, but you’re also consuming a dish that has an interesting nutritional profile. Here’s a breakdown:

Scallops: A primary ingredient in the dish, the nutritional content of scallops is quite impressive.

  • Calories: 137 kcal
  • Protein: 24 grams
  • Fat: 1 gram, predominantly unsaturated
  • Carbohydrates: 6.3 grams

Hollandaise Sauce: This creamy sauce adds a rich flavor to the dish, along with additional calories and fat. The exact nutritional content can vary, especially if you’re enjoying a version with a butter substitute such as brown butter.

Additional Ingredients such as a buttered English muffin, bacon, or ham will add to the caloric content, so you should enjoy Scallops Benedict in moderation if you’re monitoring your caloric intake for weight management.

It’s also worth noting that scallops are a good source of various vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B12, magnesium, and selenium, which contribute to your overall health and well-being.

While Scallops Benedict can be a high-calorie and rich meal, the scallops themselves are a lean protein source with healthy fats. Balance is key to enjoying this delicacy as part of a well-rounded diet.

Serving Suggestions

A plate of scallops benedict with poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, and garnished with fresh herbs on a white ceramic plate

When preparing Scallops Benedict, you’re crafting a dish that can hold its own as a central focus of your brunch or dinner menu.

The serving size typically accounts for four generous portions, making it ideal for a family meal or a gathering with friends.

As you assemble your plates, remember that the freshness of lemon juice can make a world of difference.

A light squeeze over the scallops right before serving can enhance their natural sweetness and impart a zesty brightness to the hollandaise sauce.

Here are a few garnish and side suggestions to elevate your Scallops Benedict experience:

  • Garnish:
    • A sprinkle of finely chopped herbs like parsley or dill adds color and a fresh flavor.
    • Capers or small lemon zest curls can introduce a delightful tanginess.
    • For crunch, offer golden-brown croutons or a sprinkling of toasted breadcrumbs.

When considering what to serve alongside Scallops Benedict:

SidesTaste & TexturePreparation Note
Green Beans AlmondineA crisp contrast with buttery almonds.Blanche beans, then sauté with shallots and almonds.
Parmesan Crusted CarrotsSweet and salty with a crunchy crust.Roast carrots, then broil with Parmesan cheese.
Garlic BroccoliniTender with a robust garlic flavor.Sauté broccolini with garlic until bright green and fragrant.

Storage and Reheating

Scallops benedict being stored in a refrigerator, then reheated in a microwave

When enjoying the delicate flavors of Scallops Benedict, proper storage and reheating are crucial to maintain the quality of your leftovers.


To store Scallops Benedict:

  1. Place your scallops between layers of paper towels. This helps absorb excess moisture.
  2. Keep them in a shallow airtight container to minimize exposure to air.
  3. Refrigerate promptly in cold water if you used it for initial storage, ensuring they remain at a safe temperature until you’re ready to reheat.


Reheat your scallops with care to preserve their texture and flavor:

  • Pan Searing:
    • Preheat your pan on medium heat.
    • Sear the scallops for 2-3 minutes per side, until they are just heated through.
  • Oven Reheating:
    • Preheat your oven to 275°F (135°C).
    • Arrange scallops on a baking tray, spaced apart.
    • Warm them until they are heated evenly, checking to ensure they are no longer cold in the center.

Remember, overcooking during reheating can make scallops rubbery, so heat just until warm to the touch.

Frequently Asked Questions

A plate of scallops benedict with hollandaise sauce, garnished with fresh herbs, sits on a white tablecloth in a bright, airy breakfast restaurant

This section provides specific answers to common queries regarding scallops benedict, ensuring you can create this seafood dish successfully at home.

What is a traditional scallops benedict recipe?

A traditional scallops benedict includes poached scallops, an English muffin, poached eggs, and is topped with hollandaise sauce.

How do you prepare an easy scallops benedict at home?

You can make an easy scallops benedict by searing scallops in a pan, toasting an English muffin, layering the two with a poached egg, and drizzling with hollandaise sauce.

Which sauce pairs best with scallops benedict?

Brown butter hollandaise or piri piri hollandaise sauce pairs best with scallops benedict, complementing the dish with rich or spicy flavors, respectively.

What are the steps to make a baked scallops benedict dish?

To make baked scallops benedict, layer English muffin halves with cheese, add scallops, pour beaten eggs over them, bake until set, and finish with hollandaise.

Can you use Bearnaise sauce instead of Hollandaise for scallops benedict?

Yes, Bearnaise sauce can be used instead of Hollandaise for scallops benedict, offering a tarragon-flavored alternative.

Are there creative ways to serve leftover scallops for breakfast?

For leftover scallops, consider making a breakfast hash with potatoes and onions. You can also add them to an omelette with fresh herbs.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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