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Perfect for any season or occasion, these grilled scallop skewers are elegant and delicious. The delicate scallops are flavored with garlic, cilantro and orange for maximum taste and they’re served with a delectable citrus garlic smoked butter sauce. This is a great recipe for your pellet smoker or Traeger grill. You will love making these tasty BBQ seafood kebabs on the grill.

Scallops on skewers.

It’s impossible to describe just how delicious these are. Scallops are a very mild-flavored kind of seafood and you’ll never get tired of them, especially with this recipe!

If you enjoy trying new recipes, you might like to try Instant Pot vegetable soup or how about slow cooker vegan miso ramen soup, and you can’t go wrong with classic shrimp linguine.

Seafood kabobs on the grill make a change from burgers, steaks and chicken and they are really versatile. You can alternative scallops with shrimp, for example, adding your favorite veggies and trying a new marinade every time.

By combining BBQ scallop skewers with an aromatic citrus garlic smoked butter sauce, you can rustle up this delicious appetizer or add sides to make a complete meal.

Grilled Scallop Skewers in Citrus Garlic Smoked Butter Sauce.

What Type of Scallops to Use

Any scallops will suit a smoked butter marinade but which are best for smoking or grilling? Well first of all you need to know there are 2 kinds: wet scallops and dry scallops. The wet kind have water and chemicals added to make them heavier and increase their shelf life.

The dry ones don’t, making them a better option. Because the wet kind has added water they do shrink during cooking. So you might want to pick the first ones for your Traeger scallops recipes.

Whichever you use, remember to pat them dry before cooking so they crisp up a little at the edges.

Sea scallops are about 3 times the size of bay scallops. Bay scallops are good in stews and soups and you can use them in this recipe or you can choose the larger ones if you prefer.

How to Make BBQ Scallop Skewers

The first thing to do when making seafood kabobs on the grill is to preheat the smoker. You can use a pellet smoker or Traeger grill for these grilled scallop skewers.

While the smoker is warming up you can combine the butter, cream, garlic, shallot, orange, cilantro, and some salt and black pepper. This is going to be the smoked butter marinade. Put this mixture in the smoker for an hour to make the tasty citrus garlic smoked butter sauce.

Combine more orange with oil, garlic, and peppercorns and add the scallops. Chill this mixture for an hour while the smoked butter marinade is in your pellet smoker or Traeger grill.

After an hour has passed you can take the citrus garlic smoked butter sauce out of the smoker and crank the heat up.

Thread the scallops on skewers and brush the smoked butter marinade over them. I like to use metal skewers but you can also use bamboo. If you’re doing that, soak them in water for half an hour first so they don’t ignite on the grill!

Cook the seafood kabobs on the grill for a few minutes then add more citrus garlic smoked butter sauce and cook them on the other side.

When your grilled scallop skewers are ready serve them with cilantro and more smoky butter sauce.

BBQ Scallop Skewers Serving Ideas

Pair the scallop kabobs with a fresh green salad, ambrosia salad, or your favorite smoked veggies. Another idea is to serve this grilled scallop recipe as an appetizer before a meat-based main course such as a grilled ranch burger, strip steak, or pulled pork, in which case just add an orange wedge on the side. For dessert, consider an easy lemon tart, Bisquick apple cobbler, or a tasty Nutella milkshake.

How Do You Stop Scallops Sticking to the Grill?

The best way to prevent this is to grease the grill grate with a high smoke point oil like vegetable oil or canola oil before heating it up. If you do this they shouldn’t stick.

Ingredient Variations

You can add extra red pepper flakes for a spicier result or omit them altogether if you prefer. Replace the shallot with yellow onion if you like or the cilantro for basil. One of the best things about grilled scallop skewers is the fresh flavours so don’t sub bottled OJ here.

5 Cool Facts about Scallops

  • Did you know that scallops can’t close their shells fully, unlike oysters and mussels? This is why they’re only found in deep saltwater.
  • Every ring on a scallop’s shell signifies either a year of life or a stressful event.
  • Scallops were sold at the markets in China in 1280, according to Marco Polo.
  • Do scallops have eyes? Yes they do and they’re found on the base of the scallop’s sensory tentacles on the outside edges of the shell.
  • King scallops are known as coquilles St Jacques in French. This term also refers to a scallop recipe with creamy sauce.

Grilled Scallop Skewers Recipe

5 from 6 votes

Grilled Scallop Skewers in Citrus Garlic Smoked Butter Sauce

By: Bella Bucchiotti
These grilled scallop skewers are delicious. The delicate scallops are served with a delectable citrus garlic smoked butter sauce. This is a great recipe for your pellet smoker or Traeger grill. You will love making these tasty BBQ seafood kebabs on the grill.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 1 Pound scallops 
  • 1 Cup salted butter
  • 1/4 Cup heavy cream
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon shallot, minced
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 Teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoon cilantro, chopped, divided
  • 1/2 Teaspoon black pepper, coarse
  • 1/4 Teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  • 1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 Cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 Teaspoon black peppercorns


  • Set smoker temperature to 225 degrees F and preheat for 15 minutes. 
  • Add butter, heavy cream,  minced garlic, minced shallot, juice from one orange, sea salt, minced cilantro, and pepper to a saucepan. Place into the smoker and smoke for 1 hour.  
  • Meanwhile, In a large mixing bowl, combine juice from one orange, olive oil, orange zest, two crushed cloves of garlic, and peppercorns. Add the scallops and refrigerate for one hour while the citrus butter is being smoked. 
  • Remove butter from the smoker and crank it up to high (500 degrees F). 
  • Remove scallops from marinade and place 6-8 through each skewer. Brush with citrus butter and grill for 4 to 5 minutes, flip over and brush with citrus butter again. Grill 3 to 5 more minutes.  
  • Remove from the grill and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. Serve with remaining citrus butter.


Calories: 349kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 720mg | Potassium: 211mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 926IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

I love making seafood kabobs using a pellet smoker or Traeger grill. The BBQ scallops come out really delicious and boast wonderful fresh flavours. Whether you’re making grilled scallop skewers as an appetizer or part of your main dish, I just know you’re going to love them too!

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.


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