How to Make Coquilles Saint-Jacques


Coquilles Saint-Jacques is one of the world's most delicious dishes. It's rich and decadent, and yet still light. For something fancy, this is pretty easy to make!

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
50 mins


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • ½ cup diced shallots

  • ½ pound white button mushrooms, sliced

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 cup white wine

  • 1 pound sea scallops

  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • 4 large oven-safe scallop shells

  • ¼ cup shredded Gruyere cheese

  • 1 pinch paprika

  • 8 fresh tarragon leaves


  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add shallots and sauté until translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, salt, and black pepper; increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until mushrooms are golden brown, about 10 minutes.

  2. Pour wine into the pan and bring to a boil while scraping the browned bits of food off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon; bring to a simmer. Gently place scallops into wine and poach in the mushroom mixture until barely firm, about 2 minutes per side; transfer scallops to a bowl. Strain mushroom mixture into another bowl, reserving mushrooms and cooking liquid separately.

  3. Return strained liquid to skillet, pour in any accumulated juices from scallops, and stir in cream. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring often, until cream sauce is reduced by about half, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let mixture cool for 1 minute.

  4. Quickly whisk egg yolk into cream sauce until combined. Transfer skillet to a work surface (such as a heatproof countertop or cutting board) and stir 2 in teaspoons tarragon, lemon zest, and cayenne pepper.

  5. Divide mushroom mixture into scallop shells, spreading it out to cover the bottoms of shells; place about 3 scallops onto each portion. Spoon cream sauce over scallops to coat; let sauce drizzle down into mushrooms. Sprinkle lightly with Gruyère cheese and paprika.

  6. Preheat the oven's broiler. Slightly crinkle a large sheet of aluminum foil and place onto a baking sheet. Place filled shells onto foil and press lightly to help them stay level.

  7. Broil in the preheated oven until bubbling and cheese is lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes.

  8. Transfer to serving plates lined with napkins to prevent shells from tipping; garnish each portion with 2 crossed tarragon leaves.

    close up view of Coquilles Saint-Jacques on a plate
    Chef John

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

374 Calories
22g Fat
8g Carbs
26g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 374
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 12g 62%
Cholesterol 162mg 54%
Sodium 319mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 26g
Vitamin C 4mg 20%
Calcium 217mg 17%
Iron 4mg 19%
Potassium 768mg 16%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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