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Coquilles Saint Jacques – A French Classic

Giangi's Kitchen logo: MainLogo Giangi's Kitchen 5 days ago Giangi's Kitchen - Giangi Townsend

Coquilles Saint Jacques is a Classic French dish that has been gracing tables worldwide.

Coquilles Saint Jacques – A French Classic © Giangi's Kitchen - Giangi Townsend Coquilles Saint Jacques – A French Classic

This wonderful dish always held a bit of mystery to me. It always mesmerizes me how such a complex flavor recipe can be quite the opposite of preparing: super easy.

That is why I love French cooking so much. Easy ingredients that can turn into something magical for your taste buds.

Please do not take me wrong, we have many complicated and complex recipes in French cuisine, but most recipes are easy to materialize in your kitchen. This dish is one of them.

Nothing is more delightful than tender scallops or bay scallops nestled in a bed of mushrooms, cream, and wine topped with bubbly cheese under the broiler.

Served into individual gratin dishes, it makes for a dramatic table presentation.

What are coquilles St. Jacques?

Coquille St. Jacques means scallops or St. James scallops.

Coquille St Jaques is a French dish of scallops cooked with wine and cream and served over or amongst a mushroom puree or medley in a scallop dish.

Finished up with cheese under the broiler until golden brown.

How to select your scallops at your fishmonger?

When shopping for fresh scallops, they should have a pale pink or bluish tint.

Ensure that they all are the same size so they will cook evenly.

Rule of thumb on the quantities of scallops to be served:

You can make this scallops recipe as an appetizer; in that case, you will only need to use two scallops per guest.

If you choose to serve it as a dinner plate, I would recommend serving three per guest. Make sure each scallop is more significant to make it a copious dinner.

~ New to cooking and need help getting started? Giangi's Kitchen Back To Basics - Cooking 101 eBook is what you need to achieve all your cooking dreams.

Coquilles Saint Jacques – A French Classic © Giangi's Kitchen - Giangi Townsend Coquilles Saint Jacques – A French Classic

Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed

Sea scallops: All the same size will help with the cooking process. Medium size.

Unsalted butter: It will not modify the flavor of your dish.

Mixed mushrooms: I used three types: crimini, white caps, or wild mushrooms. Use all white caps or crimini.

Shallots: Favorite French child when it comes to cooking. Mine, definitely. The flavor is more intense. Of course, you can substitute with yellow onion, sliced thinly.

All-purpose flour: Binding agent. Give it time to be well cooked to release the nuttiness in flavor.

Garlic clove: Chop it finely. It is here to add a layer of flavor, not take over your dish.

Dry white wine: Crucial step and taking the stage with all the other ingredients. I always recommend using the exact wine you will be enjoying for dinner. Do not skimp on this crucial ingredient. A great wine will elevate this dish.

Heavy cream: Refines the flavors and blends them well together.

Fresh Oregano: Nothing beats the fresh flavor of fresh oregano. If you cannot find some, tarragon can be used as a replacement.

Comte cheese: Gluten-free cow’s milk cheese. Creamy and nutty in flavor. Gruyere can be a good substitution for it if your local market does not carry the Comte cheese.

Equipment you will need

Large skillet

Cooking tongs

Shallow gratin dishes

Cookie sheet

Cooking tips and step by step to make this fantastic recipe for Coquilles St Jacques

Scallops are the easiest fish to cook. My recommendation is to use cooking tongs to handle them. This will eliminate any unnecessary holes caused by a fork which will cook your scallop faster.

Use the clockwise pattern for cooking them to perfection.

  • Have the skillet very hot, and add the scallops to the skillet in a clockwise pattern. They should not sear longer than 2 minutes per side.
  • Gently nudge them to see if they are cooked. A simple shaking of the pan or light touch. Turn them over once done and sear the other side.
  • Lightly flour and cook the mushrooms once they are nicely brown.
  • Do NOT add salt to the mushroom while trying to brown them. The salt will induce all the moisture out of the mushrooms, which will remain soggy instead of browning.
  • Finely slice the shallots. It will help the cooking process and give it a more refined taste when you bite into it.
  • Use good wine and let it evaporate for a minute to intensify the flavor.
  • Add all the juices with the scallops back into the skillet.
  • Be generous with the cheese; Comte cheese is so rich in flavor you do not want to skip it.
  • I like to use individual gratin disheshowever, if you have or can find some “coquilles” which means shells dishes, use them for a beautiful table presentation.
  • Divide and nestle the shallots in your gratin dishes.
  • So my oven stays clean, and I do not burn myself, I place the individual gratin dishes on top of a cookie sheet and then place it in the hot oven.
Coquilles Saint Jacques – A French Classic © Giangi's Kitchen - Giangi Townsend Coquilles Saint Jacques – A French Classic

Ingredients needed to make this Coquilles St Jacques recipe

Visit You will find the complete printable recipe with ingredient amounts, tips, adjustable servings, and frequently asked questions for my  Coquilles Saint Jacques – A French Classic.

  • sea scallops
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil
  • unsalted butter
  • mixed mushrooms, chopped
  • shallots
  • all-purpose flour
  • garlic clove minced
  • dry white wine
  • heavy cream
  • fresh oregano
  • freshly grated Comte cheese


  1. Blot and dry the sea scallops.
  2. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Sear the scallops on both sides for about 1-2 minutes per side, flipping once. Transfer to a plate when easily lifted with a pair of cooking tongs.
  3. Melt two tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Stir in the mushrooms and sauté until they brown and soften about 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the shallots and garlic, and cook until the shallots are tender. Season with the remaining salt and pepper. 
  4. Melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms mixture and constantly cook, stirring for 1 minute. Deglaze the skillet with the wine, stirring to loosen any bits that stock to the skillet.
  5. Stir in the cream and oregano and bring to a simmer. Return the scallops and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Return to a simmer and remove the skillet from the heat.
  6. Preheat the broiler to high.
  7. Evenly divided among four shallow stoneware dishes.
  8. Nestle 3 scallops into each dish. Sprinkle each plate with some Comte cheese. Broil until the cheese is browned and bubbling, 3 minutes. Serve hot.

Personal Note

What do you eat with Coquilles St. Jacques?

You can serve the coquilles as an appetizer; however, do two scallops instead.

Or, enjoy them as a first course or as a light lunch with a light green salad on the side.

Rich in flavor, a mixed green salad or steamed spinach is an appropriate side dish to go alongside the scallops.

I also will recommend a chilled glass of your favorite white wine: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or Chenin Blanc, some of my suggestions, to be enjoyed alongside the Coquilles St. Jacques. The balance of the two is fantastic.

And as with anything you cook with wine, make sure it is the wine you will enjoy with your family and guests.

A good wine always makes a great dish when cooked with it.

If you enjoyed this Coquille St. Jacques, look at some of my other recipes:

Figs with Seared Duck Breasts

Prawn Saltimbocca

Mushrooms Goat Cheese Tart

Farfalle with Peas, Ham and Cheese

Do you like this recipe?

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