Conchiglie gratin con besciamella

The seafood gratin served into scallop shells is an elegant and old fashioned recipe. Baked with a creamy bechamel sauce and a crunchy breadcrumbs and cheese topping it’s so easy and quick to make. You can prepare it the day before and bake it just few minutes before serving it.

The seafood gratin is perfect paired with a glass (or two, why not?) of fresh prosecco. I love to prepare it using small scallop shells but if you can’t find them you can use an ovenproof dish or you can even use the fish mixture to fill mini brisée tartelletes or puff pastry vol-au-vent.

Conchiglie gratinate con trito aromatico - flatlay

Seafood gratin served in scallop shells

Prep Time:1 hour
Cook Time:15 minutes
Servings:12 small shells


  • For the fish filling
  • cooked prawns (frozen): 300 grams
  • cod (frozen): 250 grams
  • white wine: 1/2 glass
  • garlic: 1 clove
  • extra virgin olive oil as needed
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • Bechamel sauce
  • whole milk lukewarm: 300 millilitres
  • unsalted butter: 30 grams
  • plain flour (sifted): 30 grams
  • nutmeg freshly grated, to taste
  • salt to taste
  • For the aromatic gratin mix
  • Parmesan cheese freshly grated: 80 grams
  • fine breadcrumbs: 40 grams
  • fresh parsley: 20 leaves
  • garlic: 1 clove


  1. Defrost the cod and using a piece of kitchen paper pat it to remove any excess moisture. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan with a clove of garlic, add the cod and cook on both sides for a couple of minutes, add the prawns (thawed) and pour in the wine. Let the wine evaporate and using a fork or a spoon shred the cod into small pieces. Remove the garlic and set aside the mixture in a bowl.Procedimento - Pesce tritato e gamberetti
  2. Prepare the bechamel sauce. In a heavy bottomed pan melt the butter over medium heat. Add all the sifted flour and mix vigorously with a whisk for a couple of minutes until the mixture (called roux) will be golden.Roux per la besciamella - base di burro con farina
  3. Slowly whisk in the lukewarm milk a little at a time, mixing constantly to avoid any lumps.Preparazione della besciamella - aggiunta del latte
  4. Once you've added all the milk season with a pinch of salt (the bechamel should not be too salty) and some grated nutmeg, simmer for about 5 minutes whisking constantly until the sauce thickens. Procedimento - Besciamella pronta
  5. Add 2/3 of the bechamel into the bowl with the seafood and mix well. Set aside the remaining bechamel.
  6. Prepare the gratin mix. Put Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, garlic and parsley (washed and patted dry) in a food processor and pulse until you have a fine sandy texture.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease 12 small scallop shells with butter or oil then fill them with the fish and bechamel mixture. Add a little bit of the remaining bechamel on the fish mixture of each shell.
  8. Cover each shell evenly with the gratin mix pressing a little to let it stick to the fish.
  9. Cook in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden and crisp.