Air Fryer Scallops with Garlic Pesto Sauce –Are you looking for a new way to enjoy seafood? Air fryer scallops are easy and delicious. This dish is great for any occasion but would be perfect on Valentine’s Day! It’s quick and easy, with only 10 minutes of prep time required. Plus, it has garlic pesto sauce- what could beat that?
Forget about the oven – these scallops are cooked in an air fryer to make them crispy on the outside, moist on the inside. The garlic pesto sauce is made with fresh basil, pine nuts and parmesan cheese. It’s a delicious dish that takes less than 20 minutes to make!
I love cooking seafood in the air fryer. It’s a faster, easier way to get that delicious fish fillet or scallop taste without all of those tedious pan frying steps! These were juicy and flavorful with an amazing tenderness you can’t usually find from raw ingredients cooked this quickly so it was perfect for me as well my dad who doesn’t like anything overcooked.
WHY I LOVE THESE AIR FRYER SCALLOPS
- Healtly, KETO, Gluten-Free and Low-Carb. A great Weight Watchers Meal as well.
- A perfect meal, lunch, appetizer or snack!
- Quick and Easy!
- Hardly any cleanup!
What Are Scallops?
Scallops are a type of shellfish that can be eaten raw or cooked. When they are cooked, the meat becomes white and soft. Scallops come in different sizes and types, but all have a sweet taste to them. They are found on the bottom of the ocean floor where they filter plankton!
What Is Pesto?
Pesto is a traditional sauce from the Italian region of Liguria. It usually contains garlic, basil, pine nuts or walnuts, olive oil and Parmesan cheese. A pesto typically includes one or more of these ingredients. Pesto is traditionally made by pounding with a mortar and pestle to create a paste-like consistency. There are many variations on this recipe but most have some variation of those ingredients listed above. If you love cooking, you’ll want to try making your own homemade version of this delicious sauce!
Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Scallops with Garlic Pesto Sauce
- Sea Scallops
- Olive Oil
- Black Pepper
- Homemade or Store-Bought Pesto
- Heavy Cream
- Minced Garlic
How To Make Air Fryer Scallops with Garlic Pesto Sauce
In a small saucepan, mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, basil pesto, garlic and heavy cream, Simmer for a couple of minutes.
Meanwhile, place the scallops in the air fryer basket or tray, and set the timer for 5 minutes at 320 degrees F. I flipped my scallops after 3 minutes, so both sides would get a nice coloring.
Pour the scallops into a small mixing bowl, then pour the sauce over it.
Sea Scallops: for this recipe, I chose sea scallops since they are bigger than bay scallops. If you switch them out, your cooking time will be reduced by about 2 minutes.
- Start by drying your scallops with a paper towel, to remove the moisture.
- Shake the basket several times during the cooking process, so they cook up perfectly.
- Check the internal temperature before removing them, they should be 115 degrees.
- For best results using an air fryer to cook proteins, always use a meat thermometer, this way your scallops are perfectly cooked.
DO I NEED AN AIR FRYER TO MAKE THESE?
No, I have made this recipe several times during the years, on either a grill or a skillet. The recipe will work the same. The cooking time for a skillet would be about 8 minutes, flipping halfway, and for the girl, you would cook them about 10 minutes, flipping them halfway.
You can also bake them, which I do not recommend since they tend to dry out. But you would set them into a preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, at 400 degrees F.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN THE SCALLOPS ARE COOKED?
You can usually tell that seafood is cooked when it starts to change color. For both shrimp and scallops, the protein will change to an opaque color. It will also feel firm to the touch; you do not want to overcook your scallops. Otherwise, they’ll be dried out and tough.
For best results, use a meat thermometer and check the internal temperature.
How To Store Leftover Scallops
Let any leftover scallops cool to room temperature, and then place them into an airtight container. They will l last in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
You can either reheat them in the air fryer or microwave. Heat until warmed through.
MORE AIR FRYER RECIPES:
- AIR FRYER BAGEL BITES
- AIR FRYER RIB EYE WITH GARLIC & BASIL BUTTER
- EASY AIR FRYER HASSELBACK BACON AND BLEU CHEESE POTATOES
- AIR FRYER EASY BLUEBERRY COBBLER
- AIR FRYER PERUVIAN CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS
- 1 pound sea scallops
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup basil pesto (if doing KETO check sugars)
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- In a small saucepan, mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, basil pesto, garlic, and heavy cream, Simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the scallops in the air fryer basket or tray, and set the timer for 5 minutes at 320 degrees F. I flipped my scallops after 3 minutes, so both sides would get a nice coloring.
- Pour the scallops into a small mixing bowl, then pour the sauce over it.
- Plate, serve and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 277Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 1367mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 25g
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