Air Fryer Scallops — Air frying scallops are a quick and easy way to achieve perfectly cooked, tender, and succulent seafood with a delightful crispy texture.

Below, we’ll show you how to make restaurant-quality air fryer scallops at home with minimal effort and maximum flavor.

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Scallops are simple dishes prepared in the air fryer. They are such a healthy and delicious dinner. So easy to make in the air fryer and so fast.

I love a great plate of scallops, but they are so expensive in restaurants, so today, I air-fried my own, and they were fabulous. I made a simple sauce for them using only lemon and garlic. They were perfectly cooked and seasoned.

This recipe is easy for a quick KETO and Low-Carb dinner or lunch! And with the air fryer, these cook up so quickly.

If you are looking for some other great and easy Air Fryer Seafood Recipes, some of my favorites are AIR FRYER FROZEN COCONUT SHRIMPAIR FRYER FLOUNDER FISHAIR FRYER LEMON PEPPER SHRIMP,

Check Out Our Latest Air Fryer Recipe and video!

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What Are Scallops?

Scallops are nothing more than the interior of a mollusk. They are similar to oysters, mussels, or clams.

The meat lies inside the shell. You can prepare the scallops in many ways, including pan-frying, grilling, baking, or Air Fried.

Scallops are a type of shellfish that is found in saltwater. They are often eaten as an appetizer or a main course and boiled, baked, or grilled. What makes scallops so unique? Read on to find out!

Can You Cook Scallops In Air Fryer?

Yes, you can cook scallops in an air fryer. Air frying scallops are a convenient and efficient way to prepare this delicate seafood. It lets you achieve a delicious sear on the outside while keeping the inside tender and juicy. In this method, scallops are lightly coated with oil and seasonings, then air-fried to perfection, resulting in a tasty dish that’s quick to prepare and cooks evenly.

Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Scallops

To create mouthwatering air fryer scallops, you’ll need a handful of simple ingredients that enhance their natural flavors. These scallops are a breeze, making them perfect for a quick and elegant seafood dish.

Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Scallops

Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutrition information.

  • Scallops: The star of the show, Fresh Sea Scallops, works well. Make sure they are thawed and patted dry to ensure a crispy sear.
  • Olive Oil: A drizzle of olive oil helps to coat the scallops and promotes a nice sear while preventing them from sticking to the air fryer basket.
  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds a bright, citrusy element to the scallops, enhancing their overall flavor.
  • Garlic Powder: A pinch of garlic powder contributes a subtle, savory note to the scallops, complementing their natural sweetness.
  • Paprika: Paprika lends a beautiful color to the dish and adds a gentle smokiness and mild heat.
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper: Season your scallops with salt and pepper to taste, enhancing their flavors and balancing the dish’s overall profile.
  • Fresh Parsley: Chopped fresh parsley, used as a garnish, provides a burst of freshness and a pop of color to your scallops, making them visually appealing.

How to Cook Air Fryer Sea Scallops

Cooking scallops in an air fryer is a straightforward process that results in perfectly seared and tender seafood. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

How To Make Air Fryer Scallops

Preheat Your Air Fryer: Set your air fryer to 400 degrees F (200°C) and preheat the air fryer for 2-3 minutes.

Prepare the Scallops: Ensure the scallops are dry. Pat them with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. This helps achieve a crispy sear.

Season the Scallops: In a mixing bowl, combine the scallops, a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice, a pinch of garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Toss the scallops until they are evenly coated with the seasoning.

Arrange in the Air Fryer Basket: Place scallops in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Make sure there is some space between them to allow for even cooking.

Air Fryer Scallops

Air Fry the Scallops: Cook the scallops in the preheated air fryer for about 5-6 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking time.

Note: The exact cooking time may vary depending on the size of your scallops and the air fryer model. They should be golden brown on the outside and opaque in the center when done. The internal temperature of the scallops should reach 120 degrees F, check with a meat thermometer. 

Garnish and Serve: Once cooked, remove the scallops from the air fryer and garnish them with freshly chopped parsley, lemon juice, or lemon butter sauce. Serve immediately with your favorite side dishes.

Check the internal temperature of the scallops with a meat thermometer.

Prepare Galic Lemon Sauce (Optional): Remove from the air fryer. Mix the olive oil, melted butter, minced garlic, salt, black pepper, lemon juice, and parsley in a small mixing bowl. Serve the scallops with the side of the sauce, or drizzle over them before serving.

Air Fryer Scallops

Pro Tips For The Best Air-Fried Scallops

To achieve the best results when air frying scallops, consider these pro tips:

  • Dry the Scallops Thoroughly: Excess moisture can prevent scallops from searing properly. Use paper towels to pat them dry before seasoning.
  • Use Large, Dry Scallops: Choose large scallops that are relatively dry. Dry or “dry-packed” scallops are better for searing because they haven’t been treated with chemicals to retain moisture.
  • Preheat the Air Fryer: Like other cooking methods, it’s important to preheat your air fryer. This ensures that the scallops start cooking immediately when placed in the basket.
  • Don’t Overcrowd the Basket: Arrange the seafood in a single layer in the air fryer basket, leaving some space between them. Overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking.
  • Season Creatively: While a simple seasoning with olive oil, lemon juice, and spices works well, experiment with other seasonings like herbs, garlic, or your favorite seafood rub.
  • Check for Doneness: The cooking time can vary based on scallop size and air fryer model. Keep a close eye on them; they are ready when they turn golden brown and opaque in the center.
  • Serve Immediately: Seafood is best enjoyed fresh off the air fryer. Their texture can change if left to sit too long, so serve them immediately for the best taste and texture.
Air Fryer Scallops

What temperature should I set the air fryer for scallops?

Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for scallops. This high temperature helps achieve a crispy sear on the outside while keeping the inside tender.

How long should I cook scallops in the air fryer? The cooking time can vary depending on the size of the scallops and your air fryer model. In general, cook large scallops for about 6-8 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Smaller scallops may take less time.

Do I need to flip the scallops while cooking in the air fryer? Yes, flipping the scallops halfway through the cooking process helps ensure even browning and cooking on both sides.

Can I use butter instead of olive oil for seasoning scallops in the air fryer? Yes, you can use melted butter or a combination of butter and olive oil for added flavor. Be mindful of the butter’s smoke point and adjust the temperature accordingly.

Can I cook scallops with other ingredients in the air fryer, like vegetables or bacon? Yes, you can cook scallops alongside vegetables or bacon in the air fryer. Just ensure that the ingredients are compatible in terms of cooking times and temperatures.

How do I prevent scallops from sticking to the air fryer basket? To prevent sticking, make sure your scallops are dry before placing them in the air fryer. You can also lightly grease the air fryer basket or use parchment paper.

What are some serving suggestions for air-fried scallops? Air-fried scallops pair well with various sides, such as a simple salad, green beans, rice, pasta, or steamed vegetables. They are also delicious with dipping sauces like garlic aioli or lemon butter, or served with lemon wedges or a dash of Old Bay Seasoning.

How to store leftover scallops: Let the scallops cool to room temperature, and then place them into an airtight container. The delicious scallops will last in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. 

More Air Fryer Recipes:


Air Fryer Scallops

3.56 from 56 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 16 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings


Air Fryer Scallops, a simple dish prepared in the air fryer. They are such a healthy and delicious dinner. So easy to make, in the air fryer, and so fast.


  • 1 pound scallops, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley


  • Spray your air fryer basket with olive oil spray.
  • Place the scallops into the air fryer basket.
  • Set the temperature to 400 degrees F, for about 4 to 6 minutes, air fryer setting.
  • Check the internal temperature of the scallops with a meat thermometer. Remove scallops from the air fryer.
  • In a small mixing bowl, mix the olive oil, melted butter, minced garlic, salt, black pepper, lemon juice, and parsley.
  • Serve the scallops with the side of the sauce, or drizzle over them before serving
  • Plate, serve, and enjoy!


  • Air Fryer, or Ninja Foodi
  • Cooking Spray


How To Store, and Reheat Air-Fried Scallops
Storing Air-Fried Scallops:
  1. Cool Down: Allow the cooked scallops to cool to room temperature before storing them. This prevents condensation inside the storage container, which can make the scallops soggy.
  2. Airtight Container: Place the cooled scallops in an airtight container. You can separate them with parchment paper or foil to prevent sticking.
  3. Refrigerate: Store the container in the refrigerator. Scallops can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Reheating Air-Fried Scallops:
There are a few methods to reheat air-fried scallops:
1. Air Fryer (Recommended):
  • Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C).
  • Place the leftover scallops in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
  • Heat for 2-3 minutes until they are heated through and regain their crispiness. No need to flip them.
2. Oven:
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Place the scallops on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 5-8 minutes or until they are heated through.
3. Microwave:
  • While the microwave is not the ideal method for reheating scallops, it can work if you’re in a hurry.
  • Place the scallops on a microwave-safe plate and cover them with a microwave-safe lid or a damp paper towel.
  • Heat them in 15-30 second intervals, checking after each interval, until they are heated to your liking. Be careful not to overheat, as scallops can become rubbery in the microwave.
4. Stovetop (Pan-Searing):
  • Heat a skillet or pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add a little oil or butter to the pan.
  • Place the scallops in the pan and sear for 1-2 minutes on each side until they are heated through.
Regardless of the method you choose, be cautious not to overcook the scallops during reheating, as they can become tough and rubbery. The air fryer or oven methods are preferred for maintaining their texture and crispiness.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 219kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 14gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 1094mgPotassium: 250mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 268IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 1mg

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Air Fryer Scallops