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Air Fryer Scallops with Garlic Herb Butter

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Quick and easy to make with a few simple ingredients, these air fryer scallops are perfect to serve as a sit down appetizer or light meal. Perfectly seared and seasoned with a herb, lemon and garlic butter, these are the real deal!

Cooked scallops on a white plate next to slices of lemon.

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Full Recipe Ingredients/Instructions are available in the 
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If you’re a little nervous about cooking scallops perfectly on the stovetop, this method has you covered and feeling like a pro in the kitchen! I first learned all about scallops (I literally spent hours researching them) when I made this pan-seared scallop recipe but decided to give them a go in my air fryer. I’m glad I did, because they’re so good and easy.

These fresh scallops are cooked in a delicious lemon, herb, and garlic butter. They’re simple enough to serve as part of an easy weeknight meal and fancy enough to serve to guests for a sit down appetizer.

Be sure to also try my Air Fryer Salmon Patties and Air Fryer Crab Legs too!

How to make air fryer scallops

  • Gather your ingredients.
Scallops on a baking sheet next to the garlic herb butter mix.
  • Pat dry the scallops and set aside.
Patting dry the scallops.
  • If your scallops have a little side muscle (sometimes called the foot), remove it.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine melted butter, garlic, salt, parsley, and lemon juice in a bowl.
  • Once the air fryer is preheated, brush the air fryer basket with some of the butter mixture. Place scallops in the air fryer basket, making sure they don’t overlap. Brush butter mixture on top of scallops.
Brushing the air fryer basket and scallops with butter.
  • Cook scallops for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway.
  • Serve and enjoy. Sprinkle additional parsley on top to fancy it up.
The cooked scallops in the air fryer basket.

What are the best scallops to use?

For the best results use dry scallops, ‘dry’ simply means natural. Wet scallops are treated with a solution when they are caught to help keep the fresh for longer, where as dry scallops are left untreated. Wet scallops release more water when they are cooked, which means that you won’t get that brown crispy sear on the edges.

It’s best to use fresh scallops if you can, if you use frozen be sure to thaw them fully before using them and make sure they are really patted well to remove as much excess water as you can.

I also suggest using U10 scallops. These are larger scallops that have about 9-10 scallops per pound. These tend to brown the best in the air fryer and are nice, plump, and juicy.

Can you make them ahead of time?

Scallops are so quick to cook, so it’s always best to cook them when you are ready to serve. If you do need to reheat them, it’s important that you don’t cook them any further or they can become tough and chewy. I find the best way to reheat them is in a microwave on a half heat to warm them through.

What do you serve them with?

These scallops are great to serve by themselves as a sit down appetizer with a garnish of fresh herbs, or serve them with a small salad or salsa. They are great to enjoy tossed on some freshly cooked pasta too for a main meal.

Air fryer scallops on a serving plate with a bite taken out of one.

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • Fresh scallops will keep in your fridge for up to two days. If they develop a strong fishy smell then they are past their best.
  • Make sure to use dry scallops in this recipe as wet scallops won’t brown.
  • If using smaller scallops, reduce the cook time.

More Air Fryer Recipes

Nine cooked scallops on a white plate.
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5 from 1 vote

Air Fryer Scallops with Garlic Herb Butter

Quick and easy to make with a few simple ingredients, these air fryer scallops are perfect to serve as a sit down appetizer or light meal. Perfectly seared and seasoned with a herb, lemon and garlic butter, these are the real deal!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword air fried scallops, how to cook scallops in an air fryer, scallops with herbs and garlic
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 3 servings
Calories 176kcal
Author Tanya

Ingredients

  • 1 lb scallops U10 dry scallops
  • 2 Tablespoon unsalted butter melted
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Instructions

  • Pat dry the scallops and set aside.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine melted butter, garlic, salt, parsley, and lemon juice in a bowl.
  • Once the air fryer is preheated, brush the air fryer basket with some of the butter mixture. Place scallops in the air fryer basket, making sure they don’t overlap. Spread mixture on top of scallops.
  • Cook scallops for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway.
  • Serve and enjoy.

Notes

  • Make sure to use dry scallops in this recipe as wet scallops won’t brown.
  • If using smaller scallops, reduce the cook time.

Nutrition

Calories: 176kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 1369mg | Potassium: 325mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 241IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
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Although myforkinglife.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will myforkinglife.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.

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Recipe Rating




John C

Tuesday 13th of July 2021

These were excellent! This will be my go to way for fixing scallops.

Tanya

Tuesday 13th of July 2021

Thanks John C :)

Lynn Noland

Thursday 13th of May 2021

I have made your pulled pork twice in the Insta Pot, it is tender and delicious. Thank you, Lynn

Tanya

Wednesday 19th of May 2021

Thank you Lynn :)

John D

Thursday 13th of May 2021

Hi Tanya, Wish we got this recipe a couple of days ago. I pan seared my scallops yesterday -- they were great. After I turned the scallops, I added scallions and baby spinach until the spinach wilted. As for the scallops themselves, ask for females when you buy them. Females are pink, not white. Although some say they taste the same, I find the females to be sweeter than males. John

Tanya

Thursday 13th of May 2021

Thanks for the tip on the scallops John D :) I'll be on the lookout for the females the next time I go shopping. I love a sweeter scallop.

Nancy Roberts

Saturday 8th of May 2021

Great post and photos. I've been considering purchasing an air fryer, and you may have helped tip the balance with your tips and info. Thank you!