These seasoned scallops are cooked to crispy perfection in the air fryer, then drizzled with garlic butter. So juicy and flavorful — you’d never believe they’re ready in 10 minutes!
But wait, there’s more… Try our pan-seared butter scallops for an irresistible golden-brown crust and rich flavor.
How To Make Air Fryer Scallops
Cooking scallops in the air fryer couldn’t be easier. Season the scallops, cook them for six minutes, and get ready to plate and serve!
- Preheat the air fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
- Dry and season the scallops: Pat the scallops dry with paper towels. Toss them with garlic parsley salt and paprika.
- Cook the scallops: Coat the air fryer basket with cooking spray and add the scallops. Cook them for six minutes total, flipping halfway through. Their internal temperature should reach 125°F.
- Make the garlic butter: While the scallops cook, melt the butter and mix the minced garlic into it.
- Serve the scallops: Transfer the cooked scallops to a plate and drizzle with the garlic butter (or use it as a dipping sauce). Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy!
Tips From the Kitchen
Are you feeling iffy about scallops? Have you been previously disappointed with a rubbery outcome? Follow these tips for an experience that’ll blow your doubts out of the water!
- Use sea scallops. While sea scallops are more chewy and pricey compared to bay scallops, they are also larger, making them less prone to overcooking. Sea scallops are also harvested year-round, so you don’t have to wait for a certain season to enjoy them.
- Remove the tough muscle. Scallops have a side muscle that is fibrous and tough. Prior to cooking, pinch the flap, pull it, and discard for air fryer-ready scallops.
- Pat the scallops dry. A dry surface crisps up better! If the scallops have too much moisture, they’ll end up steaming instead of air frying.
- Season generously. We love the combo of garlic parsley salt and paprika with these scallops. However, scallops are a canvas for creativity — try Old Bay seasoning, Cajun seasoning, or a pinch of freshly ground black pepper for a flavorful kick.
- Avoid overcooking the scallops. These little delicacies are wonderfully tender when cooked right. But overcook them by a minute, and they’ll turn out rubbery and tough. Six minutes is the sweet spot for larger sea scallops — when in doubt, test the internal temperature with a cooking thermometer to make sure it reaches 125°F and not any higher.
Ways To Serve
Scallops are an elegant and impressive main dinner course. Serve them hot over mashed potatoes, risotto, or even buckwheat for a satisfying dose of carbs. For surf and turf heaven, pair with grilled ribeyes or use this oven method for cooking steaks and serve with this easy asparagus side. Are you looking for a few lighter side dishes? Pair the scallops with a garden salad, pear and walnut salad, or roasted veggies.
Storage & Reheating
Wondering what to do with the leftovers? Refrigeration is your best bet for keeping scallops fresh. We don’t recommend freezing them, as the taste and texture may change.
- Storage: Store the cooked scallops for up to two days by refrigerating them in an airtight container.
- Reheating: To restore crispness and flavor, reheat leftover scallops on the stove. Place a pan over medium heat with butter, and cook the scallops for a minute or so on each side until warmed through. Or, pop them back into the air fryer for a quick couple minutes!
More Seafood Recipes
- Crispy Panko Fish — Breaded and fried white fish
- Creamy Shrimp Scampi — Garlicky, lemony shrimp tossed with linguine and a cream sauce
- Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon — Flaky baked salmon with a sweet and salty glaze
- Grilled Lobster Tail — Succulent lobster tail basted with garlic butter and grilled
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels.
- Season them with garlic parsley salt and paprika. Gently toss to evenly coat the scallops in the seasoning.
- Oil or spray the air fryer basket, then add the scallops. Cook them for 6 minutes total, flipping halfway through. The internal temperature should reach 125°F.
- While the scallops cook, melt the butter and add the minced garlic.
- Transfer the cooked scallops to a plate and drizzle the garlic butter over them, or use it as a dipping sauce.
- Garnish with lemon wedges and chopped parsley. Enjoy!