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Air Fryer Scallops

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These easy air fryer scallops are coated in a simple breading and then cooked to crispy, golden perfection! Rich, delicious, and ready in about 15 minutes.

Air Fryer Scallops breaded and plated with a fork and lemon slices

Scallops can be an intimidating dish. When done right, they’re rich, succulent, and irresistible.

But since they’re a little more expensive than other types of seafood, cooking them yourself can feel a bit intimidating.

That’s why I love making these super easy air fryer scallops!

Just dip the scallops in some butter, coat with breadcrumbs, then let the air fryer work its magic! You could also use panko breadcrumbs instead of Italian for a little extra flair.

From start to finish, this dish can be ready in about 15 minutes flat. 

Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post:

  • How to cook sea scallops in the air fryer
  • What to do if you have bay scallops instead of sea scallops
  • How to make air fryer frozen scallops
  • How to reheat leftover scallops using the air fryer

Whether you’ve been intimidated about making scallops at home or you’re always looking for new ways to prepare this tasty seafood, this easy recipe is one you just have to try.

And don’t forget to check out my collection of the best air fryer fish recipes for even more delicious inspiration!

Ingredients needed to make breaded air fryer scallops in bowls

What Do Scallops Taste Like?

If you’ve never had scallops before, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about.

To put it simply, when it comes to scallops, it’s their combination of taste and texture that makes them so beloved. 

The taste is very mild, slightly sweet, and just a little bit nutty.

When you pair that flavor with their tender, buttery texture, similar to crab or lobster, that’s what really makes them such a standout ingredient.

I made this recipe using the 5.8 QT Cosori Air Fryer. Its square basket makes it the perfect size for our family of 4.

How To Make Air Fryer Scallops

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

STEP ONE: Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees F.

STEP TWO: In a shallow bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. 

STEP THREE: Pour the melted butter into a 2nd shallow bowl.

Collage of dipping the scallops in butter and breading

STEP FOUR: Dredge each scallop in the melted butter, then roll in the breadcrumb mixture until completely coated. Set aside on a plate.

STEP FIVE: Lightly spray the preheated air fryer basket with cooking spray. 

STEP SIX: Arrange the scallops in a single layer. Depending on size, you may need to work in batches.

Raw breaded scallops in air fryer

STEP SEVEN: Air fry the scallops for 2 minutes. 

STEP EIGHT: Use tongs to carefully flip each scallop over, then air fry for 3 more minutes until opaque and golden brown.

Can I Use Bay Scallops Instead of Sea Scallops?

Absolutely! Either bay scallops or sea scallops will work for this recipe.

However, it’s important to note that bay scallops are quite a bit smaller than sea scallops. This means that the cooking time may vary slightly between the two, with bay scallops cooking faster due to their size.

Cooked scallops in air fryer

How to Know When Scallops in the Air Fryer are Done Cooking

You want your scallops to be opaque and golden brown when you’re done cooking them.

For standard size sea scallops, that’s going to be about five minutes in the air fryer, flipping halfway through.

You also want to see some slight cracks along the edges of the scallops. This shows you that they are tender and will come apart easily under a knife or fork.

Overall, the scallops should be somewhat firm, not mushy, and opaque.

Air Fryer Scallops plated with a fork, lemon slices, and parsley

How to Store Scallops

If you find yourself with leftover scallops, you should place them in a shallow airtight container. Alternatively, you could wrap them tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

Scallops should always be kept in the refrigerator. When properly stored, they will stay fresh for three to four days.

Closeup of scallops with inside showing and lemon slices around them

What to Serve with Air Fryer Scallops

Overhead shot of air fried scallops on a plate served with lemon slices and parsley

How to Make Frozen Scallops in the Air Fryer

  1. Dredge each scallop in the melted butter and breadcrumb mixture, then seal in a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze until ready to use — or use storebought frozen breaded scallops instead!
  2. Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees F for 5 minutes.
  3. Lightly spray the preheated air fryer basket with cooking spray. Arrange the frozen scallops in a single layer. Depending on size, you may need to work in batches.
  4. Air fry the scallops for 4 minutes. 
  5. Use tongs to carefully flip each scallop over, then air fry for 3 more minutes until opaque and golden brown.
Scallops on a plate with lemon slices and parsley

How to Reheat Scallops in the Air Fryer

  1.  Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees F for 5 minutes.
  2. Air fry scallops for 2-3 minutes until warmed through.

Other Air Fryer Seafood Recipes You’ll Love:

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Yield: 4 servings

Air Fryer Scallops

Scallops on a plate with lemon slices and parsley

Air fryer scallops are one of the easiest ways to prepare this delectable seafood! Breaded scallops are cooked to golden perfection in less than 15 minutes.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 pound sea scallops, patted dry

Instructions

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 390 degrees F.
  2. In a shallow bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper together. Pour melted butter into a second shallow bowl.
  3. Dredge each scallop through the melted butter, then roll in the breadcrumb mixture until they’re completely coated; set aside on a plate.
  4. Lightly spray the preheated air fryer basket with cooking spray. Arrange scallops in a single layer, working in batches if necessary.
  5. Air fry the scallops for 2 minutes. Use tongs to carefully flip them over, then air fry for 3 more minutes until opaque and golden brown.







Notes

How to Reheat Scallops in the Air Fryer:

1. Preheat your air fryer to 390 degrees.

2. Cook leftover sea scallops in the air fryer for 2 to 3 minutes, until warmed thoroughly.

How to Cook Frozen Scallops in the Air Fryer:

1. Preheat your air fryer to 390 degrees.

2. Place frozen scallops in the air fryer and cook for about 7 minutes, flipping them halfway through.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 236Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 1135mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 26g

This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.

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