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Air Fryer Scallops Recipe

My simple air fryer scallops recipe yields the most mouthwatering results! Garlicky, breaded scallops are blissfully buttery with an incredible melt-in-your-mouth texture in just 15 minutes.

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

Cooking scallops in the air fryer is your ticket to a sensational, stress free seafood dinner. I know that scallops can be intimidating to cook at home, but you no longer need to worry! I’ll show you exactly how to air fry scallops to end up with succulent, expertly seasoned scallops every time. 

These air fried scallops are tender and juicy on the inside with a savory seasoned crust. They make an amazing snack, appetizer, or main dish. One batch and your family will surely be begging for more!

Air Fryer I recommend: Large, easy to clean, square basket, burner on top and bottom. Click to see it.

What you’ll need for this Scallops Air Fryer recipe

  • Sea scallops
  • Italian breadcrumbs – or panko breadcrumbs
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Butter
Ingredients needed to make breaded air fryer scallops in bowls

How to Cook Scallops in Air Fryer

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

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

STEP TWO: Combine the breadcrumbs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper together in a shallow bowl. Add the melted butter to a separate shallow bowl. 

Collage of dipping the scallops in butter and breading

STEP THREE: Dredge each scallop first through the butter, followed by the breadcrumbs. Coat each scallop thoroughly with bread crumbs and set aside on a plate. 

STEP FOUR: Arrange the breaded scallops in a single layer in the bottom of the air fryer basket. You may need to work in batches if using an air fryer basket and not an air fryer oven. 

Raw breaded scallops in air fryer

STEP FIVE: Air fry scallops for about 2 minutes on one side before using tongs to carefully flip them over. Return to the air fryer to cook for another 3 minutes. You want your scallops to be golden brown and opaque. 

Cooked scallops in air fryer

How long to Air Fry Scallops

Cooking sea scallops in the air fryer is as quick as it is easy! 

  • Fresh, unfrozen sea scallops take about 5 minutes to cook in a 390 degree air fryer. 
  • Frozen scallops in the air fryer require slightly more time and should be air fried for around 7 minutes.

In all cases, you want to cook your air fried scallops until they are opaque and golden brown with a firm yet tender texture. The ideal internal temperature is between 125 – 130 degrees F. 

Tips for making Air Fryer Scallops

  • Don’t overcrowd your air fryer basket. The air needs to circulate for your scallops to cook evenly, so be sure to put them in a single layer with a bit of space in between. 
  • Pat them dry for best results, especially when making breaded scallops. Otherwise, the breading won’t stick to the surface.
  • Remove the side muscle. There is a small muscle on the side of each scallop that will harbor sand. While often already removed, be sure to check for the best texture. 
Air Fryer Scallops plated with a fork, lemon slices, and parsley

What to serve with Air Fried Scallops

Closeup of scallops with inside showing and lemon slices around them

Air Fryer Scallops Recipe Variations

  • Switch up the breading. For extra crunch, you can air fry scallops with panko breadcrumbs in place of Italian breadcrumbs. Alternatively, you can season and air fry scallops without any breading. 
  • Make frozen scallops in the air fryer. Follow the same basic instructions for fresh or thawed air fryer scallops with a small tweak. You’ll want to air fry for 4 minutes, then flip and air fry for another 3. 
  • Use bay scallops. I designed this recipe for large scallops, but you can also make air fryer bay scallops. Just keep in mind that they are much smaller and will cook faster. 
  • Switch up your spices. There are countless ways to season scallops. Seasoning for scallops can include Cajun, lemon pepper, blackened seasoning, Old Bay seasoning, and so much more.  
Overhead shot of air fried scallops on a plate served with lemon slices and parsley

Storing leftover Air Fried Scallops

You can store any cooked leftovers in a shallow airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Stored similarly, uncooked scallops are good for about 2 days. 

How to reheat Scallops in Air Fryer

Reheat any leftovers in a 390 degree air fryer for about 2-3 minutes. 

Scallops on a plate with lemon slices and parsley

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Scallops on a plate with lemon slices and parsley

Air Fried Scallops

Samantha Erb
Try your hand at these Air Fryer Scallops for an easy recipe that delivers tender, perfectly seasoned scallops in under 15 minutes.
4.68 from 46 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Air Fryer Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 236 kcal


  • 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


  • Preheat your air fryer to 390 degrees F.
  • In a shallow bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper together. Pour melted butter into a second shallow bowl.
  • Dredge each scallop through the melted butter, then roll in the breadcrumb mixture until they’re completely coated; set aside on a plate.
  • Lightly spray the preheated air fryer basket with cooking spray. Arrange scallops in a single layer, working in batches if necessary.
  • 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.



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.


Serving: 1gCalories: 236kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 26gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 1135mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1g

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.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


About Samantha

I’ve always had a love of cooking and creating new recipes, so it only made sense to create a food blog so I could share those recipes with you. This site is designed to provide easy and flavorful recipes with as little ingredients as possible. That means you still get great flavor combinations without all that extra time and effort. Read more...

8 thoughts on “Air Fryer Scallops Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    I’m starting to believe that the air fryer is a perfect solution for almost all cooking. These are spectacular! Thanks for sharing your easy recipe.

    • I think the method is great. I did season differently, once thawed, I brushed w/melted butter then sprinkled on a bit of garlic powder, salt, paprika, curry powder & blk pepper, the repeated seasoning on other side when I turned 1/2 way through. seasoned very lightly, they were great, ty!

  2. Followed the recipe exactly, but the most of the breading fell off almost immediately. Took much longer than suggested to get the scallops brown. Had to finish them in the frying pan.

    • Hi Graham, it’s important to pay dry anything you will be breading so everything will stick. I’m thinking the scallops might have been still wet when breaded which caused the breading not to stick well.

      What kind of air fryer do you have? I used a basket air fryer for this, preheated, but an air fryer oven will take a few minutes to cook and brown them up.

4.68 from 46 votes (42 ratings without comment)

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