Treat yourself to a fancy dinner with this garlic butter air fryer scallops recipe. In 10 minutes or less, you’ll have a restaurant-quality seafood dish! 🤩 Fry it, to believe it!
Looking for a quick and easy way to impress your dinner guests with a decadent seafood dish? Our garlic butter air fryer scallops recipe is here to save the day!
With just a handful of ingredients and the convenience of the air fryer, you can create a mouthwatering dish that’s sure to be a hit.
Imagine perfectly cooked scallops, seared to perfection and basted with garlic butter, ready to be devoured in just minutes.
This recipe is the perfect balance of simplicity and indulgence, making it ideal for both weeknight dinners and special occasions.
With the air fryer’s precise temperature control and powerful heating capabilities, you can achieve restaurant-quality scallops in the comfort of your own home.
See Also: Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Scallops
So, let’s fire up that air fryer and get ready to experience the ultimate flavor explosion with our garlic butter scallops recipe!
🍀 Bonus: I’ll let you in on a secret on how to make your scallops juicy and tender.
Table of Contents
Garlic Butter Air Fryer Scallops Ingredients
You only need a few ingredients to make scallops in your air fryer:
- Scallops (large, high quality)
- Unsalted butter
- Salt and pepper
- Garlic powder
- Lemon juice
📣 You can find the exact measurements and adjust the number of servings in the recipe card down below.
The scallops are the star of the show here, so we encourage you to splurge and get fresh ones. The other ingredients are for the delicious garlic butter that makes an already-indulgent dish even more tantalizing.
How to Cook Scallops in the Air Fryer?
Making scallops in the air fryer is so simple, you’ll never hesitate to buy scallops again! In 10 minutes or less, your scallops will be perfectly cooked and ready to enjoy.
1. Prepare the scallops.
Carefully remove the side muscle from each scallop and pat each scallop dry with a paper towel.
2. Preheat your air fryer to 400ºF (204ºC).
If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, you can set the temperature to 400ºF (204ºC) and let it run for 5 minutes without any food inside. However, preheating is highly recommended for juicier and more tender scallops.
3. Make the garlic butter basting sauce.
In a small bowl (with an appropriately-sized mini whisk), combine the melted butter, garlic powder, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Ensure the mixture is thoroughly combined.
4. Baste and air fry scallops for 3 minutes.
When the air fryer is preheated, add the scallops in a single layer and brush the top of each scallop generously with the garlic butter. Air fry for 3 minutes.
5. Flip, baste again and air fry for another 2-3 minutes.
Flip the scallops, brush the (now) top of each scallop with the remaining garlic butter and continue air frying until fully cooked, about 2-3 minutes.
The secret to keeping your scallops juicy and tender is to remove them from heat once they reach their recommended temperature.
To check if the scallops are fully cooked, insert a meat thermometer into the center of the largest scallop; the internal temperature should be around 120ºF.
However, they won’t have the same level of browning as pan-seared scallops. There’s no way to achieve the same result without overcooking these delectable umami-filled morsels.
I used a 6-quart air fryer to test this recipe. Cooking time and temperature may vary depending on your air fryer and the number of servings you are making. For optimal results, begin with the lower end of the suggested cooking time.
6. Serve and enjoy your air fried scallops.
When the garlic butter scallops are done, carefully transfer them to a plate and serve immediately.
Enjoy your buttery, air fried scallops!
Scallops are so delicious on their own, but they definitely aren’t a full meal (unless you eat A LOT of them $$$).
Our favorite way to enjoy scallops is on top of pasta or risotto. You can make a simple spaghetti with garlic, lemon, olive oil and parsley, and simply top each plate with 2-3 scallops.
Not only will the scallop pasta be massively impressive to whomever you serve, but the combination of the silky scallops with the bright pasta will be one you won’t soon forget!
If you don’t want to spend a fortune on this fantastic seafood dish, you can opt for frozen scallops. They are cheaper and readily available at your favorite grocery store. The only difference is that they are usually smaller, but they still taste great.
In terms of cooking time, air fry a single layer of small frozen scallops for 6-8 minutes at 400°F (204°C), shaking halfway.
Freezing & Storage
Freezing: When the scallops have cooled completely, add them to a zip-top bag or airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Fridge: When the scallops have cooled completely, add them to a zip-top bag or airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Reheating: To reheat, add to an air fryer preheated to 370ºF and air fry just until the scallops are hot, about 3 minutes.
Scallops in Air Fryer FAQs
Can you air fry scallops?
Yes, you can definitely air fry scallops. It will only take you less than 10 minutes to cook scallops in the air fryer, be it fresh or frozen.
How long does it take to cook scallops in the air fryer?
Fresh large scallops will take 5 minutes to cook in the air fryer at 400°F (204°C). Frozen ones will take 2-3 minutes longer.
What temperature to cook scallops in an air fryer?
The ideal temperature to cook scallops in the air fryer is 380°F to 400°F. Cooking at high heat is necessary to brown those tender seafood delights!
How to air fry scallops?
To air fry fresh scallops, first preheat the air fryer to 400°F (204°C). While preheating, prepare a simple basting sauce by combining butter, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Next, carefully place the scallops in the air fryer and cook for 5-6 minutes. Baste them often and flip halfway through cooking until the top becomes golden brown. For a single layer of frozen scallops, the ideal cooking time is between 6-8 minutes.
Simply Delicious Garlic Butter Air Fryer Scallops (+Video)
- 6 scallops large
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
- Prepare the scallops by removing any leftover side muscle. If they are frozen, leave them in the refrigerator overnight to thaw. Before air frying, allow them to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat your air fryer to 400ºF (204ºC).
- While preheating, make the garlic butter basting sauce. Combine butter, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Air fry scallops for 2-3 minutes: Transfer the scallops to the preheated air fryer carefully, and then baste them with the butter mixture. Air fry the scallops for two minutes, then baste them again with the sauce.
- Air fry for another 2-3 minutes: After 3 minutes flip the scallops and baste the other side. Continue air frying for 2-3 or until golden. To make sure your scallops are done, the internal temperature should reach 145°F (62°C). Save any leftover sauce from the air fryer basket.
- Serve your butter garlic air fryer scallops with lemon wedges! If you want to make it even fancier, serve them with mashed potatoes or perhaps wine. Enjoy!
- If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, you can set the temperature to 400ºF (204ºC) and then let it cook for 4-5 minutes without food.
- For a more accurate result and to ensure tender and juicy scallops, preheating is highly recommended.
- Sourcing for large high quality scallops is highly recommended.
- If you’re using frozen scallops purchased from the grocery store, they may be smaller in size. The ideal cooking method is to arrange them in a single layer and air fry for 6-8 minutes at 400°F (204°C), flipping or shaking halfway through for even cooking.
- FDA suggests cooking any seafood to an internal temperature of 145°F (62°C) or higher.
- I used a 6-quart Instant Pot Vortex Plus to test the air fryer scallops recipe. Cooking time and temperature may vary depending on your air fryer and the number of servings you are making. For optimal results, begin with the lower end of the suggested cooking time.
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