Air Fryer Scallops

updated Feb 4, 2022
Air Fryer Scallops Recipe

Plump sea scallops in a lemon-dill marinade are an easy weeknight win with the air fryer.

Serves2 to 4

Prep10 minutes

Cook4 minutes to 5 minutes

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air fryer scallops plated at table
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Isamar De La Cruz

If you’ve never cooked scallops at home, this briny, lemon-scented recipe is the perfect introduction. After whisking together the citrusy dill marinade, the air fryer does all the work for you — meaning dinner is on the table in less than 30 minutes. Here’s how to make easy air fryer scallops.

Can You Cook Frozen Scallops in an Air Fryer? 

Often the freshest seafood — including scallops — comes from the freezer case. Still, I prefer to air fry fresh (or thawed) scallops, rather than cooking them straight from frozen. Luckily, thawing scallops is as quick and easy as cooking them!

The best way to thaw scallops is to transfer the frozen package to the refrigerator to thaw evenly. Just be sure to set the package on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any drips. For faster thawing, place the sealed package of scallops in a bowl under a drip of cool water until thawed.

How Long Should I Cook Scallops in the Air Fryer? 

The combination of the rapid heating and air circulation of air fryers means that foods cook quickly. It takes just 4 to 5 minutes to cook sea scallops in an air fryer.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Isamar De La Cruz

How Do I Know When My Scallops Are Cooked? 

You’ll know the scallops are done when they’re firm to the touch — even if they’re not browned on the outside. The center of the scallops should also be slightly opaque and not translucent. An instant-read thermometer should register 115°F when done.

What Should I Serve with Air Fryer Scallops? 

Add these lemon and dill marinated scallops to any dish that needs a protein boost. Pile them atop pasta, nestle them among lettuce leaves, or serve with your favorite vegetable side dish.

Air Fryer Scallops Recipe

Plump sea scallops in a lemon-dill marinade are an easy weeknight win with the air fryer.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 4 minutes to 5 minutes

Serves 2 to 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 pound

    dry sea scallops (12 to 16 medium)

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 1 clove

    garlic

  • 1 tablespoon

    fresh dill, plus more for garnish (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Gently peel off the side muscle from 1 pound scallops if they are still attached. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels.

  2. Finely grate the zest from 1 medium lemon until you have 1 teaspoon zest and set aside for garnish. Juice the lemon until you have 2 tablespoons juice and place in a medium bowl. Mince 1 garlic clove and finely chop 1 tablespoon fresh dill if using (plus more for garnish if desired), and add both to the bowl.

  3. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and stir to combine. Add the scallops and toss gently to coat. Let marinate for 10 minutes at room temperature. Meanwhile, heat an air fryer to 390 to 400°F.

  4. Use tongs to transfer the scallops into the air fryer basket in a single layer, leaving the marinade in the bowl. Air fry for 2 minutes. Flip the scallops and air fry until the scallops are firm and the internal temperature is 115°F, about 3 minutes more (they may not be evenly browned).

  5. Transfer the scallops to a plate and garnish with the lemon zest and more dill.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Scallops are best eaten immediately, but leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 days.