Air Fryer Scallops is a fool-proof recipe for cooking pre-frozen, smaller scallops. Perfect for topping salads and pasta.
I love seafood, but I usually order it in a restaurant rather than fix it at home. Although my air fryer is helping me to serve more fish at home in these past couple of years. There’s nothing like large, fresh scallops seared to perfection. But I live in Ohio, so I do not have access to fresh seafood on a regular basis. I always go with frozen. Frozen scallops at my Kroger are pretty small and they aren’t ideal for searing in a hot pan. It’s very easy to overcook them. As with other types of protein, the air fryer comes to the rescue again! Air Fryer Scallops are stupid simple to make.
How to make Air Fryer Scallops
Buy some frozen scallops and seasoning. I like a Cajun seasoning on my scallops. Blackened seasoning would also be a good choice (and is very similar). Whatever you use, a little goes a long way.
Thaw the scallops and remove side muscles
Here’s a photo collage to show what I mean. After thawing my scallops according to package directions (quick thawing means soaking the bag of scallops in a bowl of cold water for about 15-20 minutes) I look through them. Some still have this little side muscle attached. It’s edible, but tough when cooked. It pulls off very easily.
Make sure they are dry before seasoning
I rinse my scallops under cold water and then gently pat them dry in between layers of paper towels. Sprinkle them lightly, and only on one side, with your seasoning. Trust me, a little goes a long way!
Do you have to preheat your air fryer?
Scallops cook very quickly and overcook easily. I have never found it necessary to preheat my air fryer with any of my recipes. So the answer is no, do not preheat your air fryer.
How many scallops can you cook at once in the air fryer?
It depends on the size of your air fryer basket. You should be able to easily cook 12 – 15 smaller scallops at one time.
How do you know when the scallops are done?
Take their temperature! An instant read digital thermometer is necessary when cooking raw meat and seafood in your air fryer. Scallops are safe to eat (tender and delicious) when their internal temperature reaches between 125 – 130 degrees F.
AIR FRYER TIPS
- I use a Philips XXL Air Fryer to test all of my recipes.
- Click to find all my Best Air Fryer Recipes.
- Here’s my favorite instant read digital thermometer.
- Aerosol cooking sprays like Pam will destroy the non-stick coating of your air fryer basket over time. There’s no need for oil of any kind to cook scallops.
- To clean your air fryer basket (and remove any “fishy” smell) add about 1/4 cup of lemon juice (bottled) to the bottom of your basket and let it soak for a few minutes before washing it.
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Air Fryer Scallops
- Air Fryer
- 12 oz bag of frozen scallops
- 2 tsp Cajun or blackened seasoning
- Thaw the frozen scallops according to package directions.
- Rinse the scallops under cold water and drain well.
- Gently remove any visible side muscles.
- Gently dry the scallops between two layers of paper towels.
- Lightly season one side of the scallops with your seasoning of choice.
- Place the scallops in a single layer in your air fryer basket.
- Cook them at 400 degrees F for 5 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches between 125 and 130 degrees F. There's no need to flip the scallops over during the cooking process.
- Serve the scallops on top of a Caesar salad or Fettuccine Alfredo.