Air-Fryer Scallops


A quick and impressive dinner, scallops turn succulent and tender in the air fryer. The lemon-herb sauce drizzled on top is the perfect way to bring zest to each bite.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins
8 scallops

What Type of Scallops Should I Use?

We use sea scallops for this recipe, which are larger in size than bay scallops. There are two types of scallops sold at grocery stores and seafood markets: bay scallops and sea scallops. Bay scallops are found in shallow waters and bays along the East Coast and are small in size, most measuring 1/2 inch in diameter. Sea scallops are found in deep, cold ocean waters around the world and are larger in size, with some as big as 2 inches in diameter.

Sea scallops are typically creamy off-white or a light pink hue. When shopping, look for dry-packed scallops that are about the same size and thickness so that they cook evenly in the air fryer.

How to Prepare Scallops for Cooking

1. Locate the side muscle on each scallop. The side muscle is a chewy, tough piece of fibrous tissue found on one side of the scallop. This is what once held the scallop to the shell.

2. Pinch the piece of muscle between your thumb and forefinger. Gently tug until the muscle pulls away.

3. Pat dry each scallop to remove moisture on the surface.

For more scallop tips, check out our guide to buying and cooking scallops.

How to Know When Scallops Are Cooked

The scallops may not brown in the air fryer, so don't wait for a golden crust to tell you they're ready. Be sure to cook the scallops to an internal temperature of 120°F using an instant-read thermometer. This should take about 6 minutes or so depending on the thickness of each scallop.

Additional reporting by Jan Valdez


  • 8 large (1-oz.) sea scallops, cleaned and patted very dry

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

  • teaspoon salt

  • Cooking spray

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons very finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 2 teaspoons very finely chopped capers

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic


  1. Sprinkle scallops with pepper and salt. Coat the basket of an air fryer with cooking spray. Place scallops in the basket and coat them with cooking spray. Place the basket in the fryer. Cook the scallops at 400°F until they reach an internal temperature of 120°F, about 6 minutes.

  2. Combine oil, parsley, capers, lemon zest and garlic in a small bowl. Drizzle over the scallops.


Nutrition Facts (per serving)

348 Calories
30g Fat
5g Carbs
14g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 2
Calories 348
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 14g 28%
Total Fat 30g 38%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 27mg 9%
Vitamin A 325IU 7%
Vitamin C 6mg 7%
Folate 25mcg 6%
Sodium 660mg 29%
Calcium 16mg 1%
Iron 1mg 4%
Magnesium 28mg 7%
Potassium 260mg 6%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

Related Articles