Air fryer scallops with lemon butter are so succulent and tender! They turn out perfectly cooked, never dry or chewy, and are ready in just 10 minutes! They are topped with the perfect lemon herb sauce to give them the most incredible flavour that is as good as any five star restaurant.
Why you will love this recipe:
- These air fried scallops turn out so succulent and tender and the lemon herb sauce adds a rich and delicious flavour.
- Scallops in air fryer are so easy to make. They’re ready in under 10 minutes and you don’t have to worry about grease getting all over your counters and stove top like you do when frying them.
- You only need a few simple ingredients to make scallops in the air fryer. I bet you already have all the ingredients in your fridge and pantry!
- These scallops are healthy and naturally low in carbs. They are perfect for anyone but are also great if you are following a special diet like keto, paleo or Whole30!
- This method works for all types of air fryers including Ninja Foodi, Ninja Air Fryer, Ninja Foodi Grill, Instant Vortex, Emeril Air Fryer, Cuisinart Air Fryer and Chefman Air Fryers.
- The lemon butter sauce is very versatile – change up the spices to make it a lemon herb sauce or add some garlic to make it a garlic butter sauce.
Key ingredients and substitutions:
- Scallops – I used frozen scallops that I thawed but if you can find fresh scallops that’s even better!
- Butter – scallops are just so much better when topped with butter! You can use a vegan butter if you are dairy free.
- Lemon juice – to make the best lemon butter sauce – I used freshly squeezed lemon juice but you could also use bottled lemon juice.
- Dried thyme – to give the lemon butter sauce that extra special taste.
How to cook:
First, rinse and dry the scallops and then sprinkle both sides with a little salt and pepper.
Next, transfer the seasoned scallops to the tray of your air fryer and cook them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes.
While the scallops are cooking, make the lemon butter sauce by placing the butter in a microwave safe dish and heating it in the microwave on high for 30 seconds. When the butter is melted, stir in the lemon juice and thyme.
Once the scallops are done cooking, remove them from the air fryer and drizzle them in the lemon butter sauce. Then serve them and enjoy!
How to cook scallops in a basket style air fryer:
First rinse and dry the scallops and sprinkle both sides with a little salt and pepper. Then place the scallops in the air fryer basket, ensuring they are evenly spaced. Cook them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, flipping them half way through. Then transfer the scallops to a plate or bowl and top them with the lemon butter sauce.
- Every model of air fryer is different, so you may have to adjust the cooking time if you are using a different model than I do.
- Depending on the size of your scallops you may have to adjust the cooking times – for larger scallops add a bit of time, for smaller scallops use less time.
- Be sure to leave some space between each scallop when cooking them.
Variations and add ins:
- If you are dairy free simply use melted coconut oil or vegan butter instead of dairy butter when making the sauce.
- Feel free to add different herbs to the lemon butter sauce to give it a different flavour.
How to serve:
- I love pairing scallops with a side of cooked vegetables such as asparagus or broccoli.
- Scallops pair well with rice or cauliflower rice.
- They can be served over noodles to make a delicious pasta dish.
- Serve them with roasted potatoes or over mashed potatoes.
How to store:
Scallops are best eaten right after they are cooked. If you do need to store them, keep them in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Frequently asked questions:
Yes! scallops turn out so juicy and tender when they are cooked in an air fryer.
Scallops turn out best when they are cooked from fresh rather than frozen in an air fryer so if you do have frozen scallops, simply thaw them first before air frying them.
When cooked in an air fryer scallops take 8-10 minutes to cook when cooked at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is not recommend that you cook bacon in an air fryer due to the amount of grease it produces when it cooks which creates a fire hazard. For that reason you shouldn’t cook bacon wrapped scallops in an air fryer.
So many things! You could easily just eat these scallops on their own or you could serve them over a bed of rice, cauliflower rice, risotto, sweet potato rice or pasta. They could be served with a kale and apple salad or your favourite coleslaw. Some other side dishes that pair really well with scallops are French fries, roasted potatoes, steak, cooked broccoli, green beans, or your favourite soup.
That depends on the type of scallops you buy. If you buy “dry” scallops, or those without any chemical additives I simply give them a rinse first. However if you buy “wet” scallops, or those with added chemicals then it’s best to soak them in a solution of 1 quart cold water, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of table salt for ~30 minutes.
Other air fryer recipes you will love:
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Air Fryer Scallops with Lemon Butter
- 400 grams scallops
- salt (to taste)
- ground black pepper (to taste)
Lemon Butter Sauce
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Rinse and dry the scallops and sprinkle both sides with a little salt and pepper.
- Transfer the scallops to the tray of your air fryer and cook at 400F for 8-10 minutes.
Lemon Butter Sauce
- While the scallops are cooking you can make the lemon butter sauce by placing the butter in a microwave safe dish and heating in the microwave on high for 30 seconds. Then stir in the lemon juice and thyme.
- Once the scallops are done cooking, drizzle the lemon butter sauce over the scallops and enjoy.
- Depending on the size of the scallops you use you may have to adjust the cooking time.
- If food tends to stick to your air fryer, give it a spray with cooking oil before placing the scallops in it.