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Easy Air Fryer Scallops with Lemon Garlic Herb Butter  

If you’re looking for a quick and delicious seafood dish, look no further than these easy air fryer scallops with lemon garlic herb butter. With just a few simple ingredients, you can have perfectly cooked scallops that are bursting with flavor in no time.  

This easy method requires very little effort and cooking time. A light lemon butter sauce drizzled over fresh scallops with a golden caramelized outside is delightful.

Make a restaurant-worth dish that is a surprisingly easy recipe to make right in your own kitchen. Whether you’re a seafood lover or just looking to switch up your dinner routine, this recipe is sure to impress.

You don’t have to wait for the a special occasion or the Holiday season to make this recipe. It is so easy you might just be making it every week. However, it is sure to be a welcome sight at the Holiday table by your dinner guests.

Easy Air Fryer Scallops with Lemon Garlic Herb Butter

Scallops with Lemon Garlic Herb Butter

This delicious dish combines nutty, savory scallops with a zesty and irresistible topping. All these flavors come together to give you an amazing seafood experience that feels fancy.

Scallops with Lemon Garlic Herb Butter have a rich and savory flavor with a hint of tanginess from the lemon and a burst of herbaceousness from the herbs.

The garlic butter adds depth and complexity to the dish, with a creamy and smooth texture. Overall, it is a delicious and satisfying seafood dish that is sure to please any seafood lover.

What do Scallops Taste Like?

If you have never had the chance to try a scallop, I urge you to give them a try.

Scallops have a distinct and delicate flavor that is often described as sweet, buttery, and slightly briny. They are known for their mild and subtle taste, with a hint of oceanic essence. When cooked properly, scallops have a tender and succulent texture that melts in your mouth.

The taste of scallops can be influenced by various factors, such as their freshness, cooking method, and any seasonings or sauces used. Some people compare the flavor of scallops to that of other seafood like shrimp or lobster, but with its own unique profile.

It’s worth noting that the flavor and texture of scallops can vary slightly depending on the type of scallop. Bay scallops are generally smaller and sweeter, while sea scallops are larger and have a more pronounced flavor. Both types offer a delightful eating experience, and they can be used interchangeably in many recipes.

Ultimately, if you enjoy seafood, you’re likely to appreciate the delicate and delicious taste of scallops. They are a popular choice for seafood lovers and can be prepared in various ways to highlight their natural flavor.

Scallops with Lemon Garlic Herb Butter

How to Clean a Scallop?

To clean scallops, start by removing the side muscle and other organs from the shell. Rinse the scallop under cold water to remove any remaining debris.

Use a paper towel to pat the scallop dry and remove excess moisture. You can also soak the scallop in a mixture of water and salt for a few minutes to remove any sand or grit.

Pro Tip. Avoid overcooking the scallop, as it can become tough and rubbery.

Enjoy your them in a variety of dishes, such as ceviche or seared scallops with garlic butter.

How Long do You Air Fry Scallops

When air frying scallops, the cooking time will depend on the size and thickness of the scallops, as well as the temperature setting of your air fryer. As a general guideline, you can cook scallops in an air fryer at 400°F (200°C) for approximately 6 to 10 minutes.

Here’s a recommended cooking time for scallops based on their size:

Smaller scallops or bay scallops (about 1/2 inch thick): Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time.

Medium-sized scallops (about 3/4 inch thick): Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Large scallops (about 1 inch thick): Cook for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.

It’s important to keep an eye on the scallops as they cook and adjust the cooking time accordingly. Scallops are ready when they turn opaque and develop a light golden brown crust on the outside. Overcooking can result in rubbery or tough texture, so be mindful of the cooking time.

Restaurant Copycat Recipe for Scallops

How do you cook frozen scallops?

By us, frozen scallops are readily available at our local grocery stores. There are a few places around where we can find fresh, but we generally get the frozen.

To cook frozen scallops, follow these steps:

Thawing (Optional): If you have time, it’s best to thaw frozen scallops in the refrigerator overnight. This allows them to defrost slowly and evenly. Place the frozen scallops in a covered container or sealed bag to prevent any liquid from leaking.

Preheat the oven or stovetop: If you’re using the oven, preheat it to 425°F (220°C). If you prefer stovetop cooking, preheat a skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat.

Pat dry: Whether you’ve thawed the scallops or are cooking them from frozen, make sure to pat them dry with a paper towel. Excess moisture can prevent them from browning properly.

Seasoning: Season the scallops with salt, pepper, and any other desired herbs or spices. You can keep it simple with just salt and pepper or add flavors like garlic powder, paprika, or dried herbs.

Cooking scallops in the oven: Place the scallops on a baking sheet or in a shallow baking dish. Cook for about 12-15 minutes, or until they are opaque and firm to the touch. Cooking times may vary based on the size and thickness of the scallops. Keep a close eye on them to prevent overcooking.

Cooking delicious scallops on the stovetop: Add a small amount of oil or butter to the preheated skillet. Place the scallops in a single layer, leaving space between each scallop. Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until they are opaque and have a golden brown crust. Flip them using tongs or a spatula to cook the other side. This is the best way to cook them if you want that golden and crispy sear on the outside.

Serve and enjoy: Once cooked, remove the scallops from the oven or skillet. Serve them immediately as an appetizer or as part of a main course, such as over a salad or pasta. These are great served with lemon wedges and melted butter. So simple and just delicious.

Note: Cooking times may vary depending on the size and thickness of the scallops, as well as the cooking equipment you’re using. It’s always best to refer to the specific instructions provided on the packaging of the frozen scallops you have, as they may have specific recommendations for cooking from frozen.

How to Store Scallops

Scallops should be stored in the coldest part of your refrigerator, ideally between 32-38°F. Keep them in their original packaging or place them in a sealed container with a damp paper towel to maintain moisture.

It’s important to consume the fresh scallops within 1-2 days of purchase.

Leftover scallops can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. To prevent them from drying out, place a damp paper towel over them before sealing the container.

When reheating, be careful not to overcook them as this can cause them to become tough and rubbery.

Air Fry Scallops in Sauce

Freezing Scallops

If you are not able to use them right away, you can freeze them for up to 3 months.

To freeze, rinse and pat dry the scallops, then place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer them to a airtight container or freezer-safe bag, removing as much air as possible.

Defrost frozen scallops in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.

Easy Air Fryer Recipes

If you love easy air fryer recipes like we do, we have a few more recipes for you to try.

Fried Mushrooms in the Air Fryer

Easy Frozen Egg Rolls in the Air Fryer

Air Fryer Canned Refrigerated Biscuits

Find lots more air fryer recipes.

Easy Air Fryer Scallops with Lemon Garlic Herb Butter
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Easy Air Fryer Scallops with Lemon Garlic Herb Butter

If you’re looking for a quick and delicious seafood dish, look no further than these easy air fryer scallops with lemon garlic herb butter. With just a few simple ingredients, you can have perfectly cooked scallops that are bursting with flavor in no time.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time8 minutes
Total Time18 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 30 minute meal, air fryer recipe, copycat, easy meals, Holiday recipe, restaurant recipe
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 244kcal

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  • 1 Pound Scallops patted dry
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter softened
  • 2 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice freshly squeezed is best
  • 1 Teaspoon Herbs fresh chopped (such as parsley, thyme, or dill)


  • Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for about 5 minutes.
  • In a mixing bowl, toss the scallops with olive oil, salt, and pepper until well coated. Alternatively, you can use a light coating of cooking spray with salt and pepper if you prefer.
  • Place the scallops in a single layer in the air fryer basket, making sure they are not crowded. Cook in
  • Air fry the scallops for 4 minutes, then flip them over using tongs. Cook for an additional 4 minutes until they are opaque and lightly browned.
  • While the scallops are cooking, prepare the lemon garlic herb butter. In a small bowl, combine the softened butter, minced garlic, lemon juice, and chopped fresh herbs. Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
  • Once the scallops are cooked, remove them from the air fryer and let them rest for a minute.
  • Place the cooked scallops in a serving dish and top each scallop with a small dollop of the lemon garlic herb butter.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
  • Serve the Easy Air Fryer Scallops with Lemon Garlic Herb Butter immediately as an appetizer or as a main dish alongside your favorite sides.

Your Own Private Notes


Recipe Tips for Success

Make sure to pat the scallops dry before cooking to ensure they develop a nice golden crust.
Avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket to ensure even cooking. Cook the scallops in batches if necessary.
Feel free to customize the herb butter by using your favorite herbs or adding a pinch of your preferred spices for extra flavor.
Serve the scallops with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and garnish with additional chopped herbs for a vibrant presentation.
Enjoy your Easy Air Fryer Scallops with Lemon Garlic Herb Butter!


Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 535mg | Potassium: 246mg | Fiber: 0.04g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 355IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg


You can find Victoria crocheting, quilting, and creating recipes. She has worked in restaurants for many years. Her many crochet patterns and quilt patterns are enjoyed by many. In her professional career, she has worked in management in a wide variety of businesses including higher education as a dean of a division. All the while attending college part-time to achieve her doctorate in higher education with an emphasis in e-learning.

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