Gourmet Garlic Parmesan Scallops Made in the Air Fryer

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Welcome to my healthy Air Fryer Garlic and Parmesan Scallops recipe! 

With only minutes of prep time, they can be ready to eat in less than 15 minutes.

Air Fryer Garlic and Parmesan Scallops are delicious with their crispy exterior, tender interior, and irresistible garlic Parmesan flavour.

Air Fryer Scallops On A White Plate

Whether hosting a dinner party or simply treating yourself to a delicious meal, this recipe delivers restaurant-quality results with minimal effort. 

In this recipe, I’ll walk you through step-by-step instructions to create an easy appetiser or the perfect side in your kitchen.

A printable recipe card can be found at the bottom of this post.

Are Scallops Good in the Air Fryer? 

Absolutely! Scallops are a perfect match for the air fryer.

The high heat of the air fryer creates a beautifully crisp crust while locking in the juicy tenderness of the scallops. 

The air fryer uses less oil, making this dish a healthier alternative to deep frying methods.

Cooking display with herbs


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How Long Do You Put Scallops In The Air Fryer?

Cooking times may vary depending on the size and thickness of your scallops, as well as the specific model of your air fryer.

As a general guideline, cook your scallops for approximately 8-10 minutes at 180C / 360F.

Remember to turn them halfway through the cooking process to ensure they brown on both sides. 

Display Of Air Fryer Scallops On A Pretty White Heart Shaped Plate

Air Fryer Garlic Parmesan Scallops


500g fresh scallops, patted dry 

2 cloves garlic, minced or 1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons olive oil

30g grated Parmesan cheese 

1/4 teaspoon salt 

1/4 teaspoon black pepper 

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)

Lemon wedges (for serving) 

How To Air Fry Scallops

Preheat your air fryer to 180C / 360F for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, add the olive oil, minced garlic, grated Parmesan cheese, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.

Add the scallops to the bowl and toss until they are evenly coated with the garlic Parmesan mixture.

Arrange the scallops in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not overcrowded. (Optional: spritz with a cooking spray)

Cook the scallops in the air fryer for 4-5 minutes, then carefully turn them over using silicon tongs. 

Continue to cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the scallops are golden brown and cooked through. 

Once done, remove the scallops from the air fryer and transfer them to a serving plate.

Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve immediately with lemon wedges. 

Why Settle For Mediocre Meals When You Can Achieve Excellence Effortlessly?

The Beginner’s Cheat Sheet is your secret weapon for mastering air frying,ensuring correct timings and temperatures from the very start.

Take the guesswork out of air frying!

Can You Air Fry Scallops From Frozen?

Yes, you can air fry scallops from frozen although fresh is usually best! 

Defrost them overnight in the refrigerator.

Wash with cold water and dry well with kitchen towel.

Follow the same cooking instructions as you would for fresh scallops, but add a few extra minutes to the cooking time. 

Keep an eye on them towards the end to prevent overcooking as they can become rubbery.

More Air Fryer Fish Recipes

Tips For Successful Air Fryer Scallops

Fresh Scallops

Select Fresh, High-Quality Scallops

The key to delicious scallops lies in their freshness. Ideally, opt for fresh sea scallops from a fishmonger or grocery store.

Look for scallops that are firm, moist, and have a sweet aroma.

Dry the Scallops Thoroughly

Before air frying, pat the scallops dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

Dry scallops will sear and brown more evenly in the air fryer, resulting in a golden crust.

Season Well

Don’t be shy with the seasoning! Garlic and Parmesan go well with scallops but feel free to experiment with your favourite herbs and spices.

A generous sprinkle of salt and pepper brings out the scallops’ natural sweetness.

Preheat the Air Fryer

Preheating your air fryer is essential for even cooking and the best results. 

Arrange Scallops in a Single Layer

Arrange the scallops in a single layer in the air fryer basket, leaving some space between each scallop.

Overcrowding the basket can prevent proper air circulation and result in unevenly cooked scallops.

Monitor Cook Time Carefully

Scallops cook quickly, so keep a close eye on them to prevent overcooking.

If overcooked the scallops will be tough and rubbery.

Turn Halfway Through Cooking

For perfectly golden-brown and tender scallops, turn them halfway through the cooking process.

This allows both sides to caramelise while keeping the inside juicy. 

Serve Immediately

Air fryer scallops are best enjoyed fresh out of the fryer, while they’re still hot and crispy. 

Alternative Air Fryer Recipes For Scallops

Citrus-Marinated Scallop Skewers

Marinate scallops in a blend of citrus juices, such as lemon, lime, and orange, along with minced garlic, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of olive oil. 

Thread the marinated scallops onto skewers and air fry until they are tender and infused with zesty flavours.

Bacon-Wrapped Scallop Bites

Why not try surf and turf with these bacon-wrapped scallop bites? 

Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Wrap each scallop in a strip of smoky bacon and secure with a toothpick.

Season with a sprinkle of black pepper and a pinch of brown sugar for a sweet-savoury contrast. 

Air fry until the bacon is crispy and the scallops are cooked to perfection. 

Spicy Sriracha Glazed Scallops

The sriracha complements the sweet taste of the scallops.

Air fry until the scallops are caramelised.

Serve with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Garlic Butter Parmesan Scallops

For a twist on the classic garlic and Parmesan combination, try these garlic butter parmesan scallops. 

Melt butter in a saucepan with minced garlic, chopped parsley, and lemon juice.

Toss the scallops in the garlic lemon butter sauce, then coat them in a mixture of breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.

Air fry until the scallops are golden brown, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

Garlic Butter Scallops

Serving Suggestions

Transform your air fryer garlic and Parmesan scallops into an easy meal with these serving suggestions:

Fresh Salad: Serve your air fryer garlic and parmesan scallops over a crisp, fresh salad bed for a light and refreshing starter. Toss the salad with a vinaigrette made with lemon juice, olive oil, and Dijon mustard.

Creamy Risotto: For a filling main course, pair your scallops with a creamy risotto infused with garlic, parmesan, and fresh herbs.

Crusty Bread: Serve your scallops with crusty bread or garlic bread.  Great for soaking up any remaining garlic butter or parmesan sauce from the scallops.

Pasta: Make a pasta dish by tossing your air fryer scallops with cooked pasta, such as linguine or spaghetti, and a creamy Alfredo sauce.

Add a handful of fresh herbs, such as parsley or basil, and a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese. Serve with a side of garlic bread.

Air Fryer Scallops Served With Pasta

Air Fryer Scallop Storage

Follow these simple guidelines to make sure your scallops stay delicious for as long as possible:

Refrigeration: If you have leftover scallops, transfer them to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. Store them in the refrigerator promptly, ideally within two hours of cooking. Properly refrigerated scallops can last for up to two days.

Keep Them Dry: Moisture is the enemy when it comes to seafood. Place a paper towel in the container with the scallops to absorb any excess moisture and help keep them dry.

Check for Odours: Before eating leftover scallops, sniff them to ensure they still smell fresh. If they develop an off-putting odour or become slimy to the touch, it’s best to discard them to avoid the risk of food poisoning.

Reheating: When ready to enjoy your leftover scallops, reheat them gently to avoid overcooking. The air fryer is an excellent option for reheating scallops, as it can help restore their crispy exterior while keeping the inside tender and moist. Preheat the air fryer to 175C / 350F, place the scallops in the basket in a single layer, and air fry for a few minutes until heated through. Check regularly.

Scallop FAQ’s

Why did my scallops turn out rubbery?

This is most likely due to them being overcooked. You will need to monitor the cooking process closely to avoid this.

How many scallops per person for dinner?

This will depend on the size of your scallops.

For a main course, a common serving size is about 4 to 5 medium scallops per person.

For smaller scallops, you might want to serve a larger quantity around 6 to 10 per person.

Can you eat scallops a little undercooked?

When cooking scallops, it’s important to cook them until they reach an internal temperature of at least 145°F (63°C) to ensure they are free from harmful bacteria.

If you prefer your scallops a little softer or more tender, you can cook them to an internal temperature of around 135°F (57°C) to 140°F (60°C).

Can I use frozen scallops for this recipe?

While fresh scallops are preferred for the best flavour and texture, you can use frozen scallops if fresh ones are not available.

Thaw the frozen scallops thoroughly before cooking by placing them in the refrigerator overnight.

Pat them dry with a paper towel before seasoning and cooking in the air fryer.

What is the best way to season scallops for air frying?

Seasoning scallops for air frying is a simple yet important step.  

Feel free to customise with any seasonings you prefer. 

Can I use a marinade for my scallops before air frying?

You can marinate scallops before air frying for extra flavour.

Opt for a simple marinade made with ingredients such as lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, and fresh herbs.

Marinate the scallops for 15 to 30 minutes before cooking to allow the flavours to infuse.

Be sure to pat the scallops dry before air frying to ensure they turn crispy and brown.

How do I know when scallops are done cooking in the air fryer?

The best way to determine if scallops are done cooking in the air fryer is by checking their internal temperature with a meat thermometer.

Scallops are cooked through when they reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).

Look for a golden brown crust on the outside of the scallops and a tender, opaque interior.

Avoid overcooking the scallops, as they can become tough and rubbery.

Can I prepare the garlic and parmesan topping in advance?

You can prepare the garlic and parmesan topping for your scallops in advance to speed up the cooking process.

Simply mix minced garlic, grated parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a bowl, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Allow the topping to come to room temperature before sprinkling it over the scallops before air frying.

Can I make this recipe dairy-free? 

Yes, if you’re dairy-free, you can omit the Parmesan cheese or substitute it with a dairy-free alternative, such as vegan Parmesan. 


Hi, I’m Annemarie

Having recently retired, I found myself yearning for a new project to channel my energy.

That’s when the idea struck to create a dedicated UK air frying website.

Combining my passion for cooking and the desire to promote healthy eating in busy households, I began developing a collection of recipes tailored for those looking for quick and nutritious meals.

Join me on my journey and discover delicious ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle without compromising on taste.

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