If you love scallops, this quick and easy air fried scallops recipe is going to become your new favorite scallops recipe. These air fryer scallops are cooked to perfection and topped with a dill garlic butter sauce. Serve with pasta or zucchini zoodles!
Mr. Fearless Dining and I love to try new scallop recipes when we dine out. Our very favorites so far are from a few years ago when we were in Hawaii. I have been on a quest to recreate that recipe for some time.
It is really hard to get fresh scallops, and getting that perfect sear on previously frozen scallops can be a challenge. This is one reason I love using my air fryer to cook scallops. Scallops in the air fryer seem to caramelize in a delicious way, in just minutes!
I paired this air fryer scallops recipe with a fresh dill garlic butter sauce. Drizzle this buttery sauce over the scallops for a delicious dinner that can’t be beaten.
It is really easy to grow herbs in your kitchen window, and using fresh herbs adds the best flavor to your recipes. If you love cooking with fresh herbs, here are some more delicious gluten free recipes with fresh herbs.
Why this air fried scallops recipe is great:
One of the reasons I love this air-fried scallops recipe is because the air fryer adds an almost caramelized flavor to the scallops. This recipe pulls together in under 20 minutes, and it tastes incredible.
If you love air fryer recipes, give my Air Fryer Catfish recipe a try next. It is crispy and delicious.
If you are trying to decide on what air fryer to get, I have a great list of the best air fryers for gluten free. I include a great pros and cons list for each model.
- Scallops – You can use fresh or frozen scallops for this recipe. If your store doesn’t have scallops, feel free to substitute shrimp.
- Dill – I love the flavor of fresh dill in this recipe. Dried dill will also work if you can’t find fresh dill in your produce section at your grocery store.
- Butter – Use non-salted butter. If you are dairy-free, you can use vegan butter.
- Parmesan – Sprinkling parmesan cheese over the scallops is optional but adds even more flavor. VioLife makes a dairy-free parmesan that is very good if you are dairy-free.
How to quickly thaw scallops:
Many ask if you can cook frozen scallops in the air fryer. The answer is yes, you can, but it will impact the texture. Thawing frozen scallops is so fast, and the flavor benefit is so high it is worth thawing them.
Take your frozen scallops and put them into a bowl. Fill the bowl with warm water. Let them sit for 5 minutes, then drain the cold water and fill the bowl again with warm water.
Repeat if you have a lot of scallops in the bowl. The scallops should thaw in about 15 minutes. (Note that large scallops will take a little longer to thaw than smaller scallops.)
Recipe step-by-step directions:
Step 1: Rinse your scallops if they are not frozen. Pat them dry carefully with a paper towel to remove the excess water. This will make your scallops’ texture so much better. Overly wet scallops can get very rubbery, so always dry them off before cooking.
Step 2: Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil. Make sure to use a high-heat oil like avocado or canola. Place the scallops in the air fryer.
Make sure they are not touching each other. This will help the air circulate the scallops so they cook evenly. Sprinkle each scallop with salt and pepper. Spray the tops with more cooking oil.
Step 3: Cook the scallops at 375º F for 11 minutes.
Step 4: Time to make the sauce! In a small skillet, add the butter and garlic. Cook on medium heat until the butter is melted.
Step 5: Add in the fresh dill, salt, and pepper.
Step 6: Reduce the cooking heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer for 5 minutes.
Step 7: Add the cooked scallops and toss to coat them in the sauce. Optional: Garnish with fresh parmesan cheese.
Serve with cooked rice, pasta, or zucchini zoodles.
Tips and Recipe FAQ:
I always recommend using an oil that can tolerate high heat. Good high-heat oils include avocado, coconut, canola, and grapeseed.
Scallops have a somewhat translucent color when they are raw. You will know your scallops are cooked when they lose the translucence and are more white.
If your scallops turned out rubbery, they were too wet before cooking. Be sure to really pat dry your scallops before cooking them.
I currently own the Corsori 3.4 quart Air Fryer. I love it, and it is easy to use and very easy to clean, but for a family of four, it is too small. I am getting ready to upgrade to their 5.8 quart size so I can cook the whole meal at once instead of batch-cooking it all.
You can use dried dill in this recipe, but the flavor will be a little different. Note that you will need less dried herbs than fresh when cooking.
These scallops in dill garlic butter will keep fresh for up to 3 days in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.
More gluten free seafood recipes:
If you love seafood, here are 50 delicious gluten free seafood recipes to try.
- This Air Fryer Cod recipe is getting rave reviews!
- Grilled Mahi Mahi is cooked in foil packets with the veggies!
- Everyone loves this Grilled Halibut recipe. It is quick and easy.
- My Grilled Coho Salmon recipe is great for home or camping!
Air Fryer Scallops in a Dill Garlic Butter Sauce
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- 16 ounces scallops * see note
- 3 tablespoons butter unsalted
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh dill
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- black pepper to taste
- If your scallops are frozen, thaw in a bowl of warm water for 15 minutes. Change the water once to rewarm the water. Once thawed, pat them dry with a paper towel.
- If your scallops are fresh, pat them dry to absorb the extra moisture.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400º F for 2 minutes.
- Spray the basket with a cooking oil that tolerates high heat. I like to use either avocado oil or canola.
- Add the scallops to the air fryer basket. Make sure the scallops are not touching each other. It is important that the air is able to circulate around each scallop.
- Dust each scallop with salt and pepper. Spray oil over the scallops and close the air fryer.
- Cook for 6 minutes. Open the air fryer and turn the scallops over. Cook 2-3 more minutes.
- While the scallops are cooking, add the butter and garlic to a saucepan. Cook over medium heat. Cook 2 minutes then add the fresh dill. Stir and turn the heat down to simmer. Cook 5 minutes.
- Place the scallops in the dill garlic butter sauce and mix to coat.
- Serve hot with rice, pasta, or zucchini zoodles.
- Try to use a sustainable caught wild scallop. I like to use the Open Nature brand.
- Many ask if you can cook frozen scallops in your air fryer. Cooking them frozen has a lot of potential to make your scallops gummy. It only takes 15 minutes at the most to thaw your scallops. Just put them in warm water as I mentioned above.
- You can use dried dill if you can’t find fresh dill in your market. Use 2 teaspoons of dried dill.
- These scallops will keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.
Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.
Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.
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