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air fryer scallops

Air Fryer Scallops

Summer Yule
Learn the secret to make the most tender and succulent air fryer scallops even seafood haters enjoy!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 6 mins
Total Time 11 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 329 kcal


  • 1 lb sea scallops (454 grams; I used 12 of these dry scallops)
  • 12 strips bacon (pork bacon with no sugar added, not thick-cut bacon, use one strip bacon per scallop)
  • cooking oil spray (non-aerosol)
  • ¼-½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • lemon zest, ground black pepper, fresh parsley (to taste)
  • 1 quartered fresh lemon (for serving)


  • Note: The article above contains important information on the ingredients! I highly recommend reading it before you begin.
  • Partially air fry one strip of bacon per scallop you're using. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for 5 minutes. Place the bacon on a hot air fryer tray in a single layer. Air fry the bacon for 4 minutes in the top rack position of the air fryer oven. I was able to cook 4 bacon strips at a time, so I cooked them in batches.
  • If your scallops have a tough side muscle, gently remove it (if you wish). Pat your scallops dry with a paper towel.
  • Spray your air fryer tray or air fryer basket with cooking spray.
  • Wrap a partially cooked piece of bacon around each scallop. Secure the bacon ends to the scallop with a toothpick. 
  • Put the wrapped scallops in a single layer on your prepared air fryer tray. Mist the scallops with cooking oil and sprinkle them with Old Bay seasoning.
  • Air fry your bacon-wrapped scallops for 6 minutes in an air fryer preheated to 400°F (200°C). Use the top rack position of the air fryer. Flip the scallops halfway through cooking time (i.e., after 3 minutes) and sprinkle more Old Bay on them.
  • While the scallops cook, melt the butter in a small sauce pan with garlic over medium heat. Be careful not to brown the butter, but you can let it get a little bubbly.
  • Check the scallops with a meat thermometer to ensure they've reached a the safe minimum internal temp of 145°F (63°C).
  • Once the scallops are fully cooked, drizzle them with garlic butter and sprinkle with lemon zest, black pepper, and fresh parsley (if desired). 
  • Don't forget the fresh lemon wedges on the side! A squeeze of fresh lemon juice adds brightness to the dish and is the perfect finishing touch. 


This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Plain scallops are a lean, low calorie protein. However, when you load them up with bacon and butter, you’re packing on the calories and fat. 
I created this recipe in an attempt to win over the scallop haters. I think these yummy scallops might be helpful to certain people who are trying to increase their seafood intake. That said, that doesn’t mean this is a light recipe. 
This tasty appetizer contains more calories from bacon (600 calories) than from scallops (400 calories). There are also nearly as many calories from the butter (300 calories) as we’re getting from scallops. 
I’m totally cool with using bacon and butter for flavor. (Hello, delicious!) However, if you’re trying to lose some weight, it’s good to remember these are energy-dense foods. That means they provide a lot of calories in a relatively small volume. 
One tip if you’re trying to lose weight but not making progress is to look at your intake of added fats. Butter, bacon, and all added oils (including healthy olive oil) add lots of calories to foods quickly. If you’re using a heavy hand adding these to light dishes (roasted veggies, seafood, salad, etc.), it may impede the calorie deficit you need for fat loss. 
On the other hand, if you just want to wow people with an indulgent and delicious appetizer, this is a good option. It’s low effort but impressive, perfect for a celebratory gathering! 
Nutrition information is for one serving of the recipe (3 air fryer scallops). Nutrition information includes the garlic butter but not the lemon juice. 


Calories: 329kcalCarbohydrates: 3.3gProtein: 23.2gFat: 20.8gSaturated Fat: 9.8gSodium: 1000mgFiber: 0.1gVitamin A: 6% DVVitamin C: 1% DVCalcium: 2.1% DVIron: 6.1% DV
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