Air Fryer Scallops

by KetoFocus.com
5 Stars (2 Reviews) 2 Comments
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Looking to impress some guests but don’t have much time to cook? Topped with a buttery, lemon cream sauce, these air fryer scallops are the way to go!

Keto Scallops With Garlic Lemon Cream Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 pound large sea scallops
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon white wine
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • pinch of salt

Air Fryer Scallops Directions

Latest Keto Dishes

Keto Seared Scallops Recipe

a plate of scallops sit in front of an air fryer

Cooking scallops in the air fryer can make your dinner feel extremely luxurious and they only take a few minutes to cook! It is also such a quick and easy way to make perfectly juicy cooked, seared scallops, especially if you’re having guests over for dinner or need to serve a fancy appetizer. The garlic along with the lemon cream sauce will add a little zest to the meal and make them taste even more exquisite. You’re surely to impress anyone you’re serving these tender sea scallops too!

Plus if you are on a keto or low carb diet, these scallops are for you! Most people think of bacon wrapped scallops as an easy keto dinner you can have, but there are other ways to enjoy a scallop without wrapping it in bacon! The garlic butter sauce is low carb and thickened with cream. It makes a tasty way to make keto scallops.

cooked scallops sitting in a creamy sauce

Benefits of Cooking Scallops in the Air Fryer

Cooking scallops in an air fryer makes them juicer than if they are cooked with other methods. Air frying also gives them a nice sear on the outside, adding a little crispy layer to the outside and it only takes a few minutes to cook them!

a juicy scallop on an air fryer tray

Do You Have to Line Your Air Fryer with Parchment Paper Or Foil?

If you are using an air fryer with a tray, you don’t need to line your air fryer with parchment paper or foil. If your air fryer has a non-stick coating, you can just give it a quick spray with cooking spray and it will be fine. If your air fryer only has a wired basket, you may need to line your basket with parchment paper or foil. You can poke holes in the paper or foil to allow for better air circulation. You can even purchase perforated sheets of parchment paper made specifically for air fryers.

picking up a scallop with a seafood fork

Tips for Juicy Scallops

Here are some helpful tips for cooking juicy keto scallops in your air fryer:

  1. Pat excess moisture from the scallops. Moisture on top of the scallop will yield a dry scallop when baking in the air fryer.
  2. Only put salt on the scallops right before you fry in the air fryer. Salt will absorb moisture from the inside of the scallop, which may result in dry scallops.
  3. Spray scallops lightly with cooking spray.

How Long to Cook Scallops in the Air Fryer

Luckily, it doesn’t take very long to cook these keto scallops in the air fryer. It only takes 6 minutes in total to cook this seafood delight if they are fresh!

When Do you Know Scallops Are Done Cooking?

The best way to check if your scallops have finished cooking is to take the internal temperature of each scallop and check that they are at least 130 F. This is the perfect temperature for scallops as they become tender and delicious. Careful as the scallops will not turn brown in the air fryer, so do not leave them until the crust gets golden.

Top with the garlic lemon cream sauce provided or make a creamy sauce with crumbled bacon for a little extra flavor and fat.

spooning a lemony sauce all over a scallop

Do you have to preheat the air fryer?

Yes, preheat your air fryer only for around 4-5 minutes at 400 degrees. This is the best way to ensure your low carb scallops are perfectly cooked. Spray your scallops or your air fryer basket with a little bit of olive oil cooking spray if you are afraid of getting dry scallops.

Selecting Fresh Sea Scallops

When choosing fresh sea scallops, you’ll want to pick out firm and dry ones with a texture which is similar to pork chops. Avoid shiny, wet scallops or soft scallops, the same as when you’re buying other fish. You might also want to look out for the smell as they should smell of saltwater or even seaweed as this would indicate that they are freshly caught.

Garlic Butter Cream Sauce

The melted butter, lemon cream sauce pairs perfectly with these scallops. Mix a little bit of garlic and butter with lemon, cream and white wine for the ultimate flavor topping to your seared scallops. If you don’t want to use butter, you can use olive oil instead.

Other seasonings you can add to your sauce are cajun seasoning, garlic powder (if you don’t have fresh or minced garlic on hand) and thyme.

juicy scallops with lemon sauce on a white plate

Sea Scallops vs Bay Scallops

The most obvious difference between bay scallops and sea scallops is the size. Bay scallops are one of the smallest type of scallops, whereas sea scallops are one of the biggest. Sea scallops are nearly three times the size of bay scallops. When it comes to taste, bay scallops tend to be sweeter and more tender than sea scallops. Bay scallops also cook much quicker than sea scallops!

Bay scallops are typically found in the shallow bay waters with their peak season being fall and they typically cost less than sea scallops. They are also considered to be less luxurious.

How Long Do Scallops Stay Fresh?

You can use fresh or frozen scallops in this recipe.

Fresh scallops should not be kept in the refrigerator for more than two days. They are ideally used within one day.

Frozen scallops should be thawed in a bowl of cold water for about 10-20 minutes until they are thawed completely. They can also be thawed overnight in the refrigerator if you have enough time. Before searing, make sure to pat dry scallops with a paper towel to absorb all the moisture.

Try These Other Seafood Recipes

Here are some of my favorite low carb seafood recipes you should try:

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2 Comments

  1. Delicious! The sauce was a hit with my husband too (he’s always leery if he knows I’m making anything Keto). I’ve watched enough of your great videos to know that prepping the ingredients is the key to a flawless cooking experience. Not sure I could have pulled it off if I hadn’t since the scallops cook quick. Thanks for the great addition to my Keto arsenal!

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