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Lemon Butter Air Fryer Scallops

Ready in under 10 minutes, these lemon butter air fryer scallops are the easiest gourmet meal! Succulent scallops are drizzled in a savory, buttery sauce for the best seafood dinner.

Buttery scallops perfectly cooked in the air fryer in under 10 minutes.

How long to cook scallops in the air fryer?

It will depend on the size of your scallops of course, but most will cook within 6-10 minutes.

If your scallops are fairly small (about the size of those pictured in this blog post), they will cook in 6-7 minutes. If you have larger bay scallops, you’ll need to cook them longer (about 10-12) minutes.

The key is to watch the scallops closely around 6-7 minutes and remove them once they are just turning white in the center. I like to cut one in half if I’m uncertain.

LOOKING FOR MORE: Check out all of our air fryer recipes.

Extreme close up shot of scallops on a plate with lemon butter sauce and capers on top

But why air fried scallops?

We usually just cook scallops on the stovetop, but decided to try them out in our new air fryer.

The nice thing about cooking scallops in the air fryer is that you don’t have to clean up the entire stove after cooking! Usually frying scallops results in a lot of splatter and mess on the stovetop.

Using the air fryer, everything is contained and the mess is much easier to clean up. You’ll just use the stovetop for simmering the sauce, which won’t make a mess.

Cooked scallops in a bowl over cauliflower rice and wilted greens

What to serve with this easy scallop recipe

We like to let the scallops be the star of the show, so we usually pair them with a simple side like roasted broccolini or asparagus. These easy sides are perfect for this recipe because you can use the lemon butter sauce on the veggies too!

Other serving options are:

  • With some wilted greens
  • Over cauliflower rice or white rice
  • With any roasted veggies
  • Over fresh greens with any citrus fruit
  • With polenta, couscous or lentils
Straight on close up shot of cooked scallops with caper butter sauce

Your turn to try these buttery scallops

Whip out your air fryer for this quick and easy scallop recipe! You’ll love how fast everything cooks and you can have a gourmet looking dinner in around 10 minutes.

Leave a rating and review below to let us know how it goes and take a pic to share on Instagram. Tag us @realsimplegood, so we can check it out. We love to see what you’re cooking!

Air fryer scallops over wilted greens and cauliflower rice with text overlay at top.

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Split image with text in middle. Close up of scallops and sauce on top and overhead of scallops on a plate with lemon butter sauce on bottom

Lemon butter air fryer scallops on a white plate with butter sauce and capers on top. Lemon slices and capers in the side.

Lemon Butter Air Fryer Scallops

4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Servings: 3
Calories: 211kcal
Ready in 10 minutes, these succulent air fryer scallops are drizzled in a savory, buttery sauce for the easiest gourmet meal!
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  • 1 lb scallops
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • avocado oil cooking spray (or oil of choice)

For the lemon butter sauce:

  • 3 tbsp butter (or ghee)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (about 1/2 medium lemon)
  • 2-3 tbsp capers, drained
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  • Rinse scallops and dry them completely with a paper towel. Season scallops with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Prepare and gather remaining ingredients as noted to have them ready.
  • Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil. Preheat the air fryer (if yours preheats) to 400° Fahrenheit.
  • Place the scallops in the air fryer and cook for 6-10 minutes, flipping halfway. Depending on the size of your scallops, you may need to cook them a little more or less than 10 minutes. Watch them carefully after 5-6 minutes of cooking and remove them as soon as they are opaque and cooked through.
  • While the scallops are cooking, add butter to a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Once the butter is melted, add in the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add in the lemon juice and capers and turn heat to the lowest setting. Simmer until the scallops are done.
  • When the scallops are finished, place them on a plate for serving. Drizzle the scallops with the butter sauce all over and place any remaining sauce in a ramekin for dipping. Serve and enjoy.


  • Nutrition details provided are per serving and an estimate provided for those following a Ketogenic or low-carb diet. See our full nutrition information disclosure here

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 211kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Fiber: 1g
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2 thoughts on “Lemon Butter Air Fryer Scallops

  • Delish! Scallops have to be cooked just right or they turn to rubber. This recipe allowed me to cook them to perfection; 1 lb for 8 minutes.

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