This easy recipe for air fryer scallops wrapped in bacon is a delicious combination of juicy scallops with crispy bacon. With only a few simple ingredients and 20 minutes you can make a dinner that looks and tastes like a gourmet meal.
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This scallop dish is the ultimate elegant but easy dinner. It looks impressive and fancy, but is ready in just 20 minutes.
This is a great meal to make for a date night or for a special Valentine’s Day dinner. It is also a keto friendly recipe with 1 net carb per scallop.
Sea Scallops or Bay Scallops?
This recipe is for sea scallops, not bay scallops. Although the two have similar names they cook quite differently.
Sea scallops are larger and not as sweet as bay scallops. Because of bay scallops small size they cook more quickly and you can’t really use them in this recipe because they cook much faster than the bacon.
What Size Sea Scallops?
It can be a little confusing to buy sea scallops, because they are labeled by numbers to indicate how many of them are in a pound. So if the scallops are labeled 20/30 means that there are 20-30 in a pound.
For this recipe larger scallops are better, so you want to buy scallops labeled U/10 or U/15. The ‘U’ stands for under and the labels mean there are under 10 or under 15 scallops in a pound.
Using these larger U/10 or U/15 scallops will ensure that the bacon and scallops cook at the same rate, which will give you a tasty and delicious dinner.
If you can’t find scallops that are large you will end up with either over cooked scallops or under cooked bacon, neither of which is very appetizing. So if you can’t find large scallops I’d suggest using a different recipe, like pan seared scallops.
Fresh or Frozen Scallops?
You can use either fresh or frozen scallops in this recipe. But if you use frozen scallops they need to be thawed overnight in the refrigerator before cooking. Don’t try to air fry frozen scallops in this recipe.
This is a very simple recipe with not too many ingredients beyond the sea scallops. You will also need:
- olive oil
- grated Parmesan cheese
- seasonings – garlic powder, salt, pepper
How to Make Bacon Wrapped Scallops
1. Preheat the Air Fryer
There are some recipes for which you can skip preheating the air fryer and still get good results. This isn’t one of them. So preheat the air fryer to 350 F for 3-5 minutes while you prepare the scallops.
2. Prepare the Scallops
Take the scallops out of their packaging and pat them dry with paper towels. They will cook better if they are completely dry.
Then put them in a bowl and add the olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Toss them to make sure they are covered with the seasonings.
3. Wrap the Scallops
Cut each piece of bacon lengthwise into two long strips. This is important – don’t cut the bacon in half into two short strips!
The diameter of the salmon is large enough that a long, lengthwise piece of bacon will fit around the scallop better. The bacon will wrap around more than once and stick to the scallop.
4. Air Fry the Scallops
Put the scallops in the preheated air fryer basket and cook at 350 F for 9-10 minutes. You can use parchment paper in the basket if you don’t have a non-stick basket surface. For best results flip the scallops with tongs half way through cooking.
5. Check the Scallops
The best way to check if the scallops are done is to check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. Scallops are best between 130 F – 140 F.
If you don’t have a thermometer cut the scallops in half and the inside should be opaque and white when they are done. But you should consider getting a thermometer, because I consider it an essential cooking tool that will really make cooking simpler.
When you saute scallops they get brown and crusty on top as they are seared. Air fryer scallops will be cooked through before they are very brown on top, so you can’t really use the outside appearance to judge doneness.
Once the scallops are done take them out and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top.
Can I Cook this in the Oven?
You can cook these scallops in the oven. I’d suggest putting them in the oven on broil and broiling them for 14 minutes.
How Many Does this Serve?
This recipe uses a pound of scallops, so logically it would seem it would serve 3-4 people. But 2 or 3 scallops per person just doesn’t seem like enough!
So I’d say this recipe makes 2 generous servings or 3 small servings. Use your own judgement based on how your family eats!
How to Serve Air Fryer Scallops
I like to serve these scallops over spinach or other greens. The greens add color and complement the delicate taste of the scallops.
These are excellent with a simple side dish like orzo pasta salad or a summer vegetable like corn on the cob. Scallops are a delicious succulent and tender light dinner, so serve them with side dishes that are light and fresh.
Find More Easy Dinners
- 1 pound sea scallops (about 10), size U/10 or U/15
- 5 pieces bacon
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the air fryer to 350 F for 3 minutes.
- Pat the scallops dry with paper towels. The scallops will cook best if they are completely dry.
- Put the scallops in a bowl and toss them with the olive oil, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Toss them to distribute the spices.
- Cut the bacon in half lengthwise to make two long piecees out of each. Don't cut them into two short pieces, they will be too short to wrap around the scallops.
- Wrap a piece of bacon around each scallop and place them in the air fryer basket.
- Cook in the air fryer at 350 F for 9-10 minutes. Use tongs to flip the scallops over after 5 minutes.
- Test the temperature of the scallops with an instant read thermometer. They should reach 130 F.
- Take the scallops out of the air fryer and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.
Don't use bay scallops for this recipe.
Sea scallops are labeled by how many are in a pound. You want ones labeled between U/10 to U/15 for this recipe. This means under 10 or under 15 per pound.
If you use frozen scallops make sure they are completely thawed overnight in the refrigerator before cooking them.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 441Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 126mgSodium: 2246mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 58g
Nutrition facts are estimates.