Easy Air Fryer Breaded Scallops with Parmesan and Panko

I’m a big fan of seafood in general, but scallops have to be one of my absolute favorites. But don’t let them intimidate you when it comes to cooking them! These air fryer breaded scallops with panko and parmesan are easy, impressive, and delicious.

how to make panko breaded scallops in the air fryer dinners done quick

Why You Need This Recipe

I mean, sure, you can buy frozen pre-breaded scallops. But here, you can make a much more delicious option seasoned just to your liking and it’s nearly just as simple.

Making scallops in the air fryer is awesome because it takes a lot of the guesswork out of cooking. There’s no more fretting about that perfect sear or overcooking and making them too rubbery.

Your air fryer delivers everything you want in a breaded scallop: a crispy, browned exterior, and a moist, perfectly cooked interior. The panko adds crunch while the parmesan adds some salt and flavor. They’re delicious!

panko breaded scallop on a fork

Make sure to check out some of our other best air fryer scallop recipes for other great options to try!

Shopping List: Ingredients

air fryer breaded scallops ingredients
  • 12 ounces of sea scallops (defrosted if previously frozen)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay)
  • 2 Tbsp butter or margarine
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Nonstick spray
  • Lemon wedges and fresh parsley for garnish

Ingredient Substitutions, Tips, and Variations

  • Scallops. This recipe works best with sea scallops versus the smaller bay scallops. It should be approximately 8-10 large scallops to get to this weight. You’ll also want to start with fresh or defrosted – using frozen causes the breading to fall off
  • Seasonings. These can be adjusted in quantity or type to your preferences, but this is a good starting point. Cajun seasoning is another good option if you like more spice
  • Butter. If you want to substitute olive oil or another similar type of oil, that’s fine
  • Panko. Seasoned panko is better, but you can use plain. I do recommend adding some additional salt and pepper if you use plain. You can also substitute regular breadcrumbs or seasoned breadcrumbs if desired

How to Make Air Fryer Breaded Scallops

  1. Pat your scallops dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture
pat scallops dry with a paper towel
  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F
  2. In one bowl, melt your butter. Using a second bowl, combine the panko, parmesan, garlic powder and Old Bay seasoning. Pro tip: Microwave your butter for about 30 seconds to easily melt it
melt butter in one bowl and combine panko, parmesan, garlic powder, and old bay seasoning in the other
  1. Season each with pepper to taste (about ⅛ – ¼ tsp should suffice). If you used unsalted butter, add a little salt here as well
season both bowls with pepper
  1. Dip the scallops in the butter, then press into the panko mixture, making sure to coat them well
dip scallop in melted butter and then coat in panko breadcrumb mixture
  1. Spray your air fryer basket with nonstick spray
spray air fryer basket with oil
  1. Add your breaded scallops to the preheated air fryer basket in a single layer. Cook in batches if necessary so as to not overcrowd
place breaded scallops in the air fryer basket
  1. Spray them with an additional spritz of olive oil spray for a crispier coating (optional)
  2. Cook scallops on the air fry setting for 10-15 minutes at 400°F, flipping halfway (and reapplying more oil if desired)
  3. Scallops are cooked when the internal temperature reaches at least 125°F
  4. Squeeze a little lemon juice over top and garnish with fresh parsley
squeeze lemon on air fried scallops to season and garnish

What to Serve With Breaded Scallops

Recipe FAQs

Can I Cook Frozen Breaded Scallops in An Air Fryer?

Yes, you can cook frozen breaded scallops in an air fryer, if they are pre-breaded and frozen that way. Cook them for 10-12 minutes at 400°F.

If you are breading your own, you will want to defrost the scallops first to reduce moisture, which keeps the breading from falling off.

How Do You Reheat Breaded Scallops in the Air Fryer?

To reheat breaded scallops, cook in the air fryer for 3-5 minutes at 350°F, or until they are hot in the center.

This assumes you are just reheating previously cooked breaded scallops that have been stored in the refrigerator.

What Temperature to Cook Breaded Scallops in An Air Fryer?

Breaded scallops should be cooked at a temperature of 390°F – 400°F in an air fryer. This ensures the breading will crisp while the scallop inside will cook.

Lower temperatures tend to result in soggy breading or a raw scallop in the middle.

Recipe Pro Tips

  • If desired, you can use a food processor to combine the panko and parmesan for a finer grained coating
  • To get rid of any fishy smell, you can soak your raw scallops in milk. Just make sure to pat them dry well before breading
  • My scallops were cooked perfectly after 10 minutes in a Ninja Dual Zone air fryer. Other makes and models may vary slightly
  • Even if you “overcook” your scallops slightly, they are still juicy and delicious. I’ve gotten a temperature read of 145°F when I lost track of time and they were completely fine (not rubbery)
  • Flipping the scallops is really important. The bottom is going to be wet at the halfway point, so flipping it allows it to get air for better crisping. That said, you will likely lose a little breading in the flipping process. Use tongs or a spatula and try to be gentle!
closeup of panko breaded scallops from the air fryer

Other Air Fryer Scallop Recipes to Try

Final Thoughts

Air fryer breaded scallops are so easy to make you’ll want them all the time!  This version features parmesan and panko for a crunchy crust, but you can adjust ingredients and seasonings to create all sorts of different flavors.

Pair them with your favorite grains, pasta, veggies, and sides to create an easy meal. They even reheat well the next day for lunch!

how to make panko breaded scallops in the air fryer dinners done quick featured image

Air Fryer Breaded Sea Scallops (Easy Recipe with Parmesan and Panko)

Air fryer breaded scallops are browned and crisp outside, with juicy perfectly cooked scallops inside. This easy recipe features parmesan and panko for crust and flavor.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Seafood
Servings 3
Calories 439 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 12 Ounces sea scallops (defrosted if previously frozen)
  • 1 Tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tsp seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay)
  • 2 Tbsp butter or margarine
  • ¼ Cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ Cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Nonstick spray
  • Lemon wedges and fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions
 

  •  Pat your scallops dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture
    12 Ounces sea scallops
  • Preheat your air fryer to 400°F
  • In one bowl, melt your butter. Using a second bowl, combine the panko, parmesan, garlic powder and Old Bay seasoning. Pro tip: Microwave your butter for about 30 seconds to easily melt it
    1 Tsp garlic powder, 2 Tbsp butter or margarine, ¼ Cup panko breadcrumbs, ¼ Cup parmesan cheese, 1 Tsp seafood seasoning
  • Season each with pepper to taste (about ⅛ – ¼ tsp should suffice). If you used unsalted butter, add a little salt here as well
    Salt and pepper
  • Dip the scallops in the butter, then press into the panko mixture, making sure to coat them well
  • Spray your air fryer basket with nonstick spray
    Nonstick spray
  • Add your breaded scallops to the preheated air fryer basket in a single layer. Cook in batches if necessary so as to not overcrowd
  • Spray them with an additional spritz of olive oil spray for a crispier coating (optional)
  • Cook scallops on the air fry setting for 10-15 minutes at 400°F, flipping halfway (and reapplying more oil if desired)
  • Scallops are cooked when the internal temperature reaches at least 125°F
  • Squeeze a little lemon juice over top and garnish with fresh parsley
    Lemon wedges and fresh parsley for garnish

Notes

  • This recipe works best with sea scallops versus the smaller bay scallops. It should be approximately 8-10 large scallops to get to this weight. You’ll also want to start with fresh or defrosted – using frozen causes the breading to fall off
  • Feel free to adjust seasoning quantity or type to your preferences, but this is a good starting point. Cajun seasoning is another good option if you like more spice
  • If you want to substitute olive oil or another similar type of oil in place of butter, that’s fine
  • Seasoned panko is better, but you can use plain as well. You can also substitute regular breadcrumbs or seasoned breadcrumbs if desired
  • If desired, you can use a food processor to combine the panko and parmesan for a finer grained coating
  • To get rid of any fishy smell, you can soak your raw scallops in milk. Just make sure to pat them dry well before breading
  • My scallops were cooked perfectly after 10 minutes in a Ninja Dual Zone air fryer. Other makes and models may vary slightly
  • Even if you “overcook” your scallops slightly, they are still juicy and delicious. I’ve gotten a temperature read of 145°F when I lost track of time and they were completely fine (not rubbery)
  • Flipping the scallops is really important. The bottom is going to be wet at the halfway point, so flipping it allows it to get air for better crisping. That said, you will likely lose a little breading in the flipping process. Use tongs, a spatula, or a fork (don’t shake the basket) – try to be gentle!
  • Exact nutritional values will vary based on brand of ingredients, amount of seasoning,  and actual quantity consumed, so please consider this a guideline only

Nutrition

Serving: 371.6gCalories: 439kcalCarbohydrates: 11.2gProtein: 63.5gFat: 14.4gSaturated Fat: 7.8gCholesterol: 146mgSodium: 808mgPotassium: 1107mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 0.3gCalcium: 256mgIron: 1mg
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how to make panko breaded scallops in the air fryer dinners done quick pinterest
Katie Vine