Crowd-pleasing air fryer bacon wrapped scallops are cooked in a delicious maple syrup glaze to create a sweet and savory appetizer perfect for holidays, dinner parties, and game day!
This Bacon Wrapped Scallops air fryer recipe is a fantastic appetizer for holidays like New Year's Eve and Christmas and game days like the Super Bowl.
Scallops are wrapped in bacon, then brushed with a soy sauce and maple syrup glaze that's seasoned with parsley and freshly ground salt and pepper. Air fry until the bacon is crispy and the result is a mouth-watering, sweet and savory delight!
You'll love air fryer bacon wrapped scallops because you can use frozen or fresh scallops. You can even prepare them ahead of time, store them in the freezer, and air fry later on. This is a great time-saver for the busy Christmas season!
Bacon wrapped scallops also make a wonderful main dish for dinner. They are simple, quick, and use just a few everyday ingredients.
One of my favorite ways to serve air fried bacon wrapped scallops for dinner is as a one pan meal in my Instant Omni Plus air fryer oven. Halfway through cooking, toss in fresh green beans or asparagus and you've got a delicious, comforting dinner.
Whether you're serving them as an appetizer or dinner, air fried bacon wrapped scallops are sure to please everyone!
Helpful Cooking Tips
- If you have a choice between using a basket-style air fryer and oven-style air fryer, go with the oven. Using the pan instead of a basket allows the scallops to air fry in the maple syrup marinade. It's more flavorful this way!
- Always pat the moisture out of the thawed scallops before wrapping them. Using paper towels, gently squeeze the scallops dry.
- There is no need to turn the scallops half way through cooking, unless you prefer to.
- While one third of a slice of bacon wraps perfectly around my large bay scallops, always test a slice before cutting all of the bacon. If your scallops are bigger, you may need to use one half slice of bacon per scallop.
- Don't forget to brush half of the marinade on the scallops half way through cooking. For an extra flavorful glaze, brush them again (using a clean baster) with the glaze on the bottom of the pan or air fryer once they are done air frying. This is equivalent to scraping the brown bits from pan frying into your recipe. Yum!
- large scallops
- maple syrup
- soy sauce
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
You'll also need toothpicks to secure the bacon around the scallops.
What To Serve With Bacon Wrapped Scallops
As an appetizer, air fryer bacon wrapped scallops need nothing but the glaze they are coated in. As part of a dinner, serve them with:
- Air Fryer Asparagus Parmesan
- Crispy Air Fried Green Beans
- Rosemary Garlic Baby Potatoes (air fryer recipe)
- Over fresh greens, like arugula, kale, or a spring mix blend of lettuce.
- Roasted vegetables, such as broccolini, sugar snap peas, or carrots.
- Alongside a fresh garden salad.
STEP 1: Wrap each scallop in one third slice of bacon (or ½ slice if using jumbo scallops). Secure by inserting a toothpick into the bacon and through the scallop.
STEP 2: Preheat your air fryer to 400°F or 204°C. Once heated, arrange the scallops in the air fryer basket or on the tray. Make sure they do not touch.
STEP 3: In a small bowl, mix together the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic powder, parsley, salt, and black pepper. Brush the scallops with half of the sauce. Air fry for 12 minutes. Halfway through, brush with the remaining sauce. Check the scallops after 12 minutes. If you want the bacon crispier, cook for 2 more minutes or until the bacon is crisped to your liking.
STEP 4: Remove scallops from the air fryer and transfer to a serving dish. Brush with additional glaze from the bottom of the air fryer basket if desired.
I find this recipe works best in my Instant Pot Omni Plus air fryer, which is an oven-style air fryer. But I have also used my Instant Pot Duo Crisp air fryer lid and basket, and they are still delicious!
Yes, frozen scallops can be used as opposed to fresh scallops. You can thaw them before wrapping them in bacon, and then follow the recipe given here. Or, wrap your frozen scallops in bacon and air fry them from frozen. There should be insignificant, if any, changes to the timing.
This is an understandable concern since scallops cook quickly. When overcooked, they turn rubbery, and no one likes rubbery seafood! But one of the best parts about this recipe is that even when using fresh or thawed scallops and air frying them for 12-14 minutes, they will not overcook.
Why? Because fat from the bacon keeps them moist and prevents them from drying out or turning rubbery before the bacon is done!
Yes! Air fried bacon wrapped scallops are great for preparing ahead of time, freezing, then air frying straight from the freezer. This makes them great for the busy holiday season.
Keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days in an airtight container or in the freezer for up to 2 months in a freezer safe bag.
Reheat in the air fryer at 400F for 2 to 3 minutes. To reheat frozen bacon wrapped scallops, air fry for 4-5 minutes to defrost and reheat.
Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Scallops
- basting brush
- Wrap each scallop in one third slice of bacon. Secure with a toothpick.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F/204°C. Once heated, arrange the bacon wrapped scallops in the basket or on the tray so they are not touching.
- In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic powder, parsley, salt, and black pepper. Brush scallops with half of the sauce. Cook for 12 minutes. Halfway through, brush with the remaining sauce. Check scallops after 12 minutes. If you want the bacon crispier, cook for 2 more minutes or until crisped to your liking.
- Remove scallops from the air fryer and transfer to a serving dish. Brush with additional glaze from the bottom of the air fryer basket if desired.