how to air fry frozen scampi

How to Air Fry Frozen Scampi


Scampi is a type of seafood that is widely popular due to its delicious taste and health benefits. While it can be cooked in various ways, more people are choosing to air fry their scampi for a healthier, quicker way to enjoy this seafood delicacy. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to air fry frozen scampi and enjoy every bite.

Making the Best Out of Frozen Scampi with Your Air Fryer

As you prepare to cook your scampi in an air fryer, it is important to know how to set up your cooking environment and seize the day. Below are some useful tips on how to get the best results:

Preparing Your Frozen Scampi for Air Frying

To start with, make sure you choose high-quality scampi from a reputable supplier. This ensures you have the best-tasting scampi that will cook well in an air fryer.

Before setting them out for cooking, it is important to thaw your frozen scampi so that they cook evenly. Allow them to defrost overnight in the refrigerator or use the ‘defrost’ feature on your microwave if you’re running short on time.

Tips for Perfect Fried Scampi Each Time You Cook It

When it comes to fried scampi in an air fryer, there are several tips and tricks that will help you achieve crispy, golden brown delights every time. These include:

  • Make sure to pat dry the thawed scampi with paper towels before cooking. This helps prevent excess moisture during cooking, which may lead to soggy or undercooked scampi.
  • If you’re using breaded scampi, apply a light spray of cooking oil before air frying to get that desired crispy texture.
  • Avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket when cooking your scampi. This ensures sufficient air circulation around each piece and allows them to cook evenly.
  • Timing is key when cooking scampi, so keep a close eye on how long they take to cook. Depending on the size and type, scampi typically take between 8-12 minutes to cook at an air fryer temperature of 400°F

Seasoning Your Frozen Scampi for Air Frying

While some people may prefer plain fried scampi, adding seasoning can enhance its taste. Here are some tips on how to season your frozen scampi:

Seasoning Tips and Tricks

When it comes to seasoning scampi, there is no hard and fast rule. You can choose from a wide range of flavors depending on your taste preferences. Some popular options include:

  • Cajun seasonings like paprika or chili powder for those who love a bit of spice.
  • Garlic powder combined with salt and black pepper to create a delicious garlicky taste.
  • Italian herbs like oregano, rosemary or basil can transform plain scampi into a tasty Mediterranean dish.

How Much Seasoning Should You Use?

To avoid over-seasoning or under-seasoning your scampi, it’s important to use the right amount of seasoning. A general rule of thumb is one teaspoon of seasoning per 8 ounces of scampi (or 6-7 pieces). However, this can be adjusted depending on your taste preferences.

Cooking Your Frozen Scampi in an Air Fryer

Now that your scampi is thawed and seasoned, it’s time to start cooking. Below are some tips on how to cook your frozen scampi in an air fryer:

Setting Up Your Air Fryer for Best Results

Before preheating the air fryer, lightly coat the basket with non-stick cooking spray or oil to prevent the scampi from sticking. Preheat the air fryer at 400°F for around 5 minutes to ensure uniform cooking.

Cooking Times and Schedules

Cooking times will depend on the size and type of scampi. However, on average, it takes between 8-12 minutes to cook scampi in an air fryer at 400°F. To ensure even cooking, flip the scampi halfway through cooking, around 4-6 minutes.

Temperature Control

When using an air fryer, it’s important to keep a close eye on the cooking temperature. If you’re worried about undercooked scampi or overcooking them, use a meat thermometer to check their internal temperature reaches 145°F.

Getting Creative with Frozen Scampi: Recipe Ideas for Air Frying

Fried scampi can be enjoyed as a stand-alone dish or incorporated into recipes for a meal that’s both delicious and healthy. Below are some recipe ideas that are easy to make using air fried scampi:

Classic Scampi Recipe

To make classic fried scampi dish, season 8 ounces of thawed scampi with salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Coat the scampi with all-purpose flour, dip them in a beaten egg wash and then roll them in panko breadcrumbs. Add the scampi to the air fryer basket and cook for 10-12 minutes.

Garlic Butter Scampi Recipe

Season your thawed scampi with garlic powder, paprika, thyme, salt and black pepper. After cooking for 6 minutes on one side in your air fryer basket, flip over each scampi piece and add a pat of butter (or garlic butter) atop each piece. Cook for another 6 minutes.

Lemon and Herb Scampi Recipe

Mix melted butter (or olive oil) with fresh lemon juice, italian seasoning, minced garlic cloves and salt. Dip each piece of thawed scampi into the mixture and coat them well. Add into the air fryer basket and cook for 10-12 minutes.

Serving Suggestions for Fried Scampi

Fried scampi can be served alongside veggies, potatoes or as dressings in salads. Some dips that pair well with fried scampi include:

  • Tartar sauce
  • Cocktail sauce
  • Chipotle aioli or mayo dip

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Fried Scampi in Air Fryers

Can you cook frozen scampi in an air fryer?

Yes, frozen scampi can be cooked in an air fryer. However, it’s important to defrost the frozen scampi overnight in the fridge or use the defrost function on your microwave first.

Can you reheat fried leftover scampi in an air fryer?

Certainly! Reheat your leftover scampi by preheating the air fryer at 360°F and placing the scampi onto the air fryer basket. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until hot.

Can I use spices when cooking frozen breaded scampi in my air fryer?

Yes, you can use spices to enhance the flavor of your breaded frozen scampi in the air fryer. Before cooking, season your thawed scampi with spices like garlic, paprika or cajun.


There is no doubt that using an air fryer to cook frozen scampi has multiple benefits. It is not only a healthier way to enjoy seafood, but also quicker and more convenient. By following this guide, you can easily achieve crispy, golden brown scampi in just a few minutes. So go ahead and give it a try!

Can I cook frozen scampi in an air fryer?

Yes, you can definitely cook frozen scampi in an air fryer! In fact, many people prefer to cook their seafood this way as it results in a crispy texture without the need for deep-frying.

How should I prepare the frozen scampi before air frying?

It’s important to thaw the frozen scampi first before air frying. You can do this by placing it in the refrigerator overnight or by running it under cold water until it has thawed completely. Once thawed, pat the scampi dry with paper towels and season with your desired spices.

What temperature and time should I set my air fryer to for cooking frozen scampi?

Preheat your air fryer to 400°F and place the seasoned scampi in the basket in a single layer. Cook for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time, until they are golden brown and fully cooked through.

What are some tasty dipping sauces to serve with air fried scampi?

You can never go wrong with classic cocktail sauce or tartar sauce. But if you’re looking for something more adventurous, try making a garlic aioli or a spicy remoulade sauce for a flavorful kick!

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