Lobster is such a delicious, decadent dinner, and it's SO EASY to do at home! You can make these awesome Air Fryer Lobster Tails in less than 15 minutes!
Whether you're preparing a romantic Valentine's Day dinner or simply looking for a decadent new dish for a weeknight meal, this indulgent dinner recipe is ideal. And it pairs so well with delicious side dishes like Garlic Lemon Asparagus, Instant Pot Garlic Rice, or Air Fryer Corn Ribs.
❤️ Why you'll love this lobster recipe
This is one of my favorite seafood recipes. Here's why this air fryer lobster tail recipe rocks:
- Lobster tails are super easy to make. See directions below (ingredients + full instructions are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post).
- They're more affordable than you think. I've picked up two lobster tails for $10 before at my local grocery store! It's a fancy restaurant meal without the sky high prices.
- They take just 6 to 8 minutes to air fry depending on the size of your lobster tails. So fast!!
- Air frying makes the lobster meat super juicy, tender, and totally infuses and coats the meat with the yummy buttery sauce.
- Clean up is a breeze!
✅ Step-by-step instructions
You only need a handful of simple ingredients to make this easy recipe. First, there are two ways you can prepare the lobster:
1. Butterfly lobster tails. Use a good pair of kitchen scissors to cut down the center of the hard shell, then push the shell and lobster meat to open them like a book. This results in the classic lobster tail image you see on dinner plates in steak houses around the US. The lobsters look like they've got a fluffy mohawk sprouting out from the shell.
2. Cut out softer shell under the lobster tail. See the pic above. This is my favorite way to do this at home. Using kitchen shears, I cut out the entire undershell and take out the little legs too. For me, this method makes it easier to get more of the buttery goodness onto more of the lobster meat. And, I feel like the lobster meat cooks more evenly this way. You get juicy lobster tails that are buttery, and oh so delicious!
Both ways work. Choose the one that's the best way for you!
Oh my goodness, this is my favorite part. Because it's truly SO EASY!!
3. Choose your method for preparing the lobster tails from the choices above.
4. Mix unsalted butter, garlic powder, paprika, salt and black pepper in a medium bowl.
5. Brush the garlic butter mixture over the lobster meat
7. Place tails shell down onto the basket or tray.
8. Air fry at 380°F for 6-8 minutes. At 5 minutes, check the lobster. If needed, air fry for 2 to 3 minutes more. For best results, check on your lobster after every extra minute, because you don't want to overcook the meat. Then serve with fresh parsley and a lemon wedge. The fresh lemon juice adds some great extra acidity to the cooked lobster.
Refrigerate lobster tail in an airtight container. It should keep for up to 4 days. To reheat, wrap the tails in foil with a couple of pats of butter. Then place in the air fryer or oven at 350° F for about 5 minutes.
🥣 Equipment to make air fryer lobster tails
I use my Ninja Foodi 8-quart Deluxe in Air Crisp mode to make lobster tails. You can also use any tray-style air fryer or basket-style air fryer. The instructions are pretty much the same, just adjust to your specific air fryer.
Other helpful kitchen tools:
- kitchen shears - to cut the lobster shell (see two methods below)
- olive oil sprayer - to spray your air fryer basket or tray
- basting brush - to brush the lobster tails with the yummy easy butter mixture
- kitchen tongs - to lift the lobsters in and out of the air fryer
- mixing bowl & whisk - for the butter mixture
🍷 Lobster Wine Pairing
Lobster is a succulent, meaty seafood. Prepared in the air fryer with a rich, buttery mixture, you'll want to pair it with an equally juicy white wine to complete this elegant meal.
My top three wine pairings for lobster:
- Chardonnay - choose a medium- to full-bodied Chardonnay that has just a subtle hint of oak.
- Sauvignon Blanc - the zesty green fruit and slight herbaceous characteristics of a Sauvignon Blanc balance out the buttery lobster tails.
- Riesling - because of the rich buttery sauce with paprika, a Riesling with high acidity helps balance out the dish.
And of course, especially if you're making this air fryer lobster tails recipe for a special occasion like Valentine's Day or a date night, go ahead and open that special bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine. A nice dry sparkling wine would pair beautifully with lobster!
More air fryer recipes
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Air Fryer Lobster Tails
- Preheat your air fryer at 380° for 2 to 5 minutes.
Next, either butterfly the lobster OR cut out the undershell:
- Butterfly the lobster: use kitchen shears to cut the lobster hard shell, from the widest point to the tail, until you almost reach the tail. Do not cut through; stop before you get to the bottom. Butterfly the lobster and push the meat up and over the hard shell.
- Cut out the undershell: Use kitchen shears to cut out the undershell in the belly of the lobster, including the little lobster legs.
- Add butter to a microwave-safe bowl and melt butter. Once melted, whisk in lemon zest, garlic powder, and paprika. Pour half of the butter mixture into a separate bowl and set aside. Brush the remaining butter mixture onto the lobster meat. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place in the Cook & Crisk Basket or your air fryer tray with the shells on the bottom and the lobster meat facing up.
- Close the crisping lid, select Air Crisp, turn the temperature to 380°F, and set time to 5 minutes. Close the crisping lid, then select Start/Stop to begin.
- When the time is up, check on the lobster. The lobster meat is cooked when the meat is opaque. If needed, close the crisping lid and air crisp for up to 2-3 more minutes.
- Spoon the reserved butter mixture over the lobster meat. Sprinkle each lobster tail with parsley and serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.