I set out to make a Grilled Filet & Scallops as a Surf & Turf meal in the Ninja Foodi Grill, but I ended up making the entire meal -- baked potatoes & broccoli, too!
I wasn't sure if I could pull it off, but it worked great! I staggered the cooking and served everything hot, all at once!
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I have to admit, it's been hard for me to come up with recipes for the Ninja Foodi Grill, because I consider them more of a technique than an actual recipe. The idea behind this recipe is to give you a guideline of how to stagger the cooking of your food so you can make an entire dinner in the grill and serve it hot, all at once.
This works best when making dinner for 1-2 people, but you can also use this recipe as a guide for making a larger quantity of each item for a larger family. Jeff and I usually split a steak and a baked potato, so this recipe made 4 servings for us.
Frequently Asked Questions
For the best results, I recommend thawing your steak before cooking. If you need to do this in a hurry, you can put the steak in a sealed bag and submerge it in cold water for 30-40 minutes. This will thaw it without letting it get too warm where bacteria will grow. If you don't plan on cooking your steak for a few hours, stick the bowl of cold water with the steak submerged (in a sealable bag) in the fridge until 30 minutes before cooking.
Yes, but you will want to put your broccoli in after the potatoes have been cooking for about 25 minutes instead of 30. Fresh broccoli will take longer to steam and the time really depends on the size of the florets. If you cut them small, they will cook quicker.
Because we are staggering the cooking in this recipe, so everything is served hot, the amount of food you can cook depends on how much will fit. It would be hard to put 4 potatoes and 4 steaks on the XL grill, BUT if they are small enough, you might fit it all on. I would cook the broccoli on the stove or in a different appliance.
No, this recipe works just fine with the grill grate that comes with the Foodi Grill. I like the Sear 'N Sizzle because it's easier for me to clean and I love the way it cooks. It's a personal preference. If you want to check out the Sear 'N Sizzle Grill Grate, here is the link to the one that fits the XL grill: Sear 'N Sizzle Grate for the XL grill.
The times and settings will be about the same in either model of the grill, but you might have to get a little creative with space on the original grill. You can certainly do the steaks, potatoes, and scallops. As far as the broccoli goes, you will just have to see if you have enough room for the pan.
What is Surf & Turf?
In case you haven't heard the term before, it's when you serve a piece of beef (usually a nice steak) with seafood. You'll see this menu option in many restaurants, although the steak and seafood choices will vary quite a bit.
Lobster and shrimp are popular choices for the "Surf" part of the meal and Filet or ribeye are popular choices for the "Turf" part of the meal.
I am not a fan of grilled lobster or shrimp, I much prefer them steamed. I guess I could have steamed them like I did the broccoli in this recipe, but I had these gorgeous sea scallops and wanted to use them. They turned out wonderful!
What is the Difference Between Sea Scallops & Bay Scallops?
The most noticeable difference is size. Sea Scallops are much larger than bay scallops. Much larger! Bay scallops are about the size of a dime and Sea Scallops are the size of a half dollar.
I've heard that bay scallops are sweeter and more tender, but that has not been my experience at all. While bay scallops do have their place and are great options for stews and soups, they aren't that impressive to me.
I much prefer the larger ones and they can be sweet and tender as long as you don't overcook them! Overcooked scallops of any size become tough and rubbery, in my opinion.
I use sea scallops in this recipe and they turned out perfect. They cook so quickly that you grill them while the steak is resting.
If you want to use bay scallops instead, I would remove the grate and use the bottom of the liner pan to cook them in some butter.
Can I use a Different Kind of Seafood?
Certainly! If you like grilled shrimp, those would be a great choice, because they will cook very fast just like the scallops.
Another option for shrimp is to make some air fryer coconut shrimp (or omit the coconut for plain fried shrimp).
If you wanted to integrate air fryer coconut shrimp into a full meal, I would prep them ahead of time and refrigerate until you are ready to cook them.
Instead of using the "max grill" function, I would use the air fry setting on 450℉ to start cooking the steaks. Once your steaks are halfway done and you flip them, add the shrimp and decrease the air crisp temp to 375℉/190℃ to cook the shrimp and finish cooking your steak. The shrimp take about 10 minutes and the steak will take anywhere from 3-10 minutes, depending on thickness and how you like your steak cooked.
Remove your steak when it's done and finish cooking the shrimp, if needed. The basket would work best if you are going to cook breaded shrimp, so you might have to give up the grill marks on your steak. Don't worry, it will still be delicious!
Lobster is also very popular, but will take a few minutes longer to cook in the grill. I find that grilled lobster is almost always tough, so it isn't my preferred method.
If you want to serve lobster tail with your steak, I would consider steaming or even par boiling the tail until it is about 75% cooked and then open the tail to expose the meat. Brush it with an herbed or garlic butter and then grill just for a few minutes to finish cooking it.
How to Cook Vegetables in the Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill
I have used the grill to steam various things and it works pretty well. No matter what vegetable you want to steam, the process would be the same. The timing will be different, so make sure to take that into account.
I used Frozen broccoli in this recipe because it's what I had. I'm sure this would work with fresh broccoli, as well, but it might take a little longer.
If you are using fresh broccoli, I would put it in the grill after the potato has cooked about 25 minutes and let it steam for 10 minutes. Make sure to cover it and keep it covered even after you remove it so the steam inside still cooks it while it sits and waits for the steak to be finished.
Frozen veggies are usually partially cooked by a method called blanching, so they take less time then if they were fresh.
When choosing a vegetable to make along with your surf & turf, take into consideration how it is best cooked and modify this recipe as needed.
For example, if I wanted to serve zucchini or squash, I would simply cut it, season it, and grill it. These are quick cooking vegetables, so depending on how you cut them, they should cook just fine if added when the steak is 50% cooked.
Carrots, on the other hand, can take much longer to cook and do better at lower temperatures for roasting and, of course, are great steamed. If carrots are your choice of vegetable, I would consider roasting them at a lower temp in the grill (before you start the potatoes) until they are almost done, and then adding them back on the grill to warm up while the steak is resting. This will be the best way for you to control the temperature, since I think the AC function at 425℉ will be too high for the carrots.
How to Cook a Steak in the Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill
First, let me start by saying there isn't a right way or a wrong way to cook a steak on the grill. There are plenty of different ways to do it and it is completely up to you how you cook your steak.
If you like it rare to medium rare like I do, then this technique and timing will work perfectly IF you are cooking filets that are 1½" thick. Always remember that the thickness of the steak will make the most difference in how long it takes to cook.
Some of the Ninja Foodi Grills come with internal temperature probes that will monitor the internal temp of the meat. These are only as accurate as the probe and the placement of the probe is.
Placement of the probe is KEY in getting an accurate reading. You want the tip of the probe to be in the very center of the meat. Food in the grill cooks from the outside in, so in order to have the very center cooked to your liking, this is where you measure the temperature.
Sometimes, I find the probe to be more trouble than it's worth and I can't help but second guess it most of the time! However, it has been accurate for me and I'm learning to rely on it more and more.
If you are using the built-in probe, you can either select from the presets or use the manual function to set the temperature you want your steak cooked to. I have found the presets a little off for me, so I use the manual setting the most.
If you have the Ninja Foodi XL grill, here is an article that goes over all the presets and their temperature settings: Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill Review & Comparison
Here is a table of temperatures based on how you like your steak cooked. REMEMBER to ALWAYS allow for carry-over cooking. Your steak will increase in temperature by about 5-10 degrees AFTER it is removed from the grill.
Steak Temperature Chart
|Desired Doneness of Steak||Description of Steak||Internal Temperature of Steak||Remove Steak from Grill at this Temperature & let rest 10 minutes|
|Rare||Seared with cool red center||120-130℉/49-55℃||115-120℉/46-49℃|
|Medium Rare||Seared with warm red center||130-135℉/55-57℃||125-130℉/52-55℃|
|Medium||Seared with pink warm center||135-145℉/57-63℃||130-135℉/55-57℃|
|Medium Well||Seared with slightly pink center||145-155℉/63-68℃||140-145℉/60-63℃|
|Well Done||Seared with no pink or very little pink center||155-165℉/68-74℃||150-155℉/66-68℃|
|XTRA Well||Seared with brownish/grey center||165 and up||165℉/74℃|
There are many factors that affect the way a steak cooks, way too many to include here, so I've created an article that goes over the timing and other factors to consider so you can cook the perfect steak every time!
For more information about cooking steak on the Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill, including timing and temperatures for various cuts of steaks, please see this informative article:
How to Cook the PERFECT Steak in the Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill
Customizing Your Ingredients to Create a Meal YOUR Family will Love!
When you want to create a meal where everything is cooked using the Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill, it can take some planning and thinking things out.
Here are some things to think about when planning your meal.
- Timing is everything when creating full meals in the Grill, so the first thing you want to consider is how long does each individual component of the meal take to cook.
- The next thing to consider is what function will cook each individual component the best? You don't have to cook everything using just one setting.
- The third, and probably most important, thing to consider is if the type of food you want to cook is a good fit for the grill.
Let's look at some examples.
I want to cook a chicken breast with broccoli & roasted sweet potatoes or regular potatoes (in chunks).
If my chicken breast isn't breaded, then either the grill or bake function is probably the best choice for the chicken.
The broccoli is probably best steamed and takes about 10 minutes on a high temperature to steam 1-2 cups of frozen broccoli and probably 15 minutes on a high temperature to steam fresh broccoli (the size of the florets will determine the total cooking time).
The sweet potatoes or regular potatoes are going to take the longest and they will do fine with several different settings, but, to get them started, it's best to go with a high temperature. This is true if they are whole or in chunks. They will take the longest to cook even if they are cubed.
The size of the cubes will determine the cook time. The smaller they are, the faster they cook. For this example, let's say they are 1-1½" cubes. I would probably choose the air fry or roast functions on 400-425℉/200-220℃.
I estimate that they will take between 15-20 minutes to cook. The broccoli will take about 10 minutes, and the chicken will only take about 10-12 minutes, so in order to have everything done at the same time and served hot, this is what I would do.
Preheat on the Air Fry setting with the basket in on 425℉/220℃ until it tells me to add the food. I would add the potatoes (tossed in some oil and seasonings) into the basket in a single layer and air fry for 5 minutes. I would put the broccoli in a pan with 2-4 Tablespoons of water and cover it. I would put the pan in the grill now to begin to steam.
After the 5 minutes, remove the pan with the broccoli and keep covered. Flip the potatoes. Switch functions over to grill on Medium heat and put your chicken breasts in. Cook on medium grill setting for about 5 minutes and flip. Cook another 5 minutes or until your chicken is up to about 155℉/68℃.
Remove the chicken and let rest. Check the potatoes for doneness and, if they are done, just leave them in the grill and use the medium grill setting to keep them warm. Put the pan of broccoli in the grill and heat on medium grill until ready to serve your chicken.
Serve up the meal and Enjoy!
I want to cook meatballs with pasta and a sauce.
The grill will work great for the meatballs and here is my favorite recipe: Air Fryer Meatballs, BUT cooking the pasta and even the sauce would be more challenging.
I'm not saying it can't be done, but there are certain foods that will be so much easier to cook a different way and pasta is one of them. Once you cooked your meatballs, you can add in your sauce ingredients and choose bake on the lowest setting and let the sauce cook, but, again, it isn't the easiest or even the best way.
For these types of foods, I still with my Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker & Air Crisper.
Get creative and if the food you want to cook is a good fit for the grill, you can make tons of meals that are cooked with a staggered cooking technique and ready to plate all at once.
Even if you decide to do your potatoes and vegetables in the oven or stove-top or in another appliance, the surf & turf part of this meal will be the same times and settings.
Ingredients & Substitutions
I used filet, but you can use any cut of steak that you like. There are some temperature changes if you want to use a fattier cut, like a ribeye. I go over that in this article: How to Cook the PERFECT Steak in the Indoor Grill
I always recommend taking your steaks out of the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking them. This is NOT enough time for bacteria to grow, but it does warm up the steak and allows for a better sear and a more even cook.
I also like to season my steaks right when I take them out of the fridge and let the spices sit on the meat and combine with the juices to create a nice crust when seared or grilled.
I used 6 Sea Scallops and they need to be thawed and DRY. The best way I've found to do this is to take them out of the freezer (if they are frozen, of course) and put them in a colander over another bowl and leave them overnight in the fridge. Then, pat them dry with a paper towel before searing or grilling.
If you choose to use shrimp or another type of seafood, you may need to adjust your timing. The shrimp will cook in about the same time as the scallops, but I would lower the temperature to medium grill or high grill so they don't overcook on the outside and get rubbery.
I haven't done lobster yet, so I'm not sure about the timing on those.
I used small Russet Potatoes that weighed about 6 ounces. If your potatoes are larger, you will need to cook them longer.
If you wanted to use sweet potatoes instead of the Russets, the time will depend on the size. Sweet potatoes usually take longer and are usually bigger than a small Russet, so I would let them cook about 35 minutes before adding the broccoli.
If you wanted to use chunks of potatoes instead of whole potatoes, the timing would be less. I would probably still use the air fry setting on 425℉/220℃, but decrease the time to about 10 minutes (so, add the broccoli 5 minutes in). See how they are cooking and you can always remove them while the steak cooks and put them back on the grill while you do the scallops to heat them back up.
I used frozen broccoli, but any frozen vegetable or vegetable blend should work exactly the same as the frozen broccoli.
If you want to switch the broccoli for another vegetable, figure out how long the vegetable usually takes to cook and the best cooking method and make the adjustments needed. I touched on this in the section above.
If the vegetable does great grilled, then skip the pan of water and grill it instead. If it does best steamed, then use the pan with water.
I used a special seasoning blend called Million Dollar Rub and, unfortunately, it isn't available for sale. That might change in the near future, though! It's a rub that we used on our brisket when I owned my restaurant, but all of the ingredients aren't easily found locally so sharing the recipe with you won't really help.
I would use either sea salt and pepper on both the steak and the scallops or use your favorite steak seasoning!
How to Make Surf & Turf in the Ninja Foodi Grill
Timing is everything in this recipe, so make sure to make the adjustments that you need to based on the cut of meat, the size of the potato and seafood you choose to use.
The times and temps in this recipe are based on two 8 ounce filets that are 1½" thick. Two 6 ounce Russet potatoes, Frozen broccoli, and 6 sea scallops.
My target temperature for the filet is medium rare or about 125℉/52℃ and my cook time for the steak was a total of 12 minutes. For cooking times based on your cut and thickness of steak, please see this article: How to Cook the PERFECT Steak in the Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill
There is very little prep in this recipe, YAY!
The scallops need to be thawed, and I usually do this overnight in the refrigerator if they are frozen. If you need to thaw them faster, put them in a sealable bag and submerge them in cold water for a few minutes. They thaw very quickly.
You also want your scallops as dry as possible. If you have the time, you can leave them in a colander over a bowl in the fridge overnight. If you are short on time, wrap them in paper towels or a clean flour sack towel to absorb the moisture.
Keep the scallops in the fridge and the broccoli in the freezer until you are ready to use them.
Season the steak on all sides with your seasonings of choice. Leave at room temp for about 30 minutes before cooking.
I also like to oil and salt the potatoes. This is completely optional, but I absolutely LOVE the look and the salt brings some flavor to the skin.
If you want to do this, use a coarse sea salt, NOT table salt or a fine grind salt or your skin will be way too salty and won't have the look that is so beautiful.
Poke a few holes in the potato to allow the steam to release while it's cooking which prevents splitting of the potato. I use a fork and just poke the potato about 4 times on each side.
Then, spritz with some oil and roll the potato in the coarse salt. All done!
Turn the grill on and select the air fry function on 425℉/220℃ and put the potatoes on the grill grate. I used the Sear 'N Sizzle from Grill Grate, but you can use the grill grate that came with the Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill. Set the time for 30 minutes.
You can bypass the preheat on the Ninja Foodi XL grill by pressing "preheat" and it will immediately go to "add food." Open and close the lid and the time will start counting down. This is fine for the potatoes.
When the 30 minutes is almost up, get your broccoli ready. Place 1½-2 cups of frozen broccoli in a 6" pan, I used a Fat Daddio pan, but any pan will work as long as it's around 2" in height. A taller pan might prevent the lid from closing, so test it out beforehand.
Add about ¼ cup of water to the pan with the broccoli and cover. I used foil because my silicone lids flew off in the grill and it's important to trap in the steam so the broccoli cooks.
Leave the potatoes on the grill and add the pan to the grill. Set the air fry function on 425℉/220℃ for 5 minutes.
After the 5 minutes, remove the pan with the broccoli, but keep it covered. Don't peek! The steam will continue to cook the broccoli while it sits on the counter covered.
Place your seasoned steaks on the grill. Switch functions to max grill (no need to preheat, so bypass that like stated above) and grill the steaks for about 6 minutes. You can rotate them or flip them at this point. Either way is fine. Remember, your timing will depend on how thick your steaks are and the desired level of doneness, so adjust accordingly.
Here is a chart for reference ➡︎➡︎➡︎ Timing for Steak
If you rotate them, grill another 2 minutes and then flip the steaks and grill another 4 minutes. Remove and let the steaks rest for a full 10 minutes.
If you flip the steaks at 6 minutes, grill another 6 minutes and remove and let rest.
Of course, you also use the probe to monitor the temperature if your grill has one or if you have a probe thermometer like this one from Pampered Chef.
Always remember that the steak will increase in temperature by 5-10° while it rests, so to avoid overcooking, remove the steak 10° before it hits your target temperature.
If you like your steak cooked longer for a medium or even well, just increase the cook time. Your potatoes should be just fine on the grill for a longer time.
Remove the potatoes and immediately slit the top to release the steam IF you want to keep your skin crunchy. Otherwise the skin will soften as it sits.
I usually prepare the scallops while the steak is cooking.
Remove the abductor muscle on the side of the scallop (they all won't have one) because that part is tough and chewy. You can usually see them pretty easily, they are a little protrusion on the side of the scallop and they peel right off.
Season the scallops with salt and pepper or your seasoning of choice.
I did this backwards and seasoned before pulling off the abductor muscle, but it's fine either way. I usually do this right before cooking the scallops and it's important to keep them in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.
Dump the water from the broccoli and add some seasoning and butter (optional), Cover the pan again. Place the scallops on the grill grate and put the pan with the broccoli on the grate, still covered.
Grill on Max high for 2 minutes, flip the scallops and grill another 1-2 minutes or until they are translucent in color. Scallops cook very fast and overcooking them will result in tough and chewy scallops.
Add the toppings to your potato, plate up your delicious dinner and Enjoy!
Surf & Turf in the Ninja Foodi Grill
- Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill
- 2 6 ounce potatoes
- 2 tsp olive oil for potato skin optional
- 2 tsp coarse sea salt for potato skin optional
- 2 8 ounce filet
- 6 Sea Scallops
- 1½ cups broccoli
- seasonings of choice
- butter & sour cream for the potato if desired
- Season the filet with salt and pepper or with your favorite seasoning and set aside. Poke several holes in the potatoes, rub with oil and coat in coarse sea salt if desired. Dry and season the scallops and place them in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook them.
- Place the potatoes on the grill grate of the Ninja Foodi Grill. Set the function to air crisp on 425°F/220℃ for 30 minutes. No need to preheat. To bypass the preheat function on the XL grill hit the preheat button and it will tell you to add food. Open and close the lid and it will start the countdown.
- When the 30 minutes is up, place your frozen broccoli into a 6" pan with about ¼ cup of water and cover with foil or another cover that will stay in place during cooking. Place the pan on the grill with the potatoes and Air Fry for 5 minutes at 425℉/220℃. Remove the pan of broccoli and keep covered so the steam continues to cook the broccoli while it sits.
- Leave the potatoes in the grill and place the filets on the grill grate. Press down on the tops so they get a good sear. Switch to the Max Grill setting and grill the steaks for 6 minutes. Flip and grill another 4-6 minutes or until the internal temperature has reached 5-10° BELOW your desired level of doneness. Remove the steaks and let them sit. For 1½" steaks and a perfect medium rare, the total cook time was 12 minutes.
- Remove the potatoes and immediately cut a slit in the top to release the steam. This will help keep the skin crunchy. If you prefer a softer skin, leave them alone until you are ready to serve them.
- Pour the water out of the broccoli and add some butter and salt and pepper if desired. Place the scallops on the grill grate and put the pan of broccoli back into the grill. Grill on Max Grill for 2 minutes, flip the scallops and grill another 1-2 minutes or until they are translucent in color.
- Add the toppings you want to your potatoes, serve everything & Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.
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