Air Fryer breaded shrimp are seasoned, breaded and then cooked until golden, crispy and seriously delicious! Serve with cocktail sauce, tartar sauce or warm marinara for a tasty appetizer everyone will love.
Anyone else feel like the Air Fryer was made just for them?
Here I was, a mostly healthy eating adult, who just couldn’t do fried foods.
The grease, the heaviness, the oil and splatters if you’re making it at home, none of it was appealing. So I just opted out.
But of course, we all have favorites that are best fried with that crunchy texture.
And so when the Air Fryer hit the shelves and was all the rage, I jumped right in.
(To note, I normally hate getting on board with the new popular thing. Maybe it’s my stubborn side. But the promise of this appliance was just too much for me to resist.)
And now I love air frying all the things to get that fried food fix without any of the mess or unhealthfulness.
Air Fryer mozzarella sticks are a favorite appetizer, as are Air Fryer zucchini sticks for a veggie app. And my kids adore these Air Fryer fried ravioli, which can be served as appetizers or as part of a main meal.
Oh, and if you’re looking for just a seasoned shrimp recipe for the Air Fryer, no breadcrumbs or coating, check out this easy southwest Air Fryer shrimp.
Today though, we’re coating our shrimp in a flavorful and thick breading that gets so crispy in the Air Fryer, with tons of little browned bits all over for major crunch.
Yes, breading stations can be a bit of a pain, but it’s so worth it!
Just line up your bowls and you’ll knock these out in no time.
These shrimp are dredged in seasoned flour, then dipped in egg then coated in a seasoned Panko breadcrumb mixture that ensures they get extra crispy.
That crunchy coating on the outside is seriously spectacular!
Then they are golden brown, hot and ready to serve with your favorite dipping sauce. Everyone will go crazy for these!
OK, let’s get cooking so you can enjoy these too!
Now, I’ve got some notes and tips coming up below on how to make crispy breaded shrimp in the Air Fryer. Just tryin’ to be helpful.
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll right on through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
Notes on making Air Fryer breaded shrimp:
- Shrimp: I used a pound of extra large shrimp, which come 26-30 a pound. You can substitute another size shrimp, but you’ll need to adjust your cooking time.
- Frozen shrimp: The shrimp need to be completely thawed (more on that in a minute) as well as peeled and deveined for this recipe. Please plan accordingly. (You can ask your seafood counter to prep these for you if needed. Or buy the deveined easy-peel frozen shrimp that are almost ready to go.)
- Shrimp tails: You can leave the tails on if you prefer. It adds some extra flavor while cooking, but can be a bit more fussy for eating. Up to you.
- Breadcrumbs: Using the Panko breadcrumbs is what makes these get ultra crispy, so I don’t recommend substituting regular breadcrumbs.
- Spicy: Like it spicy? You can add a pinch of cayenne to the seasonings and/or serve this with a spicy dipping sauce.
Really though, you probably have all the ingredients you need for this recipe on hand in your kitchen. And that makes them super easy to throw together!
Also, because I know this is a go-to question:
How long do you cook shrimp in an Air Fryer?
– Large and extra large shrimp, such as the 26-30 size, will take about 6-8 minutes in the Air Fryer at 400 degrees F. You want them cooked through, but not overdone.
– Smaller shrimp, such as the medium 36-40 size, will be done in 5-6 minutes.
– Check at the earlier side of the time and add an extra minute or two if needed.
And in case you are in the market for an Air Fryer, I highly recommend mine.
Originally, I had a small size one, but it just wasn’t big enough for all the things I wanted to put in the Air Fryer.
So I got this one (it’s usually on sale, which is nice) and I’ve loved it. It’s a better fit for families with children, or just if you’re cooking for bigger groups.
You can check out all of my Air Fryer recipes if you’re obsessed like I am with the magic of this appliance.
And stay tuned because I have many more Air Fryer recipes planned for you!
You can sign up for my free e-newsletter to get all of my new recipes delivered straight to your inbox so you never miss a thing. I’ll even send you my free e-cookbook, Healthy Weeknight Dinners, as a thank you!
OK, back to today’s recipe.
Only have frozen shrimp? Me too most of the time.
Fun fact: Buying frozen seafood is often the best way to get it super fresh if you don’t live right by the coast. That’s because the seafood is flash frozen right after it’s off the boat, preserving it at peak freshness.
And in some places, the “fresh” seafood in the grocery store counter has actually already been thawed, so its shelf life is ticking down.
I’ve got a lot of experience with frozen seafood and frozen shrimp, so here are a couple of options for you on how to thaw it depending on how much time you have.
How to thaw frozen shrimp:
- You can place frozen shrimp in the refrigerator (in a well sealed container) overnight to thaw.
- You can thaw frozen shrimp quickly by placing them, frozen, in a colander and rinsing them in the sink with cold water for 2-3 minutes, until they are completely defrosted.
Since the first option takes a little more planning and foresight, I’m often using option number two. And it works great every time.
Now, let’s get ready to serve!
These shrimp are just begging for a delicious dipping sauce.
Cocktail sauce, tartar sauce and warm marinara are all great options. Or pick your favorite seafood dipping sauce.
Or you could use these shrimp as a protein for grain bowls, shrimp tacos, fried rice and more.
You’ll be happy to have more and more ways to use these shrimp.
You could also make a bang bang sauce and serve it with that. I usually bake my shrimp for my healthier bang bang shrimp, but this method would work too!
Last thing, what to do with any leftovers.
Leftover cooked shrimp, once cooled, can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
They are of course best served freshly made, but using the Air Fryer to reheat them helps regain some of that crunch.
How to reheat Air Fryer shrimp:
– To reheat, place in the Air Fryer tray and set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 2-3 minutes.
– Unlike when you are first cooking them, it is OK to stack the fried shrimp when reheating. Meaning, they don’t have to be in a single layer.
There you have it, crispy fried shrimp made in your Air Fryer. So much easier and so much healthier!
Definitely my kind of frying. 😉
I hope you give them a try soon! (And if you love them like we do, leave me a comment below or tag me on Instagram; I love hearing from you!)
- 1 lb. peeled, deveined shrimp (large or extra large, such as 26-30 size)
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Place the flour in a low shallow bowl. Add ½ tablespoon of the seafood seasoning, ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper and mix well.
- Crack the eggs into a second low shallow bowl and beat lightly.
- Place the breadcrumbs in a third low shallow bowl and add the remaining seafood seasoning, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
- Dredge a shrimp in the flour mixture and coat on both sides. Move to the eggs and coat on both sides. Finally, transfer the shrimp to the Panko breadcrumb mixture and press to help the breadcrumbs adhere on all sides. Place the shrimp in the tray of the Air Fryer. Repeat with the remaining shrimp until you have a full, even layer in the Air Fryer tray. Spray the tops of the shrimp lightly with cooking spray.
- Cook in the Air Fryer on 400 for 6-8 minutes, until golden brown. Repeat with a second batch of the remaining shrimp.
- Serve immediately with cocktail sauce, tartar sauce or warm marinara for dipping.
Shrimp: I used a pound of extra large shrimp, which come 26-30 a pound. You can substitute another size shrimp, but you’ll need to adjust your cooking time.
Frozen shrimp: The shrimp need to be completely thawed (more on that in a minute) as well as peeled and deveined for this recipe. Please plan accordingly. (You can ask your seafood counter to prep these for you if needed. Or buy the deveined easy-peel frozen shrimp that are almost ready to go.)
Shrimp tails: You can leave the tails on if you prefer. It adds some extra flavor while cooking, but can be a bit more fussy for eating. Up to you.
Breadcrumbs: Using the Panko breadcrumbs is what makes these get ultra crispy, so I don’t recommend substituting regular breadcrumbs.
Spicy: Like it spicy? You can add a pinch of cayenne and/or serve this with a spicy dipping sauce.
Leftovers: Leftover cooked shrimp, once cooled, can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
Reheating: To reheat, place shrimp in the Air Fryer tray and set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 2-3 minutes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 159Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 166mgSodium: 963mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 17g