by Olena

Air Fryer Shrimp

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 1 vote

This post contains affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy.

Air Fryer Shrimp has a smoky flavor and a crisp exterior with a succulent, tender inside. From prep to table in under 15 minutes, this is the best way to have a quick and easy shrimp appetizer or part of a complete meal!

Can’t get enough shrimp? Yeah, me either which is why you’ll love my Instant Pot shrimp boil, Thai shrimp curry, and shrimp stir fry.

no breading air fryer shrimp in a bowl for serving with white towel with red dots

Using an air fryer to make shrimp is an easy way of getting a slightly crispy coating on the outside of shrimp without having to use a ton of oil, breading or turn on a conventional oven. Shrimp cooks quickly, no matter what method you use, but when it comes to texture, the air fryer wins hands-down!

All you need to make this recipe is raw shrimp, your favorite seasoning (I love to use taco seasoning), and a few minutes in the air fryer. The results are amazing for serving as appetizers, on skewers, for shrimp tostadas, shrimp tacos, or as part of a complete healthy dinner!

Why Make Shrimp in Air Fryer?

  • Texture: Crispy edges and a tender juicy middle is the best way to enjoy shrimp!
  • Quick and easy: With a total of 13 minutes from start to finish, you can have dinner ready with little time and effort.
  • No breading: No breading not only means less calories and carbs, but also less mess.
  • Season to your liking: There are no rules! Shrimp can take on all kinds of flavours. 
  • Any size shrimp: The air fryer is capable of cooking shrimp from small to jumbo. 

Ingredients for Air Fryer Shrimp

  • Raw shrimp: I used large shrimp for this recipe. You’ll need to adjust for the time if you plan to use anything smaller (see below for those tips).
  • Olive oil: Just a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil will help coat the shrimp and keep the dry rub seasoning on the shrimp.
  • Seasoning: Smoked paprika, garlic powder, taco seasoning, salt & pepper is my favourite combination for a simple seasoning. Keep it low sodium by making your own taco seasoning.

Plan on using them as an appetizer? I suggest keeping the tails on. This way you can use it to hold onto as you dip into a delicious sauce or dip!

air fryer fried shrimp ingredients with seasoning

What Kind of Shrimp to Use in Air Fryer?

The great thing about using an air fryer is there aren’t too many rules as to what kind of shrimp to use. Big or small, fresh or frozen, it’s up to you. I would highly recommend thawing your frozen shrimp first for best (and faster) results. If you use big or small, you’ll just need to adjust the time. Small shrimp will take about 6 minutes and large and jumbo shrimp will take about 8. 

Smaller shrimp are great for salad, appetizers, quesadillas, tostadas, tacos, and pasta. Large and jumbo shrimp are great for main meals as they’re much heartier and more filling.

Clean the shrimp and be sure to peel and devein them first no matter what size you’re using!

How to Make Air Fryer Fried Shrimp

This air fryer shrimp recipe is incredibly easy!

  • Preparation: This recipe requires a preheat to 400 degrees F. Add shrimp to a colander to rinse and drain them before placing them in a medium bowl. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels.
  • Season the shrimp: Drizzle the shrimp with the olive oil and give it a gentle stir to make sure all of them are evenly coated. Sprinkle the smoked paprika, garlic powder, taco seasoning, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.
  • Air fry shrimp: Place shrimp into the air fryer basket in a single layer. Do not overlap as you want the air to properly circulate each piece. Cook for 6-8 minutes, or until they’re no longer pink.

Serve immediately on top of salads, as part of a meal on top of a bed of rice or mashed potatoes, or use as a delicious topping for shrimp tostadas!

Optional Add-In’s and Variations

  • Italian seasoning: I love the TexMex flavours of the smoked paprika and taco seasoning but for something a little lighter, swap the taco seasoning for Italian seasoning and omit the smoked paprika. Keep regular paprika for some colour.
  • Citrus: Sprinkle with a bit of lemon pepper for a vibrant citrus note.
  • Old Bay seasoning: This is always a popular flavor with seafood.
  • Extra crunch: Along with the spices, use a bit of Panko breadcrumbs for a little extra crunch.
  • Marinated air fryer fried shrimp: Skip the seasoning and use one of these 5 chicken marinades, marinate for an hour, drain and proceed with air frying.

Want breaded shrimp? Dredge them in seasoned flour, egg, then seasoned breadcrumbs. Air fry to a crispy crunchy coated result!

Tips for Best Results

  • Easy cooking: No need to shake or flip the shrimp halfway. 
  • Clean your shrimp: Remove the peel, devein and rinse and drain them. 
  • Pat dry: Using paper towels to get rid of excess water helps to ensure you’re not creating steam. You want the heat to crisp up the outside of the shrimp instead of trying to get rid of the water.
  • Work in batches: If you’re making a lot of shrimp, you mustn’t overcrowd the basket. Keep them in a single layer, leaving enough space in between each one for the air to circulate.

FAQs

Can I put frozen shrimp in air fryer?


You can but I don’t recommend it. They will cook, but it’ll take more time because it’ll take time for it to thaw, then start to cook. There’s a reason we say you need to pat them dry! It also won’t allow you to season it very well. Thaw them first if you can.

Can I air fry shrimp with shell on?

If you like the idea of peeling and eating your shrimp after it’s cooked, by all means, keep the skin on. The shrimp will still be tender and juicy, but once the peel comes off, there won’t be that crisp outer texture.

How do you know if shrimp is undercooked?

You’ll know by checking out the thickest part of the shrimp. Raw shrimp is grey and translucent (see-through). Once it is cooked, it turns opaque (no longer see-through) and pink. If the thickest part of the shrimp hasn’t turned opaque it’s still undercooked and could use a bit of extra time.

Is air fried shrimp healthy?

Shrimp has a boatload of health benefits such as high protein, good fats, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals. It’s also reasonably priced for the amount you get, which makes it accessible to many people who enjoy something other than red meat and poultry from time to time.

As with any seafood, it’s important to note that it’s recommended not to consume too much of it because of the levels of pollutants that can be found even in wild caught shrimp.

Air frying with olive oil is a great way to keep it healthy while not increasing the amount of cholesterol or heavy oils you get from deep frying.

air fryer fried shrimp finished in a bowl with cilantro garnish

How to Serve Air Fryer Fried Shrimp?

Shrimp is so versatile, you’re sure to find many ways to use them!

Serve them on skewers similar to these grilled shrimp skewers and provide a cocktail sauce or your favorite dip (even a ramekin of melted garlic butter is great) to pair with it.

Complete your meal and serve shrimp with a side of Instant Pot brown rice, healthy mashed potatoes, use it in Instant Pot fried rice, or enjoy the similar flavours in this Mexican cauliflower rice or Tex Mex rice and beans with zucchini.

Use on shrimp tostadas, in shrimp tacos, or in a shrimp quesadilla.

Swap the chicken for shrimp in this pasta alfredo recipe and serve with a side of garlic green beans or sautéed Brussel sprouts with bacon.

Enjoy cold leftovers in a salad with air fryer broccoli or cauliflower or combine them into this shrimp avocado salad or healthy shrimp salad.

How to Store Air Fryer Shrimp?

To store: Keep any leftover shrimp covered in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

To reheat: Pop them back into the air fryer at 300 degrees. Reheat for 3-4 minutes until warm. You could also zap them in the microwave if you’re ok with them not being crispy at all.

Make ahead. If you’re ahead of the game, season the shrimp completely up to 24 hours ahead of time. Cover and store in the fridge until you’re ready to make them. Cook as directed.

More Air Fryer Recipes to Try

Air Fryer Shrimp

Air Fryer Shrimp {Quick and Easy!}

Air Fryer Shrimp has a smoky flavor and a crisp exterior with a succulent, tender inside. From prep to table in under 15 minutes, this is the best way to have a quick and easy shrimp appetizer or part of a complete meal!
5 from 1 vote
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 146kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat air fryer at 400 F degrees. Rinse and drain shrimp, transfer to a medium bowl and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with smoked paprika, garlic powder, taco seasoning, salt and pepper; stir to combine.
  • Transfer shrimp into the basket of air fryer leveling into a single layer and air fry for 6-8 minutes, or until pink and cooked throughout. No need to shake.
  • Serve hot with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice alongside your favorite side dish, in salads, or make shrimp tostadas.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

    Make ahead: Refrigerate seasoned shrimp in an airtight container for up to 24 hours and then cook as per recipe.

      Reheat: Reheat air fried shrimp in air fryer at 300 degrees F for 3-4 minutes or until warm.

        Notes

        • Size of shrimp: Small shrimp cooks about 6 minutes and large for 8 minutes.
        • Cooked shrimp: You can cook cooked shrimp the same way for 4 minutes.
        • Clean your shrimp: Remove the peel, devein and rinse and drain them. 
        • Pat dry: Using paper towels to get rid of excess water helps to ensure you’re not creating steam. You want the heat to crisp up the outside of the shrimp instead of trying to get rid of the water.
        • Work in batches: If you’re making a lot of shrimp, you mustn’t overcrowd the basket. Keep them in a single layer, leaving enough space in between each one for the air to circulate.
        • Italian seasoning: Swap the taco seasoning for Italian seasoning and omit the smoked paprika. Keep regular paprika for some colour.
        • Citrus: Sprinkle with a bit of lemon pepper for a vibrant citrus note.
        • Old Bay seasoning: This is always a popular flavor with seafood.
        • Extra crunch: Along with the spices, use a bit of Panko breadcrumbs for a little extra crunch.
        • Marinated air fryer fried shrimp: Skip the seasoning and use one of these 5 chicken marinades, marinate for an hour, drain and proceed with recipe.
        See recipe post for more tips and FAQs

        Nutrition

        Serving: 5shrimp | Calories: 146kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 934mg | Potassium: 149mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 452IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 1mg
        Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

        Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes anywhere including social media, print and all world wide web. Nutritional info is provided for informational purposes only and to the best knowledge.

        2 comments on “Air Fryer Shrimp

        Our “happiness” software automatically deletes any comments of racial, politicial, religious or any offensive nature without publishing, so we can keep on happily cooking delicious recipes for you. For substitutions please refer to extensive recipe post and recipe card notes. If you don't see an answer, you are welcome to try your version and let us know how it went as recipes are posted only as tested. Comments may take up to 24-48 hours to reply. Please see our full comment policy.:).

        Leave a Reply

        Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

        Recipe Rating




        This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

        The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. You assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions.

        This page may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy. ifoodreal.com is a participant of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you make a purchase, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep iFOODreal recipes free. Thanks for your support!