Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp make a delicious and crispy appetizer or meal with a hint of tropical flavor. The air-frying technique ensures a light and satisfying dish without the need for excessive oil, making these coconut shrimp a healthy appetizer for any occasion.
Coconut shrimp are my forever favorite appetizers. They’re super light and crispy – just how I like them. Add on a tasty dip, and you’ve got me shoveling them in like there’s no tomorrow – it’s a whole mood.
So, naturally, I wanted to try a healthier version of these at home. Enter my crazy-easy (and budget-friendly) air fryer coconut shrimp recipe. It’s a game-changer!
Why You’ll Love This Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp Recipe
Super easy recipe: This simple recipe is uncomplicated and comes together in a jiffy. Save it when you’re looking for options for a quick dinner.
Simple ingredients: The ingredient list is short and sweet. You’ll find everything in your pantry. Even if you don’t have an ingredient or two, you’ll easily find them in your nearest grocery store.
Restaurant-quality dish: These crispy air fryer coconut shrimp will stand up to any coconut shrimp you’d get at your favorite seafood restaurant. And they’re cheap! What a win!
Good For You: Shrimp has a ton of health benefits. They are great for thyroid health, heart function, and immunity. Plus, cooking them in an air fryer with significantly less oils eliminates the unwanted fat content.
Or, make it a shrimp fest! This quick and delicious air fryer lemon garlic shrimp is perfect to add to your seafood platter.
Kitchen Equipment Needed
- Air fryer: It’s a must. My air fryer has become an indispensable part of my kitchen. It’s so easy to operate, always gives the perfect crunch to my recipes, and makes eating healthy less stressful.
- 3 small mixing bowls: You’ll need a couple of small mixing bowls. Use a small bowl for the beaten egg, another one for the flour mixture, and a third shallow bowl for the breadcrumbs and coconut flakes.
- Tongs or fork: To handle the shrimp while coating them in flour and transferring them to the air fryer
- Baking tray (optional): I use a baking tray lined with a baking sheet to keep my coated shrimp on if I’m doing several batches. It saves time and makes cleanup easier.
Ingredients for Crispy Air Fryer Shrimp
RAW SHRIMP: Large shrimp or jumbo shrimp work best in this recipe. They are easy to coat and don’t shrink much after air frying. I prefer deveined shrimp; it saves me time. If you prefer deveining them yourself, go ahead. Just don’t cut the tails off – it’ll be easier to pick them this way. If you use frozen shrimp, let them thaw completely before working with them.
PANKO BREADCRUMBS: Get the restaurant-level crisp with panko breadcrumbs. They are light and flaky – just what you need. You can also use whole wheat breadcrumbs or gluten-free breadcrumbs.
SHREDDED COCONUT: Use unsweetened shredded coconut because the sweet coconut flakes burn too easily.
ALL PURPOSE FLOUR: You can also use a combination of almond flour and coconut flour. We’ll use this ingredient to coat the shrimp.
WHOLE EGGS: Eggs make coating easy. They’ll hold the flour and coconut mixture to the shrimp really well.
OLIVE OIL COOKING SPRAY: These crispy air fryer coconut shrimp cook in less oil than the traditional deep frying. All you need is a light spray on the basket and the top to get them crisp. Avocado oil spray is a good alternative.
SALT: You can’t leave the king seasoning out. It’ll flavor the flour mixture.
PAPRIKA (or black pepper): Add a bit of color and heat with paprika. If you’re not a paprika fan, simply use a little black pepper.
How to Make Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp
1. Clean shrimp
- Peel, devein, wash and pat dry.
2. Lightly toast breadcrumbs and coconut flakes.
- Add the panko breadcrumbs and coconut flakes into an air fryer parchment bowl. Stir together and even out the mixture across the bottom.
- Air fry the mixture at 400 degrees F for 3 minutes.
3. Make a simple dredging station.
- In one bowl add the toasted coconut flakes and panko breadcrumbs.
- In a second bowl, mix together flour, salt and spices.
- In a third bowl, add your raw eggs (whip the eggs with a fork until fully mixed)
4. Dredge the raw shrimp.
- Roll the shrimp in flour and spices mix first.
- Next, coat in the eggs.
- Last, coat in the coconut flakes and panko breadcrumbs mixture.
5. Air Fry the shrimp.
- Lightly spray the air fryer basket. Place shrimp in a single layer and lightly spray the top with cooking spray.
- Air fry at 400 degrees F for 7-8 minutes (cook time will vary by different air fryer models and size of your shrimp).
- Flip your shrimp after 4 minutes cook time.
- Air fry for another 3-4 minutes until your air fried coconut shrimp are golden brown and cooked through.
I’ve attached a detailed recipe card at the bottom with quantities and instructions at the bottom of the post.
Tips for Making Crispy Coconut Shrimp
Making crispy shrimp for the first time? No worries. These tips will help you get the best results.
Use Fresh Shrimp: If available, always use fresh shrimp. They taste much better and have a good texture.
Always Pat Dry the Shrimp: Use paper towels to dry the shrimp before breading them. Leaving any moisture will make the coating soggy.
Don’t Overcook Your Shrimp: Do you want juicy shrimp? Don’t overcook. Stick to the mentioned cooking time. You are aiming for a golden brown outside and opaque inside. Also, place shrimp in a single layer in the air fryer basket so the hot air can circulate around each piece of shrimp.
Must Try Variations
Flavor the flour: Want different seasonings instead of paprika? Seasoned flour will enhance the overall taste of your air fryer coconut shrimp. Use garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, or your favorite herbs.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce: I love a honey mustard or sweet chili sauce as a dip for these crunchy shrimp. Try them with a zesty cocktail sauce or a ranch dip, and you’ll never get enough of them.
Use them as a salad topping: Add these healthy coconut shrimp to a bowl of greens and have them for lunch. I’ve also topped them on a bed of rice and drizzled a sweet-n-spicy mango sauce on top. It’s delicious!
Make a shrimp taco: Stuff your tortillas with these air fryer coconut shrimp, some crunchy cabbage, avocado slices, and your favorite salsa. You’ll thank me later!
Why Are We Air Frying Instead of Deep Frying?
Air frying is a healthy and easy way of making your favorite recipe appetizers (even mains) at home. The cooking process is a breeze and minimally messy. Plus, air fryer recipes have less calories, and you won’t feel guilty about indulging in your favorite foods.
I also think deep frying food in oil is a hassle. You have to monitor and adjust the temperature constantly. Plus, frying can get messy (oil splatters!)
Can I use Frozen Shrimp?
Yes, you can use frozen shrimp for this recipe. Just make sure the shrimp are full thawed first.
How Long Do Shrimp Take to Cook?
As mentioned earlier, shrimp cook fast. The cook time is about 7-9 minutes. I’ve learned that flipping shrimp midway during the cooking process helps them cook evenly.
If you still aren’t sure if your shrimp are ready, use an instant-read thermometer. It should read 165 degrees F.
How to Store Leftover Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp?
I’m sure you won’t have any leftovers. These are just that good. But in case you do, use an airtight container to keep them fresh. You can keep them in the fridge for three days. Cooked shrimp are freezer-friendly, too. Expect them to last for about three months in the freezer.
These tasty and satisfying air-fried coconut shrimp will soon become your favorite seafood dish. Serve them with French fries, squeeze some lemon or lime juice on top, and dip shrimp in your favorite sauce for a complete meal.
- 1 cup Raw Shrimp (approximately 10-12 large shrimp)
- 1/2 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup Shredded Coconut Flakes
- 2 large Eggs
- 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Paprika (or black pepper)
- Cooking Spray
- Peel, devein, wash and pat dry raw shrimp.
- Add the panko breadcrumbs and coconut into an air fryer parchment bowl. Stir together and even out the mixture across the bottom. Air fry the mixture at 400 degrees F for 3 minutes. Remove from air fryer and pour into a small bowl.
- In a second bowl, mix together flour, salt and paprika (or spices you prefer).
- In a third bowl, add whip raw eggs with a fork.
- Roll the shrimp in flour and spices mixture first.
- Next, coat the shrimp in the whisked eggs.
- Last, coat in the coconut flakes and panko breadcrumbs mixture.
- Lightly spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Place shrimp in a single layer and spray the tops with cooking spray.
- Air fry at 400 degrees F for a total of 7-8 minutes (cook time will vary by different air fryer models and size of your shrimp). Flip your shrimp after 4 minutes cook time and air fry for another 3-4 minutes until your air fried coconut shrimp are golden brown and cooked through.
See recipe post for tips and variations.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 79Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 250mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 5g
Nutritional values are estimates and not exact.