This air fryer coconut shrimp recipe is easy to make, packed with flavor, and has a ton of crunch! A classic finger food favorite, it’s a must-have snack for game day or fun dinners at home.
Pop a platter of shrimp in front of me and I’m happy! It’s one of my favorite kinds of seafood because it’s delicious and I can toss it into all kinds of recipes, like jambalaya, fajitas, and pasta. But when I want shrimp to be the star of the show, I make coconut shrimp.
Similar to air fryer shrimp, making coconut shrimp in the air fryer is not only fast, but it also gives this crowd-pleasing appetizer plenty of crunch without any oil! In this air fryer coconut shrimp recipe, the shrimp is coated in a panko-coconut breading for a subtle coconut flavor and crisp exterior while the inside stays are nice and succulent. It’s an easy 30-minute snack all of your family and friends will love!
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Why this recipe works
An air fryer is a handy tool when you want to make crunchy snacks, like chicken nuggets or sweet potato fries, without the trouble, mess, and excess oil of deep frying. This coconut shrimp recipe is completely oil free but still gives you crunchy, succulent results. Jazz up every bite with the dipping sauce of your choice and enjoy!
- Always crowd-pleasing. Who can resist a piece of crispy coconut shrimp? This is an irresistible snack, especially when it’s served with dipping sauce.
- Crunchy and coconutty. There’s a big crunch in every bite while the coconut flavor is light and subtle.
- Easy to make in the air fryer! Like chicken wings or French fries, the air fryer ensures that the shrimp is extra crunchy without needing oil, long cook times, or babysitting.
- Oil free and easy to make low carb. The air fryer circulates heat all around the breaded shrimp to make every piece crispy without needing any oil. You can even make simple substitutions if you’re craving oil free AND keto coconut shrimp!
This crowd-pleasing snack is made with a short list of easy-to-find ingredients. This is what you need:
- Shrimp. Use large peeled shrimp. You can leave the tails on or off.
- Eggs. The shrimp are coated in whisked eggs to help the breadcrumbs stick to the outside.
- Coconut flakes. This gives the shrimp a lovely coconut flavor. Remember to use unsweetened coconut to avoid sweet-tasting shrimp.
- Panko breadcrumbs. Regular breadcrumbs will work instead but aren’t as light and crunchy as panko.
- All purpose flour. Or you can use almond flour, coconut flour, or a 1:1 gluten free flour.
- Garlic powder. This gives the breading an irresistibly savory flavor.
- Smoked paprika. Or use regular paprika.
- Salt and pepper. For flavor and balance.
How to make coconut shrimp in the air fryer
This appetizer is as easy to put together as my kale chips and air fryer pickles. Here’s how to cook breaded coconut shrimp in the air fryer:
Step 1 – Set up the dredging station
You need three bowls to make the dredge: One for the beaten eggs, a second for the coconut flakes and breadcrumbs, and the third for the flour, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Beat the eggs, stir the coconut and breadcrumbs together, then stir the flour and seasonings in their respective bowls.
Step 2 – Dredge the shrimp
Dip the shrimp in the seasoned flour, then whisked eggs, and finally, the coconut and breadcrumb mixture. Repeat with the rest of the shrimp.
Step 3 – Air fry the coconut shrimp
Lay the coated shrimp in your greased air fryer basket, ensuring that they aren’t touching each other (air fry the shrimp in batches if you need to). Air fry until the shrimp are crisp and golden.
Step 4 – Repeat, then serve
Repeat the process with the rest of the shrimp, then serve with your favorite dipping sauce. Enjoy!
Coconut shrimp sauce
This shrimp appetizer just isn’t complete without the sauce! Dip the crispy shrimp in sweet chili sauce or the 3-ingredient coconut shrimp sauce from my deep-fried coconut shrimp recipe.
Tips to make the best recipe
- You can use fresh or frozen shrimp. Just remember to fully thaw the frozen shrimp in the refrigerator before making this recipe.
- Dry the shrimp. Use paper towels to pat the shrimp dry before dredging them in the eggs, flour, and breadcrumbs.
- Work in batches. It’s a good idea to cook the shrimp in batches because crowding will cause them to steam rather than crisp. And no one likes soggy coconut shrimp!
To store: Keep the air fried coconut shrimp in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To freeze: Once they’re cooked and cooled to room temperature, place them in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months.
Reheating: Place the chilled or frozen coconut shrimp in the air fryer and reheat until warmed through.
Recommended tools to make this recipe
- Air fryer. To cook the shrimp to crispy perfection.
- Bowls. You need 3 medium-sized bowls to set up the dredging station.
- Tongs. For the easy removal of the shrimp.
Frequently asked questions
Large peeled shrimp should take between 10 to 12 minutes to cook in a 350ºF/180ºC air fryer. Smaller shrimp will cook a few minutes faster.
You can make this crunchy snack even more irresistible by plating the shrimp with freshly chopped parsley and lime wedges on the side. Include a variety of dipping sauces for serving, too. Coconut shrimp is fantastic with sweet chili sauce, coconut shrimp sauce, spicy mayo, and bang bang sauce.
More crowd-pleasing air fryer appetizers
Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp
- Preheat the air fryer to 180C/350F.
- In a bowl, beat the eggs. In a separate bowl, combine the coconut flakes with the bread crumbs. In a third bowl, add the flour, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Dip the shrimp in the flour, shake off excess, then the egg mixture, and then in the coconut and panko mixture, pressing firmly for it to stick. Repeat the process.
- Grease the air fryer basket, then add the coconut shrimp to it, ensuring that they are not touching one another.
- Air fry for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Once the shrimp are golden brown, remove them from the air fryer basket and serve immediately.
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