This delicious and healthy recipe for air fryer shrimp is quick and easy! The air fryer makes juicy and crisp shrimp that is perfect for eating by itself or adding to a salad, tacos, pasta or fajitas.
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The high heat of the air fryer is excellent for cooking seafood that is crispy on the outside, juicy inside and not overcooked. Air fryer shrimp is delicious and healthy.
Why You Will Love Air Fryer Shrimp
- This recipe cooks super fast, making it perfect for busy weeknight meals.
- Air fryer shrimp is naturally low carb and healthy.
- You need to add only a little bit of oil to cook the shrimp.
- Shrimp is versatile – once you have it cooked you can use as a base for many different meals.
- Shrimp – I used medium shrimp, which means 36/40 shrimp per pound for this recipe. This is my favorite size shrimp because it costs a little less than large shrimp.
- Olive oil – With an air fryer you can use less oil, but I find a low fat meat like shrimp tastes best with a little bit of oil added.
- Seasoning – I seasoned my shrimp with paprika, garlic powder and onion powder. This gives the shrimp a great, mild taste. I list some great seasoning alternatives below.
Step by Step Instructions
Start out by preheating the air fryer at 400 F for 5 minutes. I don’t always preheat my air fryer, but for some recipes it makes a difference and this is one of them.
You want the shrimp to cook fast and not get overcooked. So get the air fryer hot before you add the shrimp.
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If the shrimp is not peeled and deveined do that now. You can either take the tails off or leave them on, depending on your preferences. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels.
2. Season and Cook the Shrimp
Put the shrimp in a large bowl and add the olive oil, paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper. Toss everything to mix it well and coat the shrimp in spices.
Put the shrimp in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Depending on the size of your air fryer you might need to cook the shrimp in batches.
Cook it at 400 for about 5 minutes. About half way through the cooking time use a spatula or tongs to flip the shrimp over.
When the shrimp is done the flesh will be white and opaque. If you think they aren’t done put them back in for another minute or two.
How to Serve
If you are serving the shrimp by itself then sprinkle it with parsley and squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the top. I like to serve shrimp with a bowl of melted butter for dipping!
This air fryer shrimp is crispy on the outside with a tasty juicy insides. It is also excellent served with cocktail sauce or with tartar sauce.
If there are leftovers refrigerate the shrimp in an airtight container for 2-3 days. I prefer not to reheat shrimp, since it can get rubbery if it is overcooked. But the leftovers are delicious cold.
Other Serving Ideas
Instead of just serving the shrimp by itself you can use it as the basis for an entire meal. Here are some suggestions:
- Add the shrimp to tortillas with salsa and lettuce to make shrimp tacos.
- Put the shrimp on top of a rice bowl for an easy, healthy dinner.
- Use the shrimp to add some protein to a dinner salad.
- Make Cajun po’ boys by serving the shrimp in buns.
- Add it to pasta for a quick seafood pasta dinner.
With these ideas you can have an easy dinner on the table fast!
The seasoning mix I use in the recipe is a basic, mild seasoning. Here are some ways you can change things up! For each variation just take the paprika, onion powder and garlic powder out of the recipe and replace it with 4 teaspoons of the following:
- Mexican Taco Shrimp – 3 teaspoons of chili powder and 1 teaspoon cumin
- Cajun Shrimp – 3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning and 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Italian Shrimp – 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon paprika and 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Old Bay Shrimp – 3 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Lemon Pepper Shrimp – 2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning and 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Caribbean Shrimp – 3 teaspoons Caribbean jerk seasoning and 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Frequently Asked Questions
You can air fry frozen shrimp, but I don’t recommend it. The air fried shrimp will taste much better if you thaw the shrimp first.
The seasoning doesn’t stick well to frozen shrimp, so they will be bland. In addition is very easy to overcook frozen shrimp and overcooked shrimp isn’t very tasty.
You can quickly thaw shrimp by taking it out of its bag, putting it in plastic bag in a bowl of cold water, and letting the water from the faucet trickle into the bowl. The shrimp will thaw in 15-30 minutes.
The cooking time will vary based on the size of the shrimp you are cooking. I would estimate that small shrimp would cook in 3 minutes and large shrimp in 7-8 minutes.
But the time will vary by air fryer, so to some extent figuring out the optimal cooking time for your air fryer is trial and error.
Find More Air Fryer Dinner Ideas
- 1 pound medium shrimp (36/40 shrimp)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons paprika *see notes for other seasoning ideas
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat air fryer to 400 F for 5 minutes. Don't skip the preheating for this recipe!
- Peel and devein the shrimp if necessary. You can either leave the tails on or take them off, whichever you prefer.
- In a small bowl combine the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Add the shrimp to a large bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Then sprinkle the seasonings over the shrimp and toss everything so he shrimp is coated in seasoning.
- Add the shrimp to the preheated air fryer basket. Keep the shrimp in a single layer. Depending on the size of your air fryer basket you might need to make two batches.
- Cook at 400 F for 5 minutes, flipping the shrimp ith a spatula halfway through.
- Serve with parsley, lemons and melted butter or add them to a salad or tacos.
If using frozen shrimp thaw them before cooking them.
I'd estimate that smaller shrimp will cook in 3 minutes and large shrimp in 7-8 minutes. But cooking times might vary based on the wattage of your air fryer.
Other seasoning ideas: For each variation remove the paprika, onion powder and garlic powder
from the recipe and replace it with the following:
- Mexican Taco Shrimp - 3 teaspoons of chili powder and 1 teaspoon cumin
- Cajun Shrimp - 3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning and 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Italian Shrimp - 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon paprika and 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Old Bay Shrimp - 3 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Lemon Pepper Shrimp - 2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning and 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Caribbean Shrimp - 3 teaspoons Caribbean jerk seasoning and 1 teaspoon garlic powder
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 173Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 239mgSodium: 1340mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 26g
Nutrition facts are estimates.