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Air Fryer Shrimp—shrimp (fresh or frozen) tossed in a seasoned panko coating then air “fried” to crispy glory—take me back to the very best of high school times: fried popcorn shrimp day.

Air fryer shrimp recipe on a white plate

I packed my own lunch most days, but when the cafeteria was serving popcorn shrimp, I put my hard-earned minimum wage dollars on the line.

It was worth it every single time!

My dietary choices in high school were not the most prudent (if I forgot my lunch, I’d eat French fries and a big Rice Krispy treat).

Now, I want the weeknight meals I cook at home to be reasonably healthy, but I have not lost that high school affinity for fried shrimp.

Enter CRISPY AIR FRYER SHRIMP!

Easy air fryer shrimp on a white plate

Thanks to the air fryer (this is the model I have), very little oil is needed to create crispy, crunchy shrimp that take me right back to those ultra-anticipated fried shrimp lunches, but with a mega flavor and freshness upgrade.

If only I knew about Air Fryer French Fries back then too!

This shrimp recipe is also FAST, making it a great go-to for hectic evenings.

  • At 390 degrees F, it takes 4 to 5 minutes to cook shrimp in the air fryer.

TIP!

The air fryer is an easy means to prepare appetizers to wow a crowd if you’re hosting or on game days, like Air Fryer Egg Rolls, Air Fryer Chicken Wings, or Air Fryer Meatballs.

A white plate with breaded air fryer shrimp and lemon slices

How to Make Air Fryer Shrimp

This recipe is for air fryer breaded shrimp.

  • It uses the double dip method: first the shrimp are dipped in egg wash, then into a breadcrumb mixture.
  • The egg wash is mandatory. (I know because I tried this recipe without it; it was a flop.) The egg allows the breadcrumbs to stick and turn into air fryer shrimp tempura (without it, you might as well air fry the shrimp without breading).
  • The breadcrumbs are seasoned with herbs and Parmesan, which taste yummy paired with just about anything. Feel free to create your own custom seasoning blend.

The Ingredients

  • Shrimp. Easy-to-use, quick-cooking, and protein-packed, shrimp is a wonderful ingredient for healthy dinners. Plus, with the crispy Parmesan breading from this recipe, they’re certain to be a hit with everyone (including kids!). Looking for more ways to enjoy shrimp? Try my Grilled Shrimp.
  • Eggs. Helps the breadcrumb mixture stick to the shrimp.
  • Lemon. Both lemon juice and zest add brightness and acidity.
  • Breadcrumbs. As with my Air Fryer Fried Chicken Breast and Air Fryer Chicken Tenders, a tasty breading is very important. I used Italian seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs, which add additional flavor without any extra effort.
  • Parmesan. Parmesan adds a scrumptious salty, cheesy flavor to the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Spices. A blend of garlic powder, dried parsley, dried oregano, salt, and pepper adds fantastic Italian-inspired flair.

The Directions

  1. Dry the shrimp with paper towels, then toss them with oil, lemon zest and juice, and spices. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour.
  2. Stir the breadcrumbs and Parmesan together in one dish. Beat the egg in another dish.
Raw shrimp being coated in seasoned breadcrumbs
  1. Dip each shrimp into the egg, then into the breadcrumb mixture.
Shrimp coated in breadcrumbs in a single layer in an air fryer
  1. Lay the shrimp in the air fryer basket, then coat with nonstick spray.
Crispy air fryer shrimp in an air fryer basket
  1. Cook at 390 degrees F for 2 minutes. Flip the shrimp, then cook for another 2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining shrimp. ENJOY!
Crispy breaded air fryer shrimp on a white plate

How to Use Air Fryer Shrimp

Healthy air fryer shrimp with breadcrumbs and lemons on a white plate

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate shrimp in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat. Recrisp shrimp on a baking sheet in the oven or in the air fryer at 350 degrees F.
  • To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen.

What to Serve with Air Fryer Shrimp

Air fryer shrimp pairs well with so many dishes. We enjoy ours with potatoes, roasted veggies, or mac and cheese.

The best air fryer shrimp on a plate
  • Air Fryer. The one I own and recommend, with its 5.5-quart bowl and multiple programmable cooking methods.
  • Pie Plate. My favorite tool to use for the breading prep.
  • Citrus Juicer. This makes juicing a lemon so much easier.

What was your cafeteria fave? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

If you try this recipe, please let me know what you think in the comments too!❤︎

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make Air Fryer Frozen Shrimp?

Yes, you can make this recipe with frozen shrimp. If you want to use frozen shrimp and add the breading, make sure to thaw them and pat them dry before starting the recipe. To cook frozen shrimp in the air fryer without thawing, you’ll need to skip the breading (it won’t stick well to frozen shrimp) and add several extra minutes.

Can I Make This Recipe with Small Shrimp?

While I think this recipe works best with jumbo shrimp, you can use smaller-sized shrimp if that’s all you can find. Be aware that smaller shrimp will cook faster than the jumbo shrimp, so you’ll want to watch them very closely and adjust the cook time accordingly.

What Dipping Sauces Can I Pair with Air Fryer Shrimp?

These crispy shrimp are ideal for dipping in any of your favorite sauces! I like pairing them with the basil dipping sauce from my Zucchini Fries recipe, garlic butter sauce, or marinara sauce. If you enjoy shrimp with Old Bay, you could prepare a sauce by mixing it with Greek yogurt and a bit of Dijon mustard.

Air Fryer Shrimp Video

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YouTube video

Air Fryer Shrimp

4.93 from 38 votes
The crispiest and juiciest Air Fryer Shrimp recipe! This air fryer fried shrimp is fast, healthy, and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound jumbo (21 to 25-count) shrimp peeled and deveined (tails on or off)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small lemon zest and juice, plus additional for serving
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup Italian seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Chopped fresh parsley or chives optional for serving

Instructions
 

  • Pat the shrimp dry and place in a large bowl. Top with the oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic powder, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine evenly, then cover and set aside at room temperature for 15 minutes or refrigerate for 1 hour (if you leave the shrimp for longer, the citrus juice will start to break them down).
  • Stir the breadcrumbs and Parmesan together in a shallow baking dish (a pie plate works well). In a separate dish, beat the egg. Keep a baking sheet handy and line with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
  • Remove the shrimp from marinade and shake off any excess. Dip in the beaten egg, shake off excess, then dip in the breadcrumb mixture to coat both sides. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees F. Coat the basket with non-stick spray, then place the shrimp in the basket in a single layer, ensuring that they do not overlap (you’ll likely need to cook the shrimp in batches). Coat the top of the shrimp with nonstick spray, then slide the basket into place.
  • Air fry the shrimp for 2 minutes, remove the basket, then with tongs, carefully flip the shrimp. Return to the air fryer and continue cooking until the shrimp look light golden brown and are opaque and cooked through, about 2 minutes more (shrimp cook fast!). Repeat with remaining shrimp (if you like, you can keep the first batch warm in a 200 degree F oven while you finish the rest). Enjoy hot, sprinkled with parsley, chives, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice as desired.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • TO STORE: Refrigerate shrimp in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Recrisp shrimp on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 160kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 18gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 146mgPotassium: 185mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 248IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 115mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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4.93 from 38 votes (24 ratings without comment)

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32 Comments

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  1. The recipe really looks good and I’m going to make it and use one whole egg. You didn’t mention in the directions if I should use egg whites the whole egg or how many eggs to use!

  2. I have tried so many air fryer shrimp recipes and this is outstanding. It’s the lemon! I suggest a little longer cook time maybe a minute or two.5 stars

  3. This turned out very good. Great flavor and not rubbery. I added a little heat to kick it up a notch.

    Highly recommend5 stars

    1. I’m truly sorry for any inconvenience the ads caused you, Kathy! I will certainly keep paying close attention to the number of ads and how they load, as I never want them to hinder your ability to view the recipe or the blog post. I do truly appreciate your feedback and apologize again for the inconvenience! Also, there is a quick and convenient “jump to recipe” button that will help you get to the recipe faster and a print button to have the recipe quickly at your fingertips. Hope this helps!

    1. Hi Dan! Unfortunately I can’t see that working well because the shrimp would be so overdone. You can use frozen, thawed raw shrimp though.

  4. Tried this today and absolutely loved it! Only problem was I should have bought more because we ate it all and still wanted some more LOL. I made it with tortillas and guacamole and it was perfect, already planning on making it again next week.5 stars

  5. I was looking for something simple yet tasty to do with my shrimp in the air fryer, this was spot on! Delicious and juicy just as described.5 stars

  6. This was so easy to make and delicious! It was great to come home from work and have dinner on the table within 15 minutes. This is definitely going in the menu rotation.5 stars

  7. This was quick and easy. Not to mention light and tasty. I will make it again but will probably use jumbo shrimp. So they don’t fall through the rack.5 stars

  8. This is great. Only problem is, my husband really likes them, so now I have to cook them every time. Twice in a week now. Thanks so much!5 stars

  9. Made this recipe twice tonight, in two batches, half of the recipe each time. Made it as described and it was delicious! The only difference is I use the pink salt, I find it to be less salty.5 stars

  10. Easiest way to cook shrimp!! I ended up cooking my jumbo shrimp for about 8 mins in my Ninja instant pot/air fryer combo. I also added a bit of cayenne pepper for some extra kick and it was perfect. Chef’s kiss, best paired with some side veggies and rice.5 stars

  11. I made this tonight and it is so, so good! And so easy! Great flavor. I only did about a half pound of shrimp and it didn’t take quite as long to cook but that’s easy to adjust as long as you keep your eye on it. I will definitely be making this often. I see this as a good option when I really don’t feel like cooking since it is so easy yet delicious.5 stars

  12. Just tried this and it was delicious. However — I think I followed the directions but the bread crumbs kept falling off the shrimp, especially when I turned them over in the air fryer. I did use the egg wash as specified. Is there some trick to keeping the breading on? BTW, I used panko bread crumbs if that makes a difference.5 stars

    1. Hi Jon, so sorry to hear you are having issues. You could maybe try to place your shrimp back into the refrigerator once it is breaded to see if that helps, or double coating it. Hope this helps!

  13. Great recipe and tasted great, but the breading just kept falling off the shrimp. I think I followed the recipe – I certainly used an egg wash before trying to put the breading on. Is there some trick to getting the breading to stay on?5 stars

    1. Hi Jon, I normally don’t have this problem but maybe let it set out at room temperature for a few minutes before you start breading. Hope this helps!

  14. Crispy coated lemon herby and SUPER quick! Paired it with a scratch made pork and egg fried rice, delicious!5 stars