This air fryer shrimp recipe is one of our favorite choices when we crave a straightforward and unsophisticated meal. The plump shrimp are very well seasoned with only simple pantry ingredients before being air-fried to crispy and succulent.
It takes just 10 minutes of air-frying and 20 minutes in total (prepping included). The air fryer is in charge of all the hard work and all you’ll need to do is prepare the shrimp, rub them with spices, and press the button. All this without the hassle of splattered oil as with pan-frying.
Is Air Fryer Shrimp Healthy?
Yes, it is.
Shrimp are an excellent source of brain-healthy fats, such as EPA and DHA (omega 3 fatty acids). They're relatively low in calories and fat but rich in protein, and provide you with a great source of vitamins and minerals including iodine, selenium, and vitamin B12.
Our air fryer shrimp recipe calls for fresh shrimp, a simple spice mix of pantry ingredients, and only 1 tablespoon of olive oil to help the spices stick to the shrimp when air-frying. As a result, one serving of this dish contains 217 calories, with only 1.3 grams of saturated fat and 3.8 grams of carbs.
These amounts are within the recommended ranges and will keep you on the healthy track without too much effort.
Although this dish is light in fat and calories, the flavor is quite the opposite. Keep reading to unfold its flavor profile.
Main Ingredients for Air Fryer Shrimp
Either jumbo-sized or medium-sized shrimp will work well in this recipe. The smaller the shrimp are, the faster they cook, so be careful not to overcook them to a rubbery finish.
If you buy shrimp from the fishmongers, ask them to peel and devein the shrimp in advance to save time prepping.
For this recipe, we used medium-sized shrimp and brushed them with a simple seasoning mixture, then air-fried them for 10 minutes at 180℃ (356℉). The air fryer gives the shrimp a fragrant, flavorful outer coating while keeping the inside flesh tender and juicy. You also don't need to turn them midway as the circulating hot air will cook them evenly on all sides.
Some say the internal temperature of shrimp should reach 12o°F when cooking, but you can easily tell their doneness by the color. The shrimp should be ready when they’ve turned pearly white and opaque without any translucent grey spots. Perfectly cooked shrimp usually have a C shape and overcooked ones have O shape.
Our seasoning mix is a combination of aromatic spices: chili powder, garlic powder, thyme, paprika, pepper, oregano, olive oil, lemon juice, and Italian seasoning.
Shrimp is an easy-going ingredient. Although they taste great plain, they’re also great at taking on spices, so no complex flavoring is required to make this dish more appetizing.
We left salt out of the seasoning mixture as shrimp are naturally high in sodium and the other spices are more than enough to lend the dish a bold taste.
How to Cook Shrimp in an Air Fryer
This air fryer shrimp recipe is a straightforward and unsophisticated solution to a tasty meal. It takes just 10 minutes of cooking and 6 simple steps to make this crispy succulent shrimp at home:
Step 1: In a mixing bowl, combine shrimp with the seasoning mixture.
Step 2: Arrange the seasoned shrimp in the air frying basket in a single layer.
Step 3: Air fry at 180℃ (356℉) for 10 minutes.
Step 4: Whisk mayonnaise and ketchup together.
Step 5: Remove the fried shrimp from the air fryer.
Step 6: Garnish, portion out, and enjoy with the mayo sauce on the side.
Can You Cook Frozen Shrimp in an Air Fryer?
Yes, you can. Either fresh or frozen shrimp are fine for this recipe.
If using frozen shrimp, make sure that they're defrosted, drained well, and patted dry before rubbing so the spices will stick to the surface when frying. To defrost the shrimp, run water over the frozen bags or let them sit in a big bowl filled with cold water and wait for about 15 minutes until they're fully thawed.
How to Store and Reheat Cooked Shrimp
Leftover air-fried shrimp should be stored in an airtight container, covered with a lid, and placed in the fridge. This way they will be good for up to 3 days and if frozen, they will stay fresh for up to 3 months.
You can reheat the leftover cooked shrimp in the air fryer or the microwave for 3-5 minutes.
When thawing any frozen portions, make sure you keep the shrimp in Ziploc bags when you run water over them, so they won't turn soggy after being reheated. If you can plan your meals, the best way to thaw shrimp is to transfer them to the fridge overnight before the day of serving.
What to Serve With Air Fryer Shrimp
This air fryer shrimp serves perfectly as an appetizer or a light side dish to a wide variety of mains. There are plenty of ideas on how to enjoy these juicy and flavorful air-fried shrimp, as they can be:
Wrapped in tacos.
Topped on salads.
Topped on a nice bed of rice or pasta to make a fulfilling main dish.
Served alongside a simple bowl of grits or hummus.
Served alongside a favorite condiment of choice for dipping’s, such as a spicy cocktail sauce, remoulade, teriyaki sauce, bang bang sauce, or tangy mustard sauce.
A writer and entrepreneur, Luna’s day doesn’t start at the computer keyboard, but in the kitchen.
Half of her working hours are spent on mixing ingredients for her recipes. The other half involve working with the tech team to research and test the tools and appliances that promise to make kitchen work effortless and mess-free. From a kitchen knife or water filter to the Instant Pot, if it can help save time and effort for the home cook, Luna and her team are on it.
Luna’s extracurricular pastimes include camping, travel, and photography.