Indulge in the perfect crispy air fryer coconut shrimp, made with a delightful combination of coconut flour and panko breadcrumbs. This irresistible, guilt-free recipe promises to transport your taste buds to a tropical paradise with its crunchy texture and deliciously sweet coconut flavor. It makes the best healthy appetizer or main dish that everyone will love and is much healthier than the restaurant version.
I am so excited to share this coconut shrimp recipe with you all! It is so incredibly crispy, packed with flavor, and makes the perfect healthy appetizer, fun snack, or addition to a healthy salad. My family went crazy for this air fryer shrimp recipe and I just know you will love it too!
Coconut shrimp from a restaurant would typically be breaded and deep fried, leaving it pretty unhealthy. In this recipe, we coat the shrimp in a gluten-free coating and use the air fryer to get it super crispy so it tastes fried. The end result is a fantastic golden air-fried shrimp that is packed with flavor but without deep frying and excess oil. Making it a much lighter, healthier option you can make right at home.
Check out this healthy shrimp scampi for another wonderful way to cook shrimp.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- It is a healthier version of your favorite restaurant appetizer.
- You can make it in under 20 minutes.
- Perfectly plump, tender coconut shrimp with a crispy, golden outer layer that is packed with flavor.
- Only requires a few simple ingredients.
Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp Ingredients
You only need a few simple, healthy ingredients to make this incredible air-fried coconut shrimp recipe.
- Shrimp – large, fresh, peeled, and deveined shrimp with the tails on.
- Coconut flour – you can also use gluten-free all-purpose flour or regular all-purpose flour if you do not need to keep this recipe gluten-free.
- Shredded coconut – unsweetened shredded coconut, I use finely shredded but any will work in this recipe.
- Panko breadcrumbs – panko works best since it helps get the shrimp nice and crispy but any breadcrumbs will work. I used gluten-free panko.
- Eggs – used to help the coating stick to the shrimp.
- Garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper – literally the best seasoning to bring out all of the amazing flavors.
Can I use frozen shrimp in this recipe?
If you are using frozen shrimp, you can defrost it by letting it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. For a quicker way to defrost shrimp, you can place it into a colander and run cold water over it for a few minutes. You will need to use your hands to separate it since it will stick together. Then transfer it onto a clean kitchen towel and dry it before you coat and cook it.
You can also place it into a bowl of cold water for about 10 minutes or so and then strain it and transfer it to a towel to dry.
How to make air fryer coconut shrimp
- Prep the shrimp – if you are using frozen shrimp then make sure you thaw it before you dredge it. See tips for thawing frozen shrimp above. Then make sure you dry it on a clean kitchen towel.
- Coat the shrimp – in a medium shallow bowl combine the coconut flour with the garlic powder, Chili Powder, and some salt and pepper. In another shallow bowl crack the eggs and lightly whisk and season the eggs with salt and pepper. In a third shallow bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with the shredded coconut. Then dip each piece of shrimp in the flour mixture, then in the egg, and then in the breadcrumbs mixture and place them onto a lined baking sheet or clean plate. Continue until you have coated all of the shrimp.
- Cook the shrimp in the air fryer – preheat the air fryer to 370 degrees F and spray the basket with olive oil spray. Working in batches, if needed place the shrimp into the air fryer in an even layer with none of them touching. Spray the shrimp with more olive oil spray Close and cook for 9-10 minutes, flipping the shrimp over halfway through the cooking time. Continue until you have cooked all of the shrimp.
- Serve – serve immediately with a sprinkle of lemon juice, some chopped parsley on top, and some cocktail or chili sauce for dipping.
Tips for Success
- Use fresh shrimp – you can use fresh or frozen shrimp in this recipe but it must be thawed before you dredge and cook it. See tips for thawing above. Larger shrimp is better since it will shrink in size when it cooks.
- Leave the tails on the shrimp – this makes it easier for coating the shrimp as well as dipping it in the sauce after it is cooked.
- Dry the shrimp well – to allow the coating to stick to the shrimp it is important to dry it really well on a clean kitchen towel before you coat it.
- Do not overcrowd the air fryer basket – make sure to place the shrimp in an even layer with none of them touching so they get crispy on all sides.
- Use olive oil spray – you will need only a little bit of oil in this recipe by spraying the shrimp with olive oil spray, it will get nice and golden and crispy while it cooks.
Best dipping sauces for shrimp
- As an appetizer: this shrimp is fantastic served as an appetizer with a delicious chili sauce or cocktail sauce.
- Serve it as a main dish: serve this coconut shrimp over a bed of rice or quinoa with some roasted veggies for a fun family meal everyone will love!
- Enjoy it as a topping: we love to add this coconut shrimp as a topping on salads, tacos, or in a sandwich or wrap!
Can you make this recipe in the oven?
Although I haven’t tested this recipe in the oven yet, I bet it would work! Here is how I would make it.
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (205°C).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it with cooking spray.
- Prepare and coat the shrimp as directed in the recipe.
- Place the coated shrimp on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer, leaving some space between them.
- Bake the shrimp for about 10-12 minutes, until the coating is golden brown and the shrimp are cooked through (they should be pink and opaque).
- Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce!
Frequently Asked Questions
This will vary based on the size of the shrimp you are using as well as your air fryer. Large or jumbo shrimp will take about 10 minutes to fully cook. Smaller shrimp will take 7-8 minutes to cook. I recommend checking the shrimp at around 5 minutes and then adjusting the time and temperature as needed.
The air fryer will result in perfectly golden and crispy shrimp with only a little bit of oil, which is much healthier. Deep frying shrimp requires a much larger amount of oil and is not as good for you.
Cooked shrimp will last about 2-3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
This air fryer coconut shrimp can be reheated right in the air fryer at 350 degrees for 3 minutes.
More easy Air Fryer recipes to try
- Air Fryer Salmon
- Healthy Air Fryer Sweet Potatoes
- Air Fryer Chicken Sausage and Veggies
- Homemade Air Fryer Egg Rolls
- Healthy Air Fryer Meatloaf
- Air Fryer Cod
Did you try this air fryer coconut shrimp recipe? If you did then please leave a rating and comment below. I would love to hear how it turned out!Print