Crispy Air Fryer Shrimp

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Make crispy Air Fryer Shrimp that’s tender in the center and perfect for dunking in your favorite dipping sauces for an easy appetizer. 

plate of air fryer shrimp with dipping sauce

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe: If you love crispy, crunchy appetizers with flavorful sauces, this is the easiest way to achieve the flavor and texture of deep-fried shrimp without the oil. This is a kid-approved shrimp recipe perfect for entertaining. 

pinterest button for air fryer shrimp

How to Make Air Fryer Breaded Shrimp

I recommend following this order of operations to make your shrimp as crispy and delicious as possible:

  1. First, peel, clean and butterfly your shrimp if not done so already. Pat them dry.
  2. Brown your bread crumbs and panko, then let them cool. Season the golden brown bread crumb mixture with salt and pepper.

3. Prepare the egg wash and flour in two separate bowls.

4. Arrange your bowls in the following order:

•   Shrimp

•   Flour

•   Egg wash

•   Bread crumb mixture

Now you’re ready to bread and air fry the shrimp. 

Tip: Make sure to spray your air fryer tray before placing the coated shrimp into the tray. This will prevent the shrimp and breading from sticking as they air fry.

collage of preparing raw shrimp for breading

What Kind of Shrimp is Best For Air Frying?

I use large, peeled and deveined shrimp that are about  2 1/2 to 3 inches long. You can use fresh or frozen, just make sure they are raw and thawed fully. 

If your shrimp are larger or smaller than mine, simply adjust the cooking time accordingly. 

collage of toasting bread crumbs in a skillet

Bread Crumb Coating

The bread crumb coating for your shrimp will be slow to brown, but once it starts it will brown quickly so keep stirring to prevent burning.

I use a combination of Italian and Panko bread crumbs. Panko has a tremendous crunch, but on its own lacks flavor. That’s why I like adding the Italian bread crumbs, which are seasoned. The two work together for crunch and flavor to make a great combo.

collage of steps to bread shrimp for air frying

Breading the Shrimp  

Here’s how to bread your shrimp quickly and easily:

First, if you have a removable air-fryer tray, place it on the counter. This way when you lay your coated shrimp onto the tray, any crumbs will fall onto the counter and not into the air-fryer. Also you will be spraying the tops with oil and you don’t want the extra spray in the air-fryer.

Then starting with one shrimp at a time, dredge the shrimp in the flour. Next dip into the egg wash, making sure to remove any excess egg by wiping it on the side of the bowl. 

Then dunk directly into the bread crumbs. You can use your hands if needed and gently press the bread crumbs onto the shrimp. Gently shake each shrimp to remove any loose crumbs (otherwise they may burn during cooking)

Finally, lay the breaded shrimp onto your sprayed air fryer tray and spray the tops with spray oil.

air fryer crispy shrimp with cocktail sauce

How Long To Air Fry Shrimp

Every air-fryer is different, but our large shrimp cooked perfectly in 10 minutes in the air fryer. Check after 8 minutes to see how they are doing. They should be turning deep golden brown. If you see any burning on the tips, lower the air-fryer temperature by 25°F.

Serving Suggestions

Serve these crispy golden shrimp hot out of the air fryer. You can whip up a simple classic cocktail sauce for dunking. If cocktail sauce isn’t your thing, this tartar sauce is another great option. 

On the side, add extra crunch to complete the meal with Air Fryer French Fries

shrimp with cocktail sauce

Horseradish Cocktail Sauce

I like to make my cocktail sauce with grated fresh horseradish. It offers a very fresh and bright flavor that tastes a bit upscale. You can certainly use jarred horseradish instead. 

The other ingredients in this simple sauce are Worcestershire and hot sauce. Worcestershire sauce has a very prominent flavor profile, so a little goes a long way. It will heighten the flavor of your cocktail sauce by adding depth.

Hot sauce will add a little punch. Note that horseradish already carries a little heat, so taste your sauce before adding more spice.

Using Fresh Horseradish

Look for fresh horseradish root in the produce section of your grocery store. Typically it’s by the other roots (ginger, turmeric, etc).

Tip: Handling horseradish is similar to handling a jalapeño or onion. Don’t wipe your eyes, nose, or face while working with it.

You’ll need to peel the rough skin off the root first with a vegetable peeler. Then simply grate the horseradish with a cheese grater or microplane.

For decoration and flavor, I like to add extra grated horseradish on top of the sauce 

plate of air fryer shrimp with dipping sauce

Storage 

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

To reheat your shrimp, place in the air-fryer in 5-minute increments until desired temperature is reached.

air fryer crispy shrimp with cocktail sauce
Yield: 4-6 servings

Crispy Air Fryer Shrimp

Crispy air fryer shrimp with homemade cocktail sauce are the perfect crunchy and shareable appetizer for entertaining. 

Ingredients

Shrimp

  • 1 lb raw shrimp, peeled, cleaned and butterflied
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten for egg wash
  • Spray oil

Cocktail Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp fresh grated horseradish (adjust to you taste if needed)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (we used Lea and Perrins)
  • 3 shakes hot sauce (we used Tabasco)

Instructions

SHRIMP

Make sure shrimp are peeled, cleaned and butterflied. Pat dry.

To a medium sauté pan add your bread crumbs and oil. Brown until golden. Stir consistently to avoid burning. Once golden brown remove from heat and transfer to a pie plate to cool.

Add garlic salt, pepper, and salt to the flour and mix well to combine.

Place your air-fryer tray on the counter and spray with spray oil.

Working in an assembly line, shrimp, flour, egg wash, and bread crumb mixture, start with one shrimp at a time. Dredge the shrimp in the flour. 

Next dip into the egg wash, make sure to remove any excess egg wash by wiping on the side of the bowl.

Then dip into the bread crumb mixture. Gently shake off any extra bread crumbs.

Lay shrimp onto your oil sprayed air fryer tray. 

Once all the shrimp are coated lightly spray the tops with spray oil.

Air-Fry at 375 º F for 10 minutes or until shrimp are cooked and coating is golden brown.

COCKTAIL SAUCE

Place all ingredients into a bowl and whisk until completely combined.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 687Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 196mgSodium: 1980mgCarbohydrates: 96gFiber: 3gSugar: 59gProtein: 27g

Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.

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