Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp featured image
Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp is an simple snack or appetizer alternative, free from unnecessary fat and calories that comes from deep frying in heavy oil.
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Table of Contents
  1. About Coconut Air Fryer Shrimp
  2. Why We Love Coconut Shrimp in the Air Fryer
  3. Ingredients
  4. Substitutions and Additions
  5. Recommended Tools
  6. How to Make Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp
  7. Tips for Making Air Fryer Shrimp
  8. Storage
  9. Frequently Asked Questions
  10. Other Easy Dinner Recipes
  11. Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp Recipe

This air fryer coconut shrimp recipe is a healthier version of the popular appetizer and is just as crispy and delicious as its fried counterpart, but a fraction of the calories.

The shrimp are coated in a light batter and then rolled in shredded coconut, before being air fried to perfection. Serve with a dipping sauce of your choice for a complete meal.

Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp hero image

About Coconut Air Fryer Shrimp

Our Air Fried Coconut Shrimp recipe is a healthier finger food option that replaces the heavy oil and deep frying with circulating hot air from a convection-style heating method.

Made in minutes after marinating in a light lemony olive oil, each juicy shrimp is dredged in a seasoned cornstarch mixture, coated in sweet coconut and crunchy panko, and cooked until golden brown.

Cooking coconut shrimp in the air fryer creates a crispy, crunchy exterior with a tender, juicy interior that rivals the best restaurant versions because I skip the heavy oil and deep frying.

This recipe for air fryer coconut shrimp prepares the perfect crowd-pleasing appetizer or snack to serve for game day or makes a delicious side dish or topping for your main meal or dinner.

Why We Love Coconut Shrimp in the Air Fryer

  • Quick and easy to make.
  • Uses simple kitchen staple ingredients.
  • Great guilt-free “fried” appetizer or side dish.
  • Air frying food creates a crispy crust without extra calories and fat from deep frying.
  • Goes great with rice and veggie as the main meal or top of an entree-sized salad with a portion of protein.
  • Perfect for a game day starter or for serving as a snack, appetizer, or side.
Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp ingredients

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice: Feel free to replace this with lime juice instead. I used juice from concentrate, but you can use fresh juice as well. 
  • Large raw shrimp: Using deveined and peeled shrimp, with the tail on, makes these shrimp easier to dip and coat. 
  • Cornstarch: You can switch this out for all purpose flour, though cornstarch sticks really well to the shrimp. 
  • Chili powder
  • Salt
  • Dried basil
  • Pepper
  • Cumin
  • Panko breadcrumbs:  I used plain Panko crumbs, but you can use Italian or your favorite style to add another layer of flavor if you wish. 
  • Sweetened shredded coconut flakes: You could also use unsweetened coconut flakes, though the flavor will change slightly.
  • Eggs
  • Chopped parsley: Feel free to add parsley as an optional garnish.

Substitutions and Additions

  • Other Oil Options: Instead of olive oil, feel free to use grapeseed, vegetable, or canola oil. Although the other oils will work just as well, the taste will be slightly different. 
  • Serve With Sauce: I love serving my Coconut coated shrimp with a sweet sauce on the side, like a simple apricot dipping sauce or a sweet chili sauce.
hand holding Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp
  • Air fryer
  • Shallow bowls
  • Large sealable plastic bag
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How to Make Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp

  1. Marinate: Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice and add the uncooked shrimp. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 
  2. Make the Cornstarch Mixture: Mix together the cornstarch, chili powder, salt, dried basil, pepper, and cumin and set aside.
  3. Make the Panko Coconut Mixture: Grind the Panko breadcrumbs and coconut to fine crumbs and set aside.
  4. Beat The Eggs: Beat the eggs in a third bowl.
  5. Coat The Shrimp: Dip each shrimp into the cornstarch mixture, then dunk into the whisked eggs, and coat with panko and coconut crumbs.
  6. Cook: Lightly spritz the shrimp with cooking spray. Cook for 4 minutes, shake the air fryer basket and finish cooking for another 3 minutes. 
    Pro Tip: Cook the shrimp in batches so that the basket is not overcrowded.
  7. Serve: Serve with parsley as a garnish, optional, and sauce for dipping. Enjoy! 

Tips for Making Air Fryer Shrimp

  • If you like crispier shrimp, add an extra 1-2 minutes of cook time per side.
  • Make sure you preheat the air fryer before adding the shrimp for maximum crispiness.
  • Pat your shrimp dry to remove any extra liquid and to help the breading stick better. 
  • Put the shrimp in a single layer, without touching, in the basket of your air fryer. Instead of just shaking the basket, you can individually flip each shrimp over.
  • A good dip, such as a sweet chili sauce, tastes absolutely delicious with this Coconut Shrimp.
  • If you like extra coconut flavor, use 1 teaspoon of coconut extract in the marinade. 

Storage

  • To Store: Store your coconut shrimp in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze your cooked shrimp in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months.
  • To Reheat: Reheat your refrigerated or frozen coconut shrimp in the microwave, the air fryer, or a skillet.
zoom in shot of Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp

More Easy Air Fryer Recipes

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I store my coconut shrimp?

Store this shrimp in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you would like to prepare these and freeze them ahead of time, make sure the shrimp are able to stay separate until they are frozen, then add an extra 2 minutes per side when finally cooking them. If you freeze the final product, they will last up to 3 months. Use the microwave, the air fryer, or a skillet to reheat the shrimp. 

Can I use shrimp that do not have tails?

I prefer to use shrimp with tails because it makes them easier to coat and dunk. However, if you don’t have tails, I recommend using a fork or pincers while breading your shrimp, or they will get very messy. 

Should I use fresh or frozen shrimp for this recipe?

You can use fresh or frozen shrimp for this recipe based on availability. If you use frozen shrimp, make sure to fully defrost and dry them before coating and air frying them. There should be no remaining ice on the shrimp before coating and cooking.

Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp with dip in a bowl

Other Easy Dinner Recipes

5 from 3 votes
Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp featured image

Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp

Serves — 4
Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp is an simple snack or appetizer alternative, free from unnecessary fat and calories that comes from deep frying in heavy oil.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 6 mins
Marinate Time 30 mins
Total Time 56 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (1 small lemon)
  • 1 pound large raw shrimp tail on, peeled and deveined
  • ¾ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • ¾ cup sweetened shredded coconut flakes
  • 3 large eggs
  • Chopped parsley optional garnish

Instructions
 

  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, and lemon juice.
  • Place this marinade in a large sealable plastic bag and add the uncooked shrimp. Slosh the bag around to coat the shrimp evenly and then place it to marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  • Mix the cornstarch, chili powder, salt, dried basil, pepper, and cumin in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
  • Use a food processor or blender to grind the Panko breadcrumbs and sweetened shredded coconut to fine crumbs. Pour into another shallow bowl and set to the side.
  • Beat the eggs in a third shallow bowl.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Take the shrimp out of the marinade and then dip into the cornstarch mixture.
  • Coat thoroughly and then dunk into the whisked eggs.
  • Lastly, coat with panko and coconut crumbs. Make sure the shrimp is well coated and then repeat with the uncoated shrimp until all shrimp are breaded.
  • Lightly spritz the shrimp with cooking spray.
  • Cook the shrimp in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the basket, for 4 minutes, shake the basket, and finish cooking for another 3 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked through.
  • Once done cooking all the batches, serve with parsley as a garnish, optional.

Jenn’s Notes

Storage :
  • To Store: Store your coconut shrimp in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze your cooked shrimp in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months.
  • To Reheat: Reheat your refrigerated or frozen coconut shrimp in the microwave, the air fryer, or a skillet.
Tips: 
  • If you like crispier shrimp, add an extra 1-2 minutes of cook time per side.
  • Make sure you preheat the air fryer before adding the shrimp for maximum crispiness.
  • Pat your shrimp dry to remove any extra liquid and to help the breading stick better.
  • Put the shrimp in a single layer, without touching, in the basket of your air fryer. Instead of just shaking the basket, you can individually flip each shrimp over.
  • A good dip, such as a sweet chili sauce, tastes absolutely delicious with this Coconut Shrimp.
  • If you like extra coconut flavor, use 1 teaspoon of coconut extract in the marinade.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 475kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 322mg | Sodium: 815mg | Potassium: 493mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 799IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 3mg
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Shrimp was really crunchy and light. I think I will try your trip to add to the coconut flavor next time. Love your recipes!