Frozen Coconut Shrimp in Air Fryer

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

If you’ve ever wanted to make frozen coconut shrimp in the air fryer, then you’ve come to the right place. Ready in minutes and packed with high-quality protein, this is a solid dish that’s bound to please the entire family. Oh, and did I mention that you don’t even need to thaw these bad boys? Simply place them in the air fryer, turn up the heat, and prepare your taste buds for something truly miraculous.

What makes this recipe special is the fact that the shrimp stay ridiculously tender and juicy despite being crisped to perfection in the air fryer for that gloriously crunchy exterior. Honestly, whenever I make this, I still find it hard to believe that everything is ready to serve in under 10 minutes. Yup – that includes the sweet chili or tartar dipping sauces that I whip up to accompany these crunchy crustaceans.

Make sure you bookmark this recipe or pin it for later, as you don’t want to sleep on this one – trust me.

A plate of coconut shrimp and lime wedges next to a dish of dipping sauce.

Why This Recipe Works

  • It’s extremely quick and easy to make and is ready in under 10 minutes.
  • The air fryer gives the frozen shrimp a gorgeously crispy exterior while keeping the insides tender and bursting with flavor.
  • There’s no thawing required, making this a perfect mid-week option for busy folk.
  • There’s basically zero clean-up required!


Frozen coconut shrimp

  • Frozen coconut shrimp. You can grab these from the freezer section at most large grocery stores. I recommend getting individually frozen shrimp with heads off for the best results.

Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

  • Sweet chili sauce. For a delicate mix of sweet, tangy, and spicy flavors.
  • Apricot or pineapple preserves. Crucial for balancing acidity and adding a bold sweetness.
  • Lemon or lime juice. Adds a sharp contrast that stops your sauce from tasting overly sweet.

Quick Tartar Sauce

  • Mayonnaise. Provides a delectable creamy and rich base for your sauce.
  • Sweet pickle relish. Add a sweet but tangy crunch.
  • Yellow mustard. Blends with the other flavors for richness and a touch of sharpness.
  • White vinegar. Thins things out with a signature tang to make it perfect for dipping.
  • Pinch of salt. Key for balancing the other flavors.

Coconut shrimp in an air fryer basket.

How To Make It

For the Frozen Shrimp

  1. Place the frozen coconut shrimp into the air fryer basket with plenty of space between each shrimp.
  2. Cook them in the air fryer and flip them halfway through the cooking time.
  3. Remove the shrimp from the air fryer and serve with your dipping sauce of choice.

Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

  1. Combine all ingredients and stir well.
  2. Taste the sauce and adjust the ingredients to your liking.

Quick Tartar Sauce

  1. Combine all ingredients and stir well.
  2. Taste the sauce and adjust the ingredients to your liking.

Sorting the crumbs out of frozen coconut shrimp.
Breaded shrimp cooking in an air fryer.

Tips For Success

  • Check the size of your shrimp before settling on cooking times. Small and medium shrimp need a couple of minutes less in a slightly cooler air fryer than large or jumbo shrimp. To avoid rubbery results, double-check your sizes before cooking.
  • If you’re desperate for super-crispy shrimp, cook them for an additional 2 minutes. You just need to keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn! It can happen in the blink of an eye, so watch your shrimp like a hawk.
  • If you’re working with a smaller air fryer basket, cook your shrimp in batches to avoid overcrowding. This will give you an even cook, prevent any unexpected burning, and ensure that they come out crispy.
  • If you don’t have a countertop air fryer, you’ll need to preheat it for the best results. 5 minutes will usually be enough for most large air fryers.
  • If you’re worried about undercooking your shrimp, use a thermometer. You’ll want to reach internal temperatures of at least 120°F to make sure your shrimp are safe to eat.

Dipping a shrimp in sweet chili sauce.


How long does it take to cook frozen coconut shrimp in an air fryer?

This recipe was tested with Seapack Jumbo coconut shrimp and Trader Joe’s coconut shrimp. The cooking times were the same for each brand (8-10 minutes!).

Can I air fry frozen shrimp without thawing first?

Absolutely – you’ll want to keep them frozen for this recipe or you’ll need to decrease the cooking time significantly.

How do I know when the shrimp are done?

They should reach 120°F on your thermometer and be golden brown.

Can I add aluminum foil to my air fryer?

This is entirely down to your air fryer, but it’s usually okay if it’s placed under the basket to catch excess oil. You can also line your basket with aluminum foil to make cleanup easy, but this can reduce the airflow in your air fryer and impact cooking. To be completely safe, weigh down the foil so there are no loose parts that might get stuck in the heating elements of your fryer.

Are air fryers healthier than regular fryers?

Yes! As you don’t need to add any additional oil to your shrimp for them to crisp up, you’ll end up with a far healthier result than if you used a deep frier.

What goes well with coconut shrimp?

You can eat your shrimp with dipping sauces or make it a full meal with rice, veggie spring rolls, or egg noodles.

 🛠 Tools and Equipment

If you click on some of the following affiliate links and buy something, we might get a small commission. You don’t pay any extra, but it will help us keep the lights on and our bellies full!

  • The Ninja dual air fryer is perfect for cooking your mains and sides together, side by side.
  • I cannot recommend these OXO silicone tongs enough. I have had too many flimsy tongs that bend and these OXO tongs hold up and always grip onto your food well. Grab this set of OXO silicone spatulas as well!

Check Out These Recipes

Wrap Up

Whether you’re on the hunt for a wonderful appetizer for your next dinner party or simply want a new Hump Day meal that won’t break the bank, you’ll adore these delectable frozen coconut shrimp made in the air fryer. Just make sure to set aside a plateful for yourself before they’re all snatched up!

💬 Tell Me What You Think!

Did you try out this recipe? Please leave a comment below and let me know how you liked it. Also, snap a picture and post it to your favorite social platform. Be sure to tag me at @alicensetogrill and let me know how you liked it!


Be sure to follow us on our social media accounts.

Did you make this recipe? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Coconut shrimp on a plate with lime wedges and chili dipping sauce.

Frozen Coconut Shrimp in Air Fryer

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes

Cooking frozen coconut shrimp in the air fryer is a quick and easy way to get a delicious meal on the table. You don't need to thaw the shrimp, just pop them in the air fryer and let them cook. You'll have juicy, tender shrimp with a crispy exterior in no time.

Most packages of frozen coconut shrimp will come with a dipping sauce, but we gave you a couple of options for quick dipping sauces in case you don't want what the package comes with.


Frozen coconut shrimp

  • 1 package frozen coconut shrimp

Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

  • 1/3 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1/3 cup apricot or pineapple preserves
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon or lime juice

Quick Tartar Sauce

  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • pinch of salt


For the Frozen Shrimp

  1. Empty the package of frozen shrimp onto a plate and discard the loose crumbs. 
  2. Place the frozen coconut shrimp in the air fryer. Keep them in a single layer so air can circulate around them. 
  3. Set the air fryer to 390°F and cook for 8 to 10 minutes (flip them over after 5 minutes).
  4. If you plan to cook a second batch, empty the crumbs out of the basket before you cook them to prevent burning.
  5. Remove the shrimp and serve with dipping sauce. 

Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

  1. Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. 

Quick Tartar Sauce

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small dish and stir until combined. 


  • The loose crumbs in the package of frozen shrimp will burn quickly if you add them to the air fryer.
  • If you have a smaller air fryer basket, cook the shrimp in batches so you don't crowd them in the air fryer basket. 
  • We did not need to spray the air fryer basket or the shrimp with oil. The shrimp cooked without sticking to the air fryer. 
  • Do not defrost the shrimp, or you will need to decrease the cooking time. 
  • If you have a countertop air fryer, you don't need to preheat the air fryer. 
  • If you use a larger air fryer oven, preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes. 
  • This recipe was tested with Seapack Jumbo coconut shrimp and Trader Joe's coconut shrimp. The cooking time was the same for both brands. 

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 351Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 331mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 18gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

About Joshua Boquist

Josh is an outdoor enthusiast and food fanatic. A License To Grill is his passion project where the outdoors intersects food - grilling, smoking, and all things tasty!

You May Also Like

Get new recipes sent to your inbox!
Don't miss out! Subscribe and get all the new recipes first.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *