If you’ve ever wondered How to Cook Frozen Breaded Shrimp in an Air Fryer, this is for you!! This hands off main dish is made in the air fryer with no extra oil required! Works for frozen breaded popcorn shrimp or jumbo butterfly shrimp! PLUS my recipe for Spicy Sweet Shrimp Dip!
I’m always on the hunt for new and exciting things to try in my air fryer. You guys know this about me. From the time I spent way too long testing Trader Joe’s foods in my air fryer, to the time I put acorn squash in there!! I like to experiment.
Here we are again with something new in my same old air fryer. Frozen breaded shrimp, the ones that come in a bag from the freezer section.
Into the air fryer as frozen shrimp pellets. Out of the air fryer as crispy crunchy popcorn shrimps that are NOT dripping oil but instead my favorite Spicy Sweet Shrimp Dip. You’re gonna love it!! And how much time the air fryer saves, yet again.
Total Time: 16 minutes
Method: Air Fryer
Prep: 5 Ingredients or Less
What ingredients do you need to cook frozen breaded shrimp in an air fryer?
This is a super simple recipe and only recipes the frozen breaded shrimp. If you’re feeling extra, try my Spicy Sweet Shrimp Dip to go with!
- frozen breaded shrimp – This recipe will work for any frozen breaded shrimp you buy at the grocery store! See the recipe card for specific cooking instructions for some different kinds.
- mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce & Sriracha – These are the three components of my Spicy Sweet Shrimp Dip! Of course it’s optional to make with the breaded shrimp, but super yummy and also great for drizzling on shrimp tacos!
Types of frozen breaded shrimp
There are a few different types of frozen shrimp, and some may have varying cook times, so let’s discuss. I’m really only covering the basics of what kinds of shrimp you can find frozen AND breaded.
Farmed vs Wild – My preference is always wild but farmed is okay too. I was only able to find wild breaded shrimp at Whole Foods and it was expensive.
Breaded vs Battered – I didn’t try battered shrimp in the air fryer since they are a little harder to find, but I think they would work just the same at breaded shrimp.
Popcorn vs Jumbo – Either one of these kinds of frozen breaded shrimp will work in an air fryer, though jumbo shrimp will take a bit longer than popcorn shrimp.
Coconut breaded vs Regular – I haven’t yet tried coconut breaded shrimp in the air fryer, but I plan to and will update this when I give it a shot. However, I expect coconut breaded shrimp to work the same as regular breaded shrimp.
How do you make frozen breaded shrimp in an air fryer?
It’s unbelievably easy. You’ll be upset you haven’t done it before now. Seriously.
Step One: Open package and dump shrimp into air fryer basket (try not to add all the crumbs, but it doesn’t really matter).
Step Two: Set the air fryer to 375F. For about one serving of popcorn shrimp (just one layer in the basket), air fry for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown and sizzling. For a whole bag of freezer shrimp (about 1 pound), air fry for 12-14 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through, until golden brown and sizzling.
Step Three: Serve!! See? Easy.
How long do you cook frozen breaded shrimp in an air fryer?
The answer to this question depends on how big the shrimp are and how many you pack into the air fryer basket. All times noted are for a air fryer temperature of 375F.
Whole bag, about 1 pound (as pictured): 12-14 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through
One serving up to half a bag: 7-10 minutes, until golden brown and sizzling
4-14 jumbo shrimps in a single layer in the basket: 8-10 minutes
Which air fryer do you use?
For all my air fryer recipes, I use the Philips 2.75 qt Viva Air Fryer , and I love it! I can make foods SUPER crispy, including cook things I would normally cook in the oven, just like these frozen breaded shrimp.
UPDATE 2022: I upgraded to the Cosori XL 5.8 qt Air Fryer and I love it even more than my first air fryer! I highly prefer the nonstick coated basket to the mesh wire style. You can see this new air fryer pictured in my more recent recipes, such as my Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Flautas!
Here’s why air frying is better than other methods:
Air frying vs. deep frying frozen breaded shrimp: Deep frying needs oil, air fryer needs NO oil! This makes it healthier by default. Also WAY less work, less mess, and less costly.
Air frying vs conventional oven frozen breaded shrimp: Preheating the oven takes time that you don’t have to spend with the air fryer! Cooking time is around the same, but no preheating saves around 10 minutes and a bit of energy from using a much smaller and more efficient appliance.
What to serve with frozen breaded shrimp:
- serve in tacos with a simple slaw
- serve as an app with cocktail sauce
- serve as a main dish with potato salad, roasted veggies and rolls
- add teriyaki sauce and serve over noodles
- chop and add to nachos
What’s the Spicy Sweet Shrimp Dip?
All appetizers need a dip, so here’s a little bonus recipe for you that I throw together anytime I make something crunchy and dipable in the air fryer!
- 4 parts mayo
- 2 parts sweet chili sauce
- 1 part sriracha
Essentially this 3-ingredient recipe can be scaled as high as you want to go, but for two people I stick with tablespoons and usually end up with just shy of 1/2 cup of dip. It’s a bit sweet, a little spicy, and perfect for dipping!!
How do you reheat breaded shrimp in an air fryer?
If you accidentally cooked too many frozen breaded shrimps, that’s okay! They’ll last up to 3 days in the fridge in an air tight sealed container.
Add leftover refrigerated breaded shrimps to your air fryer basket. Air fry at 350F for about 6 minutes, giving the basket a good shake halfway through.
The breaded shrimps are done when they’re hot and crispy again.
If you’ve ever wondered How to Cook Frozen Breaded Shrimp in an Air Fryer, this is for you!! This hands off main dish made in the air fryer is so incredibly easy, with no extra oil required! Works for frozen breaded popcorn shrimp or jumbo butterfly shrimp! PLUS my recipe for Spicy Sweet Shrimp Dip!
Air Fryer Shrimp
- about 1 pound frozen breaded shrimp, such as popcorn shrimp
Spicy Sweet Shrimp Dip
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha
- Air fry: Open the package and add your desired amount of frozen breaded shrimp to the air fryer basket (try to skip all the crumbs if you can). Set the air fryer to 375F. Cook time will vary depending on size and quantity of frozen breaded shrimp:
- For about one serving of frozen popcorn shrimp (less than one layer in the basket), air fry for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown and sizzling.
- For a whole bag of frozen popcorn shrimp (about 1 pound, pictured), air fry for 12-14 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through, until shrimps are golden brown and sizzling.
- For jumbo/butterfly shrimps, arrange 4-14 jumbo shrimps in a single layer in the basket and air fry for 8-10 minutes until shrimps are golden brown and sizzling.
- Make some sauce (optional): Mix all the sauce ingredients together and serve with the crispy air fryer breaded shrimp!
- Serve: Serve on tacos, as an app with dipping sauces, or as a main with slaw and Spanish rice. Best eaten right after being made, so only make as much as you need and keep the rest frozen.
Nutrition information estimated with My Fitness Pal and includes sauce, but will vary based on the brand of shrimp used.
- Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
- Calories: 407
- Fat: 25g
- Carbohydrates: 31g
- Protein: 13g